Catching up with my Top of the Pops 2 backlog, ( I know, I`m still on 1981) and the number one sound of Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin for four weeks pop pickers. Now I cant remember ever seeing the video and so was delighted to see Thomas Dolby making a cameo appearance, 2:24 in if you cant be bothered wading through the whole song. This made me wonder…..are there any other videos with pop star cameos? I know of one other but its very obscure.
After managing to get Taylor Swifts “Shake It Off” out of my head, since stumbling on it via You Tube a few weeks ago, I`ve now gone and done it again. Intrigued by the look of the video for “I Fink Your Freeky”, I stumbled further into the world of Die Antwoord. I now have the hook of “Enter The Ninja” pinballing around in my brain, only to be replaced by one of their other song “Fok Julle Naiers”. Really, if you listen to either, its not my fault. You were told. If your still humming it a week next Tuesday you have only yourself to blame.
Here they come, waving their cheques, telling you how brilliant you are, making all your dreams come true. Then it all goes wrong, the single stiffs, the album isn`t promoted, the guy who signed you leaves the company, so you reach for your pen. There are few things more entertaining than venting your spleen against “The Man”. The ones I know are mainly from the punk era, The Clash`s pissed off “Complete Control”, Sex Pistols up yours of “EMI”, Nick Lowes sardonic “I Love My Label”, Wreckless Erics fed up to the back teeth ” Take The Cash”. The Yachts did two I`m bloody annoyed classics, “Dont Call Us” and “Out Of Luck” on their Yacht Without Radar album. Now here are Aha, clearly giving WEA the finger, from their 2000 comeback album “Minor Earth, Major Sky” Anymore for anymore?
So…….. when did cars stop being manufactured without bumpers…….and hubcaps?. Whatever happened to the manufacturers of supermarket pricing guns? Is there no call for the purchase of Beechnut chewing gum from railway station vending machines ? When was the last time your gulley was cleared by a wagon with a big hose and what happened to the operatives thereof ? All these things just disappearing from life and the man dont give a …
Can any Afterworders find a bigger collection of hair within a band, Afros not included….
Popping up on my Ipod today was ABCs “Stranger Days”, from the album “Skyscraping”. Released in 1997 it reined in the overt orchestral flourishes of ” The Lexicon of Love” and the rockist bombast of “Beauty Stab” to produce an excellent pop album. It should have been massive but copies were spilling out of bargain bins all over the country at the time. Coming after the unloved “Up” and “Abracadabra” albums maybe the general public had given up on ABC, their time had gone, but it is a gem waiting to be discovered. Better even than their recently much hyped “Lexicon of Love 2”
In a similar vein, there is The Mighty Wahs ” Songs of Strength and Heartbreak”. Bankrolled by Sony Records featuring everything and the kitchen sink to achieve Wylies dream of stardom, the album teeters on the edge of bombast but with enough cheek and mischief to pull it off with a swagger. Sony rejected the album, Wylie eventually getting hold of the master tapes and unleashing it onto a disinterested public. With Sonys backing this album would have made Pete Wylie the star he always believed himself to be. It includes the bona fide classic anthem » Continue Reading.
2016 has been a pretty shoddy year for celebrities passing on but as we get older I suppose thats only to be expected as the people we grew up with age alongside us. I was shocked by Bowies passing, unexpected, start of the year and all that but not upset. I think Marc Bolan was the first of my heroes to die but I was too young to feel anything, life is for living, punk was exploding, exciting times. I was off on an early holiday to Greece, copy of Mojo to hand for the plane journey and flicking through it noticed that Frank Tovey had died. I welled up, I didnt know why. Frank aka Fad Gadget died on 3rd April 2002, he was 45. He left a wife and two children. I wasn`t a massive fan, never saw him live, had some but not all of his output, so why did it upset me so much? In a pre Twitter/Facebook world I found out about his death a month after it had happened. He had sort of retired from music, with a brief reappearance to support Depeche Mode, good old Frank I remember thinking but I still didnt » Continue Reading.
O2 Institute Birmigham
Are you a miserable curmudgeon?, all the joy sucked out of your life? You probably need a dose of Katzenjammer. The Norwegian four piece are doing a short tour in support of their current album “Rockland” which shows a maturing of their songwriting skills and less reliance on the four girls/fifteen instruments notoriety of old. Highlights are Marianne Sveens poignant “Lady Grey” and the anthemic Anne-Marit propelled “Rockland” which I`m still humming round Asda a day later. The set then gathers momentum with Turids vampish “Mother Superior” before rattling into the barnstorming Solveig showstopper ” Bar In Amsterdam” and “Hey Ho On The Devils Back”. After the encore of bluesy hoedown of “Aint No Thang” its hard to tell who enjoyed the gig most, audience or band? I`ll go for Birmingham 1 Katzenjammer 1. Replay in Manchester on Sunday with penalty shootouts in London and Edinburgh next week.
A right mixed bag of 30 plus males and females. Very few cameraphones in attendance, no chatting during the songs, no jostling or shoving. If only all gigs were like this.
It made me think..
The O2 is great little venue. Katzenjammer do » Continue Reading.
The Mill House, Clayton Le Moors
The burden of being a Nominee for Folk Singer of the Year could be onerous but from bluesy reimagining of the folk standard The Blacksmith with added raunch to the apologies for the dourness of some of the songs, Lucy Ward endears herself to the captivated audience. The 25 year old singer/songwriter has a powerful voice and a collection of brooding and intense songs which are played in pin drop silence in this intimate venue. Highlights are For The Dead Men and The Last Pirouette from her current album Single Flame, which deal with campaigns for justice and the end of the world respectively. A new song, Lion, is inspired by the Shot at Dawn Memorial at the National Arboretum and is an astonishing hair on the back of the neck tribute/anthem. ( Do check out the YouTube video of this song featuring The Brighouse and Raistrick Band ). To end off an enthusiastically received set, what could be better than Elbows, One Day Like This…. on a ukuele! Dour, I don`t think so, entertaining, absolutely !
Fiftyish plus, gentlemen sporting interesting facial topiary, ladies with long flowing » Continue Reading.