With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Averageism EP” – Tax January 21, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 1:21 pm
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Sometimes you have to make a choice as to which gig you want to go to when there is a clash. Last Friday I went to see Absolute Bowie at Fibbers in York, sadly this meant that I missed a great line up put together by Northern Radar at another fabulous York venue; the Crescent. Who did I miss? The Televangelist, Dvsk, Tax and the Honey Smugglers, that’s who. But I did meet up with Northern Radar Head Honcho Simon Pattinson after the show along with some of Tax, including the drummer and Millie (with an i, e) who isn’t their manager but perhaps should be! Millie gave me a copy of the new Tax EP ‘Averageism’. I promised to take a listen to it and maybe review it for this blog. What some of you don’t know is that if any singers or bands give me some of their music to review I will always listen to it, but I will only review it if I like it. Personally I don’t think it is fair to lumber upcoming bands with a negative review. But this is most definitely NOT a negative review!

This five track EP is without a doubt, bloody awesome. It was produced by Liam Watson, and as many of you know his cv includes the White Stripes. Tax, from York, are refreshingly original, but in terms of influence I can hear some heavy punk and post punk vibes, the Adverts, PiL, the Fall, the New York Dolls and early 70s Glam Rock. The EPs title track is probably my favourite after the third listen, any song that mentions James Last, Ian Brown, Burt Bacharach and uses the words moron and twat in the lyrics is alright with me. Aside from the tightness of the band what really impressed me was the lyrics; “Out For Lunch” has a brilliant couplet in “I’ve got a handshake like an earthquake”, play the track loud enough and it might even move the gauge on a Richter scale recorder. “Clone” sounds like something the Adverts TV Smith might have recorded in the late 70s, very LoFi but with more balls than the usual LoFi sound. The EP is completed by the excellently titled “Piss” and “I’m A Presenter On The TV”. If you haven’t seen Tax or heard them then I suggest you do something about that right now! But careful how you search for them, you might end up reaching some pretty dull accounting sites! Click here to find them on FaceBook and click here to find them on Soundcloud. Personally I can’t wait to see this lot play live now!

 

 

12 Days To Christmas – Day 9 – Bettie Page December 21, 2017


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Day 9 of our twelve day journey to Christmas 2017 and thank you for sticking with this largely non-Christmassy post. Anyway today’s famous person in a song is none other than one of the sexiest, smartest, sassiest and finest photo models there has ever been, Bettie Page! Born Bettie Mae Page in Nashville in 1923, Bettie left this world just over nine years ago aged 85. She made her way to New York via California to become an actress.

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Something Christmassy for my readers 🙂

But she became a pin-up model and in 1955 as Miss January she became one of Playboy magazine’s first Playmate Of The Month. She posed for many photographers during the 1950s until in 1959 she converted to Evangelical Christianity and worked for Billy Graham. She spent many years of her adult life in a psychiatric hospital suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Minor planet 184784 is named after her and the luxury droid in  ‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith’ from 2005 was inspired by her.

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But the song for today has nothing today with Star Wars, but it does come from a true punk star. It is Public Image Limited with the song “Bettie Page” taken from their 2015 album ‘What The World Needs Now….’. This was the tenth studio album released by John Lydon’s Public Image Limited a.k.a. PiL. It reached number 29 in the UK album chart, the band’s highest placing since ‘Album’ in 1986. Sadly, in my opinion, it was never released as a single, but I still love it, I hope that you do too! Incidentally the latest rumour is that Lydon may be representing Ireland in next years Eurovision Song Contest!

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More Christmas Bettie

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Have a Rotten Christmas!

 

Public Image Limited (PiL) – Fibbers, York – Tuesday 22nd September 2015 September 22, 2015


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To see a band like PiL is a great experience whatever the venue, however to see them somewhere as intimate as Fibbers is awesome. The crowd was perhaps mostly 40, 50 and 60-somethings including a couple of old punks that clearly haven’t moved on sartorially since 1977. But Lydon had all 600 of us in his hands whatever our age or fashion sense. He is a magnificent front man and someone who is impossible to imitate, although many have tried.

