THE FRIDAY FIVE – 11.8.2017

1. Liam Gallagher – For What It’s Worth
2. Calvin Harris – Feels
3. Mike Garry and Joe Duddell – St Anthony
4. Lorde – Perfect Places
5. The Horrors – Machine

First of all, an apology for there being no Friday Five last week. I was busy and didn’t get a chance to do it. As a result, I missed out on celebrating International Twins Day, which was last weekend.

So here, is a chart based on musical twins

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FEATURING TWINS

1. Bee Gees – You Win Again
2. Doves – Black And White Town
3. Bros – When Will I Be Famous?
4. The Proclaimers – Letter From America
5. Jedward – Lipstick

Yesterday was Duran Duran Appreciation Day. It should be a Public Holiday.

FIVE SONGS BY DURAN DURAN

1. Ordinary World
2. Wild Boys
3. Hungry Like The Wolf
4. Serious
5. Reach Out For The Sunrise

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 19.6.2015

1. Frank Turner – The Next Storm
2. Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance
3. Courtney Barnett – Dead Fox
4. Muse – Mercy
5. Catfish and the Bottlemen – Hourglass

Today, tickets go on sale for Duran Duran’s tour in November/December. Unfortunately, there’s no Belfast gig. The tour begins in Manchester on Friday 27th November. If United were at home that weekend, i’d be making a weekend of it. Unfortunately, they’re away to Leicester City. Damm you Premier League Fixture Computer.

So it looks like i’m going to be crossing my fingers for a Belfast gig to be announced later.

If you’re reading this John, Simon, Roger and Nick – Spandau played Belfast this year. You don’t want Belfast folk to like Spandau more than you. Just saying.

To get you in the mood, here’s five Duran Duran classics for you

FIVE SONGS BY DURAN DURAN

1. Wildboys
2. Ordinary World
3. Hungry Like The Wolf
4. Reach Out For The Sunrise
5. Serious

Talking of Manchester, last weekend was Manchester Day, so here’s five great things about Manchester.

FIVE GREAT THINGS ABOUT MANCHESTER

1. Old Trafford
2. Empire Exchange
3. Northern Quarter
4. National Football Museum
5. Affleck’s

And some Manchester tuneage for you

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS FROM MANCHESTER

1. James – She’s A Star
2. Oasis – She Is Love
3. New Order – True Faith
4. The Buzzcocks – Ever Fall In Love
5. Doves – Black and White Town

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 8.8.2014

1. Family Of The Year – Hero
2. Kasabian – Bumblebee
3. Bombay Bicycle Club – Luna
4. Royal Blood – Figure It Out
5. 3D Shark – Spuds

Last week, was the Twins Day Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio. Unsurprisingly, it was a celebration of twins and all their twinniness. There have been some bands that have featured twins. So, in celebration, here is a chart for you.

FIVE SONGS BY BANDS FEATURING TWINS

1. Bee Gees – You Win Again
2. Bros – When Will I Be Famous?
3. Tegan and Sara – Closer
4. The Proclaimers – Letter From America
5. Doves – Black and White Town

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : FEB 14 – FEB 20

We begin our look back at TOTP with Valentine’s Day. If it was your birthday as well, you share it with Ali Campbell from UB40.

This week saw the 4th anniversary of the death of Doug Fieger, lead singer of The Knack. Sadly, we’ve no The Knack, but we have Girls Aloud ripping off My Sharona.

Born on this week in history was Mikey Craig of Culture Club. Here he is performing “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?”, ironically, he missed the video shoot (hungover, according to Pop Up Video)

And yes, I know “Karma Chameleon” is their best song, but you’ll have to wait until Boy George’s birthday.

Another birthday boy this week is Ronnie Vanucci. Hard to believe that “Mr Brightside” was almost 10 years ago.

Finally, we have a Duran Duran birthday. Andy Taylor, no relation to John Taylor or Roger Taylor, or even Roger Taylor from Queen. Or Taylor Swift.

It’s not easy trying to pick a favourite Duran Duran song. In fact, it’s about as easy as a nuclear war.

Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day is 42 this week. Here he is performing “Minority” in 2000.

We’ve already had one Taylor birthday this week, but there’s another one ……. Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters.

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison for a crime they didn’t commit. In 2011, Ed Sheeran performed The A-Team on Top Of The Pops. Ed Sheeran as yet, hasn’t relocated to the Los Angeles underground.

I love the song, but this version ….. it really killed the mood in the studio.

