With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“It’s the time that every Santa has a ball” Blog Advent Calendar Day 19 December 19, 2014


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How excited are you now? Less than a week to the big day. Obviously if you are a turkey and you are reading this I do appreciate your lack of excitement. However if you are an excited turkey then there is no easy way to tell you, but you’re stupid! it is December 19th and day 19 of this years advent calendar blog posts. We have now reached the letter ‘S’ in the ABC of British bands. If I were to tell you that you’ll even get a Christmas song included today would it help you guess who the band is? Well it’s Slade!

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The band all hail from the Black Country in the UK’s West Midlands coming from Wolverhampton and Walsall. In the 60s drummer Don Powell and guitarist Dave Hill were in a band called the ‘N Betweens. They met Noddy Holder while travelling to gigs and invited him to join as guitarist and vocalist. He agreed at the second time of asking and eventually joined around the same time as bass player Jim Lea. That was in 1966 and the band became Ambrose Slade in 1969. It wasn’t long after that (later in 1969) that they became Slade. their massive success followed soon after.

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“Get Down And Get With It” was their first UK top 20 hit reaching number 14 in 1971. Shortly after that they had the first of their six UK number one singles with “Coz I Luv You“. That song started a run of 12 consecutive UK top 5 hits running from 1971 to 1974. They also reached the top of the Irish charts six times. Their 1983 song “My Oh My” might only have hit number 2 in the UK but it went all the way to the top in Norway and Sweden. sadly they never really made it big in the USA. Whilst many people may have seen Slade as a singles band they also climbed to the top of the UK album charts twice; with ‘Slayed’ in 1972 and the with ‘Old, New, Borrowed And Blue‘ in 1974. ‘Sladest’ a compilation album of their biggest hits to date also went to number one in the UK in 1973.

Slade

Most of Slade’s biggest hits were written by Jim Lea and Noddy Holder. Usually Jim provided the melody with Noddy contributing the lyrics. Dave Hill’s Super Yob guitar is now owned by Marco Pirroni off of Adams and the Ants. Perhaps because of his early days as a keen amateur boxer it was Don Powell who took the hat round after early Slade gigs. In December 2000 Noddy Holder made a brief appearance in long-running UK soap opera Coronation Street. He played a character called Stan who was there to replace the cobbles in the street. OK that’s enough trivia and stuff now it’s time to enjoy a pile of Slade smashes!

 

“And then he said sent off your right back for taking the base from under his left-winger” Blog Advent Calendar Day 8 December 8, 2014


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Today is December 8th and that is exactly 34 years since John Lennon was savagely murdered. So today’s advent blog post in the ABC of British bands series will feature a quirky band that I believe Mr Lennon would have approved of. It’s day 8 and therefore the letter ‘H’ so today I bring you the legendary Half Man Half Biscuit.

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The band was formed in Birkenhead, Merseyside in 1984 by friends Neil Crossley and Nigel Blackwell. They were soon joined by Simon Blackwell (Nigel’s brother), Paul Wright and David Lloyd. The band is still performing and recording although Nigel Blackwell and Neil Crossley are the only original members. Their first album has a great title that is a bit of a word play on the Beatles song “Back In The USSR”; it is called ‘Back In The DHSS‘. They broke up in 1986 and then reformed in 1990 with an announcement on the John Peel show. Peelie had always championed the band and they recorded twelve sessions for his show.

Half-Man-Half-Biscuit

The band once turned down an appearance on Channel 4’s ‘The Tube’ because it would have meant missing a Tranmere Rovers match. The band have been mentioned in many UK TV shows including Byker Grove, Hollyoaks, Football Focus and Brookside. Mainstream chart success sadly eluded them but they had many UK Indie chart number ones. ‘Back In The DHSS’ went to number one in the Indie album charts in 1985. EP ‘The Trumpton Riots’ hit the top along with “Dickie Davies’ Eyes” in 1986. Their highest UK Singles chart hit was an album track that made it to number 56 in 2010 thanks to downloads. That song was “Joy Division Oven Gloves” It was taken from their 2005 album ‘Achtung Bono‘ and was part of the online campaign to save Radio 6 with a sadly missed target of reaching number 6. So now I would like you to enjoy some music from a band that I saw live at the Reading Festival in 1990.

HMNB-Wirral

A man who perhaps should have joined Half Man Half Biscuit; Lionel Rich Tea :-)

A man who perhaps should have joined Half Man Half Biscuit; Lionel Rich Tea 🙂

 

 

“The sky will grey and my skin will dull” January 3, 2014

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 12:25 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

IMG_0630Claire Boucher a.k.a Grimes has been signed to Jay-Z‘s label Roc Nation. The young Canadian artist was clearly excited about the prospect of working with Roc Nation when she exclaimed “It’s like I’ve joined the X-Men“. Presumably her mutant power is that she can convert anything into brilliant pop and dance music. I have seen her live at the Reading Festival and she is also a bloody good performer. Will she wear an X-Men costume next time she appears? I hope so.

