With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Couple billion in the whole wide world find another one ’cause she belongs to me” Blog Advent Calendar Day 15 December 15, 2014


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Well today is December 15th and therefore Day 15 in this years advent calendar blog posts. The fifteenth letter of the alphabet is very obviously ‘O’ and today I will being doing something which might surprise many regular readers. Todays entry in the ABC of British bands is One Direction, although I still like to refer to them as Wand Erection.

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The band members are Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They came to prominence via the X-Factor in 2010 when they finished third in the contest. They all entered the contest as solo artists but didn’t make the cut until Simon Cowell saw the benefit of bringing them together. Matt Cardle won the contest that year while Rebecca Ferguson was in second place.

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1D have smashed chart records across the world, notably in the USA where they are the first band ever to have their first four albums reach number one on the Billboard chart. The record of the first three albums hitting the top of the US album chart was held by…… yes you guessed it, One Direction. Surprisingly for a boy band they have had more success in the albums chart than in the singles chart. They have had only three UK number one singles and none in the USA. They have had number one singles in Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand and Ireland.

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They are certainly a manufactured boy band but perhaps not as controlled as the likes of Westlife. There isn’t much in the way of choreographed dance routines and insipid covers of old ballads. Having a watched a bit of footage in preparation for this post they seem to be pretty good live performers (Fuck! Did I really say that?). I thought that their performance of “Steal My Girl” at the BBC Music Awards 2014 was among the better showings on the night.

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Did you know that Liam has a strange fear of spoons? Or that Niall is not a big reader and that he once said that the only book that he had ever read was To Kill A Mockingbird? Harry Styles apparently wanted to be a lawyer before the bands X-Factor success. Rather fittingly for these advent calendar posts Louis was born on Christmas Eve. Zayn has a tattoo in arabic on his collar bone, the English translation is ‘be true to who you are’ OK that’s enough from me now feel free to enjoy a selection of Wand Erection’s finest.

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“I get nervous in the New York City Streets, where my legacy treads” Blog Advent Calendar Day 10 December 10, 2014


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Already we’re into double figures in December. How did it get to become December 10th so quickly? Anyway that means that it is now Day ten in my advent calendar blog posts. The theme this year is the ABC of British Bands for those of you who are not regular readers? What’s that I hear you say? You’re not a regular reader? In that case feel free to sign up and join the millions of others who read this blog everyday! OK so I exaggerated, sign up and join the few hundred that come here everyday. More importantly join the 700+ who actually follow it. December 10th means it’s day 10, which in turn means that we have reached the letter ‘J’. Who will it be? That’s easy, it’s Jamiroquai.

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The band was formed in 1992. The lead singer and main man of the band is Jason Luis Cheetham, although I’m sure that you know him better as the crazy hat wearing Jay Kay. His mother Karen Kay was a television personality in the UK and a cabaret singer. Jay Kay originally started the band along with Toby Smith, Stuart Zender, Nick Van Gelder and Wallis Buchanan. They played keyboards, bass, drums and didgeridoo respectively. Has there ever been another British band that featured a didgeridoo player? Well let’s not count disgraceful kiddie fiddler any longer. The band’s name comes from an amalgamation of jam session and the Iroquois tribe of North America.

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Some of Jay Kay’s hats were made by his mother and emulating her TV career he has also appeared on many TV shows including Top Gear, Strictly Come Dancing, The Naked Chef and the X-Factor. The band had three UK number one albums between 1993 and 2001. Their albums have also hit the top of the charts in Mexico, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and in the US Dance Chart. Their only UK number on single so far has been “Deeper Underground” from 1998. The song appeared on the soundtrack for that years ‘Godzilla’ film. They have been very popular across Europe and have had number one singles in four other countries in addition to the UK. They also climbed to the top of the US Dance Singles chart an impressive five times between 1994 and 2006.

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Now it is time for you to enjoy a selection of classic Jamiroquai cuts. I hope that you enjoy them.

