With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Fascinating Aida – Grand Opera House, York – Wednesday 14th November 2012 November 18, 2012


Last Wednesday I went to see an act that has been around for thirty years. I had been conscious of them but never really aware of what they were. My interest was raised when my good friend John Williams (not the composer or the classical guitarist but a better bloke altogether) sent me a clip of this act from YouTube. I came close to wetting myself while watching it. The act was Fascinating Aida and that clip was for their excellent take on budget airlines “Cheap Flights“. If you have never seen them live or on-line the best way I could describe them would be a satirical, singing cabaret ensemble who are also bloody hilarious!

They kicked off their show with a superb song attacking the banking and big business fraternity which made an excellent acronym from their ‘Companies Using Nifty Taxation Schemes’ I’ll let you guess the actual acronym. They included their biggest internet hits; the aforementioned “Cheap Flights” and the not to be missed “Dogging”. You don’t know what dogging is? I suggest you ask your parents or maybe Stan Collymore.

The group managed to take a dig at so many people in such a short space of time including Tom Cruise, Pamela Anderson, U2, the Germans and many politicians to but a few. In fact their Belgian Song Cycle (at least I think that is what it was called) contained many of these put downs. As a result of that song cycle I will never be able to look at Cheryl Cole again without thinking ladyboy!

Their show is also very topical and referred amusingly to the austerity protests in Europe earlier in the week. These are three very talented women who I would like to thank very much for a hilarious evening out with Catwoman, Caron and John. So Dillie, Adele and Liza we loved your show and we would be delighted to see you again sometime. I would also advise any of my readers who have never seen Fascinating Aida on-line or in concert to check them out immediately!

 

” When I am king, you will be first against the wall” October 10, 2010


Today dear readers it is 10th October 2010. On the surface quite an insignificant date, however if you represent it as 101010 it becomes the binary number that equates to the number 42. If you have read Douglas Adams‘ excellent ‘The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy‘ you will understand the meaning and importance of this number, if you haven’t read it, well why not? But fear not you still have time to read it before the day is out!

It is a day to celebrate all that is 42; ride the number 42 bus, buy the song that is number 42 in the chart, eat 42 biscuits, kiss your loved ones 42 times, drink 42 gin & tonics, run 42 yards, undertake 42 random acts of kindness, (I should thank Danny Wallace for that one), herd 42 cats and basically any other 42 related activity you can think of. Perhaps at 10 minutes and 10 seconds past 10 o’clock in our respective time zones we should all shout 42. To learn more of this wondrous day and become enlightened as to the answer to the ultimate question as to what is the meaning of life, the universe and everything visit the 42Day website. For those of you with a cynical or nervous disposition I should point out that this is not a cult nor is it Scientology (personally I think Scientology is a cult, but Tom Cruise and John Travolta say it’s not, so who am I to argue?)

Obviously as I’ve said 42 times now, this is a music blog so let’s get on with that bit now. Douglas Adams was a music fan and there is a fictional band called Disaster Area included in the Hitchhikers Guide, he describes them as “not only the loudest rock band in the galaxy, but in fact the loudest noise of any kind”. The finale of their act involved sending a spaceship into the sun, which may have taken it’s influence from Pink Floyd‘s “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” Adams actually appeared on stage with the Floyd on his 42nd birthday!

To finish here are a couple of Hitchikers related things;

Something About You” – Level 42 – An obvious one this as the band were named directly after the importance of 42 in the book.

Paranoid Android” – Radiohead – Marvin The Paranoid Android was one of the main characters in the book.

 

“I think I’m done with the kitchen table, baby” April 8, 2009


Welcome back my friends to the blog that never ends…….. well ok it does take the odd sabbatical, anyway enough dithering and on with the show as they say! Well Queen and Leo Sayer say it as they both had hits about the show going on!

Some important news for you to start with, apparently Lady GaGa refuses to have sweaty cheese in her dressing room. Her current rider states that it must be odourless and served on ice. She also requires a whole roasted chicken in her dressing room. Thank you to those nice folks at ‘The Smoking Gun‘ for that information. So did you know that the Lady’s real name is Stefani Germanotta? No? well you do now!

