With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“People try to put us d-down” March 2, 2014

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 8:18 pm
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Who My GenerationD-d-d-d-id you know that when the Who’sMy Generation” single was first released that the BBC refused to play it? Well it’s true, but why would they do such a thing I hear you ask? was it because the powers that be thought that Roger Daltrey was really on the verge of singing ‘f-f-f-fuck’ as opposed to ‘f-f-f-fade’ in the lyrics? No; apparently it was because that famous stutter adopted by Mr Daltrey on the song might actually offend stutterers everywhere! What do you think of that?

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London 2012 – The Olympics Closing Ceremony August 13, 2012


So the London 2012 Olympics is over, at least until the Paralympics anyway. I truly believe that this has been an amazing Olympics and for me usurps England winning the 1966 football world cup as our greatest sporting achievement. What do you think? OK I know the Scots won’t agree with that in the first place, but I would still like to hear your thoughts.

I realise that this post comes some 24 hours after the closing ceremony, but given the musical nature of that ceremony I felt I had to post something. The Olympic stadium was once again amazing; decked out to show a London skyline that included the London Eye, Big Ben and the Gherkin to name but a few. It all kicked off with the delicious voice of Emilie Sande accompanied only by a pianist, who was playing a piano covered in newspaper. After that the tempo really took off with forty members of the cast of Stomp dancing, drumming and percussing (is that a word?) on the recreated mini London Eye in the stadium. On top of all this there was a choir singing Beatles songs.

Next up was cellist and Churchill appearing out of the top of Big Ben and reciting words from Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ which was a great link back to the superb Opening ceremony. Obviously it wasn’t really Churchill, it was Timothy Spall. This was followed by newspaper clad crowds depicting the hubbub of London. The whole thing then slowed a little for the arrival of the VIPs; Jacques Rogge (President of the IOC) who seems to make even the dullest accountant I have ever met seem exciting and prince Harry representing the Royal family. Clearly he was never going to match his grandmother’s arrival at the opening ceremony! Obviously this was followed by our rather uninspiring, in my opinion, national anthem.

The whole show was a celebration of Britain and the next vignette was real class. It was the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 countdown by Michael Caine from the ‘Italian Job’ and then the iconic three-wheeled van of Trotter’s Independent Trading blew apart and out jumped, yes you guessed it, Del Boy and Rodney in their Batman and Robin costumes. A sublime moment and a nod to one of Britain’s greatest ever comedy shows; Only Fools And Horses.

The mood then turned very much to party as madness were driven around the arena playing “Our House” from the back of a truck. This tempo was kept up by the Massed Guards Bands with a wonderful rendition of Blur’s “Parklife”. Just when you thought it couldn’t get better the stadium was filled with cyclists wearing the most amazing geometric and fluorescent hats. Two of them on tricycles which had Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe as passengers. So we were treated to a fabulous version of “West Ends Girls” on bicycles and tricycles. Could this happen anywhere but the UK? I doubt it!

One Direction were next, like Madness they were on the back of a truck, which sadly wasn’t headed to the tip. OK I have to begrudgingly admit they were at least in tune, but I still don’t like them. Interestingly they were one of just a few acts whose name was flashed onto the screen when they appeared. After that it was back to another great number from the cast of Stomp. That percussion sounded like “Spice Up Your Life” to me. was that deliberate? Who knows? An incredibly talented dance troupe who I think were called Spelbound were next to take the stage. They performed a great routine to the Beatles Sergeant Pepper classic “A Day In The Life”

To keep up the 60s vibe Kinksmeister Ray Davies came on to sing his timeless and classic love song to London; “Waterloo Sunset”. eliciting some great ‘sha la la-ing’ from the audience in the process. Emilie Sande made a return next, minus the newspaper piano and sang over a film montage of some of London 2012′s most tearful moments. The three hundred or so flag bearers entered the arena after that, including super sailor Ben Ainslie fo Britain. Elbow soundtracked this whole piece with a great little set that included the beautiful “Open Arms”.  The athletes followed the arrival of the flag bearers and they were corralled into the sections of the union jack which formed the floor of the stadium. Apparently this version of the flag was designed by Damien Hirst. Indian drummers then accompanied the construction of a large structure made up of more than three hundred white boxes. One to represent each Olympic event. The backing track to this was Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”. I had momentary butterflies while wishing and hoping that Kate might actually appear herself. But alas she didn’t.

