With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Should I pursue a path so twisted?” June 5, 2016

Filed under: Observation — justwilliam1959 @ 7:24 am
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"Patti with Bolex-1, 1969"

Last night I dreamt that I met with Patti Smith before one of her gigs. Which is strange as up to now I have sadly never seen her play live, although I would love to. She was stood behind the Merch stand when I came into the dream. But she wasn’t selling badges, posters, stickers and t-shirts, she was making and selling a wide range of sandwiches. She was also offering advice about how to make the perfect sandwich, regretfully I am unable to recall that advice from my dream memory.

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Incidentally I had a magnificent egg mayo sandwich. As often happens in dreams Patti asked me a totally unrelated question. “Are you married?” she said. I replied “Yes I am, to my beautiful second wife Catherine a.k.a Catwoman“. “I see” said Patti, “So you have an ex-wife?”. I responded with “Yes and I have two ex kids too”.

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It was at this point that I woke up. No drugs were consumed in the making of this dream and just a small amount of alcohol. I am really not sure what this dream says about me. As for ex kids, well my children have chosen to be estranged from me, so ex kids is as good a description as any! Finally this does give me a chance to share some classic Patti Smith tunes.

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


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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.

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The Selecter and the Tuts – Leeds Brudenell Sunday March 8th 2015 March 9, 2015


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Last night was the first time I had been to a gig at the Brudenell in Leeds and I have to say it really is a fantastic venue. The eclectic and diverse mix of acts appearing there means that I will certainly come back. Anyway on to the main event; the Selecter. I had seen them once before but that would have been around 1979/ 1980 when I was younger than excellent support band the Tuts are now!

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I arrived at the venue just before the doors opened and met some really nice people in the queue. Roger you’re a top bloke! Soon after I came in Pauline Black and Gaps Hendrickson were manning the Selecter’s merch stand. Obviously I was always going to buy something, so I bought a Selecter polo shirt and a CD of the band’s new album; ‘Subculture’ which the pair of them signed for me. Pauline also signed my copy of her autobiography ‘Black By Design’ which I had finished reading a couple of weeks ago. It is an excellent book and every bit as good as recent autobiographies by John Lydon and Viv Albertine. In the book Pauline comes across as very open and honest and having met her, albeit briefly, she really is a wonderful woman. She and Gaps were very attentive with all the fans in the queue for Selecter product.

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As for the gig it was the amazing Tuts who opened the show. They are the support band on the Selecter’s UK tour and Pauline Black has championed them every step of the way. I think that this is the fourth time I have had the pleasure of seeing this incredible young band and it is clear to me that they just keep on getting better and better each time I see them. The stage costumes for tonight were made from a material patterned with the leaf of a popular and some would say refreshing herb. They looked very effective too! Their set was energetic and powerful and they certainly know how to work a crowd. On”Tut, Tut, Tut” especially for International Women’s Day they invited Sarah Statham from local band Esper Scout to drum the intro while all three Tuts ran through the crowd making sure that we all sang along. New song “Do I Have To Look For Love” will become a classic and old favourites like “Worry Warrior” and “Dump Your Boyfriend” already are. The girls cover of the Clash’s “Rudie Can’t Fail” was sublime. Nadia berated the music industry about the apparent need to posses a penis to succeed in the music business. Now those of us with half a brain know that shouldn’t be true, but judging from the line-up for Reading and Leeds this year it certainly and sadly has some credence. So come on all you labels and management companies stop all the macho willy waving and sign this band! Metaphorically they have more balls than many of the men in the music industry! The queue and interest in the band at their merch table was incredible which shows that the fans are there! So come on record labels how about a deal. As for more gigs what about another support slot? Garbage must need a decent support band and the could not go wrong with the Tuts, are you listening Shirley Manson?

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As for the headliners what can I say? The Selecter were awesome. They played most of their biggest songs; “On My Radio”, “Missing Words”, “Celebrate The Bullet” and my particular favourites; “Too Much Pressure” and “Three Minute Hero”. I thought “Danger” and “London’s Burning” went down a storm too and really got the crowd rocking! One of my newer favourites and it’s yet another crowd pleaser is “My England”. They played a few songs from the new album, which I have now played a couple of times now and it is bloody good. It gets an official release next month, but for now is available at the band’s merch stand on the rest of the tour. Some of the new material fits into the set so well that you’d think it had been around a while. “Box Fresh” could easily become a classic pop song. “It Never Worked Out” and “See Them A Come” are the Selecter at their best and on top form. Another song from the new album, “Breakdown” tackles the large number of black people who have died in custody in this country and is as you would expect very hard-hitting. This is clearly a band that stands up proudly for human rights and are openly anti racist and anti sexist, as frankly we all should be! The pre encore show ended with a magnificent version of “Last Train To Skaville” which had all the aging skinheads from the ska revival of the late 70s stomping and skanking hard enough to cave the floor in! Like me many of those folks now have a natural skinhead look given the lack of hair that age brings to some of us. The encore kicked off with a mighty version of “James Bond” and the Tuts joined the Selecter on stage at the end for a final goodbye to the Brudenell crowd. Nadia even managed to stage dive and briefly crowd surf. As for the energy of the band, Gaps must have sweated gallons! (Is there an exercise DVD that could be made from that performance?) Finally I should also mention two other covers that the Selecter performed; Doris Day’s “Secret Love” which worked really well when ska-ified and Springsteen’s “Because The Night” from the new album and for me worked even better when played live. Overall this was a cracking night and I would definitely not leave it as long before seeing the Selecter again and I am already looking forward to seeing the Tuts again.

