With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Tory Boy You Can’t Solve Anything” a.k.a an interview with Colour Me Wednesday February 3, 2012


Recently I had a rather excellent band recommended to me by the name of Colour Me Wednesday and not only have I been enjoying their damned fine tunes I have also had the pleasure of interviewing them earlier this week. They hail from Hillingdon and have some educational links to Peckham.

They see themselves as a punk band and I have to agree with that. I always felt that the first wave of UK punk in 1976/77 was more about attitude, outlook and enjoying yourself. This bunch of talented guys and girls has all of that in abundance. They prove that punk is about so much more than just image; they don’t have a tattoo between them!

The band members are Jen on vocals, Hat on guitar and backing vocals, Sam on drums and backing vocals and Danny on bass. They all have a hand in the song writing and frankly it’s hard to believe they are children of the late 80s given the meaning and maturity in their lyrics. They have great principles too, so do not expect to see them in a bigoted, racist pub near you anytime soon.

Every year when I plan my trip to the Reading Festival with my good friend Nick we always select a band that we have never heard of but have an interesting name as a must see act for the weekend. Whilst Colour Me Wednesday (CMW) is a pretty cool name (and more on that later) I may have to choose my must see bands by interesting song titles in future. CMW have some fantastic songs in their repertoire including my current favourite “Purge Your Inner Tory” and “Unicorn In Uniform” Just how good are those titles? But it goes beyond that because the songs have real class both musically and lyrically. Regular readers will know that “Purge Your Inner Tory” plays well to my own political leanings and I just had to use a lyric from it as the title to this post!

“Carefree” is one of Sam’s songs and I particularly love the lyrics which the band say are about the feeling of not being able to stay ‘punk’ But the closing lines for me could be even more universal than that. Just how good is the following? ‘Seems we could go on forever, without another care about the world beyond our own doorstep. But I don’t think that’s for the best and I hope I’m not alone. Yeah I hope I’m not alone’

“Lost On The High Street” is reminiscent of one of my favourite Clash songs “Lost In The Supermarket” I reckon CMW could make a great cover of the Clash’s “Julie’s Been working For The Drug Squad” (Folks that is a request from me!). A remix of their “Lost On The High Street” features on their wonderful Sampler 2011 CD along with demos of the aforementioned “Purge Your Inner Tory” and “Unicorn In Uniform” along with the beautiful and fragile “Holiday From Your Life”. You can click here to buy the EP for the almost criminally low price of £1.79 including postage (if you’re in the UK). Not only are the songs superb but the packaging is wonderfully hand crafted just like the early days of punk.

As it was an interview I had to ask a few questions so I did. I started with who is the best band or singer on the planet and agreed that they could include those sadly departed artists and defunct bands if they wished. They all love the Beatles and Jen and Hat particularly love Juliana Hatfield. (Formerly of the Blake Babies and Some Girls). Danny loves REM and Elvis Costello; the band has covered Costello’s “I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea” at some point too.

My next question was on a ‘what if’ trip. If there was a Colour Me Wednesday chat show who would be the guests on the first episode. Hat went for Russell Brand and Jen would invite Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill. Sam suggested that he would invite a selection of those cute YouTube cats. I’d be happy to send my two cats Benny the Ball and Mrs Betty Slocombe to audition for that! Incidentally I reckon that would make a good chat show especially if they invited Mr Costello as well.

A recent survey claims that the biggest tear-jerker of a song is “Everybody Hurts” so that was my lead in to ask if any of the band could think of a particular song that made them cry. Jen offered one of my own favourites from the late, great Jeff Buckley with “Lover You Should Have Come Over”. Ben Folds Five’s “Brick” was Hat’s choice. Sam went for “My Baby…” from band favourite Juliana Hatfield while Danny opted for Weezer’s “Pardon Me”. Some interesting choices I reckon; what do you think dear readers?

