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Just (don’t) put your dukes up John

Elton John sang Saturday Night is Alright for Fighting.

Several years later, he did the Circle of Life.

Fit but you know it.M.Skinner. Woah we’ve all had a drink mate.

A slightly more diplomatic approach.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX5JBsKih0c 1.39 least scary man in a silk scarf ever.

if you want a fight and to listen to music, may i reccomend to sir or madam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4uahL_tQWc&feature=related.

if you express a desire for a taken man/lady, accept defeat with grace and good fortune.

AND IF YOU NEED TO BE FIGHTING AGAINST SOMEONE WHO PROBABLY HAS A LOT IN COMMON WITH YOU, YOU ARE A DUNDERHEAD.

there are plenty of things to be more angry about than a spilt drink or a stolen glance.

TOOTAL SCARVES CAN, I REPEAT CAN, BE DRY CLEANED.

Gaga PR

Having read that Gaga was spotted having her nails done at Malmaison, Liverpool and popping out to Greggs in London, I spent time last night speculating as to where she went on other parts of the Monster Ball tour.

MANCHESTER

Gaga is seen asking for directions to Aphex Palace believing it to be the Aphex Twin’s winter residence.

DUBLIN

Gaga goes to the Guinness Brewery to find out whether it would be a good idea to start washing her hair in it.

BELFAST

Gaga goes to the Titanic Quarter ‘to catch up with Celine’

GLASGOW

Gaga gets her chops round a fried mars bar. Calorie counting for rest of tour.

CARDIFF

Gaga goes to Revolution with Church and Henson for a pitcher (or two) of Woo Woo.

NEWCASTLE

Tries, but fails, to find The Tuxedo Princess. Sad times.

BIRMINGHAM

Asks for the Plaza de Toros. ‘Errr, it’s a shopping centre you yampi yank!’.

Please suggest more for the rest of the dates on her tour…

THE BRITS 2010

First article by guest contributor, a good friend and better storyteller, David Yarwood.

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I’m currently feeling riled by all this Brit award shmuck and so feel like a rant.
A timely reminder to Florence & The Machine, Muse, Paolo Nutini et al:
If you didn’t win a Brit – don’t worry – there’s always next time. In fact it shoudn’t be too long since its surely only a few weeks before the next awards ceremony majestically demands our votes and attention. Clamouring for maximum exposure are the Brits, Grammies, MTV Video Music Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, MOBOs, Q Awards, Kerrang Awards, NME Awards to name but a few. In all honesty if Daphne & Celeste were still releasing records, even they would probably have a mishapen ornament above the fire place! These days if you are a signed recording artist and you have not got a recognised award to your name, you probably need to have a look at yourself and say “Is it time to take up currency trading?”.
While the bigwigs at the Brits were prepping Fearne Cotton’s blouse so that she didn’t look pregnant (it didn’t work), or making sure that Florence had enough make up at her disposal (currently rivalling J-Lo in the diva factor), EMI announced that they were to sell the famous Abbey Road studios in London due to financial downturns.
This begs the question in an age where every music star out there is supposedly living off their bare bones because of illegal file sharing, where Lily Allen needs to retire to remain financially stable, and where one of the biggest music labels in the world in EMI is selling off a world famous national treasure in Abbey Road – how can we afford to throw such lavish parties every week to celebrate our great talent?
The Answer: Media conglomerate profit making.
The awards themselves mean nothing – so much so that everyone’s got one. But as long as we are aware that the winners were voted for by the viewers of MTV Base, the readers of NME, or the listeners of XFM then that’s the main thing. So let’s all celebrate the achievements of our Brit award winners brought to us by Mastercard – they deserve their moment but its only a matter of time before they step back for the flavours of next month. At least Lily Allen’s not complaining.

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Lovely stuff there from David Yarwood. Headbanger extraordinaire, karaoke master.

Send me stuff and I’ll put it up here.Must be music related and I must agree (more or less) with your words.

LIVE REVIEW: Cymbals Eat Guitars and The Seal Cub Clubbing Club Liverpool 19/2/10

I missed the first band on the bill, Married To The Sea so can only speculate as to how they were. Genre-defining/turgid/flaccid/putrid….

