MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SMASH HITS – 14.2.1985

The new Duran Duran? asks Smash Hits of their cover stars The Power Station. You may recognise a few Duran Duran faces in the band.

As you open the magazine, there is a poster of Paul King, the lead singer of the band King.

Smash Hits has noticed a recent trend in recent weeks, of stars such as Andrew Ridgeley, Boy George, Steve Strange and Eurythmics all wearing tartan.

Pat Benatar is interviewed as she enters the final weeks of pregnancy.

In Reviews, new singles by Cliff Richard, The Smiths, The Stranglers, Mick Jagger and Kim Carnes are all reviewed.

Phil Collins is interviewed, where he reveals that John Taylor from Duran Duran is a fan of Genesis.

Cover stars The Power Station get a three page feature.

Wham! have recently toured Asia, and Smash Hits covers this with a two page photo feature.

Mick Jagger gets profiled as he gets set to release his debut solo album at the age of 44, lying in bed in a hotel room when Smash Hits came to visit.

Terry Hall gets interviewed as he launches his third band (after The Specials and Fun Boy Three) The Colourfield, with the headline OLD MISERY GUTS IS BACK.

Concert Reviews sees Smash Hits go to see New Order and Chaka Khan in action.

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EDINBLOG 2013

As per usual in August, I headed to Edinburgh for the festival. It was quite later in the month than my recent visits. From my experience, it’s usually best to visit during the middle of the month, but in truth, there’s never a bad time to visit.

It was a double milestone for me, 10 years since my first visit (albeit, I was working) and my 5th proper visit overall.

It was an early start for me due to the early morning flight, but the advantages of it were that I got to the ticket office early.

It might sound sad, but it’s best to get a copy of the programme before you go and plan what you want to see day by day, and make it so much easier when you go to get tickets.

You can book online in advance, but I prefer to purchase when I arrive. For some of the bigger acts, it’s harder to get a ticket at such short notice, but you mostly get at least 90% of what you want.

Tickets purchased, I checked in, and headed out in the city. Comedy, however, was parked for the moment, as I headed to Easter Road to see Hibs take on Dundee United. It wasn’t the best of games, which is unsurprising considering it was a meeting of two struggling sides, though it did liven up after a double red card.

After that, I had a bit of spare time, before heading to the Book Festival and was pleasantly surprised to pick up a last minute ticket for John Taylor (Yes, John Taylor of Duran Duran) reading excerps of his autobiography, In The Pleasure Groove.

Taylor didn’t really need to do much to win the crowd over, they were hanging on his every word, speaking about his teenage obsession with his favourite bands, most notably Roxy Music, then becoming obsessed with Sex Pistols, speaking of his pain about having to put up with Nick Rhodes reminding him at least once a month that he saw Sex Pistols live in concert, while Taylor didn’t.

When it came to the Q and A section, there were people who could barely speak, such was their excitement of getting to speak to their idol. He didn’t quite confirm it, but he didn’t deny it when pressed on rumours of a Duran Duran tour in the summer of 2014.

My first full day, Sunday, saw me head towards Guilded Balloon to see Grainne Maguire do a show about a TV guilty pleasure …….. Election Night.

After 2010 UK General Election, 2011 Stormont Elections and 2012 US Elections, I was a wee bit electioned out, but to be honest, I wouldn’t mind another election soon.

Her stage was set up on a political theme, complete with a swingometer, and pictures of political broadcasters such as David Dimbleby and Jeremy Paxman, with a beard topically drawn in with permanent marker.

After comparing it to “Eurovision for Politics Nerds”, she observed that life situations are just one big election, bemoaning that she is yet to win the seat she wants …….. Favourite Maguire Child.

From from one G, it was to three G’s for The Ginge The Geordie The Geek at Just The Tonic. I’d seen them advertised on my past visits and heard good reviews but had only now decided to take a chance on them. It was well worth it.

