With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Latitude Festival 2018 Day 2 Saturday 14th July July 19, 2018


So on to the second day of what is shaping up to be a great Latitude Festival. The second day was kicked off for me on the BBC Music Stage by the 60 strong Suffolk choir; Pop Chorus. This was just a small subset from the whole choir group which has circa 300 members. It was a remarkable set from what I understand is an amateur choir group. Conducted by a talented choir mistress their five-part harmonies gave an almost church-like feel inside the tent. Their repertoire included songs from Alt J and the Killers among many others. Next it was a short hop to the Obelisk Arena for the former Howling Bells singer Juanita Stein. Her sound is rooted in 70s west coast US rock and modern-day Americana injected with a strong sassy twist.

Festival Shadows – Photograph by Andy Golborne featuring, from left to right, the shadows of Andy Golborne, Rachel Vernelle and me ūüôā

UK rapper Piers James was a big hit with the Lake Stage crowd. He inspired some very highly spirited moshing, which is something you don’t see too often at Latitude. I would say he is clearly a fan of Dizzee Rascal, Kanye and Outkast although he takes those sounds to another place with some beats that would have graced maybe some Warren G tracks back in the day. The BBC Music Stage swung to some sweet, bright, summery, indie pop from Alvvays. There is an exquisitely dark undertone to their songs. Alvvays are a sumptuously sounding band who were clearly enjoying themselves. I really wasn’t particularly impressed by Parquet Courts on the Obelisk Arena Stage. They have some excellent which at times come across like Jonathan Richman backed by the Doors. A gloomy and surly bunch who on this showing are not as big as their hype suggests.

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Irish band Whenyoung stormed the Lake Stage all guns ablaze with a set of banging tunes. I love the attention to their stage¬†image, with the band members wearing coloured jump suits/ overalls which had the band’s logo on them. Festival organisers please give this merry gang a bigger stage next time. There was a volcanic level of rumour and speculation about¬†who the surprise guest would be; names bandied about included Snow Patrol, Ed Sheerhan, U2 and Madonna among many others. However I was bitterly disappointed when it turned out to be that well-known Oasis tribute act Liam Gallagher! I feel that perhaps Liam is very much a Marmite act these days, people either love him or loathe him, for me it is the latter. Having seen Oasis twice, Beady Eye twice and Liam solo at the Leeds Festival last year I believe that he is way past his best and that he is desperate for an Oasis reunion. (Eight out of the thirteen songs he played were Oasis songs).I hope that never happens, but some of the grown men in tears at Liam’s appearance on the BBC Music Stage I am sure will have a very different opinion to mine.

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Jessie Ware is a true diva, but in the sense of her performance not in her behaviour. Her tight and talented band gave her a perfect bed for her soulful pop vocal style. This was the perfect soundtrack for a sunny late afternoon at the Latitude Festival. Along with my good friends Rachel and Mac we also enjoyed some hilarious people watching. Thank you to the stoned dancing bloke and to the impractical parents who not only did not master how to put up a child’s play tent, they also managed to break it! Cardiff rockers Boy Azooga seemed to be having a party on the Lake Stage. They were enjoying themselves immensely and rightly so. They put in an awesome performance and engaged perfectly with the audience. I understand that we were their biggest crowd yet. If these boys don’t go on to bigger things then I will have to eat my Festie Cowboy hat!

My festie hat with tiny Trump hands attached as a small protest at the Mango Mussolini’s UK visit. Will I have to eat the hat because of Boy Azooga?

I was lucky enough to grab twenty minutes of Mogwai’s BBC Music Stage set. It was full on prog power psyched up to maximum levels. Possibly one of the best bands the UK has ever spawned. Today the Obelisk Arena Main Stage headliners were the Killers and pardon the pun, but the killed it! Brandon Flowers is the consummate front man. He knows just how good both he and the band are and they totally understand what the crowd want. All their best songs were there; “Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine”, “Human”, “Mr Brightside” and “All These Things That I’ve Done” and many others. Around halfway through their set none other than Liam Gallagher swaggered on to the stage very briefly. He prattled some utter bollocks and walked right off before the Killers played a decent version of the Oasis classic “Acquiesce”. I heard from a very reliable source that Liam was supposed to share vocal duties on the song with Brandon, but he clearly couldn’t be arsed, or at best he couldn’t remember the lyrics! The Killers delivered in spades they are one of the most entertaining bands around. I rounded off the night in the Music and Film Arena for the Trojan Sound System band. They played some wonderful reggae tunes to help celebrate 50 years of the iconic Trojan Record Label.

