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Saturday, 28 July 2012

God Save The Queen : the Slovenian industrial metal version by Laibach

Bonkers but brilliant.

Go on, you know you want to ...

It's Anglia, and it's from the upcoming Laibach compilation album An Introduction to .... due out on September 3

Beware the curse of Hey Jude

It’s the curse of Hey Jude.

On Friday night Paul McCartney was bamboozled by a sound delay glitch that threw him off his stride.

He ended up having to quickly catch up and miss part of the verse.

It was part of a shaky performance during Danny Boyle’s spectacular opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Earlier this month, he’d been considering playing Hey Jude at the end of his ‘surprise’ spot at Bruce Springsteen’s Hard Rock Calling.

But Westminster jobsworths pulled the plug, meaning he was unable to continue in London’s Hyde Park.

Back in June he dropped Hey Jude from the set he played for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert.

Word is that he knew he’d be playing it at the Olympics gig, and didn’t want to tempt fate.

And, of course, in 1985 his microphone cut out as he sang the song as the finale to Live Aid at Wembley Stadium.

That left him singing to himself until someone managed to pop the plug back in.

So be warned next time you think of singing Hey Jude.

St Jude, you’ll recall is the patron saint of lost causes.

And given Macca’s straining vocal, he might well offer up a prayer or two.

100 classic rock riffs in 10 minutes

Sheer bloody genius.

Danny Boyle, are you listening?

London 2012 Olympics - the full playlist

Well, did you spot them all?

Captain Algernon - Eton Boating Song
Elgar - Land of Hope and Glory
The Jam - Going Underground
Muse - Map of the Problematique
Sex Pistols - God Save the Queen
The Clash - London Calling
Simon May - EastEnders Theme
William Blake - Jerusalem
Elgar - Nimrod
Handel - Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
Eric Coates - Dambusters March
Handel - Music for the Royal Fireworks
Monty Norman - James Bond Theme
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
Mike Oldfield - In Dulci Jubilo
Vangelis - Chariots of Fire
Arthur Wood - The Archers Theme
Winifred Atwell - Black and White Rag
John Philip Sousa - The Liberty Bell (Monty Python)
Eric Spear - Coronation Street Theme
Ron Grainer - Doctor Who Theme
Sugababes - Push the Button
OMD - Enola Gay
David Rose - The Stripper
Lionel Bart - Food Glorious Food
Irwin Kostal - Bedknobs and Broomsticks
David Bowie - Absolute Beginners
Rizzle Kicks - When I Was a Youngster
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Colin Tully - Gregorys Girl Theme
William Pitt - City Lights
The Who - My Generation
The Rolling Stones - Satisfaction
Millie Small - My Boy Lollipop
The Kinks - All Day and All of the Night
The Beatles - She Loves You
Mud - Tiger Feet
Led Zeppelin - Trampled Underfoot
The Specials - A Message to You Rudy
David Bowie - Starman
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant
Duran Duran - The Reflex
New Order - Blue Monday
Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Relax
Soul II Soul - Back To Life
Happy Mondays - Step On
Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
Prodigy - Firestarter
Underworld - Born Slippy
Jaan Kenbrovin - I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles
Blur - Song 2
Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers
Queen & David Bowie - Under Pressure
Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
The Beatles - Come Together
Mark Ronson & Amy Winehouse - Valerie
Radiohead - Creep
Muse - Uprising
Kano & Mikey J - Random Antics
Tinie Tempah - Pass Out
MIA - Paper Planes
Coldplay - Viva La Vida
The Chemical Brothers - Galvanize
High Contrast - Moon Watcher
Underworld - Always Loved A Film
Underworld - Dark And Long
Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls
Bee Gees - Stayin’ Alive
Underworld - Minneapolis
High Contrast - Reach
High Contrast - Ghost Dance
Underworld - Confusion
Adele - Rolling in the Deep
Wretch 32 - Traktor
Fuck Buttons - Olympians
High Contrast - Can’t Stop This Fire
Emeli Sande - Heaven
Underworld - Moon In Water
Underworld - Crocodile
U2 - Where The Streets Have No Name
ELO - Mr Blue Sky
High Contrast - For Years
Underworld - Dirty Epic
High Contrast - The Long Way Home
Underworld - Rez
David Bowie - Heroes
Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict a Riot
Roll Deep - Shake a Leg
Oasis - The Hindu Times
Oasis - Wonderwall
William Monk/Henry Francis - Abide With Me
Pink Floyd - Eclipse
The Beatles - The End
The Beatles - Hey Jude

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Paul McCartney breaks off Olympic rehearsals to plead for an elephant

They pulled the plug on him in Hyde Park but today Paul McCartney broke off from rehearsals for the Olympic opening ceremony – to plead for an elephant.

