I won’t say much about the death of the grocer‘s daughter, I will just let the music speak for itself!
I won’t say much about the death of the grocer‘s daughter, I will just let the music speak for itself!
As far as début albums go I believe that Jake Bugg‘s self titled long player is among the best ever and if you don’t have it yet then do something about it! Anyway a few months ago we bought tickets to see Jake play at the Barbican in York. That night finally arrived on Friday night. I am pleased to say it was a brilliant evening.
Misty Miller was the support and she played a great 2o minute set. She has some really classy songs and a relaxed stage manner. Her drummer and bass player work well together too. I sensed a bit of Tina Weymouth from Talking Heads about her. Catwoman suggested a voice as strong as Deborah Harry‘s. Either way this young woman is pretty darned good. As well as supporting Mr Bugg she has also played a few support slots with Tom Odell; so she is getting some great exposure. I suggest that you check her out soon.
As for Jake Bugg. It’s hard to believe that he has only been around for such a short while. I mean he is 35 years younger than me and he was born more than 20 years after I went to my first gig. He is a truly consummate rock performer. Great songs, great playing, the band were great and Jake’s singing was excellent. On top of that I was supremely impressed with his guitar soloing. Jake Bugg will go a long, long way and deservedly so. If his stated mission is to kill off all the X Factor shit then he has the talent, the drive and the weaponry to do it. If your child or anyone you know is a big X Factor fan lock them in a room and make them listen to Jake Bugg. I don’t think it will take them long to convert to real music like Jake Bugg’s. The only downer of the evening was the two drunk tosspots in front of us who spent most of the show talking loudly to each other and on their phones.
As for the show Mr Bugg played most of his album. “Trouble Town” was superb and “Broken” certainly pulls on my heart-strings. Obviously the crowd went mental when he played “Lightning Bolt” including some people near us who danced to it while throwing some Usain Bolt shapes. I thought he might have used “Lightning Bolt” as his encore, but he had the balls to do it his way. He even played a couple of new songs and if they are a good sign of what musical direction he will take I think his next album might have a heavier sound.
He did a couple of songs to encore; notably a song that he introduced as one of his favourites. It was a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues“. He did it proud. I get the impression that since his musical epiphany aged 12 while hearing Don McLean’s “Vincent” on an episode of the Simpsons he has been a sponge soaking up so many brilliant songs and influences. He is lauded by many people including Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller. But for me he is his own man, an original, definitely the one and only Jake Bugg. I also get the chance to see him again at the Reading Festival later this year and I can hardly wait! I should let you know that none of the pictures or videos in this post were taken by me at the gig.
Big congratulations to Bradley Wiggins who yesterday became the first Brit to win the Tour de France in the whole of its 108 year history. I hope this is an excellent spur for the Olympics too. For most of the Tour Bradley was unassailable, particularly the time trials. But there was also some brilliant team work and support from Team Sky. Even the French seem to have taken to Bradley with some pundits referring to him as Le Wiggo.
Bradley is a big Paul Weller fan apparently and this is a music blog not a cycling blog so here is a Paul Weller song for the talented Mr Wiggins, followed by a few cycling related songs. Enjoy them and feel free to suggest your own bike related music.
“Sunflower” – Paul Weller. I chose this for two reasons; first it’s one of my favourite Weller songs and secondly the sunflower is yellow just like the leader’s jersey in the Tour de France.
“Bike” – Pink Floyd. A great track, quaintly English and very Syd Barrett
“Bicycle Race” – Queen. This one was probably the obvious choice and who can forget all those naked women on bicycles? I was a teenager at the time, so I couldn’t!
XFM listeners recently took part in a poll to name the greatest front man of all time. So many great blokes to choose from and they went for Liam Gallagher. Now don’t get me wrong Liam has been very good in the past, particularly in the early days of Oasis, but the greatest front man of all time? I don’t think so. The full top 20 was;
1. Liam Gallagher
2. Freddie Mercury
3. Dave Gahan
4. Dave Grohl
5. Matt Bellamy
6. Brandon Flowers
8. Jim Morrison
9. Kurt Cobain
10. Alex Turner
11. Paul Weller
12. Mick Jagger
13. Tom Meighan
14. Eddie Vedder
15. Joe Strummer
16. Ian Curtis
17. Caleb Followill
18. Ian Brown
19. Thom Yorke
20. Chris Martin
I agree with many of these, but I am surprised Robert Plant and John Lydon didn’t make the cut. Who do you think should have been included? Click here to read the report on nme.com.
