With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I was defeated you won the war” May 14, 2017


OK I would love to say that I was really disappointed to miss the Eurovision Song Contest, but I would be lying. I was at a thoroughly enjoyable Murder Mystery Night at a friends house in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care. I can confirm that I was not the murderer. Anyway I hear that this years UK entrant Lucie Jones, a former X Factor contestant, did very well. Fifteenth place with 111 votes for a UK entry is truly exceptional. In fact it is the best points haul since Blue in 2011. Well done Lucie. Incidentally Portugal won the contest with a somewhat dirgy ballad called “Amar Pelos Dois” by Salvador Sadal.

Given that us Brits treat the whole Eurovision thing with a healthy dose of irony and sarcasm I thought that it was worth pointing out that we, well our nation’s voting panels, are not very smart. Back in 1974 when Abba won the contest in Brighton with perhaps one of Eurovision’s finest winners, “Waterloo” the UK jury at the time gave them nul points. Yes although we took the Swedish pop maestros to our hearts afterwards, we never voted for them at the time. So maybe we are not as smart as we think we are! What do you think?

 

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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“Oh, mama mia, mama mia (Mama mia, let me go)” January 7, 2014

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 11:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Queen-Funny-D-queen-31231886-498-361Back in 1975 when Queen‘s “Bohemian Rhapsody” was number one in the UK charts for the first time did you notice that it’s lyrics contained the name of the song which succeeded its 9-week run at the top in early 1976? I certainly didn’t notice, but obviously it has the phrase “Mama Mia” in it which is the title of the Abba song which followed it to number one. I wonder if that has ever happened since? It certainly didn’t happen when “Bohemian Rhapsody” returned to the UK number one spot after the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991. It was followed by Wet Wet Wet with “Goodnight Girl” then.

funny-Freddie-Mercury-dvd-cd

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“Don’t you know, you fool, you never can win?” November 24, 2013


SongsforswinginloversFifty seven years ago in 1956 Frank Sinatra had the honour of becoming the first artist to have a UK number one album with ‘Songs For Swingin Lovers‘. Since then there have now been 1,000 number ones; sadly the thousandth is Robbie Williams‘ second swing album, ‘Swings Both Ways’. It’s such a shame that it couldn’t have been Jake Bugg with his new album, ‘Shangri La’. But I suppose it might have been worse given that Lady Gaga’s ‘ARTPOP‘ was 999th.

SwingsbothwaysI thought I’d check out which rock ‘n’ roll gods had the 666th UK number one album and it wasn’t any kind of god or devil just Nickleback with ‘Silver Side Up’

Robbie has now had eleven solo number one albums, equalling Elvis Presley. If you count his number ones with Take That it’s fifteen which is the same number as the Beatles. However Robbie is way behind on the weeks spent at number one in the UK albums chart list. The Beatles top that at 174 weeks with Robbie languishing in sixth place with just 31 weeks. The acts between him and the Beatles are Elvis Presley (63 weeks), Abba (57), Rolling Stones (45) and Simon and Garfunkel (40). I suspect Gary Barlow will have the 1,001st number one next week with his new album, which from what I have heard might rate as the dullest UK number one album for some time! Click here to read more about Robbie on the BBC.

 

“Take a sad song and make it better” October 12, 2012


I always get a bit of a good feeling when a favourite song, or even one that I recognise is mentioned in a story, do you? My favourite author Stephen King does it quite often. Now there is a regularly updated site called Small Demons that have compiled a list of the songs mentioned most often in works of fiction. Click here to read about it in the NME. Here is the top 20;

1. The Beatles – ‘Hey Jude’
2. Elvis Presley – ‘Heartbreak Hotel’
3. Led Zeppelin – ‘Stairway To Heaven’
4. USA For Africa – ‘We Are The World’
5. Abba – ‘Dancing Queen’
6. Carl Perkins – ‘Blue Suede Shoes
7. The Beatles – ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
8. The Beatles – ‘Eleanor Rigby’
9. Nirvana – ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’
10. Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
11. Los Del Rio – ‘The Macarena’
12. Michael Jackson – ‘Beat it’
13. Creedence Clearwater Revival – ‘Proud Mary’
14. OneRepublic – ‘Apologize’
15. The Beatles – ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’
16. The Beatles – ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’
17. ‘Lili Marleen’ (first recorded by Lale Andersen)
18. Michael Jackson – ‘Billie Jean’
19. Bob Dylan – ‘Like A Rolling Stone’
20. Rolling Stones – ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’

I get why some of these would appear, but USA For Africa,  “Macarena” and “Apologize”? What’s that all about? “Hey Jude” has been mentioned in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. The Beatles have a probably unsurprising five titles in the top 20 with Michael Jackson the only other artist with more than one with his two entries. I suppose an entry for the Fab Four‘s “Paperback Writer” would have been quite apt wouldn’t it? Click here to see a longer and nicely pictorial list.

 

“You made me feel alive, but something died I fear” October 1, 2012


Curses! Tin foiled again!

The Official Charts Company have released details of the biggest selling CDs in the UK since the format was included in album sales. The list probably holds no real surprises, but clearly has a few disappointing entries in my opinion. The fact that James Blunt, Dido, Leona Lewis and David Gray are in the top 10 shows how bland the UK’s music tastes have become in my opinion. Is this a result of many people buying their CDs from large supermarkets these days? Who knows, but surely that plays a part. Anyway here is the top 10;

1- Gold Greatest Hits – Abba: 4m

2 – 21 – Adele: 3.5m

3 – What’s the Story Morning Glory – Oasis: 3.4m

4 – Back to Black – Amy Winehouse: 3.225m

5 – Back to Bedlam – James Blunt: 3.209m

6 – No Angel – Dido: 3.031m

7 – Come on Over – Shania Twain: 3.02m

8 – Spirit – Leona Lewis:2.95m

9 – Urban Hymns – The Verve: 2.9m

10 – White Ladder – David Gray 2.8m

There are clearly some classic albums in the list from Oasis, the Verve and Amy Winehouse. But the current top-selling UK CD is Abba Gold, probably soon to be overtaken by Adele’s ’21’. One thing that surprised me was that Dire Straits’ ‘Brothers In Arms’ , the first million selling CD was not in the top 10 or even the top 30. Dido has one more album in the list at number 11. Robbie Williams and Coldplay have three albums each in the top 30. The Beatles’ compilation ‘1’ is at number 12 and there is no entry for Queen in the top 30 either.

 

“I need excitement oh i need it bad” May 2, 2012


At last work has started on cataloging the music collection of the late, great John Peel. A project called The Space at the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket is aiming to recreate his library and home studio. Details of his 25,000 strong vinyl album collection is being put on-line at the rate of 100 per week in alphabetical order. This has already begun and includes Adam and the Ants and Abba. The website does not allow you play the music but it will give links to places where you will be able to listen to it.

Along with the album covers even Peel’s index cards have been digitized for the project which benefits from Arts Council funding. I am looking forward to watching it grow on-line, although one worrying point is that Arts Council funding only runs until October. By this time it is hoped to have at least 2,600 album details on-line. Click here to check out the rather excellent site.

A few years ago I considered the idea of contacting John Peel and possibly Elton John (who also has a very large music collection) with a view to offering my services as organiser and curator of their music collections. I had a vision that this would also include building a database for the collection. So if you’re reading this Elton please feel free to get in touch. I will be in the crowd when you play the Royal Harrogate Showground next month!

what song should I choose to celebrate such a momentous piece of Peel news? Surely there is only one option right? yes John Peel’s favourite song ever; “Teenage Kicks” by the Undertones.

 

 
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