With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

By Candlelight presents Nizlopi, Fiona Bevan, Antonio Lulic and Gobbledigook – The De Grey Rooms, York Saturday 11th April 2015 April 13, 2015


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Last night the delightful Catwoman and me went to a gig at the magnificent De Grey Rooms in York. What a stunning place to put on a show this place is and all by candlelight as well. Obviously there was power too otherwise the stage equipment wouldn’t have worked so well would it? In fact one of the acts hardly used the power though, more of that later.

First up was the unbilled Gobbledigook who performed as a duo in the bar before the main show started. They were also behind setting up the gig I assume given that it was promoted by gobbledigooktheatre.co.uk. Anyway these guys were bloody good. All they had was an acoustic guitar and a single percussion instrument. Plus some excellent songs of their own coupled with brilliant vocals and excellent fast worded and clever poetry. At times this reminded me of a stripped down acoustic led version of the fabulous Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip. In addition to their own material they also included a strong and nicely different from the original cover version of Whitney Houston’sHow Will I Know“. Introduced hilariously by the singer as this is a Whitney Houston song which you might be more familiar with from me singing it around town for years. Priceless! I loved them.

 

antonio lulic

In the main room where the majority of us were seated around candlelit tables Antonio Lulic was first on. He and his band (which included John Parker, Nizlopi‘s double bass player) were stunning. Mr Lulic is a truly gifted songwriter with an incredibly soulful and powerful voice. He even slotted in a couple of extracts from a diverse couple of songs towards the end; Paul Simon’sYou Can Call Me Al” and Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe“. I hope Antonio makes it big, I bought both the EPs that he had on sale at the show and they are brilliant. He told us that he will shortly be supporting none other than Ed Sheerhan on some big South American shows. I wish him massive luck with that and I hope I get the chance to see him play again!

fiona bevan

Fiona Bevan is incredibly talented and has the voice of an angel. Her songwriting is very mature and accomplished and she has amazing stage presence. Great image, especially that fantastic hair and a great personality. Her guitar playing is sublime, was she classically trained? Possibly. There is nothing with Fiona Bevan and her music that is not to like. I bought her album and it has already been on in the car today. She ought to go far. In fact her song “Slo Mo Tiger Glow” is featured on an advert for HSBC. She played a great version of the song in her set. I would definitely pay to see her again. Incidentally her band also included the hardest working man in the De Grey rooms that night; John Parker Nizlopi’s double bass player.

nizlopi

Finally it was time for Nizlopi to take the stage or at first the floor. Playing among the audience is a really intimate way of getting your music across and I have seen many bands do this really well, most notably the Tuts. However I do believe that it can be overdone and become detrimental to the whole set. This is how Nizlopi’s set felt to me, I really think that they overplayed the getting among the crowd element. Which meant that unless you managed to get to near the front then you often couldn’t see them or hear them very well. Both Catwoman and I felt that musically Nizlopi are an excellent band, John Parker is an excellent bass player and Luke Concannon‘s voice is pretty good. But what let them down for us was the clumsiness of some of their lyrics and what came across as the incredibly egotistical approach of the singer. Clearly many among the crowd might disagree with this opinion given the enthusiasm that some punters showed. But we stand by our disappointment. However the night was well worth it for all the three support acts!

Pictures and therefore the poor quality by me on my phone. Videos courtesy of YouTube!

 

“We both know I’m not what you, you need” May 18, 2014

Filed under: Joke — justwilliam1959 @ 9:03 pm
Tags: , , ,

funny-pictures-whitney-houston-catHere’s a rather amusing pop music related joke for you. What was Whitney Houston’s favourite type of coördination? Hand Eyeeeye. Do you get it? Do you like it? Feel free to contribute your own music jokes!

celebrity-funny-face-whitney-houston-400x300

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“Everyone else in the room can see it everyone else but you” February 23, 2012


One Direction have just had the highest début entry by a UK act in the US chart for 14 years. Their former UK number oneWhat Makes You Beautiful” entered the US chart at number 28 this week. The last UK act to do better with their début US hit was Jimmy Ray with “Are You Jimmy Ray ?” back in 1998. They went on to be a one hit wonder as far as the US is concerned. Hopefully that’ll be the case with X Factor pop muppets One Direction as well.

I feel embarrassed that the Americans believe that acts like One Direction are at the cutting edge of our cultural output. If you’re listening across the pond they’re not that good really ok? That will probably fall on deaf ears, after all this is a country that elected a born again Christian, reformed alcoholic, rich hillbilly, village idiot for a second term as President!