The Killers at Latitude – photo by Andy Golborne

 

Leeds Festival Day 1 Friday 25th August 2017 August 28, 2017


Click here to read my review of day 1 of the 2017 Leeds Festival on the Hype Media site. I would like to thank those jolly nice folks at the Hype Media for giving me the opportunity to be there! Words by me and pictures (apart from Queen Vee & the Sasstones, that was by me) by rock photographer extraordinaire John Hayhurst of snapagig.

 

“Don’t look back, ’cause you know what you might see” November 4, 2016


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So if recent reports are true we could have an Oasis reunion tour of some type next year. Click here to read the report on the NME website. I am sure that there will be many people who are very excited by this news, but I am not one of them. In my opinion the first two Oasis albums; ‘Definitely Maybe‘ and ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’ remain stone cold classic albums. The third album ‘Be Here Now‘ was frankly a shambolic, over-egged pile of shite. After that they never reached their early heady heights again, although there was the occasional excellent single in that time.

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I saw Oasis twice, first in a tiny dive of a pub in Windsor in 1994 with about 100 people and secondly at Knebworth in 1996. Two excellent shows in two very different venues and circumstances, but both bloody good. Personally and with hindsight I think that they should have quit after Knebworth, it was mostly downhill from there. Noel‘s subsequent solo career proves to me that he was the real talent behind Oasis. Liam‘s post Oasis activity has so far been Beady Eye and to be fair they were nothing but the remainder of Oasis but without Noel to write the songs. I saw Beady Eye at the Reading Festival a few years ago and they came across like a below average Oasis tribute band who largely wanted to perform their own sub standard songs.

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But if you are a big fan or if Oasis were always ‘your band’ then just go ahead and enjoy yourself. But for me Oasis are not a band that should reform, I think that it could kill off the tarnished legacy that they have left. But no doubt the whole circus will provide copious copy on those darlings of the intellectual press the tabloids! As usual I would love to hear your thoughts on the boys from Burnage getting back together via the comments on here.

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“And nothing ever lasts forever” October 30, 2014


Liam waves goodbye to Beady Eye. Is that a Beady Bye then?

Liam waves goodbye to Beady Eye. Is that a Beady Bye then?

Beady Eye have split up? Thank fuck for that!

 

 

Apollo Festival 2014 – York – Saturday 21st June June 30, 2014


 

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Unfortunately I was unable to attend last years Apollo Festival so I was quite excited about this one. On another unfortunate note for various reasons I ended up having to miss the set from Reverend and the Makers who headlined the day. But I did get to see absolutely loads of great music and I do hope to be back next year. This time for the full day!

I spent the day with my wonderful wife Catherine (regular readers will know her as Catwoman and our good friends Caron and John and their beautiful daughter Amelia. Catwoman and me are Odd parents to Amelia. the first stage we visited was the Access To Music Stage. Ruby was playing when we arrived, she looked very young, but she was also very, very good. Her own material had some very mature lyrics for someone so young and she even made an Olly Murs song sound good when she covered “Troublemaker”. We stayed in place to see the next act; Laura. Does nobody bother with surnames any more? Laura has an excellent voice and some great songs of her own. She also played two well-chosen and extremely well done covers. The first was the Beatles “Blackbird” and she finished her set with a storming acoustic cover of the Gnarls Barkley modern classic “Crazy”.

 

We wandered over to the Main Stage next where we saw We Could Be Astronauts last song. It was a pity that we weren’t able to see more because these guys sound bloody good! Redstar from Huddersfield were next and it would be difficult to find any fault with this superb band. Their playing is on the button and really tight. The vocalist has all the traits of a great front man and he backs that up with a great rock voice. Their songs are pretty damned good too. I reckon there may be some Kasabianesque influences in there and they made me think of what Beady Eye could have been had Liam retained any talent. But that is small stuff, they are very much their own band. The free CD album they handed out to us punters is brilliant and has been on heavy rotation in my car since the show. Chris Helme former singer of John Squire‘s first post Stone Roses project the Seahorses was next. he is clearly a talented bloke with a good voice but I found him a little dull.