After hearing from pressure group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) about the plight of a young elephant who has been beaten and is kept in chains, Macca penned an urgent letter to Indian Forest Minister Dr Patangrao Shripatrao Kadam.

The former Beatle, who first visited India in 1966, called on the minister to use his power immediately to rescue the little elephant, named Sunder, from Jyotiba Temple in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra and move him to a forested sanctuary.
“I have seen photographs of young Sunder, the elephant kept alone in a shed at Jyotiba Temple and put in chains with spikes”, wrote McCartney. “Years of his life have been ruined by keeping him and abusing him in this way – and enough is enough.

“I most respectfully call on you … to get Sunder out.”
McCartney’s plea follows PETA’s discovery that Sunder was being abused by his handler, who has gone on the run.

The young elephant sustained a severe injury to his right eye from being jabbed with an ankus – a sharp, hooked metal poker-like weapon. The animal is confined spiked chains and kept alone inside a dark shed, in which he cannot even take a single step in any direction.

“Sunder is denied all that is natural and important to him, and lives in fear,” say PETA investigators.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Cooking hell: whole lotta love lost for Led Zeppelin

Heard the unmistakable strains of Led Zeppelin’s Heartbreaker coming from the TV the other day.

I rushed into the living room, expecting to see Robert Plant and Jimmy Page in all their glory.

There were two hairy blokes on the screen, sure enough, but not who I’d been hoping for.

It was self-styled Hairy Biker celebrity chefs Dave Myers and Si King, baking up a pie.

A few minutes later they were decorating a wedding cake with pink Love Heart sweets.

Cue a blast of Zeppelin’s classic Whole Lotta Love.

What the hell’s going on?

Remember when Led Zeppelin were famously precious about their catalogue, refusing to allow its use in adverts, computer games and TV shows?

The days when hardman Peter Grant ruled with iron fist, and never mind the velvet glove? When the band refused to release singles in the UK.

Because they were an album band. Proper musicians. Proper music.

A lot has changed since then. Money clearly talks when it comes to back catalogue.

But Heartbreaker and Whole Lotta Love as the soundtrack to reality TV fluff like this? I was just waiting for Custard Pie but it never materialised.

I have no idea who owns the Zeppelin canon these days but, c’mon, give the music a little respect, eh?

Peter Grant must be spinning in his grave.

Faster than a Kenwood mixer, in fact.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

New Beatles album Tomorrow Never Knows out on iTunes

It’s a new Beatles album!

Well, sort of...

The archivists have come up with iTunes digital exclusive release Tomorrow Never Knows, available on the iTunes Store worldwide from today.

According to iTunes, “the album features 14 of The Beatles’ most powerful rock songs, spanning their entire trailblazing and influential catalogue, which continues to resonate with today’s pop culture.”

Also beginning today, the classic promo film for Hey Bulldog is available free to stream or as a purchasable download on the iTunes Store.

“Nearly everything my band knows about how to approach recording a song is attached to The Beatles in some way,” says superfan Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda.

“Directly or indirectly, they’ve shaped the way every album is recorded, and have changed the world.” 

To accompany the release, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has written a letter explaining the impact that The Beatles have had on him.

“If it weren’t for The Beatles, I would not be a musician,” he writes. “The Beatles seemed to be capable of anything. They knew no boundaries, and in that freedom they seemed to define what we now know today as ‘Rock and Roll.’”

In the letter, Grohl also reveals that his six-year-old daughter, Violet, has recently become a Beatles fan and is particularly taken with the “100% timeless Rock N Roll” of ‘Hey Bulldog’.

Grohl concludes his letter by stating: “From one generation to the next, The Beatles will remain the most important rock band of all time. Just ask Violet.”

Universally hailed for its unparalleled, transcendent quality, The Beatles’ recorded catalogue includes many of rock music’s most powerful and important songs.

But the new album also includes relatively lesser-known tracks such as Savoy Truffle, You Can’t Do That, and Tomorrow Never Knows.