Apparently one of the traditions of the closing ceremony is that it contains the last medal presentation. It is for the Mens Marathon which took place earlier in the day and was won by Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda.  This was followed by a thank you and recognition for all the volunteers, or Games makers as they were known from all the athletes. This was followed by a spectacular light show to the unmistakable sound of Queen’s mighty “Bohemian Rhapsody” followed by a children’s signing choir singing John Lennon’s “Imagine”. This segued into a film clip of Lennon singing the song himself. Apparently Yoko Ono commissioned a special remaster of the song for the ceremony. At the same time a 3D image of John Lennon’s face was built on stage. This was a prelude to the main musical events.

George Michael took to the stage for his first live performance since his life threatening illness he sang “Freedom 90″  his new single “White Light” which is in fact all about his brush with death. He seemed fit and well and on really good form. I’m not sure I like the new facial hair style though, perhaps it will grow on me! Ricky off of the Kaiser Chiefs was driven to the stage as a scooter pillion passenger singing “Pinball Wizard”. I have gone off the Kaisers of late, by I must admit they did a storming version of the Who’s classic. The next part had me positively tingling with anticipation; A series of short film and audio clips of David Bowie. Would he actually appear? Surely not? And surely he didn’t. But his 1980 hit “Fashion” was used as a backdrop to a showcase of British fashion which included a weird march around the stadium from a series of models including Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss.

George couldn’t master Mo Farah’s Mobot so he invented the Georgebot

A huge skeleton of what might have been a viking boat was pulled on stage and the hidden figurehead was none other than Annie Lennox. She performed “Little Bird” which was used on the soundtrack of Coppola’s film version of Bram Stoker’s classic story Dracula. The much rumoured Pink Floyd appearance turned out to be nothing more than Ed Sheerhan, Nick Mason and Mike Rutherford doing the Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” accompanied by a tightrope walker who recreated the Floyd album cover with the flaming man.

Russell Brand arrived on stage in what looked like the Scooby Doo van and he was singing, he’s not a bad singer either. He got out of the van to perform the Beatles’ “I Am The Walrus”. The van begat a giant inflatable octopus from which Fatboy Slim did a brief DJ set featuring his own hits “Right Here Right Now” and “Rockerfeller Skank”. Jessie J then sang “Price Tag” in an open top car she was joined by Tinie Tempah then Taio Cruz with “Dynamite”. All in open top cars. Then all three of them took the stage for a creditable performance of the Bee Gees disco classic “You Should Be Dancing”. As they were performing in front of a drum kit marked up with the name of Beady Eye it was obvious who was going to be on later!

A group of London Black cabs entered stadium and performed a kind of synchronised dance. Then five of them moved to the centre of the arena and were lit up with some spectacular lighting arrays. This wasn’t the best kept secret of the show, but guess who the passengers in these five cabs were? Yes it was Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger and Pouty…. oops sorry I mean Posh. It was the return of the Spice Girl. They kicked off with possibly one of the greatest pop singles of the 90s (OK that doesn’t mean you have to like it); “Wannabe”. They followed this with the samba rhythmed “Spice Up Your Life” which they performed while being driven around the stadium atop the cabs that brought them in. As expected after seeing their drum kit earlier Beady Eye were next. Thankfully they didn’t play any of their own stuff, just a cover of “Wonderwall” which seemed to go down really well as a sing along with the crowd. Liam seemed quite nervous to me and is his voice a little rough these days?