You can still catch them both on the remaining dates of the UK tour and if you haven’t already done so then sort yourself a ticket out. You will not regret it!

OK and now for the usual public service note, this time the pictures were taken on my little phone but the videos were all obtained on You Tube.

 

“I have held the hand of a devil” July 18, 2013


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Paul Hewson a.k.a. Bono Vox off of U2 has recently been awarded one of the highest cultural honours available in France. This was in recognition of his services to music and committment to humanitarian aid. he was given the honour; Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti in Paris. He dedicated the award to his band, saying, ‘I’ve got the biggest mouth and the loudest voice but the music we make comes from each other’. The award was first presented in 1957 and has been awarded to other musicians including; Bob Dylan (1990), David Bowie (1999) and Patti Smith (2005). Two James Bond actors Sean Connery (1987) and Roger Moore (2008). Donald Sutherland, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood and Audrey Hepburn are also in that exclusive club along with writers T.S. Eliot and Julian Barnes.

Pope steals Bono's glasses in effort to look cool........ FAILS!

Pope steals Bono’s glasses in effort to look cool…….. FAILS!

While we are talking about awards it has been announced that the BMI, the music rights organisation, will present a special icon award for his contribution to music to one-time enfant terrible of the UK tabloids John Lydon formerly Johnny Rotten. Lydon will receive the award in October this year. Since those ‘The Filth And The Fury’ headlines from 1976 when Lydon was known as Rotten and fronted the Sex Pistols he has achieved bigger musical success albeit with a little less notoriety with Public Image Limited (PiL). perhaps in a step away from the rather typecast image that the British press have of him he has also appeared on the UK reality TV show ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’  on ITV in January 2004 and later fronted a few wildlife programmes. He is currently touring with PiL and recently took to the stage at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury with the band. So it now remains for me to congratulate Hewson and Lydon on their awards. For me the Lydon award is more appropriate and at least neither is some poxy award from our blood sucking UK royal family!

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Kate Nash (plus the Tuts) – Fibbers, York Wednesday 17th April 2013 April 20, 2013

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 8:26 am
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For only the second time in my life I had the honour of being on the guest list for a gig. This came about after the advent of social networking let me get back in touch with an old school friend from Ryefield Primary School in Hillingdon. That friend is Chris Doveton and we left Ryefield School back in 1970 many years before Kate Nash or the Tuts were even a twinkle in anyones eye. But Chris’s daughter Harriet is one of the Tuts. It was thanks to those three wonderful punky minstrels that make up the Tuts that I was able to test my mettle as a roadie and manning a merchandise stand. I also got to watch Kate Nash and her band and the Tuts run through their sound checks. It was the most fun I have had at a gig in years! All that and Chris and I had our own mini school reunion after more than 30 years.

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Anyway enough of me, this is a gig review after all. So first we had a blistering set from Harriet, Nadia and Bev, collectively known as the Tuts. They were only on stage for 30 minutes but boy did they use that time well. Shades of the Clash, the Libertines, the Runaways, the Donnas and the very best of pop punk. But while there were shades of these other influences there is so much originality and energy from these ladies that I would say the rest is 95% pure Tutness. They have some great self penned songs; “Dump Your Boyfriend” and “Tut Tut Tut” are particular favourites of mine and they also do an electrifying cover of the Clash’s “Rudie Can’t Fail“. The acid test for any band is of course would I go and see them again and the answer for the Tuts is of course I bloody would and so should you if you get the chance!

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Kate Nash has been in the business for years now and she is still only 25. Her first big UK chart success came with the wonderful “Foundations” in 2007; it reached number 2. I had the opportunity to chat briefly to Kate before her show and at the end when Chris and I were loading the Tuts equipment into the car. Unlike many other people who have been in the business for so long she is bright, smart, friendly, articulate and really caring and decent toward her fans. She signed my copy of her current album ‘Girl Talk’  too. I think it’s incredible that she has developed her music so much in just 6 years and three albums.

