With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music reviews, gig reviews, fun trivia and extra added random stuff!

“Free your mind of doubt and danger be for real don’t be a stranger” December 10, 2010

Into double figures now as we reach December 10th and after yesterdays advent door from my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar taking you back to Christmas 1958 today’s brings you much more up to date to Christmas 1996. This was the first of three Christmas number ones in a row for this band. A feat only previously achieved by the Beatles. Can you guess who it is? You really couldn’t get away from them in 96/97 as they loomed over the planet like a ten legged Godzilla pop monster, it’s the Spice Girls of course with “2 Become 1”. Yes it was Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger and Posh scored their third UK number one with this song and they went on to have a further six UK number ones. That figure equals the UK number ones of Abba, but is less than Westlife sadly!

They sold in the region of 80 million records in total and in 1998 earned just shy of £50 million. All of the girls went on to reach the top of the charts in their own right as solo acts, except of course for Posh Spice aka Victoria Beckham. The group actually co wrote the song along with Matt Rowe and Richard Stannard. The song reached number 4 in the US charts where they were also a phenomenal success and number one in Ireland. The Spice Girls also recorded a version of the song in Spanish, which presumably helped them get to number one in Spain with the song as well.

The video for the song is Victoria Beckham’s favourite of all the Spice Girls videos, watch it below


Brits Special “I’m On The Right Track, Yeah I’m On To A Winner” February 17, 2010

It’s February 2010 (the 16th to be precise) and ‘With just A Hint Of Mayhem’ is coming to you live from the Brit Awards 2010. Well ok almost live and actually not really there but just in front of the telly! Just like last year really, if you want to relive my post from last years Brits click here

This years awards were hosted by the rather spiffingly talented Mr Peter Kay (Garlic Bread?) Interestingly the ad breaks featured a Master Card advert which was the story of last years Outstanding Achievement award winners the Pet Shop Boys doing a concert at someone’s house! Who would you choose to do a gig at your house? I would opt for David Bowie or Kate Bush!

First up to perform was the delectable Lily Allen. She sang “The Fear” with quite a strange cast of dancers; Pram Pushers, Men in Bowler Hats, Suits with no trousers and Union Jack Boxer Shorts and also some Umbrella Parachutists (is that a word?) dressed in pink camouflage gear. truly spectacular indeed! Lily was wearing a black hot pants type outfit, which I rather liked but Catwoman definitely didn’t! Hmmmmmmm I wonder why?

The first award was presented by Page 3 and ‘I’m A Celebrity’ veteran Sam Fox. She was introduced by Peter Kay as Sam Fleetwood, Mick Fox, Sam Fox in reference to the debacle that was the Brits presented by Sam and Mick Fleetwood off of Fleetwood Mac in the late 1980s. She presented the Brits Memorable Performance of the last 30 years. It seemed we were expecting a list of nominees, but there didn’t appear to be one. The award was given to the Spice Girls and was collected by Scary and Ginger or Mel B and Geri Halliwell as they prefer to be known these days

The next award was for Best British Male Artist and was presented by Andy Serkis who played Gollum in Lord Of The Rings and most recently played Ian Dury. The award went to the hugely entertaining Dizzee Rascal, thank god it wasn’t Robbie Williams! After this we endured JLS performing “Beat Again” they arrived on stage on strings, which confirmed my suspicions that these pop muppets are indeed puppets!

Mel B returned to the stage to present the next award to Jay Z or Jason Zed as Peter Kay called him. He won Best International Male Solo Artist. He spoke of his Glastonbury appearance and mentioned (tongue in cheek methinks) how he was influenced by the Spice Girls.

Noddy Holder off of Slade presented the best album of 30 years of the Brits award to Liam Gallagher for the Oasis album What’s The Story Morning Glory. Obviously Liam swore because the sound disappeared and the ‘audio has been muted’ appeared in the corner of the screen. As he left the stage he threw the microphone into the crowd and allegedly also threw the award into the crowd as well. Peter Kay referred to him, rightly so, as a knobhead when he did leave the stage.

Kasabian then played live and for me they were somewhat lacklustre, what did you think. I thought the flames at the front of the stage were more exciting.

The next award, the Breakthrough Act, was presented by Geri Halliwell (was this a Spice Girls take over?). Geri had to apologise for her earlier failure with Mel B to thank the other Spice Girls! It went to, shamefully in my opinion JLS. Pixie Lott, La Roux and Friendly Fires were all also nominated and missed out to the aforementioned muppets!

Courtney Love presented the Critics Choice Award to the delightful Ellie Goulding, I think I may have to download her album very soon.

Next to perform was the fantastic Lady Ga Ga. In my opinion she is a true star and a real mold breaker. She wore a kind of lace mask, fright wig and a body stocking that seemed to reveal more than it covered. A great performance and someone I would love to see in concert. She also dedicated her first song to the late, great and sadly departed Alexander McQueen.

Idris Elba off of London’s Burning (who he?) presented the Best British Group Award to Kasabian. Personally I felt it should have gone to Muse. Incidentally up to this point I had guessed every winner correctly!

Cat Deeley presented the first of Lady GaGa’s awards for International Breakthrough Artist. This was followed by a fantastic and inspired duet from Dizzee Rascal and Florence off of Florence and the Machine. It was the classic and one of my all time favourite songs; “You Got The Love” which was originally by the Source featuring Candi Staton.