ELO’s “Mr Blue Sky” was played as a backdrop for a section pioneering flight. This included flying bikes and a failed human cannonball who just happened to be Monty Python star Eric Idle who led the audience in a marvellous sing-alonga-python version of “Always look On The Bright Side Of Life”. he even made a great comedic attempt to join in with some Bollywood style dancing. This whole piece was perhaps the equivalent of the Mr Bean set in the opening ceremony. It ended with the real and successful firing of a human cannonball.

Matt Bellamy and the boys from Muse were the next to appear and they performed their song “Survival” which was commissioned for the Olympics. It’s good and their performance was excellent as usual but this is a long way from being my favourite Muse song. Interestingly, as some have likened Muse to Queen they were followed by a film clip of Freddie Mercury performing some improv jazz scat and despite being dead for more than twenty years the audience were enraptured and joined in the whole Freddie call and response thing. This proved to be the overture to Brian May’s appearance and it’s fair to say that he’s quite a good guitarist isn’t he? ;-) As the unmistakable riff to “We Will Rock You” began and Brian was joined by Roger Taylor I was briefly worried that Adam Lambert or someone similar might step onto the stage. Thankfully it was Jessie J, and inspired choice in my opinion. She did a great vocal on the song which never tried to emulate the late, great Mr Mercury.

It was then time to return to the formal activities which meant the Greek national anthem followed by a Welsh Male Choir version of the Olympic Anthem. This was sealed with the Brazilian national anthem and a formal handing over of the Olympic flag from London’s Mayor Boris Johnson to the Mayor of Rio De Janeiro via Jacques Rogge. The Brazilians then put on a samba fuelled show to let the world know what to expect in 2016. This culminated in an appearance by one of their greatest sports ambassadors; Pele. Then we had more formal stuff with speeches from Seb Coe and Jacques Rogge. Seb was quite inspiring Jacque was once again the definition of dull in my opinion. The remaining action was the extinguishing of the flame. This began with Take That (thankfully without Robbie) performing the appropriate “Rule The World”. It continued with Darcy Bussell flying in as a Phoenix to join two hundred other ballet dances for an exciting modern ballet.

The petals of the cauldron where the Olympic flame burned were then lowered and were slowly extinguished and at this point I thought that was the end. However there was more to come in the shape of the Who. They were on top form and for a pensioner Roger Daltrey’s vocal power is still damned good. They closed with a rousing version of “My Generation” accompanied by yet another magnificent firework display.

I fell a little deflated after such a brilliant two weeks but so very proud to be British. I truly believe that we really showed the world what we are capable of as a country. Not just in the Olympic events but by how we put on such a brilliant event in itself. In spite of the little hiccups before the start (G4S etc) we really delivered this in style and won a whole treasure box of medals too. So let me take this opportunity to congratulate and thank everyone in Team GB, the organisers, all the other competitors, the BBC, the volunteers/  Games Makers and anyone else who was involved in this remarkable event.

Was this the best Olympics ever? I believe it as. Rio follow that!

Most of the film clips from the ceremony are IOC copyright and therefore difficult to show. So here are two songs that sum things up in a simple way.

 

“dis regime is racist we know dis regime is bent” January 26, 2012


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this man is a Knight of the Realm................ no seriously, he is!

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.

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Sir Tom shows off his first house

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.

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Macca ponders his failure to win top score in Rate My Mullet

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.

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Never a Knight of the realm but the only one who came close to looking the part as opposed to looking like an anagram of part

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!

 

“How do you like it, how do you like it” November 29, 2011


Are music related deaths like buses? There isn’t one for ages and then loads arrive at once? That’s what the last few days seem like anyway; The first one I heard about was the sad death of Andrea True who had a massive 70s disco hit in the 70s with “More More More” under the not so imaginative name Andrea True Connection. Her real name was Andrea Truden and she changed it to True when she began to appear in porn films before her singing career, including ‘Deep Throat 2’. This was apparently so that her parents wouldn’t find out that she was in the porn industry. Sadly her singing career was not a long one, however she did spend time working in a number of jobs after throat surgery cut short club singing. These jobs included being a drug and alcohol counsellor. “More More More” was prominently sampled by Len on their 1999 hit “Steal My Sunshine” and was later covered by former S Clubber Rachel Stevens in 2004.

