With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Apollo Festival York 2015 – Saturday 27th June 2015 July 2, 2015


apollo-festival-2015

Sadly I missed the first Apollo Festival back in 2013 and then last year I had to leave early so I missed the headliner. However this year I was there for the day and what a bloody good day it was! With something like 50 acts across 5 stages I was never going to be able to see everyone but I did see a fair few acts. I was there with my wonderful wife Catherine ak.a. Catwoman and our great friends John and Caron who brought their daughter and our Odd Daughter (that’s another story) Amelia with them. Amelia proved beyond doubt that she is indeed a 5-year-old dancing dynamo of perpetual motion. Anyway enough of us, who did I see?

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First up it was 4 Pint Milk in the Rick Witter tent. They are from Huntington School and seemed all of 16 (apologies if you’re older than that lads!). But they rock like they’re much older. The part of their set that John and I saw was cover versions, but damned good cover versions. Jake Bugg’s “Green Man”, the Smiths’ “This Charming Man”, Stone Roses “I Am The Resurrection” and my particular favourite, “Brianstorm” originally done by the Arctic Monkeys. I hope these boys succeed, they play really well and they have an excellent dour and dry northern wit.

Back at the main stage I only caught Fat Spatula’s last song. On the evidence of that I thought they sounded pretty good and I wished I could have heard more of them. I should add that Catwoman didn’t like them at all. Next on the main stage was the winner of this years Ainsty’s Got Talent contest, Beth Bryers. She undoubtedly has a great operatic style voice which she used over a number of dancey beats including Bastille. I get the appeal to some, however for me Beth is an acquired taste that I unfortunately didn’t acquire.

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Rime Suspex though were something else, absolutely brilliant in my opinion. A relatively simple set up of a guitarist, singer and rapper. They were also accompanied by a number of samples I think. Imagine if South Africa’s Die Antwoord came from Blackburn and had better rhymes, well that is Rime Suspex in my view.My particular favourites from their set were “Money” and “Sick And Tired”. Given the lyrical content I almost certainly support their sentiments and politics. They didn’t hit the spot for my friend John, but he has never been a fan of white rappers. But I’ll work on him! Anyway I would definitely pay to see Rime Suspex again.

Our first visit to the Access Music stage brought us Matt Philpot. For me he was a pretty average singer songwriter singing 70s with a mostly laid back 70s vibe. The highlight of his set was a reggaefied arrangement of Aha’s “Take On Me” which I enjoyed. Next we saw the Rusty Pegs who are a bit alt. country and come across like a slightly more Nashville version of Fairground Attraction. I quite liked them.

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On our return to the main stage the Happy Daggers were on. I missed the first part of their set but what I did see showed me that these fellows  are funkin’ good and I want more! Rupert Stroud was on next, he and his band were very tight and well rehearsed. He is a rock influenced singer songwriter and he is bloody good. Imagine James Blunt with bigger balls, well that is Rupert Stroud.

After that it was a quick hop across to the Access Music stage for the magnificent Barcode Zebra. I saw them play at last year’s Apollo Festival and they were very good then. This year they were even better. Soul, funk, rock, jazz all in a musical blender supported by a really skilful band and an immensely powerful vocalist. I certainly hope to see more of them.

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Now it was time for the wonderful Crybabycry on the main stage. They had been caught in traffic on their way, but believe me it was worth the wait. I saw them earlier this year in a tiny venue during Live In Leeds. On their performance then and at the Apollo Festival I will stick my neck out and say that I believe that they are one of the finest bands in the UK at the moment. Along with my other favourite UK bands; Avalanche Party, Colour Me Wednesday and the Tuts. Powerful three-piece Crybabycry deserve to be on bigger stages and if you don’t like them then I suggest that you pop out and get your hearing examined. Can we have them at Reading and Leeds please?

