Archive for the ‘music’ Category
In a world where we all have the attention span of a retarded gnat you have to hook us into a song pretty quickly to get us to listen to it. In the late 70s this reached it’s apex with such rock and roll opuses as Bohemian Rhapsody and Bat out of Hell. By the eighties this patience was lost as the world embraced cheesy pop and shoulder-pads.
But here are five of the best songs with intros that just blow you away.
To kick off we have Dire Straits and the spectacular drum solo by ‘Pick’ Withers which takes us by the hand and leads us by the hand into the electric guitar riffs of ‘Money for Nothing’. It works pretty darn well.
They are still around, doing their thing as the elder statesmen of rock.
By 1987 rock was very much on the back-burner as pop and electronic music found it’s feet. The new teenagers wanted something from their generations. The old rockers of the 70s were not all grown up and had plenty of other things to spend their time and money on.
But then a new rock band from Los Angeles blew everything else out of the water. It isn’t hard so see what gave Guns n’ Roses the X factor (sorry to use that term). They did everything previous rock bands have always done. They just did it much much better, bigger and longer. And their lead guitarist, a big ball of hair from Stoke, UK, produced one of the best opening riffs in the whole universe. Do it, Slash.
Of course I am using the original video, not the recent over-dressed version from the Leeds festival last summer. The one with Axl Rose and a few guys PRETENDING to be Guns n’ Roses. Don’t get me started on that, seriously now.
When surveying this post on twitter a friend recommended Cannonball by the Breeders. I had never heard of them, but when I saw the video it all became clear. This tune has been used many times and seems to be a favourite of various review programmes for their montages. So in it goes at number three.
The Breeders got their break opening gigs for Steppenwolf and hit their apex during the mid eighties. They are still around, doing their thing and hosting wild parties here and there.
The second best intro has to go to The Who’s 5.15. Why? Well it really wants me to go out and steal a moped. These boys are the kings of the mods and long may they reign. Their music provided the soundtrack to the film Quadrophenia and stamped their name on music culture. Give it some of this:
But of all the rockers there was one who had the voice to blow the rest away. His timeless rock anthems inspired generations of rockers, and looks set to stay with us always. Let’s just not talk about the shit acting career. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Meatloaf:
If all this is most definitely your cup of Jack Daniels, then I recommend you check out The Little Blackhearts who have just released their new video Rebecca.
It isn’t often you see people in flat caps outside a pub in Nuneaton in this day and age. To wear one outside The Crew bar may be perceived as looking for a good kicking.
But, in honour of Lancashire’ finest folk band, the good people of Nuneaton made an exception.
The Lancashire Hotpots are a modern day folk band who have been gaining a steady following all over north and central England. Their upbeat, sing-a-long tunes deal with modern issues, such as Chavs, Emo types, Ikea, chips, and myspace.
They are also fiercely proud of their heritage, talking the talk and dressing like tinkers. They came with a following of about a dozen, all dressed the part. But what did the people of Nuneaton think of them?
Although a bit wary at first, and unsure of the accent, they soon got into the spirit of the evening, which was just to have fun, dance and sing along. Soon they were dancing, conga-ing and joining in like honorary Lancastrians.
The Lancashire Hotpots are Bernard Thresher, Bob Wriggles, Dickie Ticker, Billy McCartney (“The only thing to come out of Merseyside that’s working”), and Kenny Body. A founder member, Willie Eckerslike, passed away in May, aged only 38.
They were formed in December 2006 in Saint Helens, Lancashire. They soon became favourites on local radio and played several open-air festivals. In later years they featured on Colin Murray’s show on Radio One.
Their latest album, Criminal Record, is due for release later this year.
Copyright Nick Gilmartin 2010
For those of you who have done nothing but sit in the house and complain about X Factor acts I have a well thought out subtle message… GET A LIFE!
Go out and see a proper band in a proper club with proper people, not people who added you on Twitter.
Currently touring the weird and wonderful emporiums of London town are a band unlike any you shall ever see, fronted by an international horror movie star no less.