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The show kicked off with the two opening songs from the new album “Double Trouble” and “Know Now”. The band also played “The One” and an incredibly powerful version of “Corporate” from that same album. The band played supremely well and great credit must go to Lu Edmonds, Bruce Smith and Scott Firth. John Lydon himself was also on his absolute top form. He comes across like a punk librarian spliced with the genes of a Dalek and I mean that all in a good way. (How about John Lydon for the next Doctor Who?) His engagement with his audience is brilliant and his put down of a heckler was hilarious. Incidentally why do people pay to come to gigs and then heckle the band? But as Lydon said to him ” We’ve got your money, now fuck off”!

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Plenty of classic PiL cuts were played; “This Is Not A Love Song”, a stupendous run through “Death Disco“, “Poptones”, an inspirational “Warrior”and an excellent and funky rendition of “Deeper Water” from the ‘This Is PiL’ album. Quite a few times Lydon mentioned how hot it was on stage and I can certainly believe him because it was steaming in the audience. The band left the stage for five minutes before the encore and it was an encore worth waiting for. Kicking off with “Religion” followed by “Public Image” and closing with a rousing stomp through “Rise“. Was there anyone in the crowd that didn’t sing along to the last two? I don’t think so. Anger is an energy but there was far more energy than anger in the crowd. I’ve said this a lot recently, but this truly was one of the best gigs I have ever seen. Surpassing by a mile the last time I saw Public Image Limited in 1978 or 1979. If you have never seen PiL then I suggest that you rectify that now!

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Public Service Announcement (could that be a parallel band to Public Image Limited?) none of the pictures and video were taken by me at the gig because I watched it through my eyes and not through my mobile phone screen!

 

“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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“Hindsight done me no good standing naked in the back of the woods” January 4, 2012


I'm not sure what Steve Jones is doing behind Glen Matlock, but Glen doesn't seem to mind does he?

There has been a few snippets of Sex Pistols and PiL related news on-line recently, particularly in the NME. Firstly Steve Jones has said that Glen Matlock a ‘middle-class mommy’s boy” in a recent interview with Hustler magazine. Jones appears to have a bee in his punk bonnet about original Pistols bass player Matlock’s attitude. Jones said that he preferred Sid Vicious because he ‘looked the part’. Which is all very well but he couldn’t play bass could he? Click here to read the NME article.

Matlock may be a Mummys Boy but what the fuck is Jones in a top like that?

The new series of Grumpy Old Men had got off to a great start

John Lydon has famously claimed that ‘If you want to know why PiL don’t have a record label, look at the X Factor’. he goes on to say that artists who want to be cutting edge and challenging wouldn’t get past the first round of reality talent shows such as American Idol and X Factor. He adds ‘Unfortunately there’s some fantastic singers that come out of that, but they’re karaoke’. I couldn’t agree more. Not so much has pop eaten itself, more like it has just bored itself into soporific oblivion. Hopefully Lydon and his PiL cohorts can shake things up with their new album ‘This Is PiL’ which is due out later this year. They will also be reissuing all of their previous albums during 2012. Read the article on the NME website by clicking here.

Lydon takes a dump on the world

 

“It’s just an instant gut reaction, that I got I know I never ever felt like this before” November 27, 2010


On a recent flight business class flight to Australia it appears that Jay Kay off of Jamiroquai sat next to John Lydon off of Public Image Limited aka Johnny Rotten off of the Sex Pistols. Jay Kay says that Lydon spent the whole flight farting really smelly ones. He even said that after that experience he would prefer to travel cattle class in future. He went on to say that smoking has been banned so why not farting. But frankly and let’s be honest here, how many of us could complete a long haul flight without having to pop at least one little one out? Perhaps Jay Kay was jealous because he couldn’t muster up a decent response, maybe he could have caught up and got a second wind!

Jay Kay tries out his anti fart hat

But Johnny is still able to squeeze another one out

Just to show a degree of impartiality you can read the story on the Guardian website and also on the Perez Hilton Blog. Amusingly the Guardian chose to use Viz favourite Johnny Fartpants in their headline. Personally I think the whole thing is rather amusing, but then farts always are? Aren’t they?