I think it would be fair to say that there is one area of my life that my Mother may be disappointed in me. That is my dislike of the institution of the British Royal family and all condescending pomposity it has. Yes in case you hadn’t noticed I am very much a Republican (not in the US political sense obviously) and most definitely not a Royalist. Having posted recently about Mick Jagger (aka Sir Michael Philip Jagger) turning down afternoon tea with ‘Call Me Dave’ Cameron and Boris Johnson it’s strangely appropriate that a story about those who turned down Royal Honours appeared in the news today. Following a freedom of information request by the BBC a list of those now deceased who have turned down various Royal Honours form 1951 and 1999 has been published. There are 277 people on the list including artists Henry Moore, Francis Bacon and LS Lowry and authors Roald Dahl and Aldous Huxley. There are no rock or pop stars on the list. Read the full story on the BBC site by clicking here.
However it got me thinking about those rock and pop stars who have accepted honours and those that haven’t. The obvious list of those who have are the rock and pop ‘Sirs’ Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Tom Jones and Bono and Bob Geldof who as Irish citizens are Honorary Knights of the British Empire (KBE). Add to that list Dame Shirley Bassey. A large number of British musicians have received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), which is the highest honour a British subject can receive below a knighthood or damehood. Those include: Annie Lennox, Roger Daltrey, Eric Clapton, Sting, Robert Plant the Bee Gees and Rod Stewart. It was alleged that at the time of Elton receiving his knighthood Rod was just a little jealous.
What really interests me though are those rock and pop stars who turned down Royal honours. David Bowie turned down a CBE in 2000 and a knighthood in 2003 and was quoted as saying that “was not what he spent his life working for”. George Melly and Paul Weller also turned down the offer of a CBE in 2001 and 2007 respectively. Thankfully Keith Richards also turned down a CBE; I’d have been gutted if he had accepted! His comment on Jagger’s knighthood was that he felt it was ludicrous. Influential guitarist and stalwart of the Shadows Hank Marvin turned down an OBE as did Dub Poet Benjamin Zephaniah. At the time Zephaniah publicly stated ‘I get angry when I hear the word ‘empire’; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds me of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised’ An MBE was offered to John Lydon who turned it down. I’m pretty amazed that they offered him one really.
The four Beatles all received the MBE in 1965. John Lennon later returned his to the Queen in 1969 accompanied by a note which read ‘I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam, and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts’. It has been alleged that his Aunt Mimi who brought him up and upon whose mantelpiece the award lived was not amused!
I may be a few days late but big congrats go out to Paul Weller and his wife Hannah. She recently gave birth to Weller’s 6th and 7th children; twins John Paul and Bowie. My assumption was that John Paul was named after Weller’s father John and the Modfather himself. However I read somewhere that John Paul is named after Lennon and McCartney. There is no need to guess who Bowie is named after is there? I do seem to recall that Weller only became a bit of a Bowie fan relatively recently, so maybe he is a bigger fan of the Dame than we perhaps thought! I wonder if John Paul and Bowie will come to call their Dad the Modfather as some of his older kids do?
I posted recently about how the use of your favourite song to advertise a product you don’t like or feel is wholly inappropriate made me think of something similar. How do you feel when you hear that a celebrity, politician or someone you simply don’t like is a big fan of your favourite artist, song or music? I’m not talking about political parties or candidates appropriating music for their campaigns; just those who give an insight into their personal taste.
Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I have been a fan of David Bowie for many years. Chris Evans mentioned on his Radio Two show this morning that Jeremy Vine is a big David Bowie fan. I like that because I think Jeremy Vine is an excellent broadcaster. However when I discovered a few years back that Gordon Kennedy, the former leader of the Liberal Democrat party in the UK was a David Bowie fan I felt almost cheated as I really have no respect or liking for Mr Kennedy. But to be fair I still like him far more than I like Nick Clegg!