It was a simple formula, quick sketches with a range of humour from the surreal to the sick, such as a police horse facing a disciplinary panel. Best sketch was when they audition as dancers, and when told to finish and go home, interpret them as dance instructions and do hand gestures based on it.

For my Sunday evening show, i’d originally planned to see Andrew Maxwell, but decided to see David O’Doherty as his Saturday show was sold out.

I’d previously seen Maxwell in May, though it was a very Northern Ireland specific show, I knew if I did go to see him in Edinburgh, it would have been a different show.

It’s the law that you have to see David O’Doherty when in Edinburgh and he didn’t disappoint, commenting on all that is wrong with the world, having seen the two things he believes in, church and state, let him down, consoling himself with the fact he still had Professional Cycling.

From there, I went to see Marcus Brigstocke at Assembley, where I spotted Clive Anderson queueing up to see him. I was trying to stifle the laughter, as all I could think of was the Brass Eye sketch of him and Noel Edmonds.

Brigstocke was a largely autobiographical show, the highlight of which was where he tried and failed to try out new material when in the doctor’s, even though the doctor declared he was a fan.

Monday morning began with MacAulay and Co, BBC Scotland’s mid morning show. It was filled with guests from the festival, giving a showcase to acts you might not have heard of.

The downside of buying tickets when you arrive, is that you don’t have much room for manoeuvre if you change your mind and want to see something different.

From there, I dashed to Assembley Rooms to see David Schneider discuss if the internet is making people more stupider. It was essential just a Best Of Lamebook show, but it was still enjoyable, as Schneider observed that Twitter is essentially cute pictures of animals, and pictures of things/people that look like Hitler.

After a bit of lunch, it was Pleasance for the rest of the day, seeing Gyles Brandreth discuss the persuit of happiness, and noting his unhappiness at seeing a personalised copy of a book he wrote appearing in a second hand shop days after giving it as a gift.

From there, it was Newsrevue, a musical satire about the news, sometimes straying into dodgy ground, but still being funny.

Later in the evening, I saw Tom Rosenthal, star of Friday Night Dinner and son of ITV’s Jim, with a tale of trying to blend into Bulgarian culture when spending time in the country filming. He managed to slip in puns and punchlines subconsciously without lingering on them too much.

It was enjoyable enough, without being laugh a minute.

Next, was The Boy With Tape On His Face. Brilliantly funny last year, and the same this year, though if I was to see it for a third time, might be too much.

Tuesday morning was spent at a Podcast hosted by Shaun Keaveney. He does better bouncing off people than performing solo, his guest that day was John Lloyd, creator of QI and Blackadder.

From there, I went to see Football Manager Ruined My Life, an amusing enough tale of becoming addicted to the video game, with the jokes making sense if you’ve ever played the game

Next, was a play, A Complete History Of The BBC, being set in a shed where a BBC enthusiast called Terence, who is currently trying to create a BBC museum, one of the articles is the tub of Lard which replaced Roy Hattersley on Have I Got News For You.

The highlight of it is the exchanges between Terence and his wife Ingrid, who doesn’t quite share his passion for the BBC, and makes the mistake of suggesting that Doctor Who is a kids show.

Tuesday night, was Jason Byrne, with an autobiographical show (seemingly a theme this year) the highlight of which was the awkwardness when his dad accidentally slept on a packet of Rolos, causing much panic from his mum.

Wednesday morning was spent at MacAulay and Co before going to see When I Grow Up by Juliette Burton, a tale of trying to live out childhood fantasies of the jobs she wanted when she was younger, and finding they weren’t quite as she hoped. Though, there was a happy(ish) ending.

There was a bit of a gap before my next show (I went to see Alpha Papa in the cinema in the afternoon) that night of Kunt and the Gang, which as the name suggests, isn’t exactly family entertainment.

Never mind sailing close to the wind, he sailed into the wind. Not for the easily offended, which, thankfully, I am not.