It was back to the Access To Music Stage next where we saw the fabulous Barcode Zebra. probably the funkiest band of the day. A truly stupendous rhythm section and a vocalist for whom a description of awesome might not be quite enough. They are playing in York at a launch of their new EP in July and sadly I will be away that weekend. I would definitely pay to see this band again. also if you’re reading this good people of Barcode Zebra I would love to do an interview with you for this blog!

The Entertainment Co Stage was our next port of call where we found it impossible not to dance and sing along to the curators of that stage; The Entertainment Company! They don’t just play cover versions they own them! Are they the best party band ever? ¬†Very probably! shall we book them for Catwoman’s 50th birthday party (yes she doesn’t look even close to 50 does she)? I hope they do private party bookings because I’d love them to play for us in September 2016!

After that it was a return to the Main Stage where we saw the Black Delta Movement. We didn’t catch their whole set but they come across as very accomplished rockers with a swampy blues rock feel. Not bad at all. Former Bluetones frontman the ‘Legendary’ Mark Morriss was on next with a rather brilliant acoustic set. He is wonderfully self-deprecating and even his new songs have an air of classics about them.

Next it was a quick jog back to the Entertainment Co Stage where we were hoping to see the highly recommended And The Hangnails (thank you Mr Pattinson). before they took to the stage those wonderful people from the Entertainment Company had allowed a young singer from LA to play a few songs. His name is Ben Caron and he is soulful and funky. A bit like Bruno Mars but with more of an R & B edge. He has a truly great voice with which he wowed the all too small crowd. I bought his album, a steal at ¬£7 and he struck me as a really good bloke too. You really should check him out. And The Hangails came on the stage and it is fair to say that for just two people they make a massive noise. I don’t mean that in a negative way either, this pair know how to rock. I sensed some influence from the likes of the White Stripes, the Black Keys and the Strokes. Would I pay to see this mighty duo again? Hell yeah!

Target By Numbers were next on the Access To Music Stage. Good musicians and some ok songs, but they really didn’t do it for me. The last band we saw on the day was the Supermodels on the Main Stage. They are a covers band, but to simply say that really doesn’t do them justice. They cover some classic rock songs with such verve and talent that you could almost imagine you were listening to the real thing if your eyes were shut. Their cover of the Who’s “Baba O’Riley” would give Daltrey and Townshend a run for their money. I really want to see them play again. Sadly we had to leave just before the Supermodels left the stage. But although we missed the headliners we had a fantastic day! well done to the organisers and for all the money raised for an excellent cause; the Smiley Riley Fund!

 

 

The Stone Roses : Made Of Stone – World premiere simulcast York City Screen Thursday 30th May 2013 June 2, 2013


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On Thursday 30th May I attended a simulcast of the world premi√®re of the new Stones Roses documentary ‘Made Of Stone’ at York City Screen. The cinema is part of the excellent¬†Picturehouse chain and was one of 200 UK cinemas that were broadcasting the premi√®re which took place in Manchester. There was a live link to the activities on the red carpet for the first hour and personally I found that part terribly dull, not helped in my opinion by Edith Bowman‘s interview style. She seems to ask a high percentage of closed questions.¬†The most interesting interview she did was with Shane Meadows, the director of the film. The interview with Mick Jones off of the Clash was embarrassing in my opinion.

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The film however was a million light years from being dull. I would say that it is probably among the best music documentaries I have ever seen. It didn’t set out to tell a chronological story of the band, although some of the montages which included previously unseen footage were excellent. Much of that material was provided by the band themselves directly to Shane Meadows. This included some grainy Super 8 cin√© film of¬†Ian Brown and John¬† Squire on motor scooters from the early 80s. The film is essentially split into three parts; The resurrection press conference and the Parr Hall in Warrington free show; Then the rehearsals and finally some stunning footage from the Heaton Park gigs.

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I really loved the rehearsal¬†element. It showed¬†just how close the band really are and it was incredibly intimate and insightful. Apparently some of the rehearsal footage was shot by Shane Meadows using a Super 8 App on his iPhone. Does that mean we’ll all be making films soon? The filming and editing of the Parr Hall show and the build up to it was wonderfully entertaining. Especially the sequences of the people queueing up to be among the lucky 1,000 attendees. I order to get a wrist band for the gig you needed to bring along some official Stone Roses merchandise or CD/ Records and obviously to be in the first 1,000 people in the queue. One bloke arrived still in his paint spattered overalls having not even bothered to lock up the house he had been working on.