Lady GaGa's Cheesy Rider

Lady GaGa's Cheesy Rider

It’s April 8th and it would have been the 80th birthday of Jacques Brel the Belgian born singer/ songwriter who died of cancer in October 1978. In the English speaking world Brel is better known for the English translations of his songs which many artists have recorded. Including such luminaries as Nina Simone, Scott Walker, Marc Almond, Dusty Springfield, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, David Bowie (yep him again!) and Terry Jacks. “Seasons In The Sun” an English translation of a Brel song was recorded by Canadian singer Terry Jacks and was a big hit around the world in 1974.. Bowie recorded Brel’s “Port Of Amsterdam” and often played “My Death” live during the Ziggy days (click the song title to see the Dame doing the song more recently). Marc Almond often played Brel songs live and in 1989 he recorded a whole album of Brel songs called ‘Jacques’. Click here for a very comprehensive list of Brel covers on Wiki

Did he really write "Jumping Jacques Flash"? He's sure got a lot of sole!

Did he really write "Jumping Jacques Flash"? He's sure got a lot of sole!

On this day in 1967 a live soul revue at the Hammersmith Odeon in London included sets by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Arthur Conley and Booker T & the MGs. Now that is one fantastic package, it’s just a pity I was only 8 years old at the time. Well that and the fact that my parents preferred country music. So I suppose it could have been worse! Here is Arthur Conley with the classic and still one of my all time favourites and yes it is one of the 50 songs in my Top 10, “Sweet Soul Music

Arthur was well known for his skill in playing the invisible trombone

Arthur was well known for his skill in playing the invisible trombone

Also on this day in 1967 Sandie Shaw became the first UK female artist to win the Eurovision Song Contest with the appalling song “Puppet On A String” She worked at the Ford Motor Plant in Dagenham, Essex, England when she left school. A very high proportion of Dagenham’s working class population worked there too. Unlike many of her contemporaries she also recorded many of her songs in French, German, Italian and Spanish. This clearly helped to popularise her more outside the UK. She also became the first artist to cover a Led Zeppelin song. Here is Sandie with a more recent update of “Puppet On A String” called “Puppet On A Brand New String

Sandie had clearly been selling Mozzer short!

Sandie had clearly been selling Mozzer short or perhaps they were going to a Fancy Dress Party as Tom Cruise and his wife!

On this day in 1994, Gary Smith an electrician who was working at Kurt Cobain’s house in Seattle discovered Kurt’s body lying on the greenhouse floor. A shotgun was found next to the body. Seattle Radio Station KXRX broke the news at 9.40am that morning that the late great Cobain was dead, he was just 27. Conspiracy theories about Cobain’s death still abound, personally I don’t buy them at all, clearly he had considered and attempted suicide before so in some ways his death by his own hand, whilst very, very sad was not too much of a surprise. Cobain was given a guitar for his 14th birthday and soon learnt to play, apparently to covers he mastered early on were “Back In Black” (AC/DC) and “My Best Friends Girl” (The Cars). Here are Nirvana from the rehearsal of their ‘Unplugged’ show with Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World“. Nirvana were actually on the bill at the Reading Festival in the UK in August 1991 the same month my son Luke was born. Yes you guessed it here is yet another shameless plug for Luke’s band ‘Steal The Smile‘ They are currently recording an EP. To check out their MySpace page just click on the band name.

Freddy Krueger does grunge horror in 'Nightmare On Nirvana Street'

Freddy Krueger does grunge horror in 'Nightmare On Nirvana Street'

And finally on this day in 1998 George Michael was arrested by an undercover policeman at the Will Rogers Memorial Park in LA for committing a sex act in a public toilet. George Michael was quoted as saying “I was followed into the restroom and this cop, well I didn’t know that he was a cop at the time obviously, started playing a game. I think it’s called ‘I’ll show you mine, you show me yours and then when you show me yours I’m gonna nick you” Michael was later fined $810 and ordered to complete 80 hours community service for committing a lewd act. He later lampooned the arresting officer, Marcelo Rodriguez in the video for “Outside“. the cop later sued George for $10m for his apparent portrayal in the video and the emotional stress it had caused him, he lost the case, in fact it was thrown out by the courts. The UK tabloids had a lot of fun reporting George’s arrest. Whilst I really dislike what the UK tabloid press has become (cheap, nasty, invasive and greed driven) it’s clear that their headline writers do indeed have talent. The main headline from the Sun was ‘ZIP ME UP BEFORE YOU GO GO’

George gets ready to 'Whip It Out Before He Go Go's' he's such a 'Bad Boy' especially if you believe those 'Careless Whispers'

George gets ready to 'Whip It Out Before He Go Go's' he's such a 'Bad Boy' especially if you believe those 'Careless Whispers'

 

 
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