Thursday, 27 November 2014

Gobbling



Over the pond, people move in their thousands across the wilds of America to gobble turkey. For some reason. I have no idea what. But they do.

So let's mark their celebrations (albeit briefly), in the super company of Big Gay Al!



Thanks for asking.

Thanksgiving Day

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Dance with me - don't dance with me, no



Following on from the reminisces this week has brought - seeing Adam Ant live for the first time, and singing my tits off to Alison Moyet (whose own comeback earlier in the year was a bit, errm, less than I had hoped for) - I thought I'd do a little catch-up of newer music released in the past few months by artists I have loved for much, much longer...

Bowie meets Bernard Hermann? There have been many attempts to compare his new song to other artists: such disparate souls as Dave Brubeck, Radiohead, Public Image Limited, Milton Nascimento, Robert Wyatt, Tricky and - inevitably - Scott Walker. Needless to say, David Bowie's latest artistic endeavour (with the Maria Schneider Orchestra and, once again, with Tony Visconti) is remarkable - a "Modern Jazz" take on some of the darker moments of his own Berlin phase, perhaps? It's Sue (Or in A Season Of Crime), and it is awesome:



Shamefully overlooked by the buying public (yet again - like so many artists with real talent and integrity), here's the single that the sublime Miss Marianne Faithfull released to coincide with her Give My Love To London album at the end of September (which I did write about at the time but never featured this track in full) - Sparrows Will Sing:



How about this for a surprise? The return (after thirty years' absence!) of the man whose genius - more or less - influenced everything in his wake, Mr Bowie, Mr Eno and Mr Visconti included, Signor Giorgio Moroder. He's back, to show the young 'uns how it's done, with his faboo new single 74 Is the New 24! [Yes, that is his age...]



Featured as an interlude on Princess Kylie's Kiss Me Once tour (that continues as we speak), here are four tracks segued into one video sequence, recently released as an EP. Produced by William Baker in conjunction with producer/songwriter Fernando Garibay, and featuring the gorgeous Aaron Sillis, here's Sleepwalker:



And in complete contrast - here is a sneaky radio rip of Our Princess in another collaboration, with that other "national treasure" Jools Holland, in a cover of the Clash classic Should I Stay Or should I Go? [from Jools' new album Sirens Of Song]:



One of our Patron Saints Miss Amanda Lear has been slogging away all year to promote her album of Elvis covers (all done in her own inimitable fashion of course). Shamefully, I (an avowed Elvis-avoider) have not featured any of it. With the release this month of the deluxe edition of that album My Happiness, it is time to make amends with the Almighty Remix of her version of Suspicious Minds:



And, to conclude - just because I think we all deserve a bit of eye candy - here's the newest fantabulosa effort from our houseboys Kazaky - Pulse:



Mine's racing...

As ever, enjoy - and let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

You took your time to come back this time



Timeslip moment again...

Basildon's finest singer Miss Alison Moyet, the backbone of the uber-cool synth-soul stylings of Yazoo had, thirty years ago, been seduced into striking out on her own. The result was one of those masterful albums that really defined the early 80s, Alf - I honestly don't think there was a home across the UK that didn't have a copy, mine included.

Hit after classic hit emerged for Miss Moyet, including Love Resurrection, Invisible and, from this week in 1984, one of the greatest sing-along torch songs of its era, All Cried Out.

All together, now!



You took your time to come back this time
The grass has grown under your feet
In your absence I changed my mind
And someone else is sitting in your seat

I know that I said there'd be no one else
I know that I said I'd be true
But baby, I've burned out Cupid's arrow
And here's the short and the narrow
I've nothing left to offer you

I'm all cried out
You took a whole lot of loving
For a handful of nothing
(All cried out)
It's hard to give you something
When you're pushing and a-shoving me around

So don't look surprised
There was no disguise
You knew where I stood from the start
So stop
Look around you
You're right back where I found you
Take back your cold and empty heart

(All cried out)
I'm all cried out
You took a whole lot of loving
For a handful of nothing
(All cried out)
It's hard to give you something
When you're pushing and a-shoving
(All cried out)
I'm all cried out
You took a whole lot of loving
(All cried out)
I'm all cried out
It's hard to give you something
When you're pushing and a-shoving me around

(Around around around around around
Around around around around around)

(You go your way)
You go your way
(I'll go mine)
I'll go mine
(I won't stay around here)
I wont stay around here
Don't you waste my time
(Waste my time)

(All cried out)
You took a whole lot of loving
For a handful of nothing
(All cried out)
It's hard to give you something
When you're pushing and a-shoving
(All cried out)
I'm all cried out
You took a whole lot of loving
(All cried out)
I'm all cried out
It's hard to give you something
When you're pushing and a-shoving me around

(Around around around around around
Around around around around around
Around around around around around
Around around around around around)


Brilliant. I can still lip-sync every word...