Barry Llewellyn off of the iconic and influential reggae band the Heptones has died in Jamaica aged 64. The band recorded a number of songs with the infamous Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. They are probably best known for their song in praise of the larger woman; “Fattie Fattie” This is also one of my favourite reggae songs and I used to own the 7 inch vinyl version of the song many years ago.

Perhaps he wasn’t a musician or singer but I couldn’t let the great film producer Ken Russell’s passing go without a mention here. He was responsible for what in my opinion is one of the best rock related movies ever made. He created a magnificent and somewhat weird adaptation of the Who’s ‘Tommy’ for the silver screen in 1975. He also made a movie of the life of Liszt starring Roger Daltrey as Franz Liszt and titled ‘Lisztomania’ which was also released in 1975. The soundtrack was provided by Rick Wakeman. In my view these two movies were the pinnacle of Daltrey’s acting career. Russell even tried his hand at the music video format when he directed the video to Elton John’s 1985 hit “Nikita”.

Don DeVito the producer of two of my favourite Bob Dylan albums, ‘Desire’ and ‘Blood On The Tracks’ has also passed away aged 72. He finally lost a 16 year-long battle with prostate cancer. He remained at Columbia records throughout his career where he worked with such luminaries as Aerosmith, Billy Joel and the Boss himself; Mr Springsteen.

Former singer with bands such as the Joe Loss Orchestra Ross McManus has also sadly left us. He was a very good singer in his own right but many people of my generation probably know him better as the father of the former Declan McManus; Elvis Costello. He died on 24th November aged 84 less than two weeks after the death of his second wife Sara. He played trumpet on a few of his son’s recordings. He once recorded a cover of the Beatles “Long And Winding Road” in 1970 under the name Day Costello, which is where young Declan chose his new surname from. He also wrote and recorded the song that accompanied the R White’s Lemonade advertising campaign in the 70s entitled “I’m A Secret Lemonade Drinker” on which backing vocals were provided by the then teenaged Declan.

My thoughts go to the family, friends and fans of Andrea, Barry, Ken, Don and Ross. RIP all of you.

Coincidentally today also marks the 10th anniversary of the death of George Harrison aged just 58. I find it hard to believe that it was so long ago, but it was just a couple of months after my Dad in September 2001. There are a number of events in Liverpool to commemorate the anniversary. In 9 days on December 8th it will also be the 31st anniversary of the murder of John Lennon. Clearly this period of the year hasn’t been great for other rock deaths either; 24th November was the 20th anniversary of the passing of Freddie Mercury and 22nd November saw 14 years since the death of Michael Hutchence off of INXS.

 

“Fist in the air in the land of hypocrisy” November 2, 2011


One of the subscribers to the blog has reminded me of the plight of  Babar Ahmad, currently in prison for 7 years without charge or evidence. He needed 100,000 signatures on this petition site to trigger a debate in the Commons, and that might free him, or at last restart the justice system for him. I am pleased to say that I just signed and the total now stands at 100,106 (in the time it has taken me to compose this post it has risen to 101,126. But let’s try and push the total even further. The following text is lifted direct from Ben’s e mail. Please read it and more importantly please sign the petition. However you arrived at this site, if you’re a UK citizen please take the time to sign the petition.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/885

Babar Ahmad’s story, widely covered in the Guardian and elsewhere, is a horrifying account of what the ‘war on terror’ has meant in particular for British Muslims.

Baba Ahmad has been in prison for seven years, pending extradition to the US on charges of terrorism for which no evidence has been given. If this petition gains enough signatures there will be a debate on his case in the House of Commons, which could increase his chances of going on trial prior to extradition. A trial would compel the evidence against him — if there is any — to be produced. Whether convicted or cleared, he would at least have had justice.

Babar Ahmad was originally arrested in 2003, assaulted at midnight in his home by several officers from the ‘territorial support group’ (the riot police), and then immediately released. A year later — 5 August 2004 — he was rearrested on an extradition warrant from the US and has been in prison since.

