With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music reviews, gig reviews, fun trivia and extra added random stuff!

“Stepping out from a backdrop poster wishing life wouldn’t be so dull” Blog Advent Calendar Day 22 December 22, 2014


It’s the 22nd December and I reckon some kids can already hear the reindeer pulling hard on the old bearded weird one’s sleigh. That means of course that we are now up to Day 22 of this years advent calendar blog posts. The 22nd letter of the alphabet is ‘V’ so todays entry in the ABC of British bands is Visage.


Visage were formed in 1978 by Steve Strange and Rusty Egan after the pair had hosted club nights at the Blitz night club in London. They were really keen to find new music to play to their paying punters and finally they opted on producing their own. Egan recruited Midge Ure who he had worked with in the Rich Kids and the three of them recorded a cover of the Zager and Evans one hit wonder from 1969, “In The Year 2525”. The band’s line-up was then enhanced with keyboard player Billy Currie off of Ultravox and three former members of Magazine; John McGeoch, Barry Adamson and Dave Formula.


Their first album, entitled ‘Visage’ was released in November 1980. It made the top 20 in Austria, France, New Zealand and the UK. It also climbed to the top of the German album charts. The band’s highest charting album in the UK was 1982’s ‘The Anvil’ which reached number 6. “Tar” was their first single and it failed to chart when released in 1979. However the second single was “Fade To Grey” which was a hit across the world. It made the top ten in Austria, France, Italy, Belgium, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK. It hit the number one spot in Germany and Switzerland. None of their other singles have been anywhere near as successful.


Earlier this month the band released an album called ‘Orchestral’ which has reworkings of their best songs by a symphony orchestra. In 2009 Rusty Egan and Steve Strange appeared in Living TV’s ‘Pop Goes The Band’ where former bands are given a make over and return the favour by undertaking a one-off performance. Strange also appeared in an episode of classic TV series ‘Ashes To ashes’ playing “Fade To Grey” in the Blitz club with Visage II keyboard player Sandrine Gouriou. That episode was set in 1981. Steve can also be seen, along with other Blitz regulars, in the 1980 video for David Bowie’s UK number one, “Ashes To Ashes”. Now it’s time for you to relive those Blitz days and maybe get yourself blitzed with eggnog while listening to Visage.



“Everything you think do or say, is in the pill you took today” February 15, 2009

Good morning/ afternoon/ evening/ night everyone. Incidentally it’s morning for me, I so wanted to sleep but I couldn’t so I’m up before 7am on a Sunday morning. Is that an age thing perhaps? Do I need less sleep now I’m older? OK so before I start I recently borrowed the DVD of ‘Wall-E’ and finally watched it last night, now that is a superb movie. If you haven’t seen it yet shame on you! Here is the Peter Gabriel song “Down To Earth” from the film.


I love this little dude 🙂

OK so now let’s get back to business as nearly normal, starting with a few birthdays. Brian Holland of the classic Motown songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland is 68 today, 15th February. He is one of the Hollands in the team (obviously…doh!) along with his brother Eddie and Lamont Dozier. The guys wrote at least 25 US number one singles in a phenomenal career. Check out the Four Tops with “Reach Out I’ll Be There” probably my favourite HDH song. When they left Motown, somewhat acrimoniously in the 60s they went on to set up Invictus Records and wrote another string of hits. It has been alleged that the songs they wrote for the ‘Chairmen Of The Board’, one of Invictus’ most successful groups, would have been recorded by the Four Tops had HDH stayed with Motown. Listen to “Give Me Just A Little More Time” and tell me if you think it would have worked as a Four Tops song. I’m sure it would! And here for the hell of it is the Kylie Minogue version…. and why not?

2 x Hollands + 1 Dozier = Classic Motown

2 x Hollands + 1 Dozier = Classic Motown

The second and final of the birthdays today is that of Denny Zager (off of Zager and Evans) who is 65 today (according to my books, but Wiki says 18th February), will he live until the year 2525 we wonder though! Yep the Zager and Evans duo could almost define the “One Hit Wonder” phrase (it’s such a shame that Robbie W didn’t stop at one hit!) with their classic 1969 hit “In The Year 2525” The song was at number one in the US charts when Apollo 11 reached the moon in July 1969.

Zager and Evans - "In The Year 2525"

Zager and Evans - "In The Year 2525"

On this day in 1968 the Lennons and Harrisons arrived in India to study meditation with the Maharishi. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr arrived 4 days later. Ringo left shortly afterwards claiming that it was like a stay in a Butlins Holiday Camp. John Lennon went on to write about their experiences with the Maharishi in the song “Sexy Sadie” from the White Album. He apparently changed the title from it’s original “Maharishi” to “Sexy Sadie” at the request of George Harrison. It was also the last song that Lennon wrote on that trip to India

The Fabs in Rishikesh, India with the Maharishi (aka Sexy Sadie)

The Fabs in Rishikesh, India with the Maharishi (aka Sexy Sadie)

On this day in 1961 the Marcels recorded the classic (yes I know yet another classic!) “Blue Moon” Click on the song title to hear the song and watch a most bizarre film accompanying it, it even features Spongebob Squarepants! But back to the Marcels, the group were named after a popular early 60s hair style the Marcell Wave and the lead singer was the wonderfully named Cornelius Harp. That has to be one of the best names in the history of rock!

The Marcels

The Marcels

And finally for today a couple of bands for you to check out and I would love to know what you think of them. Firstly a band I went to see on Tuesday night this week at Fibbers in York. It’s the second time I’ve seen them and they are rather excellent, they are called “Lights In The Sky” check them out on MySpace www.myspace.com/litsband

Also check out Steal The Smile too, they are my son Luke’s band, they’ve written some excellent songs and are looking for gigs, so if any promoters are reading this get in touch with them! Check them out on MySpace www.myspace.com/stealthesmile


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