 

 

Eurovision Song Contest 2014 May 10, 2014


eurovision-2014Usually the most entertaining part of the Eurovision Song Contest is the voting and checking how many countries hate us Brits and show it by giving us nul points. But this year I really feel that we are in with a shout. Molly’s “Children Of The Universe” strikes me as classic Eurovision. I wonder how the votes will be split between Russia and the Ukraine? Anyway I should warn you that I am typing this post as I watch the show. So let’s get on with the 59th Eurovision Song Contest shall we?

Ukraine are up first with a typical Euro song title; “Tick Tock”. Why is there a bloke in a hamster wheel on stage? Singer Mariya Yaremchuk looks good and the song, in spite of its title is not too shabby. Belarus are up next represented by Teo with “Cheesecake”. He has a monster quiff does that Teo. It’s an ok kind of song with some good synchronised dancing in the performance, but no hamster wheel.

_74682088_43f07e35-39ba-4d5b-b4f2-183cdf5ea190Azerbaijan are next and they are trying to “Start A Fire” as sung by Dilara Kazimova. While there is no hamster wheel there is a trapeze. What is that all about? Anyway in my opinion this is a bit of a dirgeful ballad with a singer who seems a little too earnest for me. In Dilara’s favour Catwoman likes her dress. Pollaponk are representing Iceland and one of their backing vocalists is an Icelandic MP. Their suits are all primary colours but as the song says let’s show them “No Prejudice”. The song is a little pop punk with more emphasis on the pop. I’ll probably be wrong as usual, but I think this could win.

Carl Espen is trying to whip up a “Silent Storm” for Norway. He is not an established singer and keeping it in the family the song was written by his cousin. Not my kind of song. It strikes me as a bit forgettable. Paula Seling and Ovi are hoping for a “Miracle” as they sing for Romania. This song can’t make up its mind as to whether it’s a power ballad or just another piece of Euro Disco. It does feature a round piano though.

Armenia are putting up a comedian called Aram MP3 with “Not Alone” which didn’t sound particularly funny to me. Have I missed the punchline. I also felt his voice was a bit flat and out of tune at times. It definitely sees itself as an 80s power ballad though. Montenegro are the first country tonight that are singing in their native tongue. The singer is Sergej Cetkovic with “Moj Svijet”. It sounds like classic mid table Eurovision fodder to me, which given my track record probably means it’ll win. It is backed up with a roller skating dancer, why? Don’t ask me.

We are Slavic washerwomen

We are Slavic washerwomen

“We Are Slavic” is the Polish entry and is sung in English and Polish by Donatan and Cleo. Is it really a feminist anthem? Why are they all dressed as milkmaids? Greece are about to “Rise Up” performed by Freaky Fortune featuring RiskyKidd. The Kidd is actually a rapper from London. It strikes me as the first song of the night to really get the place rocking. Not a hamster wheel in sight, just a bloody huge trampoline.

21. Lifeball AIDS HIV Charity Magenta (Red) CarpetNow it’s Austria with a bearded drag artist, Conchita Wurst singing “Rise Like A Pheonix”. He/ She looks a little scary to me. It’s a good song but the whole appearance puts me right off. Germany ask “Is It Right” with a female trio called Elaiza. It features an accordion and has a bit of an oompah feel about it. I really don’t like this song!

Can Sanna Nielsen “Undo” the competition for Sweden 40 years after Abba won the contest? Possibly as it is this years favourite. Actually it’s a bloody good sung and Sanna has a great voice. If a ballad wins this year it might be “Undo”. TWIN TWIN perform the French entry “Moustache”; a song about a man who can’t grow a moustache. The singer can certainly grow a cartoon comedy haircut though. I can only assume that France don’t want to win. This song is shit!

TWIN TWIN - you cocks!

TWIN TWIN – you cocks!

The Tolmachevy Sisters have interlocking hair and they are singing “Shine”. Their hair has come undone, well at least that will make going to the toilet easier. But wait now they’re on a see saw; why? It was ok but they’re hardly Pussy Riot. Emma sings in Italian for Italy with a rocking little ditty called “La Mia Citta” a.k.a “My City”. The costumes are a bit Roman Empire. Not a bad song though.

indexTinkara Kovac is singing “Round And Round” for Slovenia. Sung in Slovene and English in a rather shouty way with added flute. We’re hoping for “Something Better” from Finland from Softengine. They sound a bit like a discofied Aha.