Then there are people like Old Etonian David Cameron who has said that he is a fan of the Smiths and of the Jam; particularly “Eton Rifles” How does that kind of thing sit with such a strong right-wing ideology? Paul Weller actually commented on that with “It’s Like, which bit of it didn’t he get? It wasn’t intended as a fucking jolly drinking song for the cadet corps” Liam Fox, former Defence Secretary, is supposedly a fan of the Scissor Sisters. I bet he doesn’t feel like dancing with Andrew Werrity anymore though!
As well as being a Bowie fan I am also a massive fan of the author Stephen King and a few years ago I was quite excited to read that Mr Bowie likes him too. Bowie was quoted as saying something like “I like Stephen King, he scares the shit out of me!”
So to finish who has expressed a liking for your favourite songs and artists and how did you feel about it?
Here we are again just about a year after the X Factor finalists last murdered a song the new batch of pop muppets are killing another classic. Last year it was Bowie’s “Heroes” and this year it’s Rose Royce’s 1978 hit “Wishing On A Star”. The only saving grace is that at least the proceeds go
to charity. However why not donate to the charity directly (use Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer) and not buy the single. That way the X Factor has a flop single on its hands and the charity gets more money. Let’s face it how many charity singles get played again after the first couple of weeks (or days even!) So if you’re thinking of buying this years X Factor charity single, it’s simple; don’t! Just make a donation directly to the charity. Click here to go to the ACT & Children’s Hospices UK website and do the right thing! I’ve made my donation to the value of 5 copies of the single!
Many of you know that Catwoman (a.k.a. Catherine Lee now Catherine Adamson) and I recently got married. As you might have guessed music did play quite a big part in the day, beyond just the choice of first dance. We chose a small but special group of songs for our guests to listen to while they were waiting for the beautiful bride to arrive and the ceremony to start. Those songs were;
“You Do Something To Me” – Paul Weller
“Loving You” – Johnny Nash
“Kentish Town Waltz” – Imelda May
“Saving Grace” – Rumer
“You’re In My Heart” – Rod Stewart
“The Man With The Child In His Eyes” – Kate Bush
It took us months to choose the song that Catherine would walk up the aisle to and we believe in the end it was the perfect choice. It
was Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World”
Then we had four songs very carefully selected for the signing of the register. Those were;
“At Last” – Etta James
“Teach Me Tiger” – April Stevens
“Wild Is The Wind” – David Bowie
“Inside Out” – Imelda May
We even chose the song for us to exit the ceremony room. That simply had to be “This Will Be” from Natalie Cole. We even managed a half decent jig on the way out of the room to that one!
We also chose a selection of swing type songs as background to the serving of champagne and canapés or as I like to say; fizzies n fod! The background music for the wedding breakfast (incidentally why is it called a breakfast when it’s not usually in the morning?) was carefully selected classic soul and Motown love songs. These two sets are included as a list at the end of this post.
Then of course it was time for the first dance, the title of which was also immortalised on my cufflinks for the wedding day. It had to be
the really beautiful Nick Cave ballad, “Into My Arms” Probably the only song I know that includes the phrase ‘interventionist god’ in its lyrics.
We hired a swing band for the evening; the truly excellent and very talented Chris Hilton Little Big Band. They did two sets of around an
hour each combining swing classics and swing arrangements of many other hits too. Their version of “I Wanna Be Like You” from the Jungle Book was a real rocking party tune.
