With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“How dare I show face When my diction is such a disgrace” Blog Advent Calendar Day 16 December 16, 2014


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Today is December 16th and Christmas is getting closer. You certainly don’t need to walk 500 miles to get to the festivities now do you? Have you sent your letter to Santa? Have you sent a letter to America? Last posting dates must be here soon. Anyway it is now day 16 in this years ABC of British bands advent blog posts. We are noon on the letter ‘P’. If you sussed out the clues that I left earlier in this paragraph (and frankly they weren’t difficult) you’ll know that todays band is the Proclaimers. Obviously you may have just looked at the picture too 🙂

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The band is Scottish twins Charlie and Craig Reid who were born on 5th March 1962 in Leith. They later went on to live in Edinburgh, Cornwall and Auchtermuchty. The latter place is where they went to the Bell Baxter High School. The boys were a part of a number of punk bands before eventually forming the Proclaimers in 1983. Their big break came along in 1986 after a fan sent a demo tape to the Housemartins. The boys were then invited to support Hull’s finest on the 1986 UK tour. This exposure led to a slot on Channel 4’s the Tube in early 1987.

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Later that year their second single, “Letter From America” went to number three in the UK singles chart and number two in Ireland. This was the first of their six UK top 40 hits. Their biggest chart success came with a re-recording of 1988’s “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” in 2007. It was in aid of Comic Relief and the video involved many celebrities including Peter Kay and Matt Lucas. The song helped raise millions for Comic Relief that year. The original version of that song is their only US hit to date and it reached number 8 in the US Rock chart in 1988. The band have released 9 studio albums so far since 1987. Six of those made it to the UK top 50. 1988’s “Sunshine On Leith” reached number 6 in the UK chart and almost made it to the top in Australia, sadly stalling at number two. ‘The Best Of The Proclaimers‘, a 2002 compilation is their highest charting UK album making it to number 5 that year.

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Charlie and Craig are fans of Hibernian Football Club and their song “Sunshine On Leith” has become something of an anthem at the club’s home games. They are also keen supporters of Scottish independence. For me the Proclaimers are something of a Marmite act in that you either love them or hate them. Personally I love them, perhaps that is because I am half Scots. Either way you can now take some time to love or hate a selection of the Proclaimers best tunes.

 

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“Foreign life forms inventory suspended state of cryogenics” – Advent day 18 December 18, 2013


slide_18_2087138aIt’s the 18th December and by now the regular readers among you will know exactly what that means won’t you? yes it’s day 18 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent calendar posts. So the songs for today both have the number 18 in their title. we are so far down the line now towards Yuletide that my Spiderman Advent Calendar has hardly any chocolate left in it. What Advent Calendar do you have?

wing1The first song for today remains one of my favourite 70s songs. It is “Eighteen With A Bullet” from Pete Wingfield. The bullet in this instance is used to describe a particularly well performing song on the US singles chart. strangely enough the song did enter the US top 20 at number eighteen, presumably with a bullet back in 1975. It reached its peak of number 15 a week after that. In the UK it made the top 10 reaching number 7. Reggae singer Derrick Harriott did a great cover of the song. Wingfield has been quite an active session player and producer. He produced Dexys Midnight Runners first album, ‘Searching For The Young Soul Rebels‘ , the Kane Gang’s first album ‘The Bad And Low Down World Of The Kane Gang’ . Pete also produce “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” and the album ‘Sunshine On Leith’ by the Proclaimers. “Eighteen With A Bullet” can also be found on the soundtrack to Guy Ritchie‘s 1998 film ‘Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels‘. The Pasadenas (who I once saw at a corporate function) biggest hit “Tribute (Right On)” was written by Mr Wingfield too.

1991-hangar_18_fcNext up it’s the mighty, massive, metal Megadeth with “Hangar 18”. The song was released as a single in 1991. It made it to number 26 in the UK and number 25 in the Irish charts. It comes from the band’s album ‘Rust In Peace’, a UK number 8 that was released in 1990. The song relates to alien conspiracy theories involving the 1947 crash at Roswell. Hangar 18 at an US Air Force base near Dayton, Ohio is supposedly where some of the alien remains and the alien spacecraft is stored. The lyrics were written by the band’s drummer Nick Menza with the music coming from frontman Dave Mustaine. Slash jammed with the band at one point and while some people thought that he might join them he decided to stay with Guns ‘N’ Roses.

 

 
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