Eileen Daly is more comfortable in front of a microphone than a crucifix these days but her dark and dangerous undertones are rarely far from the surface.
So here we have their new music video. Roll VT, Bob:
The Courtesans are (in their words) a “Gypsy Glam, with dark tales in waltz-time with deadly swing beats”. What they mean by that is known only to themselves but to unlock their secrets you will have to go and see them perform live. I was curious about this mysterious band so I put a few questions to them..
I’ve never heard a band that sounds quite like you. From where do you take your influence?
We describe ourselves as a gypsy glam rock and roll band with dark
tales in waltztime, deadly swingbeats, tangos and arabesque stomps-and
that’s only half the story. Our influences are many and varied, but
tend to be the more theatrical type of band or performer such as Kate
Bush, The Sex Pistols, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, The
Cramps, Simon Warner, Queen. That said we are in no way a retro band, and
have no interest in copying the sound or style of other bands or
eras, and like to think we have an identifiable character, which, like
Marmite, you’ll either love or hate!
Describe your ideal crowd or following?
Young, old, loyal. international people who still think it’s worth
buying a cd or record and paying for a ticket to see their favourite
Is the X Factor the work of Satan?
I think Satan has better taste. More likely the work of Mammon. This
show and its multi-headed offspring are pointless, depressing and
destructive. On the other hand……..
Peckham Rolex,why the name? Is it a reference to fakery?
The lyrics to Peckham Rolex were written by a very good friend Tom
Gallagher, and in fact refer to the electronic tag issued to felons on
probation the “Peckham Rolex”
Does Aurelio(your bass player) ever get mistaken for Russell Brand?
Although he does bear a passing resemblance, Aurelio is much better
So if this heady mix of the bizarre and the beautiful is your cup of char you can follow them via their myspace page here:
or their facebook group, here:
More on Eileen Daly next year…
80s Legends Aha are back in town
2009 is rapidly turning into the year of reform for the long lost bands of the eighties.
Hot on the heels of Spandau Ballet and Kajagoogoo, A-ha are the latest of a line of bands on the comeback trail.
The three members, Morten Harknet, (singer and all-round pretty boy), Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (guitarist), and Magne Furuholem (keyboards), originally hail from Norway.They moved to London and worked in the studio of musician and producer John Ratcliff for the simple reason that it had a Space Invaders game. John agreed to co-manage the band along with his partner, Terry Slater.
Why did they call themselves A-ha? Well it is a common and positive phrase used in many languages. Right from the off the band had aspirations of being a European band, not just British.
Their major hit song ‘Take on me’ did not spring from the womb fully formed. It had been an old tune in Norway the Magne often played. They boys just introduced new lyrics, and a bit of synthesizer magic. But it was the music video that really secured their success. Shot in a small market café, and starring Morten and his girlfriend of the time, it used live action mixed with sketch animation.
A-ha were off and running. Their debut album, Hunting High and Low was released in May 1985 and went straight to the top of the album charts. It stayed in the top 20 albums for over six months.
The band followed up with their second hit single ‘The Sun Always Shines on TV’, which had even greater success, making it all the way to number one in the singles charts.
About this time the synthesizer pop music they played was starting to go out of fashion and they took the path into alternative rock. Their second album, Scoundrel Days, received at least polite reviews, they never had quite the same success as they did with their first album.
They also wrote and performed the theme song for the James Bond film ‘The Living Daylights’.
For the next twenty years the lads stayed as thick as thieves while other bands split up all around them. Some would burn out, others would fizzle and die. A-ha just kept a steady low flame. They played gigs and they paid their mortgages, no problem.
In 1994 they performed two concerts during the Winter Olympic games in Lillehammer. Other, less successful albums were released. The band took a break and each focussed on personal projects. Nobody fell out, they just wanted to spread their wings a little.
Within a few years the boys got back together and headed straight back into the studio. By now they had produced eight albums but never repeated the success they had with their first.