There followed a short film clip of Prince Harry extolling the virtues and wonderful charitable work of the Brits Trust. He came across as quite amusing and very human and showed that one is down wiv da kidz! Which coming from someone like me who is very anti royal is big praise indeed.

über Knobhead Jonathan Ross presented the Best International Female award to (no surprises here) Lady GaGa. her second of the night so far!

Dame Shirley Bassey presented the Solo British Female award, one which she herself actually won in 1977. It went to one of my current favourite singers, Lily Allen. Lily wore a red wig, which she claimed was to make it hard for the cameras to pick her out for that ‘disappointed’ shot had she not won. Incidentally she clearly seemed surprised and very giggly!

Jay Z and Alicia Keys then duetted on a storming “New York State Of Mind”. Mr Z is my second favourite rapper after Eminem and Alicia possess one of the finest soul voices of her generation.

Mika presented the Best International Album Award to Lady GaGa, her third and final Brit of the night. I believe the new Queen Of The Brits deserved every one of them!

Cheryl Cole then performed “Fight For Your Love” amidst a cast of a thousand dancers. For me the dark glasses and dance moves suggested our Cheryl is something af a Janet Jackson wannabe. I didn’t spot Cashley in the crowd though, perhaps he texted her earlier!

Alan Carr had the honour of giving the Best British Single Award to JLS, well that one was voted for by Sun readers so what do you expect?

Tom Ford (is he a fashion designer?) presented the Best British Album Brit to Florence and the Machine for the brilliant album ‘Lungs’. Florence gave a very gracious acceptance speech. ‘Lungs’ is one of my favourite albums of recent years I also loved her set at last years Reading Festival

Finally the winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award who also had the honour of closing the show was Robbie Bloody Williams. He performed a medley of hits, including a song which I really do not like, “Angels” As regular readers might have guessed the appearance of Robbie was definitely not a highlight for me.

So in summary 3 Brits to Lady GaGa and sadly 2 to JLS and in my opinion that is 2 too many!

 To finish here are a few Brit News links for you;

Sky News

The Guardian


“Well I gave him roasted toadstools and a glass of dandelion wine” April 1, 2009

Good day to you regular bloggees, is that the correct terminology for blog readers if the writers are bloggers? Anyway welcome to April 1st also known as April Fools Day or All Fools Day in some quarters. Have you read any of the papers today? There’s a great story in the Guardian in the UK, it says that they will no longer publish on paper but that they will move publication exclusively to Twitter. I wonder how many people fell for that one! If you want to know more about the April Fools day tradition check it out at Wikipedia

I thought that I’d once again stray from the usual format today, well mostly anyway. I do have a couple of ‘onthisdays’ before we move on to a more All Folls day related post.

Firstly I would like you all to take time out and listen to at least one Marvin Gaye song today, the 25th Anniversary of his death. He was shot dead by his father at his parents home in LA. Marvin’s father was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 5 years. If things work out there will be more on Marvin tomorrow.

Also on this day in 2001 the UK press was full of stories about former Spice Girl and one time Scary Spice Mel B. Allegedly she had been advised to sell her £3.5m mansion (which incidentally is in Marlow where I used to live!) because she couldn’t afford to run it. She had supposedly told friends that she had taken out a £500k bank loan to help with the upkeep.

In order to help cut the running costs at her mansion Mel B sold the butlers uniform

In order to help cut the running costs at her mansion Mel B sold the butlers uniform

So onto the April Fools related stuff and I promise that this will not involve any digs at that Fat Dancer from Take That (copyright Noel Gallagher). But it will include David Bowie, yes him again! As much as I really dislike this song today is the perfect day to bring it back. Can you guess what it is yet? yep you’re right it’s “The Laughing Gnome” not exactly the Dame’s finest hour but in many ways better than a lot of the crap he produced in the 80s. Sadly as I am a big Bowie fan my collection includes “The Laughing Gnome” and all the 80s crap too. Bowie recorded Gnome in 1967 which is when it was originally released, it was never a hit then though. But it was reissued on the back of his Ziggy related success and reached number 3 in the UK in 1973. When he did the Sound And Vision tour in 1990/91 there was a phone line where you could call in the hits you wanted him to play. The NME mounted a campaign to get him to play “The Laughing Gnome”. It was quite successful too as I believe that he did play it once on that tour. Click here to listen to that Bowie classic, I double dare you!

This fan let's Mr Bowie know that he prefers "Moonage Daydream" to the "Laughing Gnome"

This fan let's Mr Bowie know that he prefers "Moonage Daydream" to the "Laughing Gnome"

I’m not a big fan of comedy records but I do have a soft spot for “Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)” by Benny Hill (a UK number one in 1972) perhaps because my late great father was a milkman, although he wasn’t called Ernie. Although amusingly enough there was an Ernie who worked at the same depot, I don’t recall him being particularly fast though. I worked as my dad’s milkboy from 1970 to 1975, I suppose that was my first ever job. It was a fantastic job too, I never realised until the last few months of my Dad’s life, he died in 2001, exactly how great those years working together had been. It gave me the perfect opportunity to spend so much time exclusively with my Dad, if I was to live my life again that is something I would definitely not change.

Benny only just failed the audition to join the Spice Girls as Cupid Spice

Benny only just failed the audition to join the Spice Girls as Cupid Spice

And to end this April Fools Day post what better song to do it with than Steve Miller’s “The Joker” enjoy yourselves good people!

Every pack of cards has two jokers and now so does this post! Heath ledger RIP

Every pack of cards has two jokers and now so does this post! Heath ledger RIP


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