The Spice Girls established their worldwide phenomenon credentials with their début US hit “Wannabe” in 1997. That single entered the US chart at number 11 and powered its way to the top where it stayed for four weeks. Let’s hope that One Direction’s trajectory is down. Of all the great bands and singers we have in the UK I find it quite depressing that manufactured crap like One Direction is so successful in the USA.

On a more talented note Adele continues to own the US album chart with her second album ’21’ now having spent an appropriate 21 weeks on the top spot. She even managed to keep Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits off the top, now that really is some feat! Adele’s album has now sold more than 18 million copies worldwide and holds the record for the most weeks at number one in the US by a female artist. By strange coincidence it replaced Whitney Houston’s soundtrack to ‘The Bodyguard

 

“I’m gonna paint you by numbers and colour you in” aka The Brit Awards 2012 (February 21st) February 22, 2012


It’s that time of year again, the annual celebration and all round back slap of the UK music industry that is the Brits. There are 46 nominees this year including Adele who comes to the party already the proud owner of six Grammys. In a slight departure from my live typing last year I am doing this from the recording of the show. This meant I was able to spend a great night with Catwoman and some of our best friends and their lovely daughter Amelia. (Incidentally if you’d like to read the blog I write monthly for Amelia just click here)

So on with the show. A great and bombastic opener, “Charlie” from Coldplay. As with last year the event is presented by James Corden. The little clips introducing the best album nominees began with Adele’s ’21’ which is appropriately enough the best-selling album in the UK so far this century. As expected there was a film montage in memory of Whitney Houston which preceded the live appearance of Florence and the Machine. I am always blown away by that girl’s voice and tonight was no exception with a superb performance of “No Light No Light”. She seemed encased in a white light prison at one point. A prism prison if you will!

The first award was for Best British Female, presented by the beautifully proportioned Kylie Minogue. Whilst I would have liked to have seen Kate Bush win it there was really no surprise to see Adele be announced as a very worthy winner. She gave a really amusing acceptance speech including suggesting that she felt like a drag queen next to Kylie. The Best International Male award was presented by Jessie J and Jack Whitehall (who the fuck is he?) The winner was Bruno Mars with a bouffant hair do that seemed to add about a foot to his stature. His thank you speech was probably the blandest and least controversial there has ever been at the Brits.

The next live act was Olly Murs with the Rizzle Kicks. This is a real dilemma for me, I love the Rizzle Kicks but Olly Murs voice makes me want to eat my cats vomit with a side order of fresh road kill. It was a big dance production of Olly’s “My Heart Skips A Beat” including an attempt at Murs robotic dancing. At least his Mum and Simon Cowell would be proud of him.

The Critics Choice award went to Emeli Sande and was known in advance, this was given to the wonderful Jessie J last year. Mr Ed Sheerhan was the next turn to take to the stage with a wonderfully sparse version of his superb song “Lego House”. Just how good was that? The next award was for Best British Single presented by the immensely talented Tinie Tempah. Sadly the winner was the rather insipid attempt at anthemic; “What Makes You Beautiful” from X Factor Pop Muppets One Direction. Did they get dressed in a James Bond costume shop?

Jenson Button was chosen to present the award for International Female, not for his musical talents presumably. Still he’d make a better James Bond than One Direction, probably a better singer too. The award went to Rihanna, possibly one of the sexiest women on the planet in my opinion. To make up spectacularly for Olly Murs Noel Gallagher appeared with his High Flying Birds with the stupendous “AKA What A Life” with Chris Martin off of Coldplay on keyboards. I think it’s now very clear that Noel was and is the more talented Gallagher brother.

Next was a tribute to Amy Winehouse. Quite fittingly interspersing some of her brilliant songs with some great interview clips all shown in black and white. Losing Whitney was very sad but losing Amy was a tragedy. Best British Male was the next gong and it was presented by the sharp dressed and edgy Plan B. The award went to Ed Sheerhan who has now ditched the green T Shirt for a suit and tie.

Huey Morgan and Jo Whiley presented the Best British Group award. This one has been taken home by Coldplay twice before (in 2001 and 2003) and this year they make it a third. It was voted for by BBC Radio Two listeners. A really sincere acceptance speech though. James Corden then interviewed, very briefly, Kylie Minogue. He really should stick to his day job! The stage was owned by Adele for the next live performance, a storming “Rolling In The Deep”. She looked stunning, I wonder if that pretentious twat Karl Lagerfeld was watching.