Alison Moyet official website

Monday, 24 November 2014

You may not like the things we do; only idiots ignore the truth



There was no Goody Two Shoes, no Prince Charming, no Stand and Deliver. I sincerely hope no-one turned up hoping this was going to be a "Greatest Hits" concert...

Colleagues in the council and I were thrilled to land tickets for last night's final (of four at Islington Assembly Hall) performance by one of the greatest survivors of the Punk and post-Punk eras that made the cusp of the 1970s to the 1980s so exciting, none other than Adam Ant!



This was indeed a concert for the die-hard fans of the former Stuart Goddard, as he and his fantastic new band performed - as promised - the Ants' seminal (and pre-fame'n'fortune) album Dirk Wears White Sox in its entirety. Just as raw, and just as complex and in-yer-face as it ever was when it was released thirty-five years ago (gulp!).

As "Musky03" at Aural Sculptors (one of those very die-hards) put it:
I can't believe that it was all reproduced so well. These songs can be best described as quirky, but the band did a magnificent job on it, especially with the falsetto harmonies that feature frequently across the album... Nine Plan Failed and The Day I Met God were clear highlights, as was Zerox.

Part of the show was given over to acoustic performances of S.E.X. and Picasso (Visita El Planeta De Los Simios). A nod was given to the direction that the Ants took after Malcolm McLaren took the first band when Adam played Kings of the Wild Frontier and Dog Eat Dog. Aside from that only a cover of Dave Berry's Strange Effect and [Vampires] took the set beyond the 1970's Ants. This was manna from heaven... a perfect 1979 time capsule and yet sounding completely contemporary.
And I couldn't agree more!


[That bloody light blinded us for most of the evening]

This was a bizarre, noisy and utterly inspiring evening of rock musicianship at its very best. Accolades must go to the "backing line-up" - guitarists Tom Edwards, Will Crewdson and (original Ant) Leigh Gorman, Joe Holweger on bass, and the two that really captured the "original" Ants sound, drummers Andy Woodard and (the brilliantly be-wigged) Jola.

But it was, of course, the theatrical and bizarre antics and vocal stylings of the UK's favourite pin-up of the early 80s - he's now a bit (ahem) bigger, and, as The Times described him, reminiscent of "a superannuated version of Captain Jack Sparrow"; but he is sixty years old after all! - that made the evening so very, very special indeed.

Here's the live version from the Islington concert of the classic Kings of the Wild Frontier:



One of the mainstays of the Dirk Wears White Sox album, Tabletalk (complete with its very odd video):





And, just because I like to reminisce about those heady days when I first grew to adore Mr Ant and his boys, here's their first chart hit from 1981 - Dog Eat Dog:



You may not like the things we do
Only idiots ignore the truth

It's easy to lay down and hide
Where's the warrior without his pride?

We're gonna move real good
We're gonna dress so fine
It's dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog
Leapfrog the dog
And brush me, daddy-o

It's easy to lay down and hide
Where's the warrior without his pride?

You may not like the things we say
What's the difference, anyway?

We're gonna move real good
We're gonna dress so fine
It's dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog
Leapfrog the dog
And brush me daddy-o

It makes me proud, so proud of you
I see innocence shining through


Adam Ant (born Stuart Leslie Goddard, 3rd November 1954)

A rather fab interview with Mr Ant in one of Islington's local papers, the Ham and High.

Jumpsuit Heaven



As dear ol' Cher announces the cancellation of the rest of her (final, final, final) tour due to health issues, let us wallow for a moment on this Tacky Music Monday with a "classic" moment from her 70s TV show.

Bring on The Osmonds (and check out the matching outfits...)!



Cher cancels tour dates

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Totty of the Day











...birthday boy Maxwell Caulfield (55 today)!

Facts bout Mr Caulfield:
  • He began his stage career as an exotic dancer at London's Windmill Theatre, ostensibly in order to obtain an Equity card.
  • His acting career proper began in New York, starring in (among others) Entertaining Mr Sloane, An Inspector Calls and (famously) naked in Salonika.
  • His big break was alongside Michelle Pfeiffer in the critically slagged-off Grease 2, before hitting the big time as "Miles" in The Colbys and Dynasty.
  • More recently he made a bit of a comeback the UK, with parts in Casualty and Emmerdale, and has returned to his roots in stage musicals, currently in the touring version of Singing in the Rain.
  • He has been married to John Mills' daughter Juliet (eighteen years his senior) since 1980.

And yes, I still would.

Maxwell Caulfield (born 23rd November 1959)

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Game of Thrones



Is there a new Queen of Pop?



In a word, NO.

Charlie Hides TV.

Of course.

PS Taylor, whooooo?