Here’s the full tracklist:

1. Revolution                                   
2. Paperback Writer                       
3. And Your Bird Can Sing
4. Helter Skelter
5. Savoy Truffle
6. I’m Down
7. I’ve Got A Feeling
8. Back In The USSR
9. You Can’t Do That
10. It’s All Too Much
11. She Said, She Said
12. Hey Bulldog
13. Tomorrow Never Knows
14. The End

John Fogerty and Bruce Springsteen duet on Rockin' All Over The World - good quality official audio

Our good friends at Absolute Radio have posted a free-to-air live recording of John Fogerty’s Rockin’ All Over The World duet with Bruce Springsteen in London’s Hyde Park.

It’s great audio quality, officially sanctioned and includes a bonus performance of The Old Man Down The Road – all accompanied by a photo gallery.

Check it out by clicking here

There’s also a brief backstage interview with John on the site.

Click here to watch.

Thanks guys!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Hey Jude, don't pull Paul McCartney's plug

LONDON 2012 chiefs have promised not to pull the plug on Paul McCartney when he closes the Olympic Games ceremony this coming Friday.

Macca, rudely interrupted as he duetted with Bruce Springsteen at Hyde Park’s Hard Rock Calling, will be given leave to carry on regardless.

(Which is a good thing if you love The Beatles, or a bad thing if you reckon the 70-year-old pop knight’s voice is shot.)

The former Beatle will lead 80,000 spectators at the Olympic Stadium in a mass singalong of Hey Jude.

It promises to be the emotional highpoint of the £27 million spectacular dreamed up by Trainspotting and Shallow Grave movie director Danny Boyle.

There had been worries that McCartney might miss out on his moment of Olympic glory after parts of the ceremony were cut because of fears that it might over-run.

Were you heartbroken to hear that the BMX stunt team got the boot? Me neither.

The audience will enjoy a scene that represents a traditional and idyllic view of the British countryside. There will be picnics, staged by 10,000 volunteers, a hill that looks like Glastonbury Tor – complete with clouds – and maypoles topped with thistles, leeks, roses and flax.

The stars of the show will include 70 sheep, 12 horses, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese, three sheepdogs and two goats. And expect Old Macdonald to make an appearance, too.

The scene will then shift to an urban environment with the Thames at its centre.

Boyle has called the ceremony Isles of Wonder, taken from a speech by Caliban in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and says it will be a picture of a nation recovering from its industrial legacy.

Sounds like Mull of Kintyre to me.

Friday, 20 July 2012

No surprise that Jessie J has cancelled UK gigs

Not surprised that Jessie J has had to cancel her big gigs in Pontypridd and Alnwick Castle.

The 24-year-old chart star and Voice judge seemed out of sorts when she headlined a gig here at Warwick Castle last Friday.

During the show, she forgot the words to her biggest hit Price Tag, had to sit down for a while after pulling her neck and spent ages trying to re-attach an errant earring.

Right at the start of the show she said she was shattered after flying in from Switzerland, and hadn’t managed to do a soundcheck because she needed a nap.

(Although support band Lawson, who also flew in from Switzerland, seemed fresh as daisies).

And, of course, she made the grave error of inviting The Voice semi-finalist Becky Hill, who was in her team on the TV talent show, up onstage for a shambolic duet performance of Price Tag.

If you’re tempted to do it again, girl, please resist temptation. We’d all been waiting to hear you sing the hit we fell in love with, not some half-baked amateur hour.

Word is, however, that Jessie has now been diagnosed with cytomegalovirus (CMV), which can cause considerable fatigue.

In a message on her website Jessie said: “I have been diagnosed with a viral infection recently that has caused me to be extremely fatigued. I was hoping to be better but I have been to see my doctor this morning after not feeling great who has advised me I am still in need of rest and to perform will make me worse.”

Jessie said she wanted to “personally apologise” to fans and was “just not well enough” to appear.

“Back to bed I go - so sorry,” she added.

Today her management issued a statement, which read: “On behalf of concert organisers KAL Music Limited, we regret to announce that due to the unexpected illness of Jessie J, we have been forced to postpone the concert at Alnwick Castle this Saturday 21st July  and reschedule to a later date.

“Following a visit to her doctor this morning, blood tests have revealed that Jessie is suffering from CMV, a virus which has caused her considerable fatigue. Doctors have advised that the exertion of performances this weekend would be likely to prolong the recovery period.

“The concert has now been rescheduled for 25th August with all existing tickets valid for this date. Any refunds will be made at point of purchase. Please contact your ticket provider directly for details. All refunded tickets will be re-issued and made available for purchase to the public at a later date.”