The International Group award was presented by two of the remaining members of Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor. The Foo Fighters were very worthy winners and were the first recipients of the evening not able to be there to collect their award. They did supply a great little video clip though. Nicole Scherzinger was joined by none other than musical superstar, sorry I meant football superstar Cesc Fabregas to present the Best Breakthrough act award. It was the second of the night for Ed Sheerhan. An interesting acceptance speech, apparently his manager could do with a new sofa.

Bruno Mars performed “Just The Way You Are” dressed like a tuxedoed James Bond lookalike. Except that the hair is probably an explosive secret weapon presented to this pint-sized warbler by Bond Boffin Q. Then we had another awkward Corden interview, this time with the prepubescent One Direction. A bizarre pairing of Rob Brydon and Will.i.Am presented the Best International Breakthrough act which unsurprisingly went to the talented and somewhat astral Lana Del Ray. She also won the award for blubbiest acceptance speech of the night, but I do love her album.

“We Found Love” from Rihanna was a live performance to be reckoned with. Only she could make a kind of painters smock sexy whilst performing in front of a gang of dancing painter decorators. Her hair had grown immeasurably from her earlier appearance. Has she taken the same follicle elixir as Bruno Mars or was it just a really classy syrup?

Finally it came to Ray Winstone to present the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award to Blur aka Graham, Dave , Alex and Damon. Next was the MasterCard British Album of the year award, presented by the man with talent oozing out of his pockets, George Michael. This had Adele’s name on it months ago didn’t it? That girl will need a bigger shelf for all these awards. How the fuck did they end up curtailing her acceptance speech in such an abrupt way.

Blur were on stage to close the show kicking off their set with “Girls And Boys” and then appropriately “Song 2”. They were then joined on stage by Phil Daniels for a great rendition of “Parklife” Sadly that is where the TV coverage ended, I would love to have seen the whole set from Blur. I hear that they finished off with “Tender” and “This Is A Low”, but somehow I imagine this was quite a high for them!

 

“I know in my heart you’d find a girl who’s scared sometimes” February 16, 2012


As seems usual these days after the death of a famous musician or singer Whitney Houston is likely to have at least three songs in the UK top 40 this week; “I Will Always Love You“, “I Have Nothing“, “One Moment In Time“, “My Love Is Your Love” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody“.

The Westboro Baptist Church take the opportunity to increase the number of people they hate! 😉

Who profits from this upsurge in sales? well obviously Whitney’s estate will do reasonably well, but frankly I would imagine her family would rather have her still there. Then there is Sony of course. Now they stand to make a lot of money and being a large corporation they are obviously not cynical at all are they? Well I’ll let you be the judge of that. A few hours after Whitney was pronounced dead Sony increased the prices for her songs. They have later reduced the prices and apologised. But it’s interesting that they made no similar increases for other artists on their roster.

"Osama All My Love For You"

It takes a death to bring out some strange stories doesn’t it? Well apparently Osama Bin Laden was besotted by Whitney and wanted to marry her. Well he wanted her to be one of his wives at least. This is according to a one time friend of Bin Laden who lived with him for a time in the 90s. Her name is Kola Boof  who is described as a poet and activist. She says that Bin Laden claimed that Whitney would be a good Muslim but for having been brainwashed by the USA. He also spoke about having Whitney’s now ex husband Bobby Brown killed. For me the Osama in love with Whitney story really deserves to be true doesn’t it?

"Million Dollar Bin Laden"

 

“Getting good at starting over every time that I return” February 14, 2012

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 10:37 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I know I’m a little late but I would like to say immense congratulations to Tottenham’s finest, Adele on winning the Grab A Grammy night hands down in the US this weekend. She came away with six of the little beauties. Obviously the event had a large shadow cast over it by the sad death of Whitney Houston. But Adele’s achievement is to be applauded. The show was also in effect her come back after significant throat problems in recent months. Adele won every award for which she was nominated and now shares the most Grammys in one night by a female with Beyonce. The Foo Fighters came close to Adele in winning five Grammys.

Karl Lagerfeld has also had a few words to say about Adele recently too. he in effect called her fat and then had to go public again to ‘clarify’ his statement. He went on to say how talented and beautiful the singer is and how ’21’ is one of his favourite albums. What strikes me of this supposed fashion and style guru is why anyone would take him seriously these days. have you seen his hair? He makes Donald Trump look like Samson before he had his tresses lopped. He has either a poor syrup (that’s a wig or a rug to my US friends) or a really intricate and solid weave or comb over. I would rather take fashion advice from Steptoe and Son.

