THE SOUND OF 2017 : 51-75

51. Rag n Bone Man – Skin
52. Erasure – Love You To The Sky
53. Simon Le Bon – Let’s Dance
54. The Kooks – Be Who You Are
55. The Chainsmokers – Young
56. The XX – On Hold
57. Beck – Up All Night
58. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Be Careful What You Wish For
59. Pvris – What’s Wrong
60. Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill
61. Calvin Harris – Feels
62. Niall Horan – Slow Hand
63. Rick Astley ft Foo Fighters – Never Gonna Give You Up
64. Shed Seven – Don’t Get Me Wrong
65. Depeche Mode – Heroes
66. Ryan Adams – Streets Of Philidelphia
67. The National – The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness
68. James – Sit Down (Game Of Thrones 2017 version)
69. Coldplay – Something Just Like This
70. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – The Man Who Built The Moon
71. Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus – Don’t Dream It’s Over
72. Muse – Dig Down
73. Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott – Here I Go Again
74. Ringo Starr – Give More Love
75. Rory Lavelle – When The Crazies Come Out

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 20.10.2017

1. The Killers – Run For Cover
2. Stereophonics – Caught By The Wind
3. Shed Seven – Don’t Get Me Wrong
4. Ringo Starr – Give More Love
5. Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott – I Gotta Praise

EDINBLOG 2017

After a one year absence, I was back at the Edinburgh Festival.

I didn’t go last year as I went to the European Championship in France instead.

Not going to lie, August 2016 was unbearable, as I follow a lot of performers and venues on Social Media and all they did was post about Edinburgh. It was like hearing about a party you weren’t at.

I decided to go over for the opening weekend. There’s no bad time to go, it’s brilliant all month. From experience, the festival is at it’s best in the middle as you can find them just getting warmed up at the start and winding down at the end.

As I say, there is no bad time to go, and I began to count down from the moment I had the trip booked.

Part of the countdown is getting the programme and circling through it. Lots and lots of circling.

It’s not essential, but it does help if you plan what you want to see in advance. So, I created a database (stop laughing) and plotted my schedule of what I wanted to see.

However, I got lazy and forgot to book them in advance, so I would be gambling on purchasing them on my first day.

Thankfully, it wasn’t too bad. I got all I wanted, albeit having to rearrange the days I saw them to what was planned.

There was a mildly amusing (I’m downgrading it in order to manage expectations) moment when I asked the woman at the counter if Grainne Maguire’s free lunchtime show was ticketed and she replied “Grainne with a fada?”.

I thought her computer was case sensitive but it turned out she was asking if I was wanting to see Grainne Maguire’s other show she was doing.

I went to see What Has The News Ever Done For Me? hosted by Grainne Maguire, where a panel of comedians put forward a case as to why their light hearted news story of choice is the most important story in the world.

The show was ok, but I imagine it will get better throughout the month. What we did learn is that Maguire’s knowledge of Scottish politics is that Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale has a new girlfriend, with Maguire revealing that she once bought a dress because Dugdale wore it.

We also had people loitering outside, unsure if they wanted to see the show. They disappeared before the end of the show.

Despite a year away, I still hadn’t lost the knack of politely declining flyers and apologetically replying “I’m fine thanks”, a phrase I would say quite a lot over the weekend.

On my first day there, the weather didn’t disappoint. When I say it didn’t disappoint, I mean, I expected rain and got lots of it.

I went for a walk to Potterow where building work meant that the BBC’s location had been moved to nearby George Heriot’s School.

I only applied for one show, Steve Wright In The Afternoon on my first day there, and was unsuccessful.

While heading back from Potterow, The Scotsman were selling copies where you get a free goody bag. This include free sun cream …… as the rain continued to fall. Even the Newspaper Sellers in Edinburgh think they’re comedians.

As I headed into Edinburgh from the Airport, I browsed through the listings in Metro and saw an event which caught my eye called Fringe By The Sea, a counter event in North Berwick, a 30 minute train journey away.

KT Tunstall was playing on the Monday while I was there, but it was sold out.

Another concert I was unaware of until I arrived was Madness performing at Falkirk Stadium on the first day I arrived. Falkirk is only 30 minutes from Edinburgh by train.

No point crying over what I missed out on.

On the Friday teatime I went to see What Bowie Did Next looking at what David Bowie did when he entered heaven.

It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t something i’d preach about to others. There were some fluffed lines, but they weren’t disastrous due to some quick thinking and audience interaction, and we did get to see Jimi Hendrix as portrayed by Jim Broadbent.

Friday accidentally became a themed day of dead people as my next show starred Margaret Thatcher. Well, probably someone in costume as her.

Thatcher Queen Of Game Shows is the follow-up to Thatcher Queen Of Sho, where Maggie now hosts a Game Show where plebs battle it out for benefits.

As I queued outside, Thatcher came out to inform the crowd that the show was delayed due to technical issues, blaming them on Theresa May.

She even apologised for the delay. That was very uncharacteristic for her. She didn’t apologise for the rain though.

The show pitted Skivers against Strivers. I was sat in the Skivers section, as we were treated to Angela Merkel rapping and Nicola Sturgeon in puppet form. Seriously, go see it.

Saturday morning was spent visiting Grassmarket and walking around the general Princes Street area, before catching some football as Edinburgh City took on Montrose,

By Saturday teatime, Edinburgh was now bathed in sunshine and that free sun cream was coming in handy, as I headed to Pleasance to see Matt Forde with a show titled that it was hastily rewritten.

He covers Politics and, i’m not sure if you’ve noticed recently, but Politics is fucked up these days.

You don’t have to be into Politics to enjoy the show, as he talks about loving the way Paul Nuttall says “Fisheries” and not much else about him.

Sunday morning was spent looking for bargains in the charity shops near Potterow and visiting Royal Mile Market as Edinburgh got treated to more rain.

By this point, The Scotsman were now giving out ponchos to anyone who bought it.

I’d left a gap on Monday for KT Tunstall, but i’d resigned myself to not going, so I set about getting tickets for Monday.

I purchased one for The Damned United. I’d hoped to see James Acaster but he was sold out, so Monday night was still free.

On Sunday teatime I went to see a show called Ringo starring Alexander Fox, about his obsession with Ringo Starr.

His accent when impersonating Starr sounded a bit Yorkshire, but a quick audio montage during the show revealed that Ringo’s accent goes all over the place.

Fox stated that he couldn’t afford an agent of flyers as he spent all his budget on a drum kit to perform on stage during the show.

However, I saw Flyerers for his show on the Monday, so he must have had a good weekend.

On the Sunday evening, I went to see Whose Line Is It Anyway? which was worth it to see Phill Jupitus do Bollywood.

I