It's John Fogerty's Rockin' All Over The World

So how many times do I have to tell everyone?

John Fogerty did NOT sing Status Quo’s Rockin’ All Over The World at Hyde Park’s Hard Rock Calling.

He sang John Fogerty’s Rockin’ All Over The World.
(With a little help from one Bruce Springsteen, no less)

The Creedence frontman wrote, recorded and released the song for his 1975 solo album.

Status Quo heard it, liked it, covered it, had a worldwide hit with it two years later, and opened Live Aid with it in 1985.

But it’s John Fogerty’s song, for God’s sake. Do your research next time ...

Here's the setlist:

Hey Tonight
Lookin' Out My Back Door
Born On The Bayou
Hod Rod Heart
Who'll Stop The Rain
Down On The Corner
Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
Oh, Pretty Woman
The Midnight Special
Keep On Chooglin'
The Old Man Down The Road
Bad Moon Rising
Fortunate Son
Proud Mary
Rockin' All Over The World

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Ian McNabb's still got the fever, too

Okay, for those of you who wanted to know where the name of the blog comes from, it's a song by the great Ian McNabb, unsung national institution and songwriting hero.

It's taken from the former Icicle Works frontman's Head Like A Rock album, which was released in 1994 and remains one of the best rock sets of all time. Go buy a copy.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Never mind the Springsteen curfew, pull the plug on professional fans

So Bruce Springsteen finally got to finish his Hyde Park Calling gig - in Dublin.

Arriving on stage at the RDS Arena carrying a gigantic switch, he pretended to turn the power back on before announcing "Before we were so rudely interrupted..."

Then he launched into the last minute of Twist and Shout, the song he was playing with Paul McCartney when the plug was pulled on the Hard Rock Calling show.

During another marathon gig (which ended within the stipulated time, I notice) the Boss also held up a sign proclaiming: "Only the Boss says when to pull the plug".

And at the end of the set a bogus policeman brought proceedings to a close.

A nice touch - but it wasn't the curfew that threatened to ruin the Hyde Park gig for many.

It was the fans. Or rather the loud-mouthed morons masquerading as fans, but who had no interest whatsoever in seeing or hearing Springsteen sing.

Yes, you. You know who you are.

You with the jug of Pimms; you with the VIP Experience Pass; you with the iPad.

The combination of a ludicrously low decibel limit set by the authorities and the self-important bellowing of festival socialites at times drowned Bruce out.

Some areas of Hyde Park became no-go zones for genuine fans as the booze flowed and the conversations got louder and louder.

So while Springsteen was sharing poignant memories of the late Clarence Clemons with his saxman nephew, I was hearing about Sebastian's sales figures.

(We'll call him Sebastian. I didn't quite catch his name. But he was in earnest conversation with a similarly slick adman, perhaps a banker. Certainly something sounding similar).

While The Boss was introducing Empty Sky, I was hearing about Sharon's sex life as she bared all to a stranger she'd met, and would probably bare all again later.

Some sad people pay to listen to that sort of thing, don't they?

As Bruce explained how Thunder Road was the first song he'd ever played on UK soil, I was listening to four burly, boozed-up middle-age muppets talking about a mate's stag do.

And so it went.

Six times I moved to different areas of the crowd; six times I ended up with inconsiderate idiots more interested in the sound of their own voices than what was happening onstage.

They'd paid £65 for the privilege and they were going to be heard.

It was only when I arrived at the left-hand side of the stage that I found myself in the good company of fans who sang along with all the barnstormers, listened intently to the more reflective songs, cheered and danced to the music.

The sightline was rubbish, a sort of sideways glance at the video screen. But I didn't care, I could hear Bruce Springsteen at Hard Rock Calling.

Which had been the plan, really.

The problem with gigs like this is that they've become big occasions to be seen at, much in the same way that Ladies Day at Ascot has little to do with horse racing.

Well-heeled professionals pay over the odds for tickets, with little or no interest in the artists appearing at the event. They're there just for the bragging rights in the office.

Strangely, it's not a problem encountered at that heavy metal mecca, Download.

Maybe it's because the music's bloody loud; maybe it's because the fans are more committed; perhaps it's a class thing. Download is downmarket.

Whatever, let's stop complaining about the curfew confusion. Let's pull the plug on the 'professional' fans who couldn't give a toss.

Sebastian, Sharon, Stags, do us all a favour. Shut the proverbial up.

(By the way, you can read my review of the gig at