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“I won’t always love these selfish things” – Advent day 23 December 23, 2013


The_Number_23_by_BrettYoncakI think it’s really starting to feel like Christmas now. It’s 23rd December or Christmas Eve Eve as some like to call it. The With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent posts have reached day 23 and you will now be entertained by two songs with the number 23 in their title.

Strawberry Letter Twenty 'Fro perhaps?

Strawberry Letter Twenty ‘Fro perhaps?

One of my favourite songs of all time is first and it is a song that I have blogged about quite a few times before. I give you the Brothers Johnson with the magnificent Shuggie Otis penned “Strawberry Letter 23”. Shuggie wrote and recorded the song for his 1971 album ‘Freedom Flight‘. George Johnson was dating one of Shuggie’s cousins a few years later who gave him that Shuggie album. George was so taken with the song that he and his brother Louis, the pair were known as the Brothers Johnson recorded it. It appeared on their album ‘Right On Time’ in 1977 and was also released as a single that year. The Brothers Johnson recording was produced by Quincy Jones and featured Lee Ritenour on lead guitar. It made it to number five in the US charts and number one in the US R & B chart. But sadly barely troubled the UK chart reaching a lowly number 35. I was always miffed about that given the shite that does sell by the bucket load. I have so far only ever met one other person who sees this as one of their favourite songs; take a bow Fraser Matthews.

A2ED8BD34DAB1DE828C516F4C45865F0Jimmy Eat World get the next song, simply called “23”. It is the closing track on their fifth album, ‘Futures’ from 2004. Along with three other tracks from the album (“Kill”, “Work” and “Polaris”) “23” was used to soundtrack part of the TV series ‘One Tree Hill. The band formed in Arizona in 1993. The name came from a spat between the younger brothers of guitarist Tom Linton. The brothers are called Jim and Ed and they often fought. After one argument Ed Linton made a crayon drawing of Jim shoving the planet Earth into his mouth. He had captioned it ‘Jimmy Eat World’. They should be touring in the UK next year. I hope that means that they will be putting in an appearance at the Reading Festival in 2014.

 

“Did it rain or did sunshine attend out first meeting?” – Advent day 14 December 14, 2013


advent_14I hope you all got through Friday 13th without any disasters, especially the superstitious among you. Anyway it’s now December 14th which means you are about to get your next helping of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Advent calendar number themed posts. You will have guessed by now that todays songs include the number fourteen in their titles.

Billy-BraggThe Bard of Barking brings the first song for today with “The Fourteenth Of February”. The track is taken from Billy’s 1996 album ‘William Bloke’ which made it to number 16 in the UK album charts. In 2008 at the NME Awards show Billy duetted with another great English singer songwriter and activist, Kate Nash. They played Kate’s “Foundations” and Billy’s “A New England”. I saw Billy Bragg play live in the 80s and I saw Kate play live in York and at the Reading Festival this year. In York she unleashed her storming support band, the fabulous Tuts!

beck01lgTodays second song is from Beck Hansen and is taken from his fourth studio album ‘One Foot In The Grave’ released in 1994. (Is Beck a Victor Meldrew fan by any chance?). The song is called “Fourteen Rivers, Fourteen Floods”. The album never charted because it preceded his big breakthrough. Beck’s mother Bibbe Hansen was part of Andy Warhol’s circle and she appeared in a few Warhol films. When Beck dropped out of school he took a number of menial jobs which included; Truck Loader and Leaf Blower Operator.

 

“Lately I’ve been thinking if you wanna get tough, then let’s play rough” September 5, 2013


Disclosure_faces_2_RESIZED_credit_edwige_hambenBritish dance duo Disclosure chose their name by selecting a random word on a car insurance form. The band is made up of brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence who were born in 1991 and 1994 respectively. They come from a musical family. Their dad was in a covers band and their Mum sang on cruise ships and provided the vocal for a number of TV advert jingles. Most notably for ‘Shake ‘n’ Vac‘. So there is a tenuous link with Elvis Costello was the writer and voice for the R White’s Lemonade Secret Lemonade Drinker campaign.

Disclosure-Cover

The band’s debut album ‘Settle’ was released earlier this year and has so far spawned four UK top 20 singles, the biggest of which was “White Noise” a collaboration with the magnificent Alunageorge whiched reached number 2 earlier this year. The other singles from the album were “Latch” which features Sam Smith, “You And Me” which features Eliza Doolittle and “F For You” Sadly I missed Disclosure at the Reading Festival last month, but I did get to see Alunageorge perform “White Noise” live. If you haven’t done it already I reckon you ought to check out Disclosure’s album ‘Settle’ along with Alunageorge’s ‘Body Music’.

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