Awesome covers band the Mothers followed Crybabycry onto the main stage and they rocked their socks off. I danced near the stage for their whole set which included storming versions of songs by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, songs from the Stax back catalogue among many others. They were fucking brilliant and I might try to book them for my 60th birthday party, although that isn’t until January 2019. After that I paid a final visit to the Access Music Stage where Catwoman and I saw Armonia. They played some really chilled and laid back acoustic songs including a wonderful cover of Lordes’ “Royals”

Classic 90s scouse indie pop band Space were next on the main stage and they were blooming amazing. I had forgotten how many great songs they have recorded. Favourites like “Neighbourhood” and “Female Of The Species” were there along with some new songs and stuff that I have never heard before. There wasn’t a duff song in their set. My favourite is one that I hadn’t heard before, the rather fabulous “Boy In A Body Bag” which is a bloody fantastic tune.

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Finally it was time for the head-liners the supremely talented Inspiral Carpets. I had seen them many years ago and they were always a band whose new release I would always check out. No other band of their generation rocks the Farsifa like these blokes do. The have some excellent songs in their canon including “Dragging Me Down”, “This Is How It Feels”, “Spitfire” and one of my all time favourite songs from any band or singer “Saturn Five”. Quite an appropriate song for the Apollo Festival don’t you think? The Inspiral Carpets used to refer to themselves as ‘cool as fuck’ and in my opinion they remain so. If you get a chance to see them you would be foolish not to.

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Finally let me say a big, big thank you to the organisers of the Apollo Festival especially Mr Apollo himself Stuart Kelly. Also a big shout out to my good friend Simon Pattinson who is on the organising team. Everything was brilliant folks, including the weather. If you change anything for next year then I suggest that you increase the food outlets and vary them a bit. Can I also offer to volunteer to help with organising Apollo 2016?

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This really is the final finally! If you haven’t done so already please click here to vote for the Apollo Festival in the Yorkshire Gig Guide Grass Roots Awards. I have!

Well given the weather it seemed somewhat appropriate :-)

Well given the weather it seemed somewhat appropriate 🙂

Public service announcement – none of the media contained in this post was filmed or photographed by me.

 

 

“They think they’ll get to heaven through the universe” – Brit Awards 2011 February 15, 2011


So this years Brits have undergone yet another revamp and moved to the O2 Arena as well. It is now designed to build up to a finale of the announcement of the Best British Album, with each nominee introducing their album in little vignettes throughout the show. I guess it’s based around the Oscars where the whole spectacle concludes with the Best Film Awards. Even the actual award has had a makeover too, thanks to Vivienne Westwood. With Viv involved it seems weird that the Brits effectively started at the height of punk and it was all black ties and very formal and Cliff Richard was the winner of Best British Male Vocalist, oh how times have changed, well mostly anyway.

The show was kicked off by Take That with “Kidz”. I hate to say it but even with Robbie back in the ranks I quite like them. The performance was good and the boys were surrounded by riot police dancers who stripped at the end. Maybe there’s a lesson for the police the next time they are called out to student protests. But did anyone else think that a couple of the ‘That were wearing incontinence pants?

Hosted by James Corden, personally I’m not sure about that choice I have never really found him either funny or exciting. First award was for Best British Male presented by Dizzee Rascal, last years winner, to Plan B. Now that was a good choice, the ‘Defamation Of Strickland Banks’ is a killer album.

Another live performance came next, it was the abundantly talented Adele, boy that girl has got a superb voice. She sang “Someone Like You” accompanied just by a pianist. It’s hard to believe that she is so young. Now that’s what you call real singing, are you listening Cheryl Cole? It was a brilliant example of how talented a lone singer can be, but did they have to shower her with all that silver snow/ confetti?

Now that interlude of James Corden speaking to Justin Bieber was weird. James telling Justin how wonderful he smelled. Is that grooming? (Yes I know you could read that two ways!) It was left to Fearne Cotton presenting the Best British Breakthrough Artist award to take that awful scene out of my mind. The winner was Tinie Tempah, apparently Prince Harry and Prince William are fans!