Thursday morning was spent at Shaun Keavaney’s Pleasance Podcast, which was marred having Nick Helm as a guest, as most of the exchanges were excruciatingly awful. Thankfully, the next guest, Johnnie Walker, was a lot more entertaining.

Then, it was time for Amnesty’s Secret Podcast. Not awful, but not brilliant.

Thursday night, was spent in the EICC watching Jason Manford’s show, First World Problems discussing, well, the little things that annoy us.

The highlight of which, was Manford chasing after a man who headed to the toilet during the last joke, dragging him to his seat and insisting he stays there for the joke.

Next up, was Ed Byrne, with (another) autobiographical show looking at life now that he has just turned 40. It was an enjoyable night and an enjoyable end to an enjoyable week in a city that always raises a laugh.

Edinblog 2012

Edinblog 2011

Edinblog 2010

Edinblog 2009

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : NO 1 – 22.12.1984

It’s Christmas 1984, there’s no need to be afraid.

A quick look at Wikipedia tells us that No 1 was a Smash Hits type magazine which ran from 1983-1992.

There is a split cover, with John Taylor looking back on the year with Tony Hadley, and Paul Weller being interviewed by Boy Goerge. In further surrealness, Madness go skiing with the Thompson Twins, while Kim While goes partying with Nick Heyward. It is unknown if Kim Wilde and Nick Heyward’s party involved drunkenly singing on the tube.

John Taylor and Tony Hadley look back at the year, of big Number Ones (but not for their respective bands)

Highlights include :

John Taylor

(On the book, 1984) “It may be a lot closer to what is happening in Chile and Poland”

(On the Miner’s Strike) “The actual cause appears to be establish Arthur Scargill as the leader of the country”

(On Ronald Reagan) “It’s a bit better than that miserable git Mondale”

Tony Hadley

(On football) “I quite like football, but I never have the time to keep up with what’s happening”

(On Ronald Reagan) “I dislike Ronald Reagan. He thinks he’s John Wayne”

Meanwhile, Nick Heyward and Kim Wilde do a picture story of them getting ready to go on a date.

Various pop stars are given a platform for their highs and lows of 1984. Simon Le Bon’s low point was ‘Wild Boys’ not getting to Number One. I’m with him on this one, it’s Duran Duran’s best song, and should have been a Number One.

Tom Bailey, Jay Aston and Curt Smith have political issues as their low point, with Curt Smith having a similar viewpoint on Arthur Scargill as John Taylor.

Sarah from Bananarama rejoices in having a US Top Ten hit, while bemoaning stepping on dogshit in a carpark in Germany.

Paul Weller lists Ronald Reagan’s re-election as US President as his low point of 1984.

Roddy Frame is in support of the Miner’s Strike, describing it as his high point of 1984.

Tracey Ullman lists Lionel Ritchie’s video for ‘Hello’ as her 1984 low point. Time has shown it to be a classic pop video …….. in a ‘so bad it’s good’ kind of way.

Gary Glitter bemoans the lack of jobs for young people. Not going to comment on that.

No 1 readers were out voting for their favourite song of 1984, voting for ‘Careless Whisper’ by George Michael as the best song of the year. Wasn’t even the best George Michael song (Freedom by Wham since you ask, his best ever song he has recorded)

Ali and Robin Campbell get a double page spread talking about Christmas in the Campbell household. Ali Campbell’s first Christmas present that he can remember was a pair of George Best football boots.

There is an advert for music VHS including U2 Live At Red Rocks, and Now That’s What I Call Music 4.

Bucks Fizz are reviewing the recent singles, with Mike Nolan describing Band Aid as “It reminds me of that song by Greg Emerson, I mean, Greg Lake” and saying “If Queen can’t do a good Chritsmas song, I don’t think anyone can” before adding “I prefer ‘Mull Of Kintye'” in reference to Paul McCartney’s Frog Chorus.