The 2nd most famous Andy Williams in pop, Andy Williams from Doves is 44 this week, as was his twin brother Jez.

Sadly, I couldn’t find any Sub Sub, but i’ll make up for it with a double dose of Doves.

Talking of Andy Williams, The Beat had a big hit with an Andy Williams cover, but Dave Wakeling’s birthday shall be commemorated with “Mirror In The Bathroom” instead.

Bit of pointless The Beat trivia, Sting wore a The Beat t-shirt in the video for “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”

Ian Brown is 51 this week, and like fellow Mancunians New Order, i’ll treat Stone Roses birthdays to side projects, in Ian Brown’s case, his debut solo single, the best of his whole career, “My Star”

Meanwhile, Kurt Cobain would have been 47 today if he was still alive. Hard to imagine him getting old considering his early death.

He was born in Aberdeen you know. But not that Aberdeen. Aberdeen in Seattle.

And finally, remember the whole Tatu “controversy” of 2003?

EDINBLOG 2010

Having visited last year, I decided to return to the Edinburgh Festival for the 2010 event.

Last year, I went over the Bank Holiday Weekend at the end of the festival. As much as I enjoyed it, there was a distinct “Last day of school” feel when I was there, so I decided I would go over much earlier in the event in 2010.

It is actually a series of different festivals running simultaneously throughout August, with the most high profile one, being the Fringe Festival.

When arriving in Edinburgh, it’s always good to do some pre-planning before your arrival. Like last year, I got a copy of the programme well in advance and listed the shows that appealed to me and their start times, so you can plan your days.

Like last year, the first thing I did when I set my bags in my room was to head to the ticket office to get tickets for shows.

After queuing up, I got most of the stuff I wanted. For some, the worst case scenario was to get a second choice option. I’d hoped to see Jason Manford at EICC, but unfortunately, that was sold out long before I arrived in the city.

The Sunday was a rather relaxed day, watching the Charity Shield before going to see Doves in concert.

A review can be found here. If you’re too lazy to click, in short, they were brilliant.

On the Monday, I decided to check out a free lunchtime show by Andrew Collins.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s possibly due to the fact that he frequently appears on list shows, credited as ‘Writer/Broadcaster’

Don’t let that put you off, as he is generally knowledgable when speaking on these shows.

The show was focusing on the journeys people make through life, pointing out that we are always travelling from A to B, and when we arrive at B, it automatically becomes A.

It has the potential for a good show, but Collins was nervous throughout, often affecting the delivery of the punchlines, such as the time he considered his mortality, and the fear of dying in a train crash, and then thinking, as a minor celebrity, his death would get quite a lot of column inches in the celebrity due to the nature of the British media, only for his heart to sink when he noticed James Bolam sitting across the carriage.

The afternoon was spent seeing Gyles Brandreth at Pleasance Courtyard, one of my favourite Fringe venues.

Best known as a roving reporter on The One Show and guesting on Countdown (As excellently parodied by Mitchell and Webb), and for a spell as an MP for Chester from 1992 to 1997, he uses his career as a backdrop for a series of witty stories.

Never afraid to make fun of himself, the show begins with an announcement that the audience should leave their mobile phones on, in case of boredom, and that photography is encouraged “Due to Mr Brandreth being a shameless attention seeker”

He uses his time in parliament for some of his stories, describing himself as “A dedicated Conservative”, mainly due to his hair turning white when John Major became leader, and then going bald when William Hague replaced him.

He recalls a heart to heart with then Prime Minister John Major, then concerned with Northern Ireland and Kosovo, to explain that he was worried about the cost of having to buy a raffle ticket at every public event he attended.

Then, to his utter amazement, John Major took out raffle tickets he bought in 1982, and had been reusing, to show at public events. Even then, the Tories were making saving cuts.

Brandreth’s acerbic wit and banter with the audience was a joy to watch and is an absolute must-see of the festival.

He finished with a swipe at his current employers, mourning the departure of Christine Bleakley from The One Show, describing her as “A unique personality”, before shrugging off her departure by reassuring fans of the show “It’s OK, we’ve got someone who looks just like her to replace her”

From there, it was across the city to see Duke Special at The Famous Spiegel Garden.

The show is reviewed here, but if you’re too lazy to click the link, he was excellent.