The lads released their new album ‘Foot of the Mountain’ in April this year. This album, number nine, took them back to their synthesizer roots and it entered the German album chart at number #1.
A-ha are due to play the iTunes live festival this July. Their performance was recorded and is available for download at the iTunes website.
They are, but thats not what this is about.
Singer songwriter David Carroll had a fairly awful in flight experience involving the destruction of his beloved Taylor guitar. Along with his band, the rather good Sons of Maxwell, he took a flight from Chicago to Nebraska. When he took his seat he looked down at the tarmac, and to his horror the baggage handlers were throwing guitars back and forth with little concern for the contents. These things retail at around $3500 each so you can imagine his horror. If the said sorry, here is $3500 for another, the matter would have ended there and then. But instead they told him to go screw himself. Dave was amazed and took it to a higher authority. No deal, there either.
So how could the disgruntled passenger get sweet revenge? He wrote a rather good song about it.
Here have a listen:
Within days the song was viewed 3.6 million times! Even more amazing, it wiped a large percentage off the shares of United Airlines literally overnight. That, boys and girls, is the power of the internet. Do not screw with a man with a grudge and a PC.
Suddenly the airline bigwigs cracked and they paid up for a new guitar. But these are the things Joe Public has to do to get taken seriously these days.
To hear the rest of the Sons of Maxwell’s more tranquil songs check out their website at http://www.sonsofmaxwell.com
It has been confirmed in the last few hours that the king of pop, Michael Jackson, has passed away. The cause of death is said to be cardiac arrest. Family and friends are flying into Los Angeles to pay respects.
Michael was born in Gary, Indiana in 1958, the youngest of ten children who survived birth.
He started performing aged just 11 as part of the original formatted boy band, the Jackson 5. By 1969 the family, managed by their father, Joe, had cut a record deal. They went from strength to strength, pushed by Joe, who was an incredibly hard task master. In later years the Jacksons would talk openly of violence and abuse at their father’s hands.
But in 1979 Michael had his first solo album, and ‘Off the Wall’ was soon riding high in the charts. He started to develop ground-breaking choreography and perfected his stage presence and innovated the new wave of MTV videos. But what he did best was sing beautiful songs in the most tremendous falsetto voice, the likes of which have not been heard before or since.
His appearance started to alter dramatically with a rapidly whitening skin and extensive rhinoplasty to the nose.
Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s he broke record sales of his albums, Dangerous and Bad. Michael had become a music phenomenon. But behind the scenes Michael had developed strange and unhealthy behaviour.
As far back as the early 80s he had developed an affinity with children, at first commendable. But the problem was that somewhere the boundry of acceptable behaviour became blurred and inevitably the first child abuse scandal broke in 1993.
The family of Jordan Chandler chose to settle out of court for an undisclosed sum.
Meanwhile Michael’s star continued to shine. He endulged his extravagant behaviour and bought the Neverland ranch, complete with it’s own cinema, zoo and funfair.
He married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of another musical icon, in 1993. They had known each other since 1971 and were old sweethearts. She married him when he was at his lowest ebb and nursed him through his traumatic patch.
Slowly things got better for Michael and he embarked on the HIStory world tour. ‘You are not Alone’ and ‘Earth Song’ both reached number one in the Gallup charts.
In 1997 ‘Blood on the Dance Floor’ also made it to number one, as part of a new album ‘HIStory remixed.’
But the child sex abuse rumours resurfaced and in 2002 he was again questioned by police. A well publicised court case followed which ran a fine tooth comb through his unusual life. Eventually the court found Michael not guilty on all counts.
To his last day he did not fit the character profile of a paedophile. In the company of children he regressed to the mind and personality of a ten year old, according to psychologists who watched him interact. Did this oscillate between childhood and a fully grown male sexuality? The answer will never be known.
As well as his singing career Michael became the owner of various song rights, including the Beatles back catalogue. He also bought out Famous Music LLC, the label that contracted Eminem and Shakira among many others.