Ruth Lorenzo once came 5th in the X Factor and she is singing her own composition for Spain. It’s called “Dancing In The Rain”. Knowing my luck a former X Factor contestant will win it. It hurts terribly to admit it but the song is alright, not great just alright. The shouty bit at the end kills it a bit though. Those perennial neutrals Switzerland have a song called “Hunter Of Stars” by Sebalter. It has far too much whistling for my liking with a backing track that sounds like a speeded up “Duelling Banjos“.

40179_ruth-lorenzo-haciendo-corazon-simbolo-eurovision-2014Andras Kallay-Saunders is “Running” for Hungary. He runs around the stage a bit too. A good pop song methinks. Malta are “Coming Home” with Firelight. Two siblings in the band have a mother from Yorkshire. But the song is so Mumford it hurts. Is that style popular across Europe? I don’t know and frankly I hope not! But just to provide a balanced view, Catwoman likes this song apart from the female vocals.

Next up is “Cliche Love Song” by Basim singing for hosts Denmark. Blimey is he miming to Bruno Mars? This is possibly one of the best entries of the night. The Danish TV executives must be shitting themselves. It costs a packet to put this show on. After Denmark the Netherlands provide the “Calm After The Storm” as song by the Common Linnets. Who knew that the Dutch do Country and Western? They can though and it’s quite a good song.

mollySan Marino are the penultimate country with “Maybe” sung by Valentina Monetta. It sounds like the theme song to a late 60s James Bond spoof. Was that meant to be a giant sea shell behind her? Finally it’s time for the UK entry which is “Children Of The Universe” from Molly. I really do think she’s in with a chance. Not sure about her boots but for me Molly nailed it!

Before the scoring starts my tips are Sweden, Denmark and the UK and I reckon France ought to finish last. Now for the scoring which as you might have guessed featured all the usual political voting. Molly came 17th out of 26th so not as bad as many UK entries. The runaway winner was Conchita Wurst from Austria a.k.a the bearded lady with “Rise Like A Phoenix”. I really don’t get it, although to be fair on second hearing the song isn’t too bad! As for my tips; Sweden were third and I was right about France who finished last!

 

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“Darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there” January 6, 2014


beatlesDid you know that the Beatles released one single that none of the band played on? It’s kind of obvious when you think about it. The song is “Eleanor Rigby” which was released on the same single as “Yellow Submarine” in 1966. It reached number one in many countries including the UK, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Australia and Austria. The musicians who played on the track were;

On Violin – Tony Gilbert, Sidney Sax, John Sharpe and Juergen Hess.

On Viola – Stephen Shingles and John Underwood

On Cello – Derek Simpson and Norman Jones.

beatles pantoIt makes you wonder how many other bands didn’t play on their big hits. It would be fair to assume that the likes of the Bay City Rollers, Westlife, Boyzone, the majority of X Factor muppets and many others didn’t play on any of their hits wouldn’t it? But then again even Ringo didn’t feature on the Beatles initially released version of “Love Me Do” in 1962. Sid Vicious‘ bass playing featured on hardly any Sex Pistols recordings, most of those were completed by Glen Matlock or Steve Jones. Listening to some bootlegs of the band from late 1977 to the ill-fated US tour of January 1978 suggests that there was a good reason Sid didn’t contribute bass to many songs, he just wasn’t very good at it!

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“Take me away from this big bad world and agree to marry me” January 4, 2014


ArticleImage-51385Blur, who have been a little inactive on the new music front recently launched some new merchandise which you can buy on-line. Is it branded trainers, hoodies, t-shirts, baseball caps and the like? No, it’s a tea set, beer mats and flat caps. Better hurry up if you want a Blur tea set though, apparently only 300 were made. Click here to get yours. Blimey next they’ll be selling whippets named after the band members and maybe branded pipes and slippers. What other random merchandising can we expect? Cup cakes from Ozzy Osbourne, BingoWings.com on-line bingo from Madonna, X-Factor ear plugs made from Matt Cardle’s ear wax, Robbie Williams and One Direction toilet paper, Olly Murs manure? All your suggestions would be very gratefully received.