There was also a very special guest appearance after the bands first set. A long overdue set from the superstar DJs of the 70s ‘Bill
& Glen the Disco Men’ this was their first gig in more than 30 years. They had specially designed wigs and costumes. Well ok cheap T Shirts with their pictures on and tacky 70s wigs from the party shop. None the less the boys really rocked the joint with a storming set of pure 70s disco classics, many of which haven’t been aired in years. In case you were wondering, the Bill part of the team is me and the Glen part is my best buddy Glen Voisey. We went to Ryefield Primary School together in Hillingdon in the late 60s. It was my selection that managed to actually clear the dance floor though; personally in my defence I just feel that there was no one with enough class and taste to really appreciate the finer points of Mr Dooley Silverspoon’s amazing “Bump Me Baby” The full Bill and Glen set was;
“Boogie Nights” – Heatwave
“Get Dancin’” - Disco Tex And The Sex-O-Lettes
“Ain’t Gonna Bump No More” - Joe Tex
“Bump Me Baby” – Dooley Silverspoon
“You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” - Sylvester
“Get Down Tonight” - KC & The Sunshine Band
“Rock The Boat” - Hues Corporation
“September” - Earth, Wind & Fire
In addition to all of this there were also two other musical related items on the day; one was a reading of the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s “Wedding Song” lyrics from the Planet Waves album. This was read by our good friend and wife of my best man, Caron Godbold-Derbyshire. (The other two readings were not music related but were superb none the less, so thank you also to Rachel Vernelle and Ruth Smethurst). The second of these musical pieces was a part of my speech at the end of the wedding breakfast. I wanted to do
something along the lines of what Peter Sellers did in the 60s with George Martin, when he recorded a version of the Beatles “A Hard Days Night” in the style of Laurence Olivier.
It took me ages to come up with the right song. I considered Kylie’s “I Should Be So Lucky” and “Love Is All Around” from the Troggs or Wet Wet Wet. But then the weekend before the wedding I saw Madness at the Reading Festival and I knew what song I was going to try in a Olivier style; it simply had to be “It Must Be Love”, and it was! I introduced that part of the speech as something Shakespearian, using some props; a cape and a skull. I kicked off with “Alas poor Yorrick…….” And then went straight into “It Must Be Love” in my
best Olivier style. I felt it could have worked really well or could have bombed completely. I think it went quite well, but obviously I would appreciate any comments from those of you who were there!
I should also add that my excellent Best Man, Mr John Williams also managed to include a little section from David Bowie’s “Heroes” in his speech!
Thank you for reading this far into what has been a rather self-indulgent post, but I hoped that you have enjoyed the music too. I would
also be interested to hear any stories you have of music used at weddings; be they your own or those of friends and family.
Fizzies n Fod Background Music
“That’s Amore” – Dean Martin
“S Wonderful” – Ella Fitzgerald
“Papa Loves Mambo” – Perry Como
“Volare (Nel Blu, Di Pinto Di Blu)” – Dean Martin
“Bewitched” – Doris Day With The Mellomen
“All Of Me” – Ella Fitzgerald
“Beyond The Sea” – Bobby Darin
“Cheek To Cheek” – Ella Fitzgerald
“Everybody Loves A Lover” – Doris Day With Frank DeVol & His Orchestra
“Everybody Loves Somebody” – Dean Martin
“A Fine Romance” – Ella Fitzgerald
“I’ll Never Stop Loving You” – Doris Day
“I’ve Got You Under My Skin” – Frank Sinatra
“I Get A Kick Out Of You” – Frank Sinatra
“It Had To Be You” – Bobby Darin
“Just In Time” – Tony Bennett
“L-O-V-E” – Nat King Cole
“Let’s Fall in Love” – Vic Damone
“Looks, Looks, Looks” – Sparks
“(Love Is) The Tender Trap” – Sammy Davis, Jr
“Mambo Italiano” – Dean Martin
“Move Over Darling” – Doris Day
“My Kind Of Girl” – Matt Monro
“Pennies From Heaven” – Doris Day; With Frank De Vol & His Orchestra
“Secret Love” – Doris Day
“Sway” – Dean Martin
“That Funny Feeling” – Bobby Darin
“Unforgettable” – Nat King Cole
“A Very Precious Love” – Doris Day
“Who’s Your Little Who-Zis!” – Dean Martin
“You’re Nobody Until Somebody Loves You” – Dean Martin
“You Belong To Me” – Dean Martin
“Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart” – Judy Garland
Wedding Breakfast Background Music
“Feel Like Makin’ Love” – Roberta Flack
“It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” – James Brown
“My Girl” – The Temptations
“Too Busy Thinking About My Baby” – Marvin Gaye