He gave charity concerts for the families of the victims of 9/11, and the families of Kosovo.
In spite of success huge legal bills and years of extravagance had left him massively in debt. Neverland was foreclosed in 2007. Early in 2009 some of Michael’s antique possessions were put up for auction.
But Michael was planning his comeback. He announced he would be playing no less than 50 dates at London’s O2 Arena. The first ten dates alone would have netted him £50 Million.
Sadly it was not to be. Michael’s health had been in decline for weeks. Telephoto pictures of him wrapped in blankets in a wheelchair made their way into the tabloid press. And in the early hours of this morning the stories were confirmed, he had died of Cardiac Arrest on the way to a Los Angeles medical centre.
He will remain the most prominent performing legends of our generation and one of the biggest selling artists of all time.
Michael Jackson 1958 – 2009.
The Aerobics Instructor from the ‘Call on Me’ video is returning to our screens on GMTV on 15th June. Do you need a better reason to get up in the morning?
Way back in 2004 a little known Swedish D.J. released a remix track of an eighties soft rock classic. He only used one line of the song on a loop with a few fancy backing tracks. The song was unremarkable but the video… Oh My God.
Come and have a look at this:
It was made famous by one thing: The face and body of the iconic Deanne Berry. This lady was born in Sydney in 1980 and started out her career as a cheerleader for the Cronulla Sharks. She later drew up the concept, the moves and the style of the ‘Call on Me’ video to make it sizzle. She trained an Argentine actor called Juan Pablo de Pace to be the only male in the video. One of the other girls in the video was Laura Munley who went on to sing for Uniting Nations. Senor de Pace went on to star in the film Three, rolling around in the surf with Kelly Brook. Honestly, the jammy bastard.
But anyway Deanne Berry is back on our screens on GMTV (ITV1) 15th June to promote the summer Bikini diet for a month. (Now I am getting excited!)
So here is a few pictures of the lady herself to keep you going until then. Don’t say I don’t do anything for you.
They later made a sequal…
Now I am really spoiling you. You’re welcome
Oh thank you God. Thank you, thank you.
Sources: Wikipedia, pictures from Loaded, and Google.
Does any of you sixties or seventies children remember this lot? Kajagoogoo, the band that defined the eighties we would rather forget.
Not that their music was bad, just their fashion. Dodgy bleached hair brushed at funny angles, ripped jeans and brightly coloured shirts minus a few buttons.
Well they are the latest in an ever growing line of eighties bands who are looking to make their big comeback.
Kajagoogoo were formed in the late seventies in Leighton Buzzard, UK. They started out as an avent-garde instrumental group called Art Nouveau with the original line up consisting of Nick Beggs, Steve Askew, Stuart Croxford Neale and Jez Strode.
Early sales of records proved poor in spite of a play on John Peel’s show. It was time to take a long hard look in the mirror.
In 1981 they put an advert in for a lead singer. The first few were poor, mad, stupid or just plain tone deaf. Then this guy turned up called Christopher Hamill. He wasn’t bad actually.. should they hire him? Yeah why not.
Chris had a bit of an image problem, though. In spite of being a nic enough lad and a great singer he was a bit, well, plain. They decided to give him a new name by using an anagram of his surname, re-christening him Limahl. They they changed their band name to Kajagoogoo, as in a baby bands first sounds.
The boys worked hard and played gig after gig. They were reliable, they sounded brilliant, and they got on well. Their efforts paid off when three top labels began competing for their services. Finally they chose EMI records.
They also developed a working relationship with the band Duran Duran who helped produce their record. In between their own gigs they supported the band, Fashion, who rapidly went nowhere.
Their debut single ‘Too Shy’ went in straight at the top of the charts (much to Duran Duran’s envy). Two further singles both made the top twenty.
And then, as is often the case, simmering tensions began to boil over. Limahl was sacked by the other members of the band, with Nick Beggs taking over on vocals. He just couldn’t reach the notes the way his predacesser did. A further hit ‘Big Apple’ made the top ten but after that the band began to run rapidly out of steam. Their album, Islands, was a financial disaster, not even making the top 35.