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The finale of the film is truly amazing and culminates in some superb footage from the Heaton Park gigs. There must have been countless cameras used and I hope that the video includes much more footage of the shows. Some clips of the pre Heaton Park warm up shows were shown leading up to the big gig. You saw the band back stage in Lyon meeting one of their Manchester United (or Mani United) heroes; Eric Cantona. Is it just me or does he look like Grizzly Adams these days? I’m sure that Liam Gallagher, who made a brief appearance in the film wouldn’t have liked that part. The classic non encore from the Amsterdam is also included. This was where Reni threw a bit of a hissy fit following some problems with his ear monitors and went straight back to the hotel. Ian Brown then had to come back on the stage and announce to the disgruntled audience that this was no joke and that the drummer had gone home. This culminated in the classic line ‘What can I say? The drummer’s a cunt!’ To be fair that is a little rich coming from a soon to be middle-aged man who wears his jeans low enough to see most of his undercrackers!

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The posters and trailers for the film include the line ‘this film will make grown men cry’. Well I didn’t cry, but perhaps it’s just because it’s not my generation and not ‘my’ band in the way it is for the hardcore Roses fans. But even with my eyes remaining dry this was a five-star music documentary. I urge you to go and see it if you can or put the DVD (scheduled for release in October) on your letter to Santa Claus. But you know the drill by now; if you have to sell your Granny to get a ticket then say bye bye Gran today!

 

Reading Festival 2012 ‚Äď Day 1 ‚Äď Friday 24th August August 27, 2012


After what seemed ages the Reading Festival is here again and as usual I made the annual pilgrimage with my good friend Nick Horslen. The first band that we saw on day 1 was the Cancer Bats. I would describe them as hardcore heavy screamers from Canada and they were bloody good too! Dead to Me were on the Lock Up stage and they were rather good and certainly not dead to anyone! I wasn’t sire about the jaunty angled baseball cap though. Coheed & Cambria were on the main stage I found them a bit Biffy Clyro-like but not as good! I suppose you might describe them as 21st century prog rock.

Friends sounded good but sadly we missed most of their set. Spector came next with the first mobot of the day, spookily just after I said to Nick I wonder when we’ll see one from the stage. I like these guys a lot, they have some really anthemic songs especially “Never Fade Away”. Are the Hives the ultimate festival party band? Definitely! They have it all; top hats and tails, attitude, great songs and even a ninja stage crew! We saw the Blackout next, hmmmm seems to be a Shikari influence in there. But I would send the red-haired bloke back to Wales he adds nothing to them in my opinion!

I love Scroobius Pip but I thought that the sound mix for him was terrible. Wow the BBC Introducing stage has a mosh circle and the Attention Thieves worked it well. Very hard and very heavy. Next we were at the NME tent for Passion Pit from Boston. They do what it says on the tin; but with loads more passion than you can fit in a tin and far from the pits! A truly great band. But even after that things went up a notch or two with the great Graham Coxon, what a truly awesome guitarist he is. A little less stage presence than Damon but tons more than Liam Gallagher. A brilliant set and he even has a drummer that looked like a bewigged Mel Smith. We passed by Paramore on the Main stage to see the rather spiffing Bastille who closed with a great 90s dance cover.

The BBC introduced us to the Proxies; I think they’ll be back. The Courteeners were a bit identikit indie pop. I’m sure that if you’re a big fan of them you were in ecstasy watching them. For me they were pretty good but not the most exciting band I have ever seen. Then it was off to the Main Stage to round the day off with Bob Smith’s combo, the Cure. They last appeared at the festival in 1979 and I had never seen them before so the prospects were good. Whilst they are clearly a very tight band, featuring Reeves Gabrels on guitar I think, I don’t think I’d see them again. I am glad I had the opportunity this time though. I felt that the first hour was somewhat soporific but the second part really livened up. So that was the end of the first day and the rain held off too.

