MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SMASH HITS – 20.11.1985

George Michael is the cover star of Smash Hits, as Wham! are once again riding high in the charts.

1985 was the year of Live Aid, and the Fashion industry joined in with Fashion Aid, an event attended by the likes of Freddie Mercury, Suggs and Boy George.

Feargal Sharkey is interviewed, where he reveals he doesn’t like Ginger Nuts and isn’t very good at sports.

Wham! get a four page feature, where they reveal that their new single I’m Your Man is about sex.

In ads, there is an advert for a new single called West End Girls by an unknown band called Pet Shop Boys.

Also getting interviewed this week is the band Mai Tai.

Paul Hardcastle is subject to a Q and A. It wasn’t N-n-n-n-n-n-nineteen questions long, but he did reveal that Joan Collins is his favourite actress.

Concert Reviews sees Smash Hits head to Glasgow for Midge Ure doing a hometown show at Barrowlands Ballroom.

There’s no guest reviewer for Singles, as In Embrace got voted Best Single.

New products on the markets were Popic Watches, watches with the image of your favourite pop band on them.

Enjoying a good review were Jesus and Mary Chain, whose new album got awarded 9 and a half out of 10.

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KT TUNSTALL – LIVE AT MANDELA HALL 30.10.2016

It’s great when a gamble pays off, and this was a gamble that paid off.

When KT Tunstall announced a tour for October, Belfast was a conspicuous absence from the schedule. That would be become clear in late June when she was announced to play Belsonic.

Great you think. Unfortunately, it was as support to The Corrs. Yep, i’d have to go to a Corrs concert if I wanted to see KT Tunstall.

I decided to take a gamble, having an idea of how Music PR works. I suspected that there would be a Belfast gig on the October/November tour, but that the announcement would be embargoed until after the Belsonic concert.

In fact, it was announced during that concert, by KT herself. The gamble had paid off.

I’ve been a fan of hers since her debut in 2005, when I saw her performing Black Horse And The Cherry Tree on Jools Holland. Around the same time, a work colleague was raving about her. She also introduced me to James Blunt, but don’t hold that against her.

Her concert in Dublin the following night, 31st October, was marketed as a Halloween Party.

Not to be left out, the Belfast concert would soon be marketed as a Halloween Party, but a bit short notice as not a lot of people were in fancy dress.

One member of the audience came dressed as Donald Trump, jokingly shouting “Make America great again” when she spotted him in the crowd, replying “i’m fucking trying”. She lives in America these days. More of that later.

She entered the stage to the sound of We Will Rock You by Queen, not because she was here to rock us, but because she was in fancy dress as Freddie Mercury.

If you need to know, it was the 1980s Mercury with the moustache. Nobody ever goes as long haired 1970s Freddie Mercury.

Of course, she had a moustache, announcing that she didn’t expect the tache to stay on her face for more than three songs. It didn’t even last one song.

She opened with If Only, then following it up with an anecdote about being backstage at a festival in America when a hairy man in a golf cart drove towards her, shouting “TUNSTALL!!!! FIRST SONG, SECOND ALBUM. IT ROCKS!!!!!”.

It was none other than Dave Grohl, accompanied by fellow Foo Fighter Taylor Hawkins. That song, she then played, Little Favours.

It was one of many stories shared, the show bordering into stand-up at times. The music was almost feeling like a bonus at times.

She was claiming this as a hometown show as her dad is from Belfast, though she has never met him.

Tunstall is now living in America and spoke of the cultural differences, such as strangers talking to her and the standard response of “Fuck off” isn’t as acceptable in America as it is in Scotland.

She told of how she walked past an Irish Bar and a band was playing one of her songs, making eye contact with the guitarist to give her approval, and he didn’t recognise her.

As well as KT Mercury, her crew were in fancy dress. One dressed as a banana, one dressed as Lady Gaga wearing a ham dress and her drummer was dressed as a member of Devo.

One of her band claimed he was dressed as James Bay though he didn’t look anything like him, it was purely for him to take on the James Bay role when performing Two Way, a duet between them on her new album.

There were some treats for fans, including covers of Walk Like An Egyptian and Seven Nation Army, the latter being played with a kazoo.

There was a treat for two members of the audience called Stephen/Steven and Tracey/Tracy (covering all bases to avoid spelling their name wrong) who shouted to request a selfie with her and she obliged, even though she did say it would “open the floodgates”

Signing off with Suddenly I See, she told the audience “See you soon”.

We can only hope.

Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 2.9.2016

1. Tom Chaplin – Quicksand
2. The Courteeners – No One Will Ever Replace Us
3. Bastille – Send Them Off
4. KT Tunstall – Hard Girls
5. Squeeze – This Summer

This Monday sees what would have been Freddie Mercury’s 70th birthday.

So, in honour of this milestone, here’s a look at Queen’s five finest moments

FIVE SONGS BY QUEEN

1. Seven Seas Of Rhye
2. Let Me Live
3. Innuendo
4. Bicycle Race
5. I Want It All

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – FEBRUARY 1993

A shirtless Brett Anderson is the cover star of Q in early 1993, accompanied by the headline “The band of 1993”

Oliver Reed feels the wrath of Q’s “Who The Hell Does …..” column a few pages in.

In news, Later With Jools Holland has got a new series and an earlier timeslot, now going out at 10pm on a Friday. Nicky Wire got into trouble after yelling “I hope Michael Stipe goes the same way as Freddie Mercury” at a gig, prompting some fans to give him a mouthful after the gig.

Meanwhile, The Edge’s dog ran away from home.

In other news, the tree that Marc Bolan hit when he died has shown signs of decay and might have to be chopped down. Factory records has collapsed under ÂŁ2m of debt

The Levellers, having had a successful year, are the subject of a three page feature.

1992 gets a 12 page review, looking back at the events of the year, a year when U2 and Nirvana went big in different ways.

Shane MacGowan gets a five page interview, which stereotypically takes place in a wine bar.

In adverts, British Waterways are advertising Countryside Holidays, promoting the value of water based activities.

Bryan Ferry is on the comeback trail and doing his first interview in five years, and doesn’t react well to jibes about him being a country gent, saying “I lived in the country for a bit but I was never a fully paid-up Land Rover driver, though I have Wellington boots, both green and black”

Q gives four pages to cover stars Suede, stating that they are doing for Haywards Heath what Paul Weller has done for Woking, describing Suede as “Britain’s sexiest band, bringing back glamour not seen since Roxy Music”, nicely linking in with Bryan Ferry’s interview a few pages earlier.

There is then a double page feature on how the music scene in 1993 resembles the scene in 1973, while jokingly pointing out that some of 1973’s biggest stars are still going strong in terms of album sales in 1993.

In reviews, Ian McShane has brought out an album. Yes, that Ian McShane, Lovejoy. Or Deadwood, if you prefer. Q only gave him one star.

Riding high in the album charts this month were Cher, Erasure, Michael Bolton, Gloria Estefan, Genesis and Simple Minds.

After Neil Young went on the warpath against digital music the previous month, John Bauldie meets musicians who still record using analogue.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – FEBRUARY 1992

It’s early 1992, and Q has two big interviews as their cover stars – George Michael and Lou Reed.

As you open the magazine, Tony Wilson (Or, as Q addressed him, Anthony H Wilson) felt Q’s wrath, being the subject of their “Who the hell does …….” column.

In news, Kurt Cobain introduced himself on stage in Newcastle as “I am a homosexual. I am a drug taker, and I fuck pot-bellied pigs” while relations between George Harrison and Eric Clapton were said to be strained, as they toured Japan together.

Recent research has show that the average Radio 1 listener is 29, while the average Radio 2 listener is 61.

Freddie Mercuty of Queen had recently died, and Q does a double page picture of him on stage at Wembley, with accompanying text.

Tori Amos gets a double page spread, before you turn over the page to see a three page spread on the recently reformed Procal Harum

Also getting a three page spread is Marc Cohn, on the back of his success with Walking In Memphis.

Q does a chart of celebs who have treaded the boards in Panto over Christmas/New Year including Rod Hull in Crawley, David Essex in Bradford and Lionel Blair in Stockport.

Cover star George Michael gets featured, as Q joins him in New York, where he is about to perform two concerts at Madison Square Gardens.

Talking of concerts, Q follows up their feature on George Michael with a five page spread on ticket touting.

Lou Reed gets six pages as he prepares to bring out his 25th album, this one focusing on death.

With 1991 having just ended, Q looks back at the year, genre by genre, in a twelve page series, and then follows it with a two page look at the tours and albums coming in 1992.

In gigs, Q reviews Ned’s Atomic Dustbin at McGonagles in Dublin.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – MARCH 2011

Liam Gallagher is the cover star of Q as he prepares to launch the debut album of Beady Eye, a band comprising of the non Noel Gallagher members of Oasis.

If you look closely, in Liam’s shades, you can see the other members of Beady Eye in his reflection.

In “Q Mail”, Simon Hunt e-mails to respond to previous correspondence complaining about Take That appearing in Q, while cheekily asking when Justin Bieber will be appearing on Cash For Questions.