Jez Strode also left the band at this point and a reboot was called for. The remaining three members re-styled themselves as Kaja. One more album, Crazy People’s Right to Speak, was launched before the band folded.
A short-lived re-union took place in 2004 for VH-1′s Bands Reunited programme. They did have some success and some of the old magic came back, but so did the old problems. They planned to release a new album, Gone to the Moon, but this was postponed indefinitely. It is however, available on the bands website, which is below.
They reformed again for Retrofest, a scottish music festival which takes place in an actual castle. The organiser of the festival, Bradley Snelling, talked them through their problems and became their new manager. A photoshoot took place for the first time in two decades and now tour dates have been agreed. The band are quoted as saying: “The mood was relaxed and jovial, for the first time in 25 years Kajagoogoo, as a five-piece, are back.”
To see them live check out their website:
10cc are the latest band to re-form (and they still don’t like cricket)
Hot on the heels of the aforementioned Spandau Ballet, the 70s Glam Rockers 10CC have announced their intention to reform.
The band that gave us Dreadlock Holiday, I’m not in love, and the wonderfully appropriate-for-the-times Rubber Bullets, are back in business.
The original line up consisted of Graham Gouldman, Lol Crème, Kevin Godley and Eric Stewart.
They shot to fame in the early seventies after various incarnations with different names and band members. 10CC were a highly capable band, each member could play several musical instruments, and all were capable vocalists and songwriters.
Over the years their music has moved with the times, taking in various short lived genres such as bubblegum pop, glam rock, and even some spoken word satire.
Not only that they advanced musical science, inventing a device, known only as a gizmo, that fitted on the end of the guitar. The gizmo wheels bowed the guitar strings, and allowed it to produce endless chords and notes.
The band split in 1976 after the aptly named concept album, Consequences, proved a commercial failure.
Kevin Godley and Lol Crème went on to be a successful songwriting duo. They produced hit songs for the Police, Duran Duran, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Herbie Hancock and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
Their crowning achievement was the ultimate play-loud-post-breakup song. He/She dumped you in the eighties. You played this song…
But surely it is time to re-release Rubber Bullets? We could have a G20 re-mix.
How very appropriate for the times.. have a listen
Well the rumours have been around for years but it has finally been confirmed. Tony, Gary, Martin, Steve and John are finally getting back together for the first time since the late 80s.
The announcement came on 25th March at the unlikely venue of H.M.S. Belfast. They will start their tour in the autumn (the fall to those of you reading in color), in Dublin on 13 October 2009.
So who remembers them? Any hands up? Small boy at the back? Well they started out as a small synthpop / new romantic act around 1978. Initially called ‘The Cut’ and later ‘The Makers’, they played small venues around London just as the New Wave movement was beginning.
When one of their friends, a BBC DJ called Robert Elms returned from Berlin he suggested they change their name to Spandau Ballet. The name worked well and their music took off in a big way in the music clubs of the capital.
How many school discos of the eighties belted out this one?
Soon every label in London wanted to sign them and the contract finally went to Chrysallis records. Their first record, produced by Richard Burgess, reached the top 5 in 1980. They had recorded it in just ten days. Journeys to Glory was an overnight success.
Hot on the heels came their second and third albums. Diamond was certified Gold by the BPI, and True was noted for it’s sophisticated new sound. Their records sold millions worldwide.
Their success grew and they performed prominently on the Band Aid single, and played the close of the Live Aid concert in Wembley stadium.
But after a break in the late eighties the Kemp brothers were offered memorable roles as The Krays in the film of the same name. They both went on to become actors of some distinction.
The other members of the band milled around, trying to find a new sound but the band officially broke up at the end of the eighties. Arguments and court cases over sing rights followed.
But all this seems to be in the past as the boys regroup, rearm and reform to take on the world once again.
Ladies and Gentlemen may I present to you:
All the way from 1982…..