With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“You keep playing where you shouldn’t be playing” August 7, 2017


Carol-Kaye-opener

Who is the bass session player that has played on more sessions than any other bass player? Well according to the Berklee College of Music in Boston it is Carol Kaye who has played on more than 10,000 sessions over four decades.

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She contributed to the Beach Boys classic album ‘Pet Sounds’, songs by Simon & Garfunkel, the Monkees, Ray Charles, Love, Glen Campbell, Neil Young, Frank Zappa, Ike & Tina Turner, Nancy Sinatra and Johnny Mathis to name but a few. She also played on many Phil Spector productions as well as a number of film soundtracks from the likes of Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin. In addition to bass guitar she also plays guitar and banjo. The now 82 year old Carol Kaye is without doubt one hell of a talented lady. Now enjoy just a small selection of the hits that she played on.

 

“God is an American, God is an American” July 4, 2017


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I would like to wish a very happy 4th of July to all my American readers. Stay strong people you only have another three and a half years of President Agent Orange. But if you wish to come back to the Empire just let me know, we used to own you after all 😉

But let me also thank you for making the UK government look less stupid than yours!

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As I have said many times, this is a music blog so here are a few USA related songs, which in my opinion are bloody good!

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Live At Leeds – Saturday 2nd May 2015 May 5, 2015


live-at-leeds

This year was the first time I have been around for Live At Leeds and thanks to my good friend John Hayhurst I even got a cheap ticket. On top of that John’s research on the bands, singers and venues was immaculate. After collecting our wrist bands at the First Direct arena we headed to the Key Club. The first band on stage were Forever Cult. I would describe them as a bit grunge, a bit indie and a bit classic rock. They were bloody good, “Yasmin” is a great song. All three were excellent musicians but the drummer attacked his kit like a reincarnated John Bonham. He even had a look of the great Bonzo about him too.

forever cult

We were entertained on the same stage next by the Treason Kings. They are full on heavy, hard and hairy rock at its best. Maybe with even a bit of a prog twinge. I mean who else but someone with an awareness of prog history would write a song about their chest of drawers called “Chest Of Drawers”? An excellent band in my opinion.

treason kings

After that it was a brisk walk to the O2 Academy for Gaz Coombes. I have seen him a few years ago when he was still with Supergrass, now they were a great band weren’t they? Mr Coombes solo is different from Supergrass but still su-fucking-perb.

gaz coombes

The Belgrave Rooms took us in next. We caught the last pert of Alex Burey’s set. He is a young london singer songwriter who is a bit like a jazzed up and more funky Jake Bugg with an extra added Orange Juice/ Edwyn Collins. Chloe Black was what drew us to the Belgrave. She owned the stage with her striking monochrome look and wowed us with just an iPad and a keyboard. For me she has a range of influences from Amy Winehouse to Bjork via Ballad Madge (a.k.a Madonna) She seemed a little nervous at first but it was a really packed house.

chloe black

We made a dash to get to a small bar called Milo’s for the highly recommended Crybabycry. The bar is quite small and rammed to the rafters with punters. That might have helped or hindered a performer or band. But I believe Crybabycry raised themselves for it. They are a truly stupendous band. Their songs are often underpinned by a classic glam rock drum beat from a very talented drummer. All three are very talented musicians and their songs are wonderful. I can hardly wait to see them again, but I will see them next month at the Apollo Festival in York.

crybabycry

After this and a brief burger stop we whizzed over to the Holy Trinity Church where we stayed for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Being an old church the acoustics are fabulous. Frances was first on for us. Great voice – Tick, great pianist – Tick, Great songs – tick. She clearly ticks all the boxes for me and has the gifts and talent to be really successful.

frances

The second act we saw in the Holy Trinity Church was Freddie Dickson and the Guard. What a fucking amazing find they were. I thought that I was detecting shades of Coldplay and Radiohead and then I thought nope these guys are very much of their own making. I believe that they are probably one of the best young bands that I have seen in years and believe me I have seen some great young bands; Avalanche Party and the Tuts to name but two. Freddie’s voice is off the scale of phenomenal rock voices. This band really ought to be huge!

freddie dickson and the guard

Having settled in to our prime spot on the pew just in front of the stage we were next entertained by Seafret. They might look a little like Simon and Garfunkel but they come across like a turbo charged and folky McAlmont and Butler. They are from Bridlington, they are Seafret and they are bloody marvellous.

seafret

 