But when Jay Kay farts he farts cars!

As far as appropriate videos I could only really go with the Sex Pistols “Belsen Was A Gas

And for Jay Kay it has to be “Canned Heat”, doesn’t it?

Gaga cooks up a storm

In other news, this time from the Sun, yes you heard it right, the ghastly Sun gets a mention on my blog! They report the culinary talents of Lady Gaga and Cheryl Cole and show Katy Perry and Russell Brand‘s cat finishing off their turkey. It was their real turkey and not Russell in ‘Get Him To The Greek’ Read all about it here. Maybe John Lydon had been eating the Cheryl’s scones or Gaga’s casserole and that is why he had such high-octane flatulence. Incidentally I wonder if Gaga used the meat from her meat dress to make her meal?

Hansel and Gretel never had it so good.......... Lady Gaga gingerbread people!

 

“Don’t create Don’t rebel Have intuition Can’t decide” October 21, 2010


Today saw the sad news that Ari Up of the Slits has died aged just 48 from a serious illness. The news was first announced on John Lydon‘s website, he is married to Ari’s mother Nora. Her real name was Arianna Forster and she started the Slits aged just 14 in 1976. The band released two albums; ‘Cut’ in 1979 (one of my favourite albums) and ‘Return Of The Giant Slits’ in 1981. The band split up shortly after that although they did recently reform. Their drummer has been playing with Lydon’s reformed Public Image Limited (aka PIL). Ari released a solo album in 2005, entitled ‘Dread More Dan Dread’. Read the NME report here. She will be sadly missed. Ari Up RIP.

In some less important news the current wave of public sector strikes in France have meant the cancellation of a series of gigs in the country by Lady Gaga. There were concerns that the trucks with all the equipment, instruments and costumes would not be able to get to their destinations owing to many roads being blockaded by strikers. Ticket holders are being offered refunds and Gaga has apologised to her fans. The BBC story is here.

Clearly the costume truck hadn't arrived!

Finally a rather strange bit of news, well I think so anyway, Liverpool FC flew to their Europa League match in Naples in a plane piloted by Bruce Dickinson off of Iron Maiden! Appropriately enough the scousers skill and talent has “Run To The Hills”  this season. It didn’t bring the Reds a great deal of luck, they only managed a nil-nil draw. Read the story on the BBC.

Maybe they should have renamed it Red Force One for the flight

 

“The world won’t get no better if we just let it be” January 14, 2010


Hello dear readers and those of you who just like to look at the pictures. This post is a little random and maybe in the spirit of all of my earliest posts. Today is the 14th January 2010 and it marks 32 years since the last proper Sex Pistols gig. Certainly the last one to feature Sid Vicious and not one of those reunion shows. That show was at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco and Johnny Rotten’s last words from the stage were “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Good Night” I actually have the bootleg of that gig and judging from the bass playing it was clear that, as Rotten later observed, Sid was out of his brains. Here are the Pistols with “Bodies” from that very gig

As for Mr Rotten, or Lydon as he is known nowadays I was disappointed when I saw him advertising British butter (click here to see it). However he was recently quoted as saying that it paid him enough to put up the initial funding for the PiL tour he is currently undertaking, so now I feel very relieved.

Sid dry humps a lamppost and johnny dresses as a Hasidic Jew, just another boring day for the Pistols then!

Today we also received the sad news that Teddy Pendergrass had died. Teddy (or Theodore to his parents) was the voice of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. Ha! I bet plenty of you thought Harold was the singer didn’t you? They had some massive hits in the early 70s with wonderful songs like “Wake Up Everybody” and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now“. The latter was covered in a somewhat mediocre way by Mick Hucknall with Simply Red. Teddy went solo later in the 70s and had another string of hits including “Close The Door” and “Turn Off The Lights” Hey those titles fit together nicely don’t they? Teddy was involved in a road traffic accident in 1983 which left him a paraplegic, but he continued to perform in spite of that. His rich and distinctive voice will be sadly missed by those of us who love such sublime soul music.

In his youth Teddy always like pussy............cats!