 

“Back beat, the word is on the street that the fire in your heart is out” August 15, 2012


What did you think of Beady Eye‘s cover of “Wonderwall” at the London 2012 Closing Ceremony? It remains a great song, but frankly Liam‘s voice just wasn’t there was it? I saw Beady Eye at the Reading Festival last year and I thought they really weren’t very good. here is what I said about them last August. ‘They were¬†like an Oasis tribute band playing songs they had written in an Oasis style. Liam‚Äôs voice is clearly not what it was either and his stage presence is way past it‚Äôs sell by date’.

Spookily¬†it seems none other than Noel Gallagher, who wrote “Wonderwall”, shares my opinion. At a¬†War Child¬†benefit gig at Dingwalls¬†in Camden last night he played “Wonderwall” and dedicated it to ‘Stratford’s finest Oasis tribute band’. This was a barbed dig at his younger brothers Olympic appearance. I’d like to think that Noel read my blog last August and the tribute band thought stuck with him. Either way I do believe that he is right. Keeping his own Olympic flame alive Noel also dedicated “Supersonic” to ‘the great Mo Farah‘.

 

London 2012 – The Olympics Closing Ceremony August 13, 2012


So the London 2012 Olympics is¬†over, at least until the Paralympics anyway. I truly believe that this has been an amazing Olympics and for me usurps England winning the 1966 football world cup as our greatest sporting achievement. What do you think? OK I know the Scots won’t agree with that in the first place, but I would still like to hear your thoughts.

I realise that this post comes some 24 hours after the closing ceremony, but given the musical nature of that ceremony I felt I had to post something. The Olympic stadium was once again amazing; decked out to show a London skyline that included the London Eye, Big Ben and the Gherkin to name but a few. It all kicked off with the delicious voice of Emilie Sande accompanied only by a pianist, who was playing a piano covered in newspaper. After that the tempo really took off with forty members of the cast of Stomp dancing, drumming and percussing (is that a word?) on the recreated mini London Eye in the stadium. On top of all this there was a choir singing Beatles songs.

Next up was cellist and Churchill appearing out of the top of Big Ben and reciting words from Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ which was a great link back to the superb Opening ceremony. Obviously it wasn’t really Churchill, it was Timothy Spall. This was followed¬†by newspaper clad crowds depicting the hubbub of London. The whole thing then slowed a little for the arrival of the VIPs; Jacques Rogge¬†(President of the IOC) who seems to make even the dullest accountant I have ever met seem exciting and prince Harry representing the Royal family. Clearly he was never going to match his grandmother’s arrival at the opening ceremony! Obviously this was followed by our rather uninspiring, in my opinion, national anthem.

The whole show was a celebration of¬†Britain and the next vignette was real class. It was the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 countdown by Michael Caine¬†from the ‘Italian Job’ and then the iconic three-wheeled¬†van of Trotter’s Independent Trading blew apart and out jumped, yes you guessed it, Del Boy and Rodney in their Batman and Robin costumes. A sublime moment and a nod to one of Britain’s greatest ever comedy shows; Only Fools And Horses.

The mood then turned very much to party as madness were driven¬†around the arena playing¬†“Our House” from the back of a truck. This tempo was kept up by the Massed Guards Bands with a wonderful rendition of Blur’s “Parklife”. Just when you thought it couldn’t get better¬†the stadium was filled¬†with cyclists wearing the most amazing geometric and fluorescent hats. Two of them on tricycles¬†which had Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe as passengers. So we were treated to a fabulous version of “West Ends Girls” on bicycles and tricycles. Could this happen anywhere but the UK? I doubt it!

One Direction were next, like Madness they were on the back of a truck, which sadly wasn’t headed to the tip. OK I have to begrudgingly admit they were at least in tune, but I still don’t like them. Interestingly they were one of just a few acts whose name¬†was flashed¬†onto¬†the screen when they appeared. After that it was back to another great number from the cast of Stomp. That percussion sounded like¬†“Spice Up Your Life” to me. was that deliberate? Who knows? An incredibly talented dance troupe who I think were called¬†Spelbound¬†were next to take the stage. They performed a great routine to the Beatles Sergeant Pepper classic “A Day In The Life”