The penultimate performer for our time at Live At Leeds was Laura Doggett. She has a brilliant band, an amazing voice and her songs are truly captivating. I felt there were quite a few influences in her songs and performance; Florence, Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks. It was a superb set, the one thing that didn’t work for me though was the often very twee between song conversation.

laura doggett

Finally it was time for Lucy Rose, or perhaps it wasn’t time. The were a multitude of equipment problems for which Lucy apologised, although clearly it wasn’t her fault. Eventually she had the techie set up a microphone and an acoustic amp, whereupon she came out and took requests, from her first album. Not many artists would have the commitment and the balls to do this, let alone actually pull it off. But Lucy Rose really did make it work. Eventually the equipment problems were sorted and she was able to perform some of her planned set. Lucy Rose; a trouper, a true performer and a great singer-songwriter. The packed audience loved her and frankly so did I.

lucy rose

 

And finally it’s the public service announcement. All the videos ( a selection of artists that we saw on the day) are courtesy of YouTube and all the photos are courtesy of rock photographer John Hayhurst. (I borrowed them from your Facebook page Mr H)

 

“Wine is sweet and gin is bitter” January 4, 2014


phil everlyI was sad to hear the news that Phil Everly has died aged 74. Along with his older brother Don as the Everly Brothers they produced some amazing songs in the rock ‘n’ roll and pre-Beatles era. The Everlys had six UK number one singles from 1958 to 1961 and only three in the US Billboard charts. However they also had four number ones on the US Country chart and three on the US R & B chart. They topped the chart in Canada and Australia.

140103230626-01-everly-brothers-story-topThere magnificent harmonies influenced many pop and rock artists including Billie Joe Armstrong off of Green Day and Norah Jones who recently released a cover of the Everly Brothers album ‘Songs Our Daddy Taught Us’. Other artists greatly influenced by Phil and Don include the Hollies, the Beatles who said that the vocal arrangement for “Please Please Me” was based on “Cathy’s Clown”. Simon and Garfunkel were also big fans of the Everly Brothers and on hearing of Phil’s death Paul Simon said “Phil and Don were the most beautiful sounding duo I ever heard. Both voices pristine and soulful. The Everlys were there at the crossroads of country and R&B. They witnessed and were part of the birth of rock and roll.” I don’t think many people could sum the Everlys up better than that. My thoughts go out to Phil’s family, friends and fans across the globe. RIP Phil Everly.

Phil Everly 1939-2013 Everly Brothers Singer

everly brothers songs

 

“Don’t you know, you fool, you never can win?” November 24, 2013


SongsforswinginloversFifty seven years ago in 1956 Frank Sinatra had the honour of becoming the first artist to have a UK number one album with ‘Songs For Swingin Lovers‘. Since then there have now been 1,000 number ones; sadly the thousandth is Robbie Williams‘ second swing album, ‘Swings Both Ways’. It’s such a shame that it couldn’t have been Jake Bugg with his new album, ‘Shangri La’. But I suppose it might have been worse given that Lady Gaga’s ‘ARTPOP‘ was 999th.

SwingsbothwaysI thought I’d check out which rock ‘n’ roll gods had the 666th UK number one album and it wasn’t any kind of god or devil just Nickleback with ‘Silver Side Up’

Robbie has now had eleven solo number one albums, equalling Elvis Presley. If you count his number ones with Take That it’s fifteen which is the same number as the Beatles. However Robbie is way behind on the weeks spent at number one in the UK albums chart list. The Beatles top that at 174 weeks with Robbie languishing in sixth place with just 31 weeks. The acts between him and the Beatles are Elvis Presley (63 weeks), Abba (57), Rolling Stones (45) and Simon and Garfunkel (40). I suspect Gary Barlow will have the 1,001st number one next week with his new album, which from what I have heard might rate as the dullest UK number one album for some time! Click here to read more about Robbie on the BBC.

 

“All my life watching America” July 3, 2013


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During my formative years I was a big fan of the USA. This view was largely developed from reading Marvel comics, the Apollo missions and watching westerns and war films on the TV. As I got older and became interested in politics my views on America flexed somewhat. Whilst there is much to love about the place there is an awful lot to dislike. I love New England, San Francisco, Marvel Comics and Stephen King to name but a few. I dislike, again to name just a few, the Republican party, the Christian right, Dubya, Gun laws and the way Hollywood changes so much in movies (The ending of I Am Legend, Disney‘s version of Winnie the Pooh and the fact that no Americans were involved in the real Great Escape)

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But I do have a number of friends and readers that are Americans so I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Independence Day from a Brit across the pond. To help you celebrate here are some of my favourite USA themed songs

Welcome to America! :-)

Welcome to America! 🙂

 

“I’ll Hold you close in my arms I can’t resist your charms” December 5, 2011


It’s December 5th folks, that’s now less than three weeks until the bearded weirdo in red arrives. That also means that it is now Day 5 of my ABC of Motown Advent Calendar and we’re up to the letter E. I have chosen a very popular song that actually is not really one of my own favourites. It’s “Endless Love” which was written by Lionel Richie who recorded it as a duet with Diana Ross. It was used as the theme tune to the Brooke Shields film of the same name.

