With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Last night I told her this time it’s all over, making ten times I told her goodbye” – Advent post day 4 December 4, 2013


www.topiarygarden.co.ukIt’s the 4th of December and time to open yet another door on my Advent Calendar musical extravaganza. As it is a songs with numbers in the title theme this year it is obviously number four today. I have two very different but excellent songs for you today.

661888First it’s the Boomtown Rats with “Mary Of The Fourth Form” or “Mary Of Year 10” as it would have to be called nowadays. The song was released in 1977 and became the band’s second hit. It reached number 15 in the UK and number 12 in Ireland. The band broke up in 1986 and reformed earlier this year with great success. Albeit without two of the original members; Gerry Cott and Johnnie Fingers. Singer Bob Geldof once wrote for the NME. The band also number a few famous people among their fans, including Jane Horrocks, J K Rowling, Jim Kerr off of Simple Minds and Courtney Love.

youngSecond song of the day today comes from the late, great country star Faron Young. It is a song that was originally released in 1971 it reached the number 3 spot in the UK the following year. It only made it to number 92 on the Billboard chart in the US. However it did become Faron’s first number one on the country music charts. A live clip of Faron Young singing the song was the first song to be played on the Country Music Television (CMT) cable channel when it was launched in 1983. The song has been covered by Tom Jones in the 1980s. It is also heavily referenced in the fabulous “Faron Young” from Prefab Sprout which was a UK single in 1985. Disappointingly it only made number 74 in the UK charts. The cat owned by Frieda in the Peanuts cartoon strip was named Faron as Charles Schultz admired the singer.

 

Wolf Gang – York City Screen Basement 16th November 2010 November 17, 2010


Having received the regular newsletter from Man Is Slapped recently I found that for the first time in ages I was able to attend one of his gigs. This would be the second time I have seen him at the York City Screen Basement, but more of him later. When I arrived I was greeted by the wonderful sound of Tom Waits playing over the house PA, including the fabulous “Hoist That Rag”. That just made me feel that this was set to be a good night and for once my instincts weren’t wrong, it was a great night.

First up were Detronik. Imagine a large serving of 80s Sheffield electro a la Human League and a couple of spoonfuls of the Stone Roses and Madchester at it’s 90s peak. Are you there? Well that’s how these guys made me feel. They were bloody good and if they were around in the 80s they would have cleaned up completely. I really loved their set, especially closing number “Death To The Disco”. Check out the band on MySpace and the original lineup on YouTube.

Man Is Slapped

Man Is Slapped was the second of three acts and this will be the third time I have seen him play. If you put down what he does on paper (or perhaps in a blog post) you would surely think that this shouldn’t work. But it does work and it works so very well. He played a few new songs from his new EP; Socially Inept which as a fan I obviously purchased. He also di his usual thing of sampling his own sound and vocals in order to provide backing for his songs. Is there anyone else about that can actually do this? Even if there are I doubt that they would be better than Mr Slapped. he even expanded his sound on a couple of songs by using a guitar. Perhaps the next EP will be ‘Man Is Slapped Goes Punk’? He also played a brief electro interlude advertising his web presence and CD for sale. He should be much, much bigger, make it so dear readers! Check him out on MySpace here and also on YouTube here.

Wolf Gang - but this is clearly not a lion and it's clearly not in a cage!

Finally it was the turn of the headliners, I must confess that until tonight I had never heard them and whilst Detronik and Man Is Slapped were excellent I think Wolf Gang surpassed them. They were truly stupendous and excellent band, especially the drummer. The vocalist was also very, very good. The blurb on the gig poster suggests that they go some way to mashing together Talking Heads and Empire Of The Sun. I wouldn’t disagree with this but I would also add that there was an element of early Simple Minds in there too, back in the days when Jim Kerr‘s boys were actually good. I would certainly pay to see this band again and if they’re playing near you it would be foolish and negligent of you to miss them. The next couple of weeks will see them play Glasgow, Sheffield, Brighton, Birmingham, Southampton, London, Bristol and Manchester. I hope they play at the Reading Festival next year. They finished their set with their new single “Lions In Cages” which is released on 22nd November, buy it and make them a happy band. Then they will then be just like me for I went home a happy man! Check them out on MySpace by clicking here and their own website by clicking here and then enjoy a couple more Wolf Gang videos below;