International Album was presented by none other than German Musical Superstar………..errrr Boris Becker. Anyone for Tennis? It was justly won by Arcade Fire with ‘The Suburbs’. They gave a fantastic name check to British acts; Clash, Bowie, Culture Club, New Order, Depeche Mode.

And now we have Rihanna who started her medley set from behind what could have been a giant shower curtain or giant grass skirt. The hair matched the dress, but did the collar match the cuffs? 😉 We came close to finding out as she removed the dress pretty damned quickly! Maybe not everything but the kitchen sink, but Burundi style drummers and wait……. was that the Olympic flame? Oh and another thing, now that’s what you call real dancing, are you watching Cheryl Cole?

Mark Ronson was there to present the Critics Choice Award, was he dressed like an Accountant or was it just me? I don’t mean that I was dressed like an Accountant, obviously! Don’t you think his hair was like a ski slope? Well even more obviously no surprise that the winner was Jessie J, as this was one of the awards that was announced some while in advance of the ceremony itself. The fourth woman to win that award and she didn’t blub….. but only just!

One of the nominees for best album were the next band on stage, it was Mumford And Sons. It’s no wonder they’re so big in America is it? They look like hicks and hillbillies; mind you they were bloody good at the Reading Festival last year. Who wears cowboy hats or truckers caps in this country, which just puts my flat cap to shame really!

To present the International Male Award we had yet another musical superstar; Lewis Hamilton…..errrr how many albums has he had then? The award gave Cee Lo Green his first ever Brit. Now that’s a big “Fuck You” to all the previous voters, they won’t “Forget You” next time Cee Lo. A brilliant choice in my opinion. He gave a great shout to Boy George too. Nice to see all the Johnny Foreigners thanking the Brits this time around. I’m not xenophobic ok, I’m just an archetypal arrogant Brit! Well actually I’m not really, I am a Brit but I don’t think I’m arrogant or even archetypal, although I’m sure some might disagree!

What was the Best British Single then, it was presented by Alan Carr, is it me or does his voice really grate on you? It was also voted for by fans, so that should mean a good choice right? Well it was a good choice, it was Tinie Tempah with “Pass Out” It could have been so much worse with all those X Factor related nominees.

What the F*ck am I doing here?

Two blokes off of Duran Duran presented the Best International Group award to the magnificent Arcade Fire. What can one say? Flipping heck another good choice, this revamp has done wonders for giving the right people the awards too.

Plan B was the next live performer. Show stopping set and dancing, a tight band. It was like a modern version of the old Motown or Stax Revues. Were those Police left over from the Take That performance? Of course they were, the Riot Squad were there again. It’s one thing infiltrating eco-activists, but this level of police intrusion is so far beyond subtle it’s off the bloody scale! What about the dude that was set aflame? Was that a tribute to the recently deceased Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch off of the Fantastic Four? Check out issue number 587 of the World’s Greatest Comic magazine for more info on that one people!

Avril Lavigne and Will Young combined to present the next award, now that is a novel but strange pairing. It was International Breakthrough Act and was won by Justin Bieber, well I suppose it couldn’t all go my way could it. Still at least it wasn’t the Glee Cast was it? Still the boy done good bearing in mind he is not quite seventeen yet.

Best British Female Solo award was present by Georg O’Dowd aka Boy George, isn’t it about time he upgraded to Man George? Deservedly won by the beautiful talent that is Laura Marling. She was followed by a brilliant performance from Arcade Fire with “Ready To Start”. Are these guys one of the best bands on the planet right now? I think so and it always looks like they’re really enjoying themselves too.

Now that’s what I call presenting an award, are you watching Cheryl Cole? Ooops no you’re not, you’re actually presenting the damned thing for Best International Female. It went to Cheryl’s ‘Girl Crush’ (hmmmm interesting in a pervy kind of way); Rihanna in a big white dress with roses….. they grow on you!