Why is he wearing a tea towel

 

“No matter what they take from me they can’t take away my dignity” February 12, 2012


By now you may have already heard or read the reports of the untimely and sad demise of Whitney Houston aged just 48. Any comment about the cause of death at this stage is pure speculation. Her body was discovered in her Los Angeles hotel room on February 11th. She was staying there for Clive Davis‘ pre Grammys party. It was Davis who discovered Whitney singing in bars and clubs as a teenager. Whitney won 6 Grammys herself and with the ceremony taking place today it’s likely that there will be a lot of focus on her career.

Her mother was Cissy Houston, a talented singer herself. She was also related to Dee Dee Warwick and Dionne Warwick. Aretha Franklin was her godmother. She was just eleven when she started singing in her church gospel choir. As a teenager she would occasionally appear on stage to provide backing vocals for her mother. Her first big break in the industry was when she provided backing vocals on the Michael Zager Band’s hit “Life’s A Party” when she was just 14. One of the biggest hits to be graced with a Whitney backing vocal was the stupendous “I’m Every Woman” from Chaka Khan in 1978. Whitney was still only 15. She carried on as a backing vocalist for a while and even graduated to lead vocals an a Paul Jabara album.

Clive Davis signed her to Arista in 1983 and spent some time developing her and finding the right production and writers which meant that her first solo album, ‘Whitney Houston’, didn’t appear until February 1985. Eventually it rose to the summit of the US Billboard album charts and spent 14 weeks there. It also spawned three US number ones; “Saving All My Love For You”, “How Will I Know” and “The Greatest Love Of All” The album which featured duets with Jermaine Jackson and Teddy Pendergrass and backing vocals from her mother Cissy, went on to sell 25 million copies worldwide.

The follow-up album was the rather unimaginatively titled ‘Whitney’ which stormed the charts in the wake of its predecessor. As well as the album hitting the top of the US charts it gave Houston another four US number ones in; “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, “So Emotional” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”.  Her third album ‘I’m Your Baby Tonight’ took her in a much tougher R & B direction and in my opinion showcased her vocal talents better than the first two did. She appeared at the Super Bowl in 1991 where she sang the US national anthem. It was later released as a single and reached the US Top 20. It was the biggest chart hit that any artist had ever had with “The Star Spangled Banner

It was in the 1990s that her career took an even faster upwards trajectory. 1992 was a pivotal year for her. In July She married singer Bobby Brown who she had met at the Soul Train Music Awards three years earlier. She had her only child  Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown with him a year later. After her initial success from 1985 she had many offers of film roles but none of them felt right to her. But eventually she took on the role of a singing superstar in ‘The Bodyguard’ which was released in 1992. She co-starred with Kevin Costner. The film may well be remembered more for its soundtrack though, which included the mega hit “I Will Always Love You”. It was a cover of a Dolly Parton song and frankly is not a song I like very much at all. But I am probably in a small minority there as it reached number one in almost every country it was released. The soundtrack album also included a great version of “I’m Every Woman” a song on which Whitney had provided backing vocals 14 years before. She went on to make a number of other successful movies including ‘Waiting To Exhale’ and ‘The Preachers Wife’

Her next studio album that wasn’t soundtrack related, ‘My Love Is Your Love’ wasn’t released until 1998. It was a much funkier sound from her and includes my favourite Whitney song “It’s Not Right, But It’s OK”. That remains an office catch phrase for me after hearing a colleague (thank you Mr Mangan) use it a lot. Basically if something is not perfect but is ok he would say, ‘It’s a bit Whitney’ meaning in very simple terms, ‘it’s not right but it’s ok’. This album was followed by her greatest hits package ‘Whitney : The Greatest Hits’ in 2000. It included a number of new songs including duets with George Michael and Enrique Iglesias. (Another greatest hits package ‘The Ultimate Collection’ was released in 2007)

The next few years might be seen as wilderness years for her in that she suffered the problems of drug addiction. Plenty has been written about those episodes of her life so I don’t see the point of adding to that here. Even during those low times she was able to release a couple of albums; ‘Just Whitney’ and her first Christmas album. She finally divorced from Bobby Brown in 2007 and got herself back on track by releasing a new album ‘I Look To You’ in 2009. She promoted a single from the album, the rather excellent “Million Dollar Bill” with an appearance on the X Factor in the UK. In 2010 she took off on her first world tour for many years. The shows received mixed reviews and a number were cancelled and rescheduled due to Houston falling ill.

Many of todays generation of female singers owe a debt to Whitney Houston and I am sure she will be sadly missed. Whatever you might think of the way she lived her life it is hard to deny that she was an incredible talent and 48 is just way too young to leave this life. My thoughts go to her family, friends and fans. RIP Whitney Houston.

To celebrate her life I have chosen some of my favourite Whitney Houston songs for you;

 

 
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