My third show of the day was at Pleasance to see Justin Moorhouse, in a show titled ‘Boiled Egg On The Beach’

Moorhouse, best known as the thick as shit Kenny Junior in Phoenix Nights, revels in 80s nostalgia, focusing on the subject of ambition and aspiration with jokes in the middle. Well worth going to see.

On the Tuesday, I visited the Guilded Balloon to see Kate Fox News which was largely disappointing, as it was a different show to what had been advertised.

It wasn’t laugh a minute, but there was laughs there, you just had to wait a long time to get them.

That afternoon, I saw Tynecastle, and then headed to the Udderbelly for the first time to see ‘Now I Know My BBC‘ by Toby Hadoke, a lovable reminisce about BBC programming of the 1980s, filled with witty observations, such as Newsround being a news programme dumbed down and aimed at children, though it shouldn’t be confused with Fox News.

The evening show was a live show by Alun Cochrane, a deadpan Yorkshireman familiar to viewers on panel shows.

In his show, ‘Live, Jokes, And Jokes About Life’, he explores what jokes people find funny, having an X-Factor style vote for jokes to be used in future shows, observing that the jokes which were approved were lewd, which must be a commentary on the audience.

Wednesday had some spare time, so I went to Cameo, an old fashioned cinema in the city, to see ‘Gainsbourg’, a biopic of French singer Serge Gainsbourg, focusing on his life, though not the infamous ‘Whitney Houston incident

That evening, I went to see Reginald D Hunter, a regular on the UK’s panel shows, for a stand-up show, where he investigates what makes people offended, in his unaplogetic American style.

Laugh a minute stuff, and well worth checking out.

I’d saved my best two acts for last, as I went straight to see David O’Doherty, a madcap surreal comic, who begins by doing a love-song duet with Shakira, only Shakira is unable to make it, and he takes on the role of the Columbian singer.

He then explores life, and changes gear constantly, reeling off (totally made-up) facts about animals, and singing with his trusty keyboard, including a song about advice to a member of the audience who was having trouble with their bike.

Thursday morning was spent watching Macauley and Co at the EICC, a radio show on Radio Scotland. Frustratingly, I only found out about this on my last day.

Throughout the festival, the show brings listeners a look at the best acts performing at the event. Not bad for free and a good way to start your festival day. If only, i’d known earlier.

Edinburgh is a lovely place to visit, and I got to see more of it in comparison with last year.

It’s a credit to those involved how tidy the city is considering the amount of flyers that are handed out in the streets.

It almost feels like four cities in one, as there are plenty of places to visit should you want to get away from the Fringe for a bit, and you’re never too far away if you want to jump right back in.

Have to say, i’m already counting down to visiting in 2011.

Edinblog 2009

DOVES : LIVE AT HMV PICTURE HOUSE, EDINBURGH, 8.8.2010

Spent a few days in Edinburgh for the festival, and managed to grab a ticket to see Doves perform at Edge Festival.

Quite literally rising from the ashes of 90s one-hit wonder Sub Sub, Doves, comprising of singer Jimi Goodwin and twin Andy and Jez Williams, have been one of the best bands over the past decade.

The band are currently on a recording haitus as such, but are currently touring their Greatest Hits album ‘The Places Between’

Their biggest known hits are ‘There Goes The Fear‘, ‘Black And White Town‘ and ‘Pounding‘, but they are the sort of band that people will know more of their songs than they think they know.

The venue is centrally located in the city and is a contradiction of being recently refurbished, yet old-fashioned in feel, very similar to Manchester Apollo.

Despite it’s name, the Picture House isn’t actually a former cinema (Well, according to it’s official website)

Support was provided by local act, The Ray Summers. For the first couple of songs, they seemed to be fighting against a mental block of playing for a crowd who haven’t paid specifically to see them.

However, they stuck at it and won the crowd over, and are well worth checking out.

Finally, one came Doves and just went into their first song with a minimum of fuss.

Being left-handed and Spelling their name ‘Jimi’ are the only things Jimi Hendrix and Jimi Goodwin have in common, as Goodwin didn’t need to put on a show for the crowd, who were already hanging on his every word.

No showmanship, just getting their head down and playing tunes, it’s how Doves do things.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest roar of the night was saved for ‘Black and White Town’ as an amazing set had the crowd baying for more.

And for an encore, they gave them exactly that, playing ‘Hear Comes The Fear’, with Jimi Goodwin playing a samba drum solo in the middle of the stage.

It’s sad that they’re planning to take a break from recording. On tonight’s evidence, it’s a lot sadder if they take a break from touring.

Photo Album