Tinie Tempah took to the stage next and frankly he did it like he owned the thing. Great performance and bloody good laser show to boot. The stage was full of Tinie lookalikes, how about a spoofed version of Eminem, anyone for ‘The Real Tinie Tempah’? This dude is a really top bloke in my humble opinion. Move over Mr Rascal and make way for Mr Tempah. Are the organisers of the Reading Festival watching? How about Tinie Tempah on the afternoon bill on the Main Stage Saturday or Sunday, it’s worked well for Dizzee before hasn’t it?

Dermot O’Leary off of the X Factor (amongst Others) no less was on hand to present the Award for Best British Group. It went to Take That. It pains me to say that with their current album I actually like some music that Robbie is involved in. I must be ill in the head. Robbie was his usual nonsensical arse with just a couple of shouts of ‘Shabba’ thankfully leaving the other boys to do most of the talking and thanking.

So then came the grand finale the Best British Album Award, presented by Rock God Roger Daltrey off of the Who. He said that he thought that Plan B’s set had made him reminisce of the early days of the Who,(was he serious?) but sadly the award didn’t go to him, it went to Mumford And Sons, still not a bad choice.

The show was closed by the mighty, magnificent Cee Lo Green with “Forget You”. A great tune but I kind of wish he had done the original ‘naughty’ version! A great singer none the less. So that is as they say it for this years Brits. I will be back with other posts before the 2012 Brits so feel free to keep reading my blog now that you’ve found you’re way here. I bet you’re relieved that I have got to the end of a whole post with no mention of Lady Gaga……….DOH!

The good, the bad and the untalented!

 

“I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade” February 24, 2009


OK I’m going to open with a little experiment, the other day when I included a link to a fart joke on this blog I had three times the amount of the usual daily views I had been getting, many of which came from people searching ‘fart’ on t’interweb. I’m not going to get into why you would do that, it’s to each their own right? Anyway the experiment is that todays blog text will include a phrase which I suspect many people may search on, so here goes! Lily Allen Naked!!! Well let’s see how many views come to the blog based on that shall we? I would like to thank Tom W for coming up with that idea, top thinking mate! Incidentally if you arrived at this blog to see Lily Allen naked I’m sorry to disappoint you, but here is a picture of her anyway!

Lily wondered where she had hidden the torch again

Lily wondered where she had hidden the torch again

In case you didn’t see any news yesterday, Mr Springsteen has been confirmed as the Saturday headliner for this years Glastonbury Festival. That was the slot which was somewhat controversially filled by Jay Zed (copyright Karen McP) last year. well I say controversial, I mean Noel Gallagher was somewhat aggrieved by it! The strong rumours for the Friday and Sunday nights are Blur and Neil Young. Here is the Bruce news on the
Beeb

It’s also big congrats to ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ which swept up at the Oscars yesterday, winning eight in total including best film score and also best individual song for “Jai Ho“. Incidentally one of the other best individual song nominees was featured on this very blog just a few days ago, that was “Down To Earth” by Peter Gabriel from the wonderful ‘Wall-E’. How many of you have seen ‘Slumdog Millionaire’? I thought it was a superb movie. Funny, moving, serious, feelgood, great music, all in all a great combination of the best of everything. What did you think of it?