 

“nothing more, nothing less, love is the best!” February 14, 2009


Happy Valentine’s day good people and before we start the proceedings with a classic love song here’s a useless but interesting fact. UK singer Dickie Valentine, in spite of his name, had no hits about this wonderful day for lovers, but he did have three Christmas hits in the UK charts during the early 50s. So tell me did you all remember to do something nice for your partner/ lover/ cousin (Arkansas only!)/ Sheep (New Zealand/ Wales only)? Either way, have a great day and to kick things off here are Madness with a superb love song “It Must Be Love“. You can hear the original version of the song if you click on Labi Siffre’s name too

The Nutty Boys strike a classic pose

The Nutty Boys strike a classic pose

Mr Labi Siffre

Mr Labi Siffre

So enough of the love stuff (or maybe not!) and on to the birthdays. Today would have been the 62nd birthday of the late great (l & g’s here they come again) Tim Buckley who died of a morphine and heroin overdose in 1975. Sadly his son Jeff Buckley also died young after wading into the Mississippi for a swim during the recording of his second album in 1997. If you’re a fan of the UK band Starsailor you probably already know that they named themselves after Tim Buckley’s 1970 album “Starsailor”, prior to that they were known as Waterface. I’m not a fan, but the new name is so much better. Check out Tim singing his absolute classic “Song To The Siren” Click on the song title to hear Jeff’s version of the great Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah” recently a big hit again in the UK, sadly somewhat surpassed by the Alexandra Burke version. Three of Tim Buckley’s albums feature in the book ‘1001 albums to hear before you die’ Tim quit the music business for a year in 1972 and worked as a chauffer and a taxi driver. That same year he also made a cameo appearance in the movie “Why?” with none other than that nice bloke everybody loves……… OJ Simpson
The late and exceptionally great Tim Buckley

The late and exceptionally great Tim Buckley

The final birthday for today is that of Kenny Hyslop who is 58 today. Pardon me? Did you say who the hell is Kenny Hyslop? Aaah I see, well ok then, Mr Hyslop is a drummer and found fame with numerous beat combos including Slik (of whom more later) The Skids and Simple Minds. Kenny’s first step in the music biz ladder was to join the band ‘Salvation’ with one Midge Ure, remember him? Anyway that band later became ‘Slik’ and here they are performing their UK number one from 1976, “Forever and Ever” NOT a cover of the Demis Roussos song but strangely sounding very similar to the Bay City Rollers in my opinion. This was back in the days when Midge had hair, but let’s be fair, even I did then!
Slik - Midge Ure is top left

Slik - Midge Ure is top left

back to the usual On This day format again now and on February 14th 1970 the Who recorded the excellent album “Live At Leeds” at Leeds University in the UK. A bit of an obvious title, but it does what it says on the tin and is one of my favourite live albums. Have a listen to the live version of “Substitute” from that very album. A few weeks before that recording, in January 1970 Keith Moon accidentally ran over and killed his chauffeur, Neil Boland while trying to escape from a gang of skinheads outside a club in Hatfield, Herts in the UK. Keith was famously a non-driver, I guess that proves why!
The loudest band in the world Live At Leeds

The loudest band in the world Live At Leeds

Also on this day in 1977 singer songwriter Janis Ian received 461 Valentine Cards after fans took to heart the comment in her excellent song “At Seventeen” where she claimed she had never received any. As usual click the song title to hear the song
Janis Ian

Janis Ian

Love really must have been in the air when the then very much in the closet Elton John married recording engineer Renate Blauer…. a woman! as you’d expect it didn’t last too long and Elton is now very much ‘out’ and famously gay. Incidentally you may know that he used to be called Reginald Dwight, but did you know that his real name now is in fact Elton Hercules John. The Hercules picked from the old UK sitcom, ‘Steptoe and Son’ where the loveable old cart horse was called ironically, ‘Hercules’. So there we have it, an Elton John Valentine tale, so what better song to celebrate it with than Elton’s very own “Kiss The Bride
Elton was gutted when he saw his bill for the wedding...........<groan!>

Elton was gutted when he saw his bill for the wedding...........

And for no other reason than that it is a truly awsome pic that someone sent me yesterday let’s end with a Star Wars picture. What do you think of it?
can you feel the force Luke?

can you feel the force Luke?

 

 
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