Jonathan Paul from Leicester contacts Q to complain about their ignoring of Ian Matthews and Chris Edwards in Kasabian articles, in comparison to Serge Pizzorno and Tom Meighan.

Q50 is a feature of the 50 songs you should download this month. Top of the pile was The Beat Goes On by cover stars Beady Eye.

Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol gets a guest submission, choosing Coal by The Mariner’s Children.

In news, Alex Turner records solo songs for a movie soundtrack, Green Day release a live album, The Kills are reforming and Beth Ditto is going on a solo career.

Featuring forthcoming albums, Glasvegas get a double page spread for their as yet titled new album.

Also working hard in the studio were Hard-Fi, with a propsed release date given as “Summer 2011”

Q dedicates a full page to a phone interview with Plan B, where he reveals that Forrest Gump is the one movie that makes him cry.

Tipped for greatness this month are The Joy Formidable, Miles Kane and MNDR.

Shaun Ryder is the subject of this month’s Cash For Questions, answering questions about Tony Wilson, UFOs and Reality TV.

In ads, Paul McCartney stars in an advert for PETA.

There are nine pages dedicated to cover stars Beady Eye, with Liam Gallagher claiming that “People will be calling their kids Beady Eye by the end of the year”

It’s not all about Liam, as Gem, Andy and Chris get profiled, looking at their musical CVs pre Oasis.

Junior Gallagher had gotten the first blow in to release post Oasis music, but Senior Gallagher (Noel) was at work on his debut solo album, with 17 tracks believed to have been recorded, one of which has Miles Kane on guitar, and was set for release in late summer.

Noel’s (using the name of Noel Galagher’s High Flying Birds) self titled debut album was eventually released in October 2011.

KT Tunstall gets a full page interview, where she denounces her stepdad, who was a BNP candidate.

Riding high on the success of Rolling In The Deep, Adele gets a four page profile.

Cee Lo Green is gets interviewed by Q, where he discusses his favourite albums.

Another band riding high in the charts, were Noah and the Whale, who got a three page feature.

2011 was the year that saw the 20th anniversary of the death of Freddie Mercury, and Q interviews Roger Taylor and Brian May, ahead of a feature about unseen Queen photographs being made public for the first time.

In reviews, Beady Eye’s debut album Different Gear, Still Speeding gets four stars.

Also getting four stars was Clare Maguire’s debut album Light After Dark and Hotel Shampoo by Gruff Rhys.

If Bruce Springsteen is your thing, Q has a handy guide for those wishing to explore his vast discography.

Concert Reviews sees Paul McCartney get a five star review for a concert at 100 Club in London just before Cristmas 2010.

Also getting five stars were The View for their pre Christmas gigs in Sheffield and Stoke.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 2.11.2012

1. Tegan and Sara – Closer
2. Everything Everything – Cough Cough
3. Jake Bugg – Two Fingers
4. Adele – Skyfall
5. Amy MacDonald – 4th Of July

As per, it’s a Top Five, based on the previous week’s X-Factor theme. Last week’s theme was Halloween, except they just sang songs in fancy dress. That was it, further proof that they are making it up as they go along.

Anyway, here’s a Halloween Top Five

FIVE, UM, HALLOWEEN RELATED SONGS

1. Ray Parker Jr – Ghostbusters
2. The Automatic – Monster
3. Tamsin West – Round The Twist
4. The Specials – Ghost Town*
5. Allstars – Things That Go Bump In The Night

*Yes, I know it’s a song that is a social commentary on early 80s Britian, and nothing to do with Halloween, but it’s got ‘Ghost’ in the title. Have you ever tried to think of five Halloween songs? Anyway, if X-Factor can make it up as they go along, why can’t I?

This week also saw the announcement that Bon Jovi are playing Slane.

If ever an excuse was needed for a Bon Jovi Top Five, this was it.

FIVE BON JOVI SONGS

1. Real Life
2. Keep The Faith
3. Everyday
4. Bad Medicine
5. You Give Love A Bad Name

The increase of needy twats infesting my timeline on Twitter asking celebs for RTs can only mean one thing, Movember is here.

So, I thought i’d commemorate this with a Top Five Moustached Men Of History

FIVE GREAT MOUSTACHED MEN OF HISTORY

1. Peter Rafferty
2. Freddie Mercury
3. Earl Hickey
4. Cesar Romero
5. Artur Jorge

NB : This chart was created by using a scientific formula called the Moustache Index, also known as The Mindex.