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Kate is a superb perform and had the largely female audience rocking for most of the night. Old favourites were there in the shape of “Foundations” and a personal favourite of mine, “Mariella”. She also a played a song that is available on the deluxe edition of her current album “I’m A Feminist And You’re Still A Whore” which I thought was a great addition to the set. Apparently a dickhead on Twitter was giving her some grief over that song earlier in the day. Kate responding by tweeting Patti Smith‘s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger” which went down even worse with the poor deluded twat! Kate is a very vocal supporter of women’s rights and played her song “Free My Pussy” in support of the Russian band Pussy Riot who were shamelessly jailed by the Putin Empire. It’s not my favourite song, but it works and the cause is spot on. There are nowhere near enough people speaking up for Pussy Riot in my opinion, so top marks to Kate!

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I really don’t get how she was dropped by her label last year this girl is a supreme talent and her new album is testament to that. She is passionate about adjusting the balance of women in rock given that the majority of songs are still written by blokes. She encouraged her audience to pick up an instrument, write, play and make music. I hope that many people take that lead and do it. She was also very, very supportive of the Tuts too. We need more artists like Kate Nash. I was a kind of ‘I quite like Kate Nash’ fan before this gig, but now I am very big fan of Kate Nash. If you are going to see her elsewhere on this tour I guarantee that you will enjoy the show, you’ll love the Tuts as well. If you can’t make it to see her this time around you’d better make sure you get tickets for her next tour. I expect you to do your duty and if you don’t………………. I know where you live!

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I was unable to get much video footage of any great quality so here are a trio of songs from Kate’s show at the Sebright Arms earlier in the year.

And finally this is me with Kate at the end of the evening.

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Apart from the above picture and the one of the Tuts in action all were sourced on line.

 

“Take time for your pleasure and laugh with love” a.k.a. Two Turtle Doves December 14, 2012


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I hope that after yesterdays Partridge and pears post you’re getting the hang of this. If you are then you’ll know that on the 2nd day of Christmas it was the turn of two turtle doves. The Turtle Dove in the UK is facing a bleak future. It is now believed there are only around 14,000 pairs left, which makes up a fall in population of 60% over five years. Anyway enough of the ecology for now and on with the music.

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I have selected two dove related songs for your aural pleasure today. The first of those is from the purple pain himself, Prince a.k.a. TAFKAP (The Artist Formerly Known As Prince), Christopher and Symbol among other things. Incidentally I wonder if I might rename him TAFKADS (The Artist Formerly Known As Dove Soap) for this post. I’m sure you can guess which one of his songs I have selected can’t you? Yes it’s the classic 80s hit “When Doves Cry”. It was the first single to be taken from the timeless classic album ‘Purple Rain’. It was the last track on the album to be completed and not only did Prince write the song, he also played every instrument on it. Except of course the bass. Who played bass I hear you ask? Well actually it was no one, the song has no bass line in it. The song has been covered by may artists, including Razorlight, Patti Smith, Damien Rice and the Be Good Tanyas.

Prince vowed never to let Edward Scissorhands cut his hair again

Prince vowed never to let Edward Scissorhands cut his hair again

It was also heavily sampled by MC Hammer on his song “Pray” from 1990. “When Doves Cry” was Prince’s first US number one single and remained at the top of the pile for 5 weeks in 1984. It also reached the top in Australia and Canada and sat at number two in Ireland and New Zealand. It reached only a relatively lowly number four in the UK. This was bettered by 1994’s “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World” a UK number one. In addition “1999”, “Little Red Corvette” and “Batdance” hit the number two position in 1982, 1983 and 1989 respectively. “Gett Off” and “Cream” both made number three in 1991.

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The second dove related song on today’s post is from those North London Nutty Boys, Madness and it is “Wings Of A Dove”. Surprisingly, for me at least, it remains the band’s second biggest UK chart hit; it reached number two in 1983. It did reach the top of the charts in Ireland though. Their only UK number one was “House Of Fun” from 1982. It was a non album single written by Suggs and Chas Smash. The single also featured steel drums from the  Creighton Steel Sounds and a gospel choir from the First Born Inspirational Church of the Living God. It was also used in the film ’10 Things I Hate About You’ in 1999.

 

“We took what we had and we ripped it apart” February 6, 2012


One of my favourite Bruce Springsteen songs is a single taken from 1980’s ‘The River‘ album, “Hungry Heart“. Did you know that originally the Boss wrote it for one of my favourite bands of all time, the Ramones? Nor did I until recently.

It was Springsteen’s manager Jon Landau who advised him against giving the song away. Having seen Patti Smith and the Pointers Sisters have hits with Springsteen giveaways “Because The Night” and “Fire” respectively. But I think ‘Da Brudders’ would have made a spectacular job of it. A bit of Spectoresque production and the uniqueness that the Ramones had would have made it a mega hit.

The song’s title is a reference to a line from ‘Ulysses’ a poem by Tennyson. The line reads ‘For always roaming with a hungry heart’.

 

 
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