 

“I move like a cat, charge like a ram” – Advent day 20 December 20, 2013


number-20-300x256Have you been pestered by teenage carol singers with shite voices yet? I saw some on the way home from work but I think the weather was a tad too inclement for them! But I’m sure the greedy untalented little gits will be back. Greedy, untalented little gits? I could have been talking about the majority of X Factor contestants there couldn’t I? Anyway we really are sliding down the slope towards Christmas now, it’s 20th December! So that means it’s day 20 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Advent posts and you know you’ll be getting two songs with twenty in their titles.

8MarcBolanFatherChristmas_bT.Rex are first up with the magnificent “20th Century Boy” a UK number 3 hit from 1973. The song hit the top of the charts in Ireland. It was the penultimate single in a run of 11 UK top 4 hits between 1970 and 1973 which included four number ones. In fact Bolan and T Rex never made the UK top 10 after 1973 let alone the top 5. “20th Century Boy” was not taken from a T Rex album but it was included on a reissue of the ‘Tanx’ album which was originally released in 1973. The song was used as the soundtrack to a Levi’s Jeans ad campaign in 1991. It was re-released to accompany that and made it back into the UK chart where it peaked at number 13. Siouxse and the Banshees, Girlschool, Adam Ant, Def Leppard and Placebo have all covered this T Rex classic. Placebo performed the song live at the 1999 Brit Awards with David Bowie.

Eddie_Cochran_VIIIFrom a song featuring the late, great Marc Bolan let me now take you to a song from the late, great Eddie Cochran, “Twenty Flight Rock”. Cochran can be seen performing the song in the 1956 film ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ and it was released as a single in 1957. It was this Cochran song that a 15-year-old Paul McCartney played as part of his audition for John Lennon which led to him becoming one of the Quarrymen. McCartney has said that he thought that what impressed Lennon the most was that he knew all the words. Many artists have covered the song including Robert Gordon, Rolling Stones, the Stray Cats and Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen.

 

“From the Queen of England to the hounds of hell” – Advent day 7 December 7, 2013


sevenWell that’s it, the first week of December is almost over and now it’s just over eighteen days until the big old bloke in the red coat parks his venison on your roof and somehow manages to squeeze his excessive girth down your chimney! That means of course that today is December 7th and that in turn means that todays choices that sit behind the advent calendar door feature the number seven in their titles.

Queen-To-Appear-In-Lego-Rock-Band-2First I bring you the mighty Queen with a magnificent slice of rock, “Seven Seas Of Rhye” taken from the album ‘Queen II‘. It was the bands first single and their first UK hit. It reached number ten in 1974 which was far better than their first two singles none of which charted. They were “Keep Yourself Alive” and “Liar”. It was the success of “Seven Seas Of Rhye” that supposedly inspired Freddie Mercury to take up Queen as his full-time job. The band made their first Top Of The Pops appearance performing the song in February 1974. The album version of the song fades into a few people singing an old British Music Hall song; “I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside”. It was written by John A Glover-Kind and first recorded by Mark Sheridan in 1909.

s7ev123340The second song for today remains one of my favourites. It is “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes. Is this perhaps Jack White’s finest hour so far? Very possibly in my opinion. It was released in 2003 and comes from the album ‘Elephant’. It reached number 7 in the UK chart, number 4 in Germany and number 3 in Italy. While it only made it to number 76 on the US Billboard chart it did climb to number one on the US Alternative Songs chart. It became their second biggest UK hit after “Icky Thump” from 2007. “Seven Nation Army” which was written by Jack White has been covered by many artists including; Living Colour, Flaming Lips, Metallica, Alice Russel, the Oak Ridge Boys, Kate Nash and Kelly Clarkson. It was also massacred (in my opinion) by X Factor runner-up Marcus Collins in 2012.

 

 
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