To keep up the 60s vibe Kinksmeister¬†Ray Davies came on to sing his timeless and classic love song to London; “Waterloo Sunset”. eliciting some great ‘sha la la-ing’¬†from the audience in the process. Emilie Sande made a return next, minus the newspaper piano and sang over a film montage of some of London 2012’s most tearful moments. The three hundred or so flag bearers entered the arena after that, including super sailor Ben Ainslie fo Britain. Elbow soundtracked¬†this whole piece with a great little set that included the beautiful “Open Arms”.¬† The athletes followed¬†the arrival of the flag bearers and they were corralled¬†into the sections of the union jack which formed the floor of the stadium. Apparently¬†this version of the flag was designed¬†by Damien Hirst. Indian drummers then accompanied the construction of¬†a large structure made up of more than three hundred white boxes. One to represent each Olympic event. The backing track to this was¬†Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”. I had momentary butterflies while wishing and hoping that Kate might actually appear herself. But alas she didn’t.

Apparently one of the traditions of the closing ceremony is that it contains¬†the last¬†medal presentation. It is for the Mens Marathon which took place earlier in the day and was won¬†by Stephen Kiprotich¬†of¬†Uganda.¬† This was followed¬†by a thank you and recognition for all the volunteers, or Games makers as they were known from all the athletes.¬†This was followed¬†by a spectacular light show to the unmistakable¬†sound of Queen’s mighty “Bohemian Rhapsody” followed by a children’s signing choir singing John Lennon’s “Imagine”. This segued¬†into a film clip of Lennon singing the song himself. Apparently Yoko Ono commissioned a special remaster of the song for the ceremony. At the same time a 3D image of John Lennon’s face was built on stage. This was a prelude to the main musical events.

George Michael took to the stage for his first live performance since his life threatening¬†illness he sang “Freedom 90”¬†¬†his new single¬†“White Light” which is¬†in fact all about his brush with death. He seemed fit and well and on really good form. I’m not sure I like the new facial hair style though, perhaps it will grow on me! Ricky off of the Kaiser Chiefs was driven¬†to the stage as a scooter pillion passenger singing “Pinball Wizard”. I have gone off the Kaisers of late, by I must admit they did a storming version of the Who’s classic. The next part had me positively tingling with anticipation; A series of short film and audio clips of David Bowie. Would he actually appear? Surely not? And surely he didn’t. But his 1980 hit “Fashion” was used as a backdrop to a showcase of British fashion which included a weird march around the stadium from a series of models including Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss.

George couldn’t master Mo Farah’s Mobot so he invented the Georgebot

A huge skeleton of what might have been a viking boat was pulled¬†on stage and the hidden figurehead was none other than Annie Lennox. She performed¬†“Little Bird” which was used on the soundtrack of Coppola’s film version of Bram Stoker’s classic story Dracula. The much rumoured Pink Floyd appearance turned out to be nothing more than Ed Sheerhan, Nick Mason and Mike Rutherford doing the Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” accompanied by a tightrope walker¬†who recreated¬†the Floyd album cover with the flaming man.

Russell Brand arrived on stage in what looked like the Scooby¬†Doo van and he was singing, he’s not a bad singer either. He got out of the van to perform¬†the Beatles’ “I Am The Walrus”. The van begat a giant inflatable octopus from which Fatboy¬†Slim did a brief DJ set featuring his own hits¬†“Right Here Right Now” and “Rockerfeller¬†Skank”. Jessie J then sang “Price Tag” in an open top car she was joined¬†by Tinie Tempah then Taio Cruz with “Dynamite”. All in open top cars. Then all¬†three of them took the stage for a creditable performance of the Bee Gees disco classic¬†“You Should Be Dancing”. As they were performing in front of a drum kit marked up with the name of Beady Eye it was obvious who was going to be on later!

A group of London Black cabs entered stadium and performed a kind of synchronised dance. Then five of them moved to the centre of the arena and were lit up with some spectacular lighting arrays. This wasn’t the best kept secret of the show, but guess who¬†the passengers in these five cabs were? Yes it was Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger and Pouty…. oops sorry I mean Posh. It was the return of the Spice Girl. They kicked off with possibly one of the greatest pop singles of the 90s (OK that doesn’t mean you have to like it);¬†“Wannabe”. They followed this with the samba rhythmed¬†“Spice Up Your Life” which they performed while being driven around the stadium atop the cabs that brought them in. As expected after seeing their drum kit earlier Beady Eye were next. Thankfully they didn’t play any of their own stuff, just a cover of “Wonderwall” which seemed to go down really well as a sing along with the crowd. Liam seemed quite nervous to me and is his voice a little rough these days?