It has been covered by many people, most notably, again as a duet, by Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross. The original was an US and Australian number one and reached number 7 in the UK. The Vandross Carey version only reached the chart summit in New Zealand. It reached numbers 2 and 3 respectively in the US and UK charts. Billboard once named the song as the greatest duet ever, I certainly don’t agree with that. What about Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” or Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure”? (OK technically the latter isn’t really a duet unless you count it just as a Bowie Mercury duet)

So tell me dear readers what do you think is the greatest duet of all time?

 

“I can’t bear to see the sun go down, casting stormy shadows all around” January 11, 2010


I guess no one missed it, as for every snow flake being unique it's all very well saying it but let me see the proof!

As I trudged through the slush and snow this morning I got to thinking about winter songs. There really aren’t too many of them are there? Especially if you discount all the Christmas and December specific songs and also songs that by default are associated with Christmas such as Winter Wonderland. I also thought that as this is the UK’s coldest winter for 30 years I ought to at least mark it with a post!

So during my break today I thought of five winter songs which you can find below, hopefully these will help you get through the cold and boredom, especially if you are still stuck indoors. I spoke to someone yesterday who hasn’t been able to leave the house since last Tuesday, hello Mum! I’m also damned sure that you can send me many more winter songs too, so that’s your challenge dear readers! No Christmas or December songs though and whilst all mine have Winter in the title that doesn’t have to be the case

Rock And Roll Winter” – Wizzard. This band were formed by the very talented Roy Wood who initially found fame with the Move and went on to form ELO with Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan, also off of the Move. Wood bailed out in 1972 to form Wizzard just a couple of years before ELO went stratospheric! This song ended up being release in the Spring in the UK owing to some kind of dispute with the label I believe

Winter” – Tori Amos – Ms Amos is a fantastic singer songwriter whose music I really enjoy, although not as much as Kate Bush, someone she is often compared too. She is also a good friend of one of my favourite authors; Neil Gaiman. Tori began composing her own instrumental pieces at the age of just 5

Winter Melody” – Donna Summer I find it a little ironic that one of my favourite songs from someone named Summer is actually about Winter! This song is taken from Donna’s Four Seasons Of Love album released in 1976. It contained just four tracks; Spring Affair, Summer Fever, Autumn Changes and Winter Melody. there is also a reprise of Spring Affair at the end. The album length was just over 30 minutes

Hazy Shade Of Winter” – Simon And Garfunkel – This song was written by Paul Simon and recorded by the duo for their Bookends album released in 1968. The Bangles later covered the song for the soundtrack of the 1987 film Less Than Zero 

It May Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It’s Spring)” – Love Unlimited – These ladies began by providing backing vocals for the late great Walrus Of Love himself, Mr Barry White. The trio included his wife Glodean James and also his sister-in-law Linda James. This song reached the UK top 20 in 1975

Just to round this post up one casualty of this bad weather has been the cancellation of a number of gigs. My son’s band Steal The Smile were due to play at the FaceBar in Reading last Thursday, but the snow meant that the gig was cancelled. So if you were looking forward to seeing them last week here is a little something for you. Click here and go straight to their MySpace page, do not pass go and do not collect $200, just click and listen to some great songs from an excellent young band. They might not be winter songs but they are bloody good songs!

Swine Flu gets to the 100 Acre Wood

 

“I drank the potion she offered me, I found myself on the floor” March 4, 2009


Hello good people of Blogworld and welcome to the 4th March 2009 unless of course you use a different calendar! In which case….. Just Hello 🙂