However, I managed to get a quick drink in before The Seal Cub Clubbing Club. The set begins with a confident drum roll from drummer Andy Thompson. Synthsmen Jay and Jon nod in unison as the opening tune develops. The second track sees time sequences beginning to dart all over the place and a wiry intensity emanates from vocalist Nik. I tried to fit him into some kind of box. Thom Yorke? Yes he does have his range, but Nik has more stage presence. Rivers Cuomo? He does look like he goes to Forbidden Planet quite a lot, but at the same time he looks a natural, confident performer. As the set progresses, band membes swap instruments in a wonderful, orgiastic union. Pass me the club, Shackleton! Unfortunately, the lighting in Korova does not to justice to the band. A few fairy lights at the back are all that light the band. Perhaps this is to ensure the audience focuses on the music, but I doubt it. Korova, your stage set up is too damn minimal! The band have clearly taken a step away from the poppier sounding first album, but this is certainly a step in the right direction. New single ‘Made of Magic’ does sound like Paul Daniels, David Blaine and Dynamo have pullled out musical brilliance from a top hat. Old crowd fav ‘Aurienteering’ is still fresh and invigorating. In fact, so fresh and invigorating, Vick’s VapoRub sampled the tune in one of their US TV ads. Jay told me before the gig he is yet to receive any freebies from Vicks (COUGH COUGH). As the set draws to an end, drummer Andy unleashes monster fills. This is a band who have found their wonderful, schizoid sound.

Headliners Cymbals Eat Guitars were disappointing. The band plug the familiar quiet/loud sound and apart from a singer who looks like a climaxing Jim from American Pie, the rest of the band seem to be disengaged. Things don’t get much better when the band say that Liverpool is the Baltimore of the UK. The crowd slowly filtered out but Cymbals carried on undeterred. The set picked up towards the end with more melodic tunes, but the momentum had already been lost. It seemed as though Cymbals are still working out where they fit on the musical map. Perhaps they should take some pointers from the SCCC.

facebook status reviews

i am going to start reviewing music things in facebook status updates. twenty 1st century boy and that.

Danielle Spencer ‘Calling All Magicians’ LP/Cosmo Jarvis ‘Crazy Screwed Up Lady’ Single/ Niyi ‘Jungle Fever’ EP Review

Danielle Spencer- Calling All Musicians (LP)

The first two tracks of this album filled me with dread, here comes a 40 minute chunk of ‘kooky’ (for kooky read I don’t like wearing socks they’re just so restrictive dude) piano poop pop. Looking at the sleeve, of Danielle crouching on a piano stool under a full moon with ruffled hair by the side of a pond, I am already beginning to get angry.

Track 3, The Broken Ones, gets more interesting as Spencer’s voice becomes possessed by a smidgeon of individuality and manic melodies occasionally emerge from the piano.

The only memorable thing about the fourth track is the appearance of some cheeky maracas. I find my musical memory with this is akin to a goldfish’s general memory. It washes, no dribbles over me, in drips of mediocrity.

By Track 5, Wish I’d Been There, I have decided Spencer is like Bat for Lashes, but had she shopped in Millets for her outfits and not taught primary school kids but put the foil tops on milk bottles in a dairy farm factory. I note the album’s title is rather apt ‘Calling All Magicians’. She’s going to need to summon everyone from Gandalf to Dumbledore to make this album good.

There is some good humming on ‘Ghost’. She sings ‘a ghost in the night won’t scare me no/I just want to bring you back to life’. Thanks Danielle, can you bring me back to life too?

By this stage, the best I can come up with is that she does have a ‘nice’ voice. Where nice means alright to listen to but mind-numbingly dull.

I decide to do a little research and discover the album is produced by Tony Visconti. He’s worked with a few minor league players, like T-Rex, Thin Lizzy and that David Bowie. And Morrissey and Anti-Flag. I smell a rat.

Further research reveals Spencer is none other than Russell Crowe’s wife. Call me cynical, but do you reckon Russell said to Tony, “Hey Tony! Did you know my wife sings and plays the piano? I’ll send you a demo. And a nice little cheque for you to buy an island in the Caribbean with.”?

Track 11 is called Man Into Wolf. It features recorders. So that’s OK I guess. But then you hear this, “you’d swallow fire if you could/ cos when I’m looking at you there’s a moment when you disappear/ and when you can be seen through it’s the moment it becomes clear”. So old Crowedog’s a bit of an enigma is he? Wow how interesting. Or not.