I then asked the rather shameful question of what is the most embarrassing song in your collection. The band rightly pointed out that music shouldn’t be embarrassing and if you enjoy it what’s the problem. It’s difficult to disagree with their argument (but if “Macarena” comes up on my iPod shuffle facility any time soon I will not be able to avoid that embarrassing feeling; sorry gang!). Jen and Hat did offer a song and a band that they felt they shouldn’t really like. In my view I would say these were pretty cool choices. It was “Kiss Me” from Sixpence None The Richer a song that sisters Jen and Hat used to practice their harmonies on. They also felt that Paramore fitted the bill here as well given their heavily teenage fan base and image.

My next interrogative line was is there a song that sums up your life so far and obviously I had to extend that to albums as well. When I think about it could I answer that question myself? Only with great difficulty! Any way they did come up with Belly’s debut album from 1993, ‘Star’. Along with Juliana Hatfield’s “Become What You Are”. The band have been to see Juliana on one occasion and it was made even more interesting and exciting by the appearance of one time Blake baby Freda Love.

Jen went on to speak about how it felt singing other people’s lyrics. She said that very, very occasionally she might want to edit a line. In particular she feels that the end of a line should be very evocative. She also admitted that she felt almost possessed when singing a cover version.

When travelling up to Sheffield for a recent gig they amused themselves by swapping jokes about cheese, especially vegan cheese as all the band are vegetarians. Are there many cheese jokes? I can only think of two and they are cheesy indeed. Which cheese would you use to entice a grizzly down from a mountain? Camembert. (It’s all in the pronunciation) and what do you call cheese that isn’t yours? Nacho cheese.

I promised you more on the name later and here it is. How did the name come about? Well it was back in the days before Jen was in the band and Hat wanted to find a name that didn’t evoke Goth or death metal. So she used a bag of fridge magnet poetry and pulled out random words until she found a combination that worked. That combination was obviously the pretty cool Colour Me Wednesday.

If you get a chance to see them live then I urge you to take it. I haven’t had that opportunity yet but I will certainly take it when I can. If you want to book them for a gig then get in touch I am pretty damned sure you will not be disappointed. I would like to offer some big thanks to the band for letting me interview them and for becoming the very first act ever to be interviewed for the With Just A Hint Of mayhem blog in nearly three years!

Check them out on the web here;

Colour Me Wednesday on MySpace

Colour Me Wednesday on Facebook

Colour Me Wednesday on their own website

Now enjoy a few of the band’s songs and make sure you order the sampler 2011 EP. If I find that you haven’t bought it, remember……. I know where you live! If you missed the link earlier click here to order the CD.

 

Reading Festival 2011 – Day 1 – Friday 26th August August 27, 2011


So here we are again then, the first day of the Reading Festival. I’m here with my good friend Nick Horslen and I am aiming to post a review of each day for you. Obviously I expect some comment as I doubt that you’ll agree with everything I say. Incidentally some of the opinions in the blog were suggested by Nick. I just wanted to make sure I gave him equal credit!

The Bronze Medal were first up for us on BBC Introducing Stage, they sounded ok, but personally I don’t see them scaling great heights. The Blackout were next up on the Main Stage, with a magnificent backdrop that said ‘Fuck The Blackout’. Personally I’d rather not as I didn’t find them that attractive! But they were pretty good and pretty heavy. Bizarrrely they dedicated what they called their heaviest song to all the sluts in the audience, so I guess we didn’t qualify for that. Miles Kane was in the NME/ Radio 1 tent. He is like an animated Liam Gallagher with a guitar. He was also very bloody good. New Found Glory were on the Main Stage, I thought that they were accomplished but perhaps not as good as they were. However they did a great cover of Sixpence None The Richer‘s “kiss Me”.

We then caught a part of Hugh Lennon‘s act on the Alternative Stage, he is a rather amusing hypnotist. After that we opted for Dry The River on the Festival Republic stage, definitely a good band. They have a  bit of Biffy Clyro with added violin. Pity they couldn’t dry the skies though! It was pissing down again by then and parts of the ground were covered in mud with the consistency of melted chocolate. We then saw Cerebal Ballzy, we were initially attracted by such a brilliant name. What were they like? Ballsy (or perhaps I should say ballzy) punk from Brooklyn! Al Pitcher kept us out of the rain and not only that he was a brilliant comedian. He was followed by Dead Cat Bounce, we felt that their name was better than their act!