So let’s get on with the show shall we? Here we go with todays birthdays Bobby Womack is 65 today so at least he’ll get a free bus ride “Across 110th Street” now! For a period in the late 50’s/ early 60’s Bobby was the guitarist in the late great (l’s & g’s ra ra ra!) Sam Cooke’s band. His own group, the Valentinos were signed to Cooke’s record label. The Valentino’s final hit in 1964 which reached only number 94 in the US charts is a song that many of you probably know. It was the prophetically titled (for the Valentinos at least) “It’s All Over Now” which was a UK number 1 for the Rolling Stones. In a bizarre twist of fate (well in my opinion anyway) after the murder of Sam Cooke in 1964 Bobby married his widow Barbara. The couple divorced in 1970 at about the same time Bobby met Sly Stone (of Sly & the Family Stone fame) and embarked on a drugs and groupies binge, with Mr Stone, that apparently lasted for much of the 70’s. Bobby made a triumphant return to music in 1981 with the classic album “The Poet”. I for one can’t get enough of the great voice of Mr Womack so have a two for the price of one offer, well ok they’re both free! Firstly “Across 110th Street” followed by “Harry Hippie

Bobby really liked to live the song when the audience requested a cover of "Lady In Red" (This caption was supplied by CatWoman!)

Bobby really liked to live the song when the audience requested a cover of "Lady In Red" (This caption was supplied by CatWoman!)

It is also the 32nd birthday of the leader of the Lemonheads Mr Evan Dando. The trio had a hit in 1993 with a splendid cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs Robinson” Evan also made a great lyric change at the request of the BBC when performing the song “Big Gay Heart” on ‘Top Of The Pops’. If you’re offended by sexual wording please skip to the next item in the post! You have been warned ok! A particular lyric in the song reads “I don’t need you to suck my dick” which for the show was changed to “I don’t need you to duck my sick”. Some would say gross, I say pretty funny, but then I’m told that I do have a mind like a sewer 😉
Here are Evan and the boys performing that cover of “Mrs Robinson” on UK TV show ‘The Word’ Incidentally whatever happened to Dani Behr?

He had eaten the same amount of lemons as the rest of the band so why wasn't he as tall as the other guys?

He had eaten the same amount of lemons as the rest of the band so why wasn't he as tall as the other guys?

On this day in 1966 John Lennon made his now famous or indeed infamous (depending on which side of the fence you’re on) statement about the Beatles being bigger than Jesus. Anyway the verbatim quote from that article is ‘Christianity will go,’ he said. ‘It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first-rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.’ Click anywhere on it for the full article, which is from the ‘Evening Standard’ a UK newspaper. It caused barely a ripple of interest in the UK when it was published but when it reached the US all hell broke loose (no pun intended by the way). In my opinion John had every right to say what he said, for me that is what freedom of speech is about. The furore his remarks created in the US led to mass anti Beatle rallies and the burning of Beatle records and memorabilia. I would love to know what the people who did this felt they had achieved apart from release more toxins into the environment. It’s almost as bad as all the people who burned copies of the Harry Potter books without reading them, idiots! OK rant over, what does everyone else think of this particular Beatles incident? Just to recap you can see the Beatles press conference that covers this issue if you click here

No comment (just in case someone burns my CD collection!)

No comment (just in case someone burns my CD collection!)

For actual proof that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus click here 😉

Also on this day Glenn Hughes from the Village People died of lung cancer aged just 50. If you’re interested he was the one dressed as a biker and had an enormous tache. The group were very much manufactured in that French Composer Jacques Morali had heard Victor Willis (the cop) singing backing vocals in a studio and offered him the chance to front a new sound he was creating. He was the voice on the first self titled Village People album in 1977. Hughes himself was first spotted by Morali while working as a toll collector at the Brooklyn Tunnel. Here are the boys with a classic slice of 70’s disco “In The Navy” For the fact fans, did you know that the US Navy almost used this song as part of a recruitment drive? Well they did used to say ‘all the nice girls (or perhaps boys) love a sailor’ didn’t they?

Y M C LEGO anyone?

Y M C LEGO anyone?

And finally on this day in 2003 Sian Davies aged 23 a Cliff Richard fan from Wales had her hifi equipment seized after numerous complaints from her neighbours that she was constantly playing Cliff Richard’s music at loud volumes. She was fined nearly £1,000. In all two CD players, a midi system, a record player, two cassette players, five speakers , 80 CD’s and 155 cassettes were confiscated by the authorities. Surely it would have been cheaper to make her buy some headphones? Sir Cliff’s management company said that they did not condone anyone causing a noise nuisance but were ‘delighted’ that Sir Cliff had such a young fan. Delighted? I was more shocked and surprised, but then to each their own at least she wasn’t playing Robbie! Perhaps Sir Cliff also thought that Sian was a bit of a “Devil Woman

When asked if he had heard the noise Sian Davies had been making he replied "Yes, I heard it through the grapevine"

When asked if he had heard the noise Sian Davies had been making he replied "Yes, I heard it through the grapevine"

 

 
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