Russell if you’re reading this, you probably want to beat me up. Bring it. But I do like Gladiator.

*

Cosmo Jarvis-Crazy Screwed Up Lady (Single)

The title put me off a bit. Sounds like something The Kooks might put on a B-side. But as the tune begins in a whirr of distortion, my ears prick up. It’s a jaunty little number, telling the tale of an unhinged Medusa wreaking havoc wherever she goes. Cosmo clearly has a way with words and as the track builds up to a euphoric ending, the song title sorta fits.

***

Niyi- Jungle Fever (EP)

The opening tune, Dirty Dirty Girl has a synth hook reminiscent of Kid Cudi’s Day and Night. The production is basic and the lyrics are boring. In fact, it sounds like Kevin and Perry are doing the backing vocals. At least there’s no autotune.

The next song, Bump Back, is OK actually. Niyi’s flow doesn’t sound natural. However, at 2.30, the beat drops and the track picks up. Wonky and bassy, I shake a leg to this.

Title track Jungle Fever is the stand-out track on the EP. Niyi raps of fake messiahs, fake careers and fake pariahs. Its good, squelchy fun. The beat drops at 2.30 again and there’s a wicked distorted vocal over the top of the beat.

The Bump Back remix by Raven is tasty, and I actually pay attention to Niyi asking for his New Era and Reeboks back.

Niyi’s MySpace shows him dressed as a fried egg. It seems like he was a big player on the Nu Rave scene, and photos can be seen of him hobnobbing with Uffie and him dressed like Mr.Motivator with a KFC bucket round his neck. Probably not ironically though.

Rough Trade  has described him as an ‘enfant terrible’. Well he does dress like a terrible child. But I guess is music is passable.

**

LIVE REVIEW: Hexa, Smokers Die Younger and Remember Honolulu The Harley, Sheffield 8/2/10

Arriving at The Harley to hear first on the bill were Remember Honolulu. I was expecting to be transported to the shores of the Mamala Bay, pina colada in hand and a lei round my neck.  How wrong I was. Instead what was offered here was reminscent of early Radiohead, but not nearly as good. The singer wailed incoherently and there was little on-stage presence. However, the band seem to be relatively nascent so hopefully their sound will develop.

Next up were Smokers Die Younger. At ease on their home patch, Smokers took to the stage and lit the fuse for the evening’s proceedings. The vocal duo of James and Amy attract the eye with contained intensity, backed up by a tight rhythm section that maintains a consistent, pulsating drive to the songs. As James introduces ‘Knives’, he wrily quips it is a tribute to Sheffield’s industrial heritage. However, as the song unfolds it becomes quite clear this is not the case. The song is more of a lament regarding the smouldering embers of a failing relationship, with the tricksy couplet ‘Tell me a story feed me a line/You know I fall for your shit all the time’. The following violin solo breaks the hearts of the assembled masses, and Smokers have won over The Harley.

A roadie appears to the left of a stage looking a bit embarrased. He hangs a couple of Chinese lanterns on the lighting rig as the crowd get another drink in. The stage is then bathed in red light. I then proposed my ‘red light theory’ to my mate. This being that anyone, from Wayne Rooney to Winona Ryder, looks twice as attractive under red light. Anyone who has seen Vicky Cristina Barcelona will back me up on this. As will many proprietors in Amsterdam. My friend remained unconvinced, but I’m holding steady. Anyway I digress. Hexa take to the stage, and from the get go it is clear this is going to be fun. Lots of fun. Vocals are split between two girls and a boy. One of the girls coos coyly into the mike and the other stares at you, looking into your soul as she yelps manically. Not forgetting the manpart of the vocal trio who throws himself about the stage like broken bones are flavour of the month. The set is the perfect combination of wistful ballads, yummy, sunny pop punctuated by a punk spirit. Reminded me of Au Revoir Simone if they were to decamp to Cali and hook up with some up-to-no-good young cads. I could ‘woaaaaaah’ to Hexa’s ‘Owl is Yellow’ for the rest of my days. I think ‘Invisible Cat’ is also one of favourite cat songs ever.

Special props to ‘The Beard’ for a marvellous DJ set at the end of the gig (and his South Yorks Goo pisstake tee) and Hexa’s personalised pencils (price negotiable).