Foster The People gave us electro pop via Tom Tom Club and  Talking Heads. An immense band, definitely best of the day for me. I will be downloading their album when I’m home on Monday. The crowd went absolutely mental for them!! The  Antlers came next and their singer gave us soundcheck yodel! Their sound is a kind of tripped out psychadelic space vibe. The Deftones were on the Main Stage, they were heavy and reliable and did what it says on the tin.

Anna Calvi, hmmmm, what can I say, definitely a little strange. Percussive blues,  operatic type vocal and unintelligable lyrics. The Offspring were excellent value for money and still pretty fly for white guys! They have aged well and are still pretty good but definitely not pretty. Noah and the Whale completely rocked the NME/ Radio stage. An incredible build up using an orchestral version of Bohemian Rhapsody; who’d have thought that we’d be singing that song at Reading this year? They truly are  a great fucking band a bit like Vampire Weekend with more orchestration and less African style guitars. We hung around for the White Lies and it was worth the wait. These guys used to come to Reading as teenagers and clearly they’ve learnt a lot! Bloody good band. Then it was the much anticipated Beady Eye, which frankly is really Oasis without Noel isn’t it? They were like an Oasis tribute band playing songs they had written in an Oasis style. Liam’s voice is clearly not what it was either and his stage presence is way past it’s sell by date. We headed for the exit and glimpsed My Chemical Romance who seemed to have quite a small crowd for a Main Stage headline act. Anyway time to sign off for now and get ready for day two!

 

“Silver Surfer and the ragged kid are all sad and rusted” October 29, 2010

Filed under: News,Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 9:57 pm
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An US Research Scientist recently claimed that science is not very far away from being able to record dreams. His name is Dr Moran Cerf which sounds made up to me. You can probably get some good anagrams from it, I tried and came up with DREAM FOR SNR which I interpreted as dream for senior, i.e. dream for older people, i.e. me!

I’m not sure it would be a good thing, it might reveal your innermost thoughts to everyone and frankly it could destroy the porn industry too, everyone could just record their own personal fantasies! It really does take science way into the realms of science fiction. He does however state that the first step is to visualise dreams by a combination of recollection and brain activity. The actual recording is quite some way off. I’m pleased about that, I’m not sure I’d want my dreams available to all! What do you folks think?

Read the story on the BBC site by clicking here.

On a bizarre footnote as I was typing this WordPress showed the following proposed tags based upon what I had written; Dream, BBC, Neuron, Science Fiction and Brain. All of which make logical sense, but it also added Marilyn Monroe and the Eiffel Tower. Is it reaching into my dreams? I have certainly dreamt about Marilyn before, mostly in my teens! Anyway I deliberately haven’t added them as tags to this post.

As always this is at heart a music blog so please enjoy the following dream related songs and feel free to add your own via the comments facility. I started out expecting to put a top 10 together and appear to have ended up with 20, not all of which I like incidentally, but I’m sure there is at least one person out there that likes them! There is also one hidden dream song, the first person to tell me what it is and where it is in the post via the comments facility may win a prize!

All I Have To Do Is Dream” – Everly Brothers. Written by famous husband and wife songwriting team Felice and Boudleaux Bryant in 1958, Don and Phil’s version is probably the most well known although it has been covered by many acts. It was most recently used in the 2010 remake of ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street‘ where of course all Freddie Krueger has to do is dream to be able to kill

“Dreaming” – Blondie – Taken from the ‘Eat To The Beat’ album and released in 1979 and reached number 2 in the UK. As with many of Blondie’s hits it was written by Deborah Harry and Chris Stein. It has been covered by the Smashing Pumpkins, the Posies, Yo  La Tengo and Jeff Tweedy off of Wilco amongst others.