Finally and perhaps most importantly I experienced a really bizarre coincidence yesterday. Just as I opened my newspaper to read about the awful earthquake in Haiti, Steely Dan’s “Haitian Divorce” popped up on my iPod. So I thought that I would give you the link to the BBC report of the disaster and also a link where you can donate to the relief effort. Pay whatever you can, because even if your day has been pretty shit it cannot be anywhere near as bad as those affected by the quake. Do it, you know it makes sense 🙂

 

“Why not phone up Robin Hood and ask him for some wealth distribution” August 21, 2009


Hello dear readers this I am sure will be quite a short post, but then good intentions and all that stuff eh? Anyway today is August 21st and it would have been the 57th birthday of the late great (it’s like those ls & gs never went away!) Mr John Graham Mellor who was perhaps known better as Joe Strummeroff of the Clash amongst others. Sadly he died way to young on 22nd December 2002 aged just 50 (spookily enough that’s my age now!) Click here to see the Clash with the supreme “London Calling”

Joe tells that guitar who is Boss!

Joe tells that guitar who is Boss!

His father was a diplomat and as a result Joe spent his childhood in many different places including Egypt, Mexico and Germany. He was actually born in Ankara in Turkey. The first band he was a part of was called the Vultures and this was during his time in Newport, Wales in the early 70s. During this period he also became a gravedigger for a time (a job that Rod Stewart undertook for a while as well fact fans!). He eventually came back to London where he busked with friends, it was around then that he became know as ‘Woody’ Mellor after Woody Guthrie. He formed a new band in 74/75 with friends from the squat he was living in at the time. In fact it was this property that gave the band their name, the 101er’s. The address was 101 Walterton Road in Maida Vale, London.

Joe seemed unconcerned that he had left the barbers before his haircut was finished!

Joe seemed unconcerned that he had left the barbers before his haircut was finished!

In 1975 he told everyone that he wished to be known as Joe Strummer, which seems like a self deprecating view of his role as rhythm guitarist. In April 1976 an as yet unknown band, the Sex Pistols (perhaps you’ve heard of them now) opened for the 101ers at the Nashville Rooms in London. Strummer was extremely impressed by the bands attitude and ethos and decided he needed a new direction. He was approached later that year by Bernie Rhodes and Mick Jones. At the time Mick was in the London SS and wanted Joe to join as lead singer. Joe was keen but the band split up before he had the chance. But that led to the opportunity that produced one of my favourite bands of all time the Clash. Initially the band consisted of Joe, Mick, Paul Simonon (it was Simononwho gave the band their name), Terry Chimes and KeithLevine. They played their first gig, curiously enough supporting the Sex Pistols in Sheffield in July 1976. Shortly after this Chimes decided to quit the band and Levene was sacked. Nicky ‘Topper Headon became the bands drummer. In the incestuous world of punk and post-punk Levene went on to be a part of the initial line up of Public Image Limited (PiL) with John Lydon.

This is either the Clash in full swing or the Shadows have gone punk!

This is either the Clash in full swing or the Shadows have gone punk!

By now the band had signed to CBS. The fanzine ‘Sniffin’ Glue’ had said that “punk died the day the Clash signed to CBS. Is that true? Well I’ll leave you to your own opinion. Anyway the Clash had a run of excellent albums, their debut album was the eponymously titled ‘The Clash’ and for me still sounds sharp and exciting today. But my favourite Clash album remains ‘London Calling’ It’s just so diverse and has some excellent lyrics andtop tunes. Here the boys with “Complete Control” their excellent dig at CBS by clicking here.

Joe never quite mastered his letter in the bands potential cover of "YMCA"

Joe never quite mastered his letter in the bands potential cover of "YMCA"

Joe later went on to front the Mescaleros and used to play a few Clash songs in their shows. He remained a keen politcal animal playing benefit gigs for striking firemen and such. I guess in many ways it was the Clash that made me think differently about politics andI thank them for that. I certainly never agreed with everything that they said or did, but I definitely started to think more about things after getting into the Clash

Joe as always you remain sadly missed and to remind us finally of how good the Clash were here is “White Man In The Hammersmith Palais

 

 
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