In 2007, the European Court of Human Rights suspended his extradition pending presentation of evidence. Under the Extradition Act 2003, the US does not have to provide evidence when seeking extradition from the UK, including for British citizens (which Ahmad is); there are stirrings of dissatisfaction about this within the current parliament.

In 2009 the Metropolitan Police admitted liability for assault during Ahmad’s first arrest and paid him £60,000 damages. This year, in a separate trial, the officers were found not guilty of assault. Evidence of the officers’ histories of racist assaults was not shared with the jury (see BBC story here, including CCTV footage of Ahmad being brought, injured, into police custody; see also this Guardian account, and this Guardian story; be warned that the accounts of the behaviour of police officers Roderick James-Bowen, Mark Jones, Nigel Cowley, and John Donohue are unpleasant).

Maybe you won’t will take much persuading about this, but anyway I urge you to sign the petition, and to circulate it to anyone who might also support it. The deal with the Number 10 ‘e-petitions’ site is that any petition that gets over 100,000 signatures must be debated in the Commons. The petition currently has 50,000 signatures, and the deadline is 10th November.

If extradited to the US, Baba Ahmad faces life in solitary confinement. He is not the only UK citizen still held in the UK without trial or evidence; he is just the longest-serving.

This is not just about justice for Baba Ahmad; it concerns the moral character of the entire UK legal and political system, and so concerns each of us personally: if it can happen to him, it can happen to me and you.

As I have said many times before, this is a music blog, so here are some appropriate(ish) songs;

 

“They think they’ll get to heaven through the universe” – Brit Awards 2011 February 15, 2011


So this years Brits have undergone yet another revamp and moved to the O2 Arena as well. It is now designed to build up to a finale of the announcement of the Best British Album, with each nominee introducing their album in little vignettes throughout the show. I guess it’s based around the Oscars where the whole spectacle concludes with the Best Film Awards. Even the actual award has had a makeover too, thanks to Vivienne Westwood. With Viv involved it seems weird that the Brits effectively started at the height of punk and it was all black ties and very formal and Cliff Richard was the winner of Best British Male Vocalist, oh how times have changed, well mostly anyway.

The show was kicked off by Take That with “Kidz”. I hate to say it but even with Robbie back in the ranks I quite like them. The performance was good and the boys were surrounded by riot police dancers who stripped at the end. Maybe there’s a lesson for the police the next time they are called out to student protests. But did anyone else think that a couple of the ‘That were wearing incontinence pants?

Hosted by James Corden, personally I’m not sure about that choice I have never really found him either funny or exciting. First award was for Best British Male presented by Dizzee Rascal, last years winner, to Plan B. Now that was a good choice, the ‘Defamation Of Strickland Banks’ is a killer album.

Another live performance came next, it was the abundantly talented Adele, boy that girl has got a superb voice. She sang “Someone Like You” accompanied just by a pianist. It’s hard to believe that she is so young. Now that’s what you call real singing, are you listening Cheryl Cole? It was a brilliant example of how talented a lone singer can be, but did they have to shower her with all that silver snow/ confetti?

Now that interlude of James Corden speaking to Justin Bieber was weird. James telling Justin how wonderful he smelled. Is that grooming? (Yes I know you could read that two ways!) It was left to Fearne Cotton presenting the Best British Breakthrough Artist award to take that awful scene out of my mind. The winner was Tinie Tempah, apparently Prince Harry and Prince William are fans!

International Album was presented by none other than German Musical Superstar………..errrr Boris Becker. Anyone for Tennis? It was justly won by Arcade Fire with ‘The Suburbs’. They gave a fantastic name check to British acts; Clash, Bowie, Culture Club, New Order, Depeche Mode.

And now we have Rihanna who started her medley set from behind what could have been a giant shower curtain or giant grass skirt. The hair matched the dress, but did the collar match the cuffs? ;-) We came close to finding out as she removed the dress pretty damned quickly! Maybe not everything but the kitchen sink, but Burundi style drummers and wait……. was that the Olympic flame? Oh and another thing, now that’s what you call real dancing, are you watching Cheryl Cole?

