With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Couple billion in the whole wide world find another one ’cause she belongs to me” Blog Advent Calendar Day 15 December 15, 2014


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Well today is December 15th and therefore Day 15 in this years advent calendar blog posts. The fifteenth letter of the alphabet is very obviously ‘O’ and today I will being doing something which might surprise many regular readers. Todays entry in the ABC of British bands is One Direction, although I still like to refer to them as Wand Erection.

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The band members are Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They came to prominence via the X-Factor in 2010 when they finished third in the contest. They all entered the contest as solo artists but didn’t make the cut until Simon Cowell saw the benefit of bringing them together. Matt Cardle won the contest that year while Rebecca Ferguson was in second place.

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1D have smashed chart records across the world, notably in the USA where they are the first band ever to have their first four albums reach number one on the Billboard chart. The record of the first three albums hitting the top of the US album chart was held by…… yes you guessed it, One Direction. Surprisingly for a boy band they have had more success in the albums chart than in the singles chart. They have had only three UK number one singles and none in the USA. They have had number one singles in Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand and Ireland.

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They are certainly a manufactured boy band but perhaps not as controlled as the likes of Westlife. There isn’t much in the way of choreographed dance routines and insipid covers of old ballads. Having a watched a bit of footage in preparation for this post they seem to be pretty good live performers (Fuck! Did I really say that?). I thought that their performance of “Steal My Girl” at the BBC Music Awards 2014 was among the better showings on the night.

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Did you know that Liam has a strange fear of spoons? Or that Niall is not a big reader and that he once said that the only book that he had ever read was To Kill A Mockingbird? Harry Styles apparently wanted to be a lawyer before the bands X-Factor success. Rather fittingly for these advent calendar posts Louis was born on Christmas Eve. Zayn has a tattoo in arabic on his collar bone, the English translation is ‘be true to who you are’ OK that’s enough from me now feel free to enjoy a selection of Wand Erection’s finest.

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“Your voice across the line gives me a strange sensation” May 7, 2014


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The only reason for this post is that one of my connections on LinkedIn posted the picture above. Therefore I thought let’s have a bit of Blondie shall we? Also it might help us erase any nightmares of Wand Erection singing it! These are three of my favourite Blondie tracks, what are yours?

Blondie at International center, Toronto 1978

Blondie at International center, Toronto 1978 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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“Some specials and rat food, get lost in the crowd” February 16, 2013


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I think I am seriously ill, I must be, otherwise why would I like this years official single recorded for Comic Relief? It’s a great cover version of Blondie’s “One Way Or Another” with a few lines of the Undertones‘ “Teenage Kicks” thrown in for free. Why would liking this make me think I am seriously ill I can hear you shout. “WHY DOES LIKING THIS COVER OF BLONDIE’S ONE WAY OR ANOTHER MAKE YOU THINK YOU’RE SERIOUSLY ILL?” (that was you shouting by the way).

Good advice from Debbie for when you have a Wand Erection

Good advice from Debbie for when you have a Wand Erection

Well I am sad to say that the act that has covered it is none other than those X Factor Pop Muppets One Direction or Wand Erection as I now prefer to call them. Their version doesn’t come close to surpassing the original, but it is far better than I would have expected and more importantly it is for a good cause. Click here to make your donation for Red Nose Day 2013. It is released on Sunday 17th February and they will be performing it at the Brits this Wednesday. Enjoy both versions of the song while I go and lie down for a restful nap and hopefully to recover from this abominable blight on my previously great music taste!

 

London Rocking It For Pakistan – O2 Academy Islington – Thursday 10th March 2011 March 16, 2011


Last week I had the good fortune of attending an excellent multi band charity gig at the O2 Academy in Islington. It was called ‘London Rocking It For Pakistan‘ and at the time of writing has raised in excess of £3,000 for flood relief in Pakistan. Not only that but four great bands for just £10. The event was sponsored by those very nice people at the NME.

First up were Lazy Lion. Apologies to them for missing their first couple of songs because what I did see was pretty damned good. It would be difficult to compare these guys and girl. The instrumentation was a keyboard player (synthesiser I assume) and an extremely talented guitarist. That combination of instrumentation and some well accomplished rapping and singing worked very, very well. I think this collective has a future!

Next on were a three piece rock ensemble with a name that for me doesn’t really work. However that’s only my opinion. The K Shaped Rooms as they are called were truly stupendous. A classic line up of guitar, bass and drums. Some superb original songs too. But perhaps their secret weapon was the bass player, not just for his excellent playing but also for his massive and effervescent personality. He looked the part too, very rockist fashion sense plus the long hair and beard. He sure knows how to work an audience. I would definitely pay to see these guys again. Reading Festival bookers are you listening?

Second on the bill were the band who for me have by far the best name I have heard in ages; Rockwork Orange. Now ordinarily I’m not too much into covers bands but this lot were brilliant. Everything from Blondie’s “One Way Or Another” to the Kaiser ChiefsI Predict A Riot” and some T Rex along the way. The female vocalist has a very strong and adaptable voice and the band were one of the tightest I’ve seen in ages. The music appeared to be directed by the bass player who  played his instrument with a plectrum. I can’t remember the last time I saw that. He switched to guitar later in the set too. Rockwork Orange know their stuff and certainly know how to rock.

By this time I was thinking can this get any better? Well let me tell you it did! Headliners the Velvetines are something else entirely; looks, sound, songs and energy, they have it all. The rhythm section keep things really well together. The bass player also rocks a really cool eastern look. Then there are the sisters who are the guitarist and the singer. I use the word sparingly but they are truly awesome! The 70s style body suits, wonderful stage presence, well rehearsed playing and really classy vocals. I really want this band to go on to bigger things. Once again are you listening Reading Festival bookers? I would definitely pay to see any of the bands on this bill again, but especially the Velvetines. If they are playing anywhere near you buy a ticket, even if you have to sell your grandmother to do so!

Velvetines Rocking It For Pakistan

 

 
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