With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“With her went my future, my life is filled with gloom” Blog Advent Calendar Day 17 December 17, 2014


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Is it really December 17th? It is? Oh well Christmas will soon be over. But in the meantime we’re at day 17 of this years advent calendar blog posts. this means that we are now at the 17th letter of the alphabet, which as you know is ‘Q’. Can you guess which band will feature under the letter ‘Q’ in my ABC of British bands? Really? Are you sure? I’m thinking that most of you guessed Queen, in which case you’d be wrong. Todays band proudly representing the letter ‘Q’ are the Q-Tips. (Any free advertising here for Q Magazine is purely coincidental and accidental; unless the publishers of that great magazine would like to ply me with money and gifts!).

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The band was formed in 1979 by the remnants of one hit wonders Streetband who hit the charts with “Toast”. Three members of that band stayed together and they were John Gifford (guitar), Mick Pearl (Bass) and Paul Young on vocals. Yes that Paul Young the one with the spiky hair and who layed his hat anywhere he damned well wanted to. They brought in  another guitarist, Dave Laswell and Baz Watts on drums. They then added a brass section consisting of Oscar Stuart Blandamer, Tony Hughes, Richard Blanchchard and Steve Farr. The band was further augmented by keyboard player Ian Kewley. Later in their career Gifford and Blandamer were replaced by Garth Watt Roy and Nick Payne.

Q TIPS

The band was quite short-lived, breaking up in 1982 when  Paul Young signed a solo contract. During their time they were a highly praised live act. They also supported some massive names including the Who, Average White Band, J Geils Band, Bob Marley, The Knack and Thin Lizzy. They began by playing lots of soul music covers but in the end they had a substantial amount of self-penned material as well. The band briefly reformed for some live dates in 1993. In case you were wondering they took their name from a well-known brand of cotton swabs. Now enjoy some rather spiffing tunes from the Q-Tips.

 

 

“She used to be a girl of simple pleasures, a breath of spring to chase your blues away” Blog Advent Calendar Day 14 December 14, 2014


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Ladies and gentlemen and those that aren’t quite sure it is now December 14th and that means that my Christmas advent blog posts for 2014 have reached Day 14 which in turn means that we are at the letter ‘N’. With that in mind I have decided to pick a band from Scotland for todays ABC of British bands entry. Please allow me to welcome the mighty Nazareth to this post.

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The band formed in 1968 and the original members were Manny Charlton (guitar), Pete Agnew (bass), Darrell Sweet (drums) and Dan McCafferty (tonsil-shredding vocals). The band still tours although Pete Agnew is the only one of the original members still with the band. There are no middle east or biblical overtones to the band’s name. They are named after a town that is mentioned in the classic song “The Weight” from the Band. That town is Nazareth, Pennsylvania. The line is “I pulled in to Nazareth, I was feeling about half past dead”

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The band was probably at its commercial peak in the early 70s when they had three UK top 20 albums from 1973 to 1974. I used to own two of those on vinyl; ‘Razamanaz’ and ‘Loud ‘N’ Proud‘. They also reached the top 20 of the album charts in Norway six times between 1980 and 1989. Their latest album ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Telephone’ has charted in four countries this year; Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria. This is probably the last Nazareth album to feature McCafferty’s vocals as he retired due to ill-health last year.

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Their biggest success in the UK singles chart was with “Broken Down Angel” which peaked at number 9 in 1973. Their cover of Joni Mitchell‘s “This Flight Tonight” made it to number one in Germany that same year. In 1975 they released a cover version of the classic ballad “Love Hurts” it made it to the top of the charts in Canada and South Africa. Dan McCafferty has released a few solo recordings over the years and his cover of the Rolling Stones “Out Of Time” almost made the UK top 40 in 1975, stalling at number 41, I used to have a vinyl copy of that too. In 1994 Guns ‘N’ Roses covered Nazareth’s “Hair Of The Dog” on their covers album ‘The Spaghetti Incident’. Supposedly Nazareth had previously turned down an invite to play at Axl Rose‘s wedding. They might not have entertained guests at Mr Rose’s wedding, but you can enjoy Nazareth now.

 

 
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