Mark Ronson was there to present the Critics Choice Award, was he dressed like an Accountant or was it just me? I don’t mean that I was dressed like an Accountant, obviously! Don’t you think his hair was like a ski slope? Well even more obviously no surprise that the winner was Jessie J, as this was one of the awards that was announced some while in advance of the ceremony itself. The fourth woman to win that award and she didn’t blub….. but only just!

One of the nominees for best album were the next band on stage, it was Mumford And Sons. It’s no wonder they’re so big in America is it? They look like hicks and hillbillies; mind you they were bloody good at the Reading Festival last year. Who wears cowboy hats or truckers caps in this country, which just puts my flat cap to shame really!

To present the International Male Award we had yet another musical superstar; Lewis Hamilton…..errrr how many albums has he had then? The award gave Cee Lo Green his first ever Brit. Now that’s a big “Fuck You” to all the previous voters, they won’t “Forget You” next time Cee Lo. A brilliant choice in my opinion. He gave a great shout to Boy George too. Nice to see all the Johnny Foreigners thanking the Brits this time around. I’m not xenophobic ok, I’m just an archetypal arrogant Brit! Well actually I’m not really, I am a Brit but I don’t think I’m arrogant or even archetypal, although I’m sure some might disagree!

What was the Best British Single then, it was presented by Alan Carr, is it me or does his voice really grate on you? It was also voted for by fans, so that should mean a good choice right? Well it was a good choice, it was Tinie Tempah with “Pass Out” It could have been so much worse with all those X Factor related nominees.

What the F*ck am I doing here?

Two blokes off of Duran Duran presented the Best International Group award to the magnificent Arcade Fire. What can one say? Flipping heck another good choice, this revamp has done wonders for giving the right people the awards too.

Plan B was the next live performer. Show stopping set and dancing, a tight band. It was like a modern version of the old Motown or Stax Revues. Were those Police left over from the Take That performance? Of course they were, the Riot Squad were there again. It’s one thing infiltrating eco-activists, but this level of police intrusion is so far beyond subtle it’s off the bloody scale! What about the dude that was set aflame? Was that a tribute to the recently deceased Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch off of the Fantastic Four? Check out issue number 587 of the World’s Greatest Comic magazine for more info on that one people!

Avril Lavigne and Will Young combined to present the next award, now that is a novel but strange pairing. It was International Breakthrough Act and was won by Justin Bieber, well I suppose it couldn’t all go my way could it. Still at least it wasn’t the Glee Cast was it? Still the boy done good bearing in mind he is not quite seventeen yet.

Best British Female Solo award was present by Georg O’Dowd aka Boy George, isn’t it about time he upgraded to Man George? Deservedly won by the beautiful talent that is Laura Marling. She was followed by a brilliant performance from Arcade Fire with “Ready To Start”. Are these guys one of the best bands on the planet right now? I think so and it always looks like they’re really enjoying themselves too.

Now that’s what I call presenting an award, are you watching Cheryl Cole? Ooops no you’re not, you’re actually presenting the damned thing for Best International Female. It went to Cheryl’s ‘Girl Crush’ (hmmmm interesting in a pervy kind of way); Rihanna in a big white dress with roses….. they grow on you!

Tinie Tempah took to the stage next and frankly he did it like he owned the thing. Great performance and bloody good laser show to boot. The stage was full of Tinie lookalikes, how about a spoofed version of Eminem, anyone for ‘The Real Tinie Tempah’? This dude is a really top bloke in my humble opinion. Move over Mr Rascal and make way for Mr Tempah. Are the organisers of the Reading Festival watching? How about Tinie Tempah on the afternoon bill on the Main Stage Saturday or Sunday, it’s worked well for Dizzee before hasn’t it?