ELO’s “Mr Blue Sky” was played¬†as a backdrop for a section pioneering flight. This included flying bikes and a failed human cannonball who just happened to be Monty Python star¬†Eric Idle¬†who led the audience in a marvellous sing-alonga-python¬†version of “Always look On The Bright Side Of Life”. he even made a great comedic attempt to join in with some Bollywood style dancing. This whole piece was perhaps the equivalent of the Mr Bean set in the opening ceremony. It ended with¬†the real and successful firing of a human cannonball.

Matt Bellamy and the boys from Muse were the next to appear and they performed their song “Survival” which was commissioned¬†for the Olympics. It’s good and their performance was excellent as usual but this is a long way from being my favourite Muse song. Interestingly, as some have likened Muse to Queen they were followed¬†by a film clip of Freddie¬†Mercury performing some improv jazz scat and despite being dead for more than twenty years the audience were enraptured¬†and joined in the whole¬†Freddie call and response thing. This proved to be the overture to Brian May’s appearance and it’s fair to say that he’s quite¬†a good guitarist isn’t he? ūüėČ As the unmistakable¬†riff to “We Will Rock You” began and Brian was joined¬†by Roger Taylor I was briefly worried that Adam Lambert or someone similar might step onto¬†the stage. Thankfully it was Jessie J, and inspired choice in my opinion. She did a great vocal on the song which never tried to emulate the late, great Mr Mercury.

It was then time to return to the formal activities which meant the Greek national anthem followed by a Welsh Male Choir version of the Olympic Anthem. This was sealed¬†with the Brazilian national anthem and a formal handing over of the Olympic flag from London’s Mayor Boris Johnson to the Mayor of Rio De Janeiro¬†via Jacques Rogge. The Brazilians then put on a samba fuelled show to let the world know what to expect in 2016. This culminated in an appearance by one of their greatest sports ambassadors; Pele. Then we had more formal stuff with speeches from Seb¬†Coe and Jacques Rogge. Seb¬†was quite inspiring Jacque was once again the definition of¬†dull in my opinion. The remaining action was the extinguishing of the flame. This began with Take That (thankfully without Robbie) performing the appropriate¬†“Rule The World”. It continued with Darcy Bussell¬†flying in as a Phoenix to join two hundred other ballet dances for an exciting modern ballet.

The petals of the cauldron where¬†the Olympic flame burned were then lowered and were slowly extinguished and at this point I thought that was the end. However there was more to come in the shape of the Who. They were on top form and for¬†a pensioner Roger Daltrey’s¬†vocal power is still damned good. They closed with a rousing version of “My Generation” accompanied by yet another magnificent firework display.

I fell a little deflated after such a brilliant two weeks but so very proud to be British. I truly believe that we really showed the world what we are capable of as a country. Not just in the Olympic events but by how we put on such a brilliant event in itself. In spite of the little hiccups before the start (G4S etc) we really delivered this in style and won a whole treasure box of medals too. So let me take this opportunity to congratulate and thank everyone in Team GB, the organisers, all the other competitors, the BBC, the volunteers/  Games Makers and anyone else who was involved in this remarkable event.

Was this the best Olympics ever? I believe it as. Rio follow that!

Most of the film clips from the ceremony are IOC copyright and therefore difficult to show. So here are two songs that sum things up in a simple way.

 

“You’re not down with who I am, look at you now, you’re all in my hands tonight” March 10, 2012


A white parka? Seriously?

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;

1. Liam Gallagher
2. Freddie Mercury
3. Dave Gahan
4. Dave Grohl
5. Matt Bellamy
6. Brandon Flowers
7. Morrissey
8. Jim Morrison
9. Kurt Cobain
10. Alex Turner
11. Paul Weller
12. Mick Jagger
13. Tom Meighan
14. Eddie Vedder
15. Joe Strummer
16. Ian Curtis
17. Caleb Followill
18. Ian Brown
19. Thom Yorke
20. Chris Martin

A white double-breasted jacket? Seriously?

I agree with many of these, but I am surprised Robert Plant and John Lydon didn’t make the cut. Who do you think should have been included? Click here to read the report on nme.com.

Liam wasn't very happy with his dental work

 

 
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