Freddie Mercury doesn’t score as many Mindex points because most of Queen’s best songs came when he didn’t have a moustache. Artur Jorge loses Mindex points for Switzerland being rubbish at Euro 96, wiping out a lot of his Mindex points for Porto winning the 1987 European Cup

Cesar Romero gains Mindex points for dedication to his tache, for refusing to shave it off when playing The Joker.

Adolf Hitler, has a low Mindex score on account of him having a crap moustache, and not being a nice person.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – FEBRUARY 1996

With Oasis as the biggest band in Britain, Q has managed to get Noel Gallagher on the cover with the headline “THE GREATEST SONGWRITER OF THE 90s?”

The magazine comes with a free casette tape of songs from the Channel 4 show ‘The White Room’

Meanwhile, Mick Jagger is in the news after doing an online webchat with fans. Well worth getting dial-up for.

1995 was reviewed with most of the coverage focusing on the chart battles between Blur and Oasis.

Q lists “20 CRAP THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN 1995”, among which includes : Irvine Welsh, Prince Naseem Hamed, Hollyoaks, Jim Davidson’s Generation Game, The OJ Simpson Trial, and Princess Diana.

Hope the Daily Express don’t find out about that last one.

Stone Roses get five pages dedicated to them, where Mani proclaims “We have the X-Factor”

Within six months, they had split up, before reforming in 2011.

Thus far, they have never appeared on an ITV talent show.

Noel Gallagher gets five pages dedicated to him. We wouldn’t have been happy if he looked at the album chart, as Oasis were number two behind Robson and Jerome.

John Lennon (The Beatles) and Freddie Mercury (Queen) make posthumous appearances in the top ten while Michael Jackson is at number nine, one place ahead of Pulp, which maybe inspired Jarvis Cocker to bare his arse at Jackson at that month’s Brit Awards.

Stuart Maconie’s round-up of the best of the (still fledgling) internet sees him review a Tina Turner fansite.

One of the greatest inventions of the modern era, and somebody is using it to show their love for Tina Turner.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – DECEMBER 1988

In this edition of The Magazine Archive, we look at Q in December 1988, a world where REM are on the cover, and Freddie Mercury dabbles in the world of opera.

This month, the music world is being set alight by a controversial and fiesty peroxide blonde. Not Lady GaGa, but Wendy James of Transvision Vamp, who gets a double page profile.

In news, Pete Waterman goes to war with Radio One at an industry conference by describing the station’s management as “40 year old tossers”

Pete Waterman, remember, was born in 1947.

In the letters section, Terence Trent D’arby writes to complain about a favourable review, that he is not worthy of comparison to Robert Cray.

Meanwhile, Dominic Sturges from Sheffield wrote in to complain that the back cover of the Pet Shop Boys album ‘Introspective’ gives a running time of 50 minutes and 3 seconds, which he says he has counted each song and this is wrong.

Freddie Mercury gets five pages dedicated to his opera collaboration with Monserrat Caballe as they perform a concert to mark the countdown to Barcelona hosting the 1992 Olympics.

Sadly, Mercury didn’t live to see Barcelona to host the games.

Five pages are given to a look at the world of Paparazzi and how it has changed coming to the end of the 1980s.

The article finishes with a breakdown of rankings of celebrities and their photo value by status.

In December 1988, Bros was A-List while Paul McCartney was C-List. Yes, you read that right.

Even more staggering, is that Michael Jackson and U2 were B-List ……. behind Bros.

Roger Moore shares a spot as a D-List celeb alongside Andrew Ridgeley, Simon Le Bon, Johnny Hates Jazz and Ian Botham.

E-Listers in December 1988 included Anita Dobson and Sinitta, now appearing in reality TV.

Sadly, fellow E-Lister Ben Volpliere-Pierrot from Curiousity Killed the Cat is still awaiting for his phonecall to appear on a reality TV show.

THE FRIDAY FIVE

Long-term readers may remember, that when I used to blog on Bebo, I would post up the five songs i’d been loving the most over the past week.

Since moving to WordPress, i’ve never done that, apart from a Top 50 of the year so far, and a Top 100 in December, as well as periodic “The Sound Of …..” blogposts.

So, i’ve decided to start doing a Top 5 blog each week again, the Friday five. Enjoy.

1. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Bird – AKA What A Life
2. Scala and Kolacny Brothers – With Or Without You
3. Hayley Westenra – World In Union
4. Snow Patrol – Called Out In The Dark
5. Kelly Clarkson – Mr Know It All

FIVE QUEEN SONGS

Seeing as this week marked what would have been Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday, I thought I would take my role as a self-confessed Queenologist to give you five Queen songs you need to listen to.

1. Innuendo
2. Seven Seas Of Rhye
3. Let Me Live
4. Save Me
5. Play The Game