Dermot O’Leary off of the X Factor (amongst Others) no less was on hand to present the Award for Best British Group. It went to Take That. It pains me to say that with their current album I actually like some music that Robbie is involved in. I must be ill in the head. Robbie was his usual nonsensical arse with just a couple of shouts of ‘Shabba’ thankfully leaving the other boys to do most of the talking and thanking.

So then came the grand finale the Best British Album Award, presented by Rock God Roger Daltrey off of the Who. He said that he thought that Plan B’s set had made him reminisce of the early days of the Who,(was he serious?) but sadly the award didn’t go to him, it went to Mumford And Sons, still not a bad choice.

The show was closed by the mighty, magnificent Cee Lo Green with “Forget You”. A great tune but I kind of wish he had done the original ‘naughty’ version! A great singer none the less. So that is as they say it for this years Brits. I will be back with other posts before the 2012 Brits so feel free to keep reading my blog now that you’ve found you’re way here. I bet you’re relieved that I have got to the end of a whole post with no mention of Lady Gaga……….DOH!

The good, the bad and the untalented!

 

“And no one had the guts to leave the temple” October 13, 2010


Earlier this evening I was watching with fascination and respect the rescue of the 33 trapped Chilean miners. I have watched many amazing live TV events in my lifetime, with the 1969 moon landing being the most amazing (and to the conspiracy theorists, it happened OK, get over it! How do I know? Obviously I know it’s true cos I saw it on the TV! Anyway to celebrate this amazing rescue and excellent good news let’s take a look and listen to some freedom songs.

As I type this 26 of the 33 trapped miners are now free, let’s hope that the rest are on the surface very soon.

The songs are “I’m Free” by the Soup Dragons. Any band named after a character in the Clangers is more than cool with me. next up is a song with the same title by the Who and taken from the truly stupendous Tommy album, purportedly the world’s first rock opera, only don’t mention that to the Pretty Things whose ‘S.F. Sorrow’ was released a little earlier. The final song is “Freedom” from Wham, that one celebrates George Michael‘s recent release from prison.

 

“did you see the suits and the platform boots?” March 1, 2009


I’m back again and it’s a brand new month, time Marches on doesn’t it? Anyway there have been some excellent comments in response to the current banking farce and also about the Chris Allen naked story, we still don’t know who he/ she is although Tom has owned up to searching for naked pictures of the elusive Chris. No one has found us yet via the Lily Allen naked route though, I’m beginning to think that’s a good thing.

I have also received a couple of e mails relating to my comments about that splendid airline company Ryanair who as you know offer some very cheap headline fares and then charge for everything else on top. The UK press today says they are floating an idea to put coin op slots on the aircraft toilets. You’ll need to spend a pound to ‘spend a penny’. On a similar note I reckon you’ll love the link sent to us by Nick H, just click on Ryanair. Maybe it’s actually true!

The new cheaper Ryanair fleet had just been delivered

The new cheaper Ryanair fleet had just been delivered

Larry sent this one to the Dead Zone Yahoo Group, which is where I borrowed it from. It’s an excellent link to a site showing Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” video but doctored so that it has him singing about what is actually in the video. Trust me this one is very funny!

Billy held out his arms ready to fly, he figured it would be so much cheaper than Ryanair

Billy held out his arms ready to fly, he figured it would be so much cheaper than Ryanair

Feel free to send me things that you think the other readers may enjoy, mostly music related but hey there’ll always be the occasional rant about things like Banking and Ryanair :-)

So onto todays ton of trivia, well maybe not a ton, but quite a lot! Starting with a couple of birthdays. Firstly 1st March 2009 is Roger Daltrey’s 65th birthday. Does that mean he’ll be getting a “Magic Bus” pass? Roger is one of the two surviving members of the Who along with Pete Townshend. In 1972 Roger took the starring role in a fully orchestrated version of the Who’s “Tommy” at the Rainbow Theatre in London. According to Pete Townshend, who was in the audience, this was the moment when he realised just how good Daltrey was. He spent the next few years worried that Daltrey would leave the band, thankfully for us that didn’t happen. In 1973 Daltrey released his first solo album called, very imaginatively, ‘Daltrey’. Most (or maybe all) the songs for it were written by none other than Leo Sayer with his co writer Dave Courtney. Leo went on to record some of the songs for his own albums in the future, notably “One Man Band”. My favourite track from that album and yes it’s also one of the 50 songs in my top 10, was “Giving It All Away” This clip is from a 1973 edition of the Beebs excellent “Old Grey Whistle Test” it also features Russ Ballard from Argent on guitar.