“Lovin’ You” – Minnie Riperton
“Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me” – Gladys Knight & The Pips
“You Are My Starship” – Norman Connors
“Zoom” – Fat Larry’s Band
“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” – Aretha Franklin
“I Say A Little Prayer” – Aretha Franklin
“Now That We Found Love” – The O’Jays
“You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” – Stevie Wonder
“The Look of Love” – Gladys Knight & The Pips
“My Guy” – Mary Wells
“Doobedood Ndoobe Doobedood Ndoobe Doobedood Ndoo” – Diana Ross
“Heaven Must Have Sent You” – The Elgins
“I’ll Say Forever My Love” – Jimmy Ruffin
“Still Water (Love)” – The Four Tops
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” – Diana Ross
“It’s Wonderful (To Be Loved By You)” – Jimmy Ruffin
“For Once In My Life” – Stevie Wonder
“I’m In A Different World” – The Four Tops
“I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” – Diana Ross & The Supremes With The Temptations
“If I Were A Carpenter” – The Four Tops
“Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing” – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
“It Takes Two” – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
“You Can Do Magic” – Limmie & The Family Cookin’
“Could It Be I’m Falling In Love” – Detroit Spinners
“Gonna Make You An Offer …” – Jimmy Helms
“My Cherie Amour” – Stevie Wonder
“Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe” – Barry White
“Help Me Make It Through The Night” – Gladys Knight & The Pips
“Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby (Sweet, Tender, Love)” – The O’Jays
“You Make Me Feel Brand New” The Stylistics
“I’ll Be There” The Jackson 5
“Let’s Stay Together” Al Green
“Close The Door” Teddy Pendergrass
As it’s been quite a while without a post from me, well apart from the two immediately before this one anyway, I thought I’d go back to an old favourite. So what were the first five songs that came on my iPod this morning using the shuffle option? Well here they are. Feel free to submit your first five songs on the shuffle option
“Sunflower” – Paul Weller - This rather excellent Weller song was one of three singles to be taken from his second solo album ‘Wild Wood’ in 1993. It reached number 16 in the UK.
“I lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper” – Sarah Brightman and Hot Gossip - i suppose of all the tracks here this is perhaps the most embarrassing, but do you know what? I really don’t care, I love this song. It’s also quite an amusing song given where Sarah got her big break (as a dancer with Hot Gossip) and where she went (Star of stage musicals and wife of Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber)
“The Worst Job You’ve Ever Had” – Derek and Clive (aka Pete ‘n’ Dud) – This is obviously not a song and if you are a sensitive soul or easily offended I would strongly recommend that you do not listen to this. OK don’t say I didn’t warn you! This was what I suppose you could call a side project of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. It ran for a few albums and personally I am neither a sensitive soul nor am I easily offended so I found it bloody hilarious. I recall the first time I heard any of the tracks and exactly where I was at the time. I had started work in October 1975 aged 16, I was based in London Transport’s Bus Schedules Office which was full of bus fanatics a.ka. ‘Frothers’. In those days everyone went to the pub on Friday lunchtime and stayed for a few hours, including those like me who were underage! We regularly visited a local hostelry called the Westminster Arms where the entertainment was provided by a number of young ladies who were clearly too hot as they were always removing their clothes when on stage. The pub clearly couldn’t afford a comedian so in the intervals between the clothes removing girls they played tracks from the first Derek and Clive album over the PA system. So maybe not a particularly interesting story but entirely true.
“Apollo 9” – Adam Ant - Released in 1984 this once the once Stuart Goddard’s last UK top 20 hit when it reached number 13 that year. I’m not sure why he chose Apollo 9 as his title/ subject. Apollo 9 was the third manned mission in the Apollo launches and it was also the first to carry the Lunar Module. It was launched on March 3rd 1969, just a few months before the first successful moon landing with Apollo 11.
“Shoorah Shoorah” – Betty Wright. Betty was originally known as Bessie Regina Norris. She released two singles in 1966 aged just 12 and also allegedly helped discover George and Gwen McCrae in 1967. This single was a minor UK hit in 1975.
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