I am a fan of the Smashing Pumpkins but I do feel that Billy Corgan can be a bit of an arse sometimes. My name is William, but as a boy I was knowns a little Billy, as a teenager just Billy and today people know me as Bill. So I believe that this enables me to comment on some recent views expressed by Mr Corgan. Apparently during a gig in Lima, Peru Billy Corgan told the crowd that he wants to be known more formally these days. He said “My name is not Billy. My name is William”. Listen to me Willy Corgan, you may have great musical talent, just sometimes you’re a bit of a pretentious twat ok? Having said that at least it’s not Will.i.am is it?
December 11th 2014 saw the first ever BBC Music Awards. The show was broadcast live from Earls Court in London. Whilst there were only four awards there were plenty of live acts including; Coldplay (Stunning), Labrinth with Ella Henderson (Class), Clean Bandit (is there anyone that doesn’t love them?), Gregory Porter (why does he wear that balaclava?), George Ezra (a proper Buddha Pest), Wand Erection (whisper this, but I thought that they were alright!), Ed Sheeran (how can one man with a guitar be that bloody good?), Calvin Harris (super Scot) with John Newman (voice of the year and pearly king) and Ellie Goulding (sublime disco), Catfish and the Bottlemen (best newcomers and 70s fashion aficionados), Paloma Faith (quirky and wonderful), Take That (now known as Taxdodge That), Will.i.am (a bit Bollywood Disco, not a bad song, still.a.twat) with Cody Wise (better.than.will.i.am)
The first award was for Best International Artist. Chris Evans who co-hosted the show with Fearne Cotton picked a young Welsh lass from the audience to announce the winner, which was Pharrell Williams. He was presented with his award live in LA by Gwen Stefani.
Idris Elba presented the award for Song Of The Year and guess what? There was another trip to LA for Gwen Stefani to present yet another award to Pharrell Williams. This time for the stupendous “Happy”.
The BBC Introducing Award for Best Newcomer went to Catfish And The Bottlemen. A good choice methinks. I am really keen to see them play live now. The award was presented by Fearne Cotton after they played live.
Fuck me, Bowie was nominated for Best British artist but sadly he didn’t win it. Tom Jones presented the award to Ed Sheeran. I was surprised that Pharrell hadn’t been quickly given British citizenship. But then Sheeran’s “Sing” was a collaboration with Pharrell though.
Was this a better show than the Brits? Probably, but they need more awards. Also I thought Paloma Faith and Tom Jones finale had so much promise until they strangled “God Only Knows”. Was that as bad a cover of the song as David Bowie’s version in the 80s? Probably!
I have often felt that will.i.am was a bit.of.a.cock and his current legal spat with Pharrell Williams proves that point for me. The dispute centres around the use of the phrase I AM by Pharrell, willy.i.am says tha infringes his use of the phrase. But surely he uses i.am?
Anyway tosser.i.am needs to watch out because I may take legal action myself. I object to the illegal ‘dotting’ of my name. I am William with a dot (or tittle) on top of the letter i. There are no other dots in my name and I deserve compensation from bill.i.is for misappropriating it. I think a cool mill.i.on should cover it. What do you say to that Mr cock.i.is?
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!
Did any of you see Will.i.am‘s appearance at the American Music Awards at the weekend? It would be fair to say, well in my opinion anyway, that he looked like a bit of a knob. he was wearing a Legobaseball cap, at the usual hip hop style or indeed chav style jaunty angle. Only it wasn’t really proper Lego was it, because Lego is mostly square and that hat certainly wasn’t square. I wonder what the other Peas thought of it. There was also a great piece in the Guardian about it as well, which actually had the hat dissed by a kid who went on to make his own hat from proper Lego. Click here to read it.
I reckon he must have felt like a bit of a brick (misprint!)
Obviously many other rock stars have worn hats that were somewhat loud; Slash and Jay off of Jamiroquai to name but two. I just felt that Will.i.am’s millinery disaster zone was even worse than one time Guns n Roses member; Buckethead. What did you, dear readers think of it?
I also wonder whether that mild obsession with the Danish plastic toy will lead to worse things for Will.i.am, like Lego Porn, you have been warned!
But back to Will.i.am and the other Black Eyed Peas, have you seen their new video, for the new single “Time(Dirty Bit)”? There is a lot of pixellation that makes them seem somewhat Legoized. See what did I tell you it really will be Lego porn next!
Accordion to our sources NATO stopped an Arcade Fire gig (I've been dying to use that joke for ages!)
Another selection of random news snippets for you all in this post. Firstly are Arcade Fire the only band ever to have a gig pulled by NATO? It would certainly seem that way after the NATO top brass and the Portuguese government have forced the cancellation of the band’s show during the weekend of 20th to 21st November. Apparently the gig clashed with the weekend of a NATO summit and it was felt that security forces would be stretched too thin by having to police a gig by the Canadians and 20,000 of their fans. The band have said they will come back at some time in the future. Read the story here in the Guardian.
The band quickly regretted their decision to defy NATO orders.
I've heard of throwing the baby out with the bath water, but not this! Clearly this followed an acrimonious meeting with the Fab Four about publishing rights!
There will be a ‘new’ Michael Jackson album released in December, it will be called ‘Michael’. It is believed that it contains a number of songs that Jacko had been working on in the few years preceding his death last year. It has been reported that all the songs have been ‘recently completed’, which clearly suggests that the self titled King Of Pop either had nothing to do with the completion or that he isn’t actually dead or maybe he is communicating from beyond the grave! It has been reported at various times that he had been working with many acts before he popped his clogs; including Lady Gaga, Akon and Will.i.am. The latter has been quoted as saying that to release any ‘new’ material in this way would be disrespectful. For a limited period you can hear a stream of one of the songs “Breaking News” by clicking the title. It sounds reasonable if not a little weird. The cover of the album has a typical over the top Jacko theme painted by Kadir Nelson. Read the story at the BBC and the Guardian.
Another typically understated Jacko picture
I recently chanced upon a JPEG file for a film poster of a starring role by none other than one of my all time favourite singers Mr Johnny Nash. He starred in the movie ‘Take A Giant Step‘ It was released in December 1959, when even I wasn’t quite one year old. I wonder if it’s available on DVD. So in a very gratuitous use of that opportunity here is that poster, followed by a clip of Mr Nash singing “I Can See Clearly Now” on Burt Sugarman’s Midnight Special.
Amy Winehouse has been recording again with Mark Ronson, they have been laying down three tracks for a Quincy Jones tribute album. One of them has been ‘leaked’, it’s a cover of Lesley Gore‘s “It’s My Party” which was produced by Quincy back in 1963. It’d be fair to say that the vocal is certainly different and I’m not sure yet whether it works for me or not! Read about it on the Guardian website and then check out the video below followed by the original. My favourite cover of the song was by Bryan Ferry off of Roxy Music for his first solo album ‘These Foolish Things’ back in 1973, click here to hear it.