Dreaming” – Cliff Richard – The same title as the Blondie song but definitely not the same song! Cliff was never massively succesful in the US. “Devil Woman was a big hit and “Dreaming” also made number 10. Cliff is the only artist to have had UK number one hits in every decade since the UK charts began (50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s). None in the 10s yet though, but I reckon a Christmas team up with an X Factor winner would probably swing it.

Teenage Dream” – T Rex. Bolan’s chart success had started to wane by the time this was released in 1974, it still made UK number 2 though. It was also the first release that was credited to Marc Bolan and T Rex. It was taken from the wonderfully titled album ‘Zinc Alloy And The Hidden Riders Of Tomorrow

Dream Kid” – Sutherland Brothers and Quiver – Gavin and Ian Sutherland started life as a folk rock duo in the late 60s, they joined with Quiver in 1972 and sadly didn’t have massive chart success. But this song from 1973 remains one of my all time favourites.

“Don’t Dream It’s Over” – Crowded House – It was recorded in LA in 1986 and released in January 1987. The song was written by Neil Finn and was the first of the bands two US Top 40 hits. The song featured in the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’. It has been covered by quite a few artists. The Sixpence None The Richer version was very good, the Paul Young version was frankly…..crap!

Dreams” – Fleetwood Mac – This one’s a true classic from the  ‘Rumours’ album and was written by Stevie Nicks. The song was most famously covered by the Corrs and none other than Mick Fleetwood joined them to sing it at the Royal Albert Hall with them in 1998

Silver Dream Machine” – David Essex – This was recorded for David’s 1980 film ‘Silver Dream Racer‘. Not one of his better hits in my opinion. What do you folks think? (Especially you Ms Topsom!)

Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” – Green Day – This was taken from the bands excellent ‘American Idiot’ album. Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the song and was rather amusingly criticised by Noel Gallagher off of Oasis for ripping off one of his songs (the chord progression is very similar to “Wonderwall”)

Dreamer” – Supertramp. This was from the ‘Crime Of The Century’ album and was released in 1975. The B Side was another brilliant song; “Bloody Well Right” which was released as a single in its own right later that year.

In A Broken Dream” – Python Lee Jackson – Python Lee Jackson were an Australian band during the late 60s. They had a brief stay in the UK where they recorded this song with a then unknown vocalist, Rod Stewart. The single was a flop when it was released in 1968 but became a big success when it was rereleased in 1972.

I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) – Electric Prunes – Perhaps one of the most fondly remembered psychedelic bands from the 60s. They had a song, “Kyrie Eleison” included on the ‘Easy Rider’ soundtrack. The band reformed in 2001 and are still touring.

“Daydream Believer” – Monkees – The song was written by John Stewart and the lead vocal was sung by Davy Jones. It was an US number 1 but only managed number 5 in the UK. Despite being effectively a manufactured boy band all four members actually played or sang on this song.

In Dreams” – Roy Orbison – The song was written by Orbison himself and he was able to demonstrate his amazing vocal range, he sings across two octaves. Roy said that the song came to him while he was a sleep and presumably while he was dreaming. David Lynch used the song in his film, ‘Blue Velvet’

“Never Had A Dream Come True” – Stevie Wonder – The song was released in 1970 before Stevie was able to take control of his own career, so it was not one of his own compositions. It was however a co-composition written along with Motown staff writers Henry Cosby and Sylvia Moy. The song was covered by the Jackson 5 for their first album.

Island Of Dreams” – Springfields – The group formed in 1960 when Mary ‘Dusty’ O’Brien and her brother Dion O’Brien teamed up with Tim Field. They all took on the Springfield. And that dear readers is how Dusty Springfield came to be!

“Teenage Dream” – Katy Perry – The same title as the T Rex song, but not the same at all. It was the second single taken from her 2010 album of the same name, following the worldwide smash that was “California Gurls”. I wonder if she’ll use her married name in future? Actually Katy Brand doesn’t sound bad does it?

“Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) – Eurythmics – This gave the band their only US number one when it was released in 1983. Marilyn Manson recorded an excellent cover of the song in which he changed some of the lyrics, adding lines like “I wanna use you and abuse you/I wanna know what’s inside you.”

Any Dream Will Do” – Jason Donovan – The song was written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber for their 1968 musical ‘Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat‘ which has gone on to massive success on stages all over the world. At various times it has been sung by everyone from Philip Schofield to Donny Osmond.

Dreaming Of Me” – Depeche Mode – This was the bands first single and was released in the UK in February 1981, strangely it was never commercially released in the US. It was written by Vince Clarke who went on to form Yazoo and Erasure.

 

Face Bar Pop-Punk Fun Fest – Sunday 25th July 2010 July 28, 2010


First off let me apologise to all the bands that I didn’t get to see on Sunday, especially the headliners from Brighton, Mimi Soya. Sadly work commitments meant I to leave immediately after a great set by a band you’ve heard about many times before on this blog, Steal The Smile. But more about them later. I saw four bands in the end at a total cost in the region of £100 and a total mileage of 400 miles. So at £25 and 100 miles per band did I get value for money? Overall yes. Did I get value for money from every band? You can judge that by reading below, but can you guess who didn’t provide value for money? Once again at this venue there was hardly anyone in the audience, what is it with promoters? Do they not get that their job title consists of the actual word ‘promote’?

First up were the Mardies. I thought they were pretty good, although some of their songs seemed a little ‘samey’. The clear exception to this rule was the rather excellent “Dancing With Thieves” (I hope I got the title right girls!). My first impression of this all girl band was of Sixpence None The Richer with balls. So overall not a bad performance and their harmonies were immense (4 out of 5)

Next up were Nicotine, which is supposed to be addictive, but this lot were a long way from addictive in my humble opinion. Guys if you are reading this review you might wish to stop now! The two vocalists were really trying the shouty, screamy vocal style, for which you need to have really good vocal styling, clearly they didn’t. It was also bloody difficult to understand anything they said, even when they were speaking. One of the guitarists/ vocalists had a Sandie Shaw thing going on with his feet going bare. If that helped improve his vocals I’m glad I didn’t hear him sing with his shoes on! Some of their guitar work was ok, but for me it felt like the drummer was playing a completely different song in a completely different band. Overall it seemed like their mission was to take the wonderful simplicity of someone like the Ramones (but not the ability) and then complicate the fuck out of it. They finished with a cover version of the Troggs “Wild Thing” which included the worst vocal of the night and probably the worst cover of this great song that I have ever heard and I have heard plenty. Boys, don’t give up the day jobs (1 out of 5)

The third band on was the excellently named the Fortunate. They’re from Basingstoke and have been going for around 18 months. They consist of three guys (bass, guitar and drums) and an excellent female singer who also played keyboards. Their sound is quite crisp and fresh, although for the first song the vocals were way too low in the mix. But after that it was great. The diminutive singer, Natalie, reminded me a little of Clare Grogan off of Altered Images. Overall the fortunate are a very tight band with a great pop sensibility. I would certainly pay to see them again and I purchased their excellent 3 track CD. (5 out of 5)

Finally, as far as my day went anyway, it was the turn of the mighty Steal The Smile, who were once again without Henry who was off on a solo acoustic tour of Grimsby and Scunthorpe. Well ok I made that bit up, he is on holiday in the USA. Oli, Johnny and Luke played well enough for Henry not to be missed on the night. They really are getting tighter as a band and some of their playing seems to intuitively read what one of the others is doing or going to do. Johnny was by far the best drummer from all the four bands I saw at the gig on Sunday. The boys played a five song set which included two relatively new songs; “Always Wrong” and “Two Years Down” both are now available on MySpace and the second is still available on this blog by clicking here. You can also read more of my STS blog posts by clicking here. Obviously I would hand over my cash to see these boys again and sometime soon too. (5 out of 5) Keep on rocking guys!

 

 
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