The front row at this gig soon became aware just how many baked beans Roger had eaten before the show

The front row at this gig soon became aware just how many baked beans Roger had eaten before the show

Today is also the 36th birthday of Ryan Peake guitarist with the band Nickleback. For some strange reason my mate Dave always calls them Stickleback, but then his better half calls him Nobby, so perhaps we shouldn’t go there eh? Nickleback got their name from something Mike Kroeger, also a band member, used to say every day when he worked at Starbucks. After a sale if a customer paid cash he often asked “would you like your Nickel back?” I presume that if Gareth Gates formed a band now it might be called ‘Doyouwantfrieswiththat’ what do you think? Anyway here are the Nickleback boys with “How You Remind Me

The band much preferred fans to wave their phones and not their flame throwers during the slow songs

The band much preferred fans to wave their phones and not their flame throwers during the slow songs

On this day in 1970 Mott the Hoople appeared at the Northcote Arms in Middlesex (I think I’ve had a pint or two in there in my much younger days) They were supported by none other than Genesis in the days before they had a singing drummer! Mott have reformed for a London gig later this year are any of you guys going? If you ever read Rock books you must read Ian Hunter’s ‘Diary Of A Rock n Roll Star’ Ian was Mott’s front man and the book is about the bands early 70s days touring in the US. It is truly an excellent book. In 1972 after a show in Zurich the band decided to split up. After hearing this news one of their biggest fans, none other than David Bowie (another Bowie reference at last!) offered them one of his new songs to persuade them to carry on. The band rejected “Suffragette City” but went on to record “All The Young Dudes”. The rest as they say is history. Here’s one for you fact fans, Mick Jones of the Clash was also a big fan of Mott too. My favourite Mott the Hoople song is “Saturday Gigs” which is about the band’s history and also features the late great (another l & g comeback) Mick Ronson who was a member of the band for just a short while in the mid 70s

It was clear that Ian Hunter had the Austin Powers look even before Austin existed

It was clear that Ian Hunter had the Austin Powers look even before Austin existed

On this day in 1977 Iggy Pop appeared at Friars in Aylesbury and his keyboard player was none other than David Bowie. (Whaddya know, no Bowie references for a while and then two arrive at once, a bit like Mr Daltrey’s Magic Bus perhaps?) Iggy with Ziggy now that’s cool! The support band that night was the Vibrators. I wonder if they’ve changed their name and now tour as the ‘Rampant Rabbits’? ;-) Well if the Stones Roses (see yesterdays post) considered ‘Angry Young Teddy Bears’ as a name it’s not beyond the realms of possibility is it? Anyway let’s get back to the Igster, if you haven’t heard his original version of “China Girl” click the title to check it out, it really does blow Bowie’s version away!

Iggy had to sell his shirts to pay for his RyanAir extras

Iggy had to sell his shirts to pay for his RyanAir extras

And finally I’ve included this as I used the word motley the other day and didn’t mention the crue at all. On this day in 1997 a Motley Crue fan who claimed his hearing had been irreparably damaged after a show in New Jersey had his lawsuit thrown out of court. The judge told Clifford Goldberg (aka Chris Allen? Well you never know!) ,who was sat near the front of the stage that he knew what risk he was taking. Presumably Clifford said “Wot?” In the meantime here are the boys with “Smoking In The Boys Room” Is that headmaster scary or what? “Wot?” oh shut up Clifford I’m not talking to you!

The boys had looked forward to Halloween all year long. "Wot?" said Clifford

The boys had looked forward to Halloween all year long. "Wot?" said Clifford

 

 
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