So without further delay let’s kick off with a birthday. Today is the 24th February and it is the 62nd birthday of Rupert, not the bear, but Mr Rupert Holmes. His biggest hit was “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” which was a massive hit in the US where it went to number one. Obviously at that particular moment we had a bit more taste in the UK as it only managed number 23 here! Rupert was born in Northwich, Cheshire in the UK although he grew up and has lived most of his life in the US. His Mum was English and his Dad American. It may seem unreal now but at the height of his Pina Colada driven success Rupert toured the world and the Marcos government in the Philippines even had to provide with a military escort when he was there. There is a very special distinction for “Escape” that as far as I am aware in US chart history didn’t happen before and hasn’t happened since. “Escape” reached number 1 in December 1979 then fell to number 2 in the first week of January 1980 (replaced by “Please Don’t Go” by KC and the Sunshine Band, before jumping back to the top spot the week after. It thus became the only song to end a decade at number one and climb back the following decade a real 70s/ 80s hit. Now that would be an interesting argument for the DJs that work 70s and 80s clubs (we have one of each in York). Maybe it wouldn’t though, because in my experience most DJs in those type of clubs are a long way from good! But of course I would say that as I am a very good Mobile DJ! I’m still taking bookings for this year if any of you are interested. Highlights in the coming months are weddings, 40th Birthdays, 30th birthdays and indeed a 70th birthday! I am happy to do gigs all over the planet, but please be aware that if the travelling distance from York in the UK is significant then so will the price be 🙂

Rupert didn't quite appreciate the difference between cufflinks and handcuffs

Rupert didn't quite appreciate the difference between cufflinks and handcuffs

Of course having discussed Pina Coladas I couldn’t leave you without the recipe, so just
click here! Mr Holmes has also said at various times “whatever else I do in my life my tombstone will be a giant pineapple!”

On this day in 1973 the final live appearance of the Byrds took place at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey. The Byrds are one of the acts, along with Jimi Hendrix, who recorded classic interpretations of Bob Dylan songs. The most famous of those Byrd songs is probably “Mr Tambourine Man” which you all know was written by Bob Dylan, but did you know that their version was produced by a chap called Terry Melcher, who is Doris Day’s son? Some radio stations apparently refused to play the Byrds “Eight Miles High” claiming that is was completely drug related. Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Gene Clark who wrote the song said that in fact it was about their experience of flying in a plane at 40,000 feet. How wrong can one be? 😉 My favourite song by the Byrds is probably “So You Want To Be A Rock N Roll Star” which was written by Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, supposedly about the manufactured and overnight success of the Monkees. The song was also groundbreaking in that it featured an African musician, Mr Hugh Masekala on trumpet. The observant among you will have noticed that there are two Byrd song links on this piece…… enjoy!

Upon arrival at the Police Station the boys realised that they had been framed

Upon arrival at the Police Station the boys realised that they had been framed

This day in 2004 saw the death of Estelle Axton who had helped to create Stax Records. She set up the Satellite Record label with her brother Jim Stewart. They were contacted by lawyers in 1960 and told that the name was already in use. They changed the name to ‘STAX’ which comes from the first two letters of each of their surnames. I guess ‘AXST’ just didn’t work out! Estelle was heavily involved with the selection and development of many artists on the label including Booker T & The MGs, Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas and the wonderful Mr Otis Redding. Stax was to Memphis what Motown was to Detroit. It is also interesting to note that whilst Stax specialised in soul, r &b and predominantly black music it’s two founders were white. This must have been seen as quite a brave move considering segregation was still widespread in the US in the late 50s/ early 60s. Here is the late great (see they’re still around) Otis Redding with the rather excellent “Try A Little Tenderness” from the Monterey Festival in 1967

Estelle Axton with her brother Jim Stewart

Estelle Axton with her brother Jim Stewart

The rather splendid Stax Records logo

The rather splendid Stax Records logo

And finally on this day in 1958 the classic song “Get A Job” by the Silhouettes was number one in the USA. It was recorded in October 1957 and is seen by many as the definitive doo wop song. It went on to sell a million copies and has been used in some great movies too. Notably ‘American Graffiti’ which starred a young Richard Dreyfuss and one of my favourite movies the excellent adaptation of Stephen King’s novella ‘The Body’ which was filmed as ‘Stand By Me’. The song is quite appropriate for many of us now too, given the current economic climate which those clever marketing people have re branded and made into the commodity we now know as ‘The Credit Crunch’ which in layman’s terms remains a recession surely?

The boys were frequently caught bragging about their many fishing trips

The boys were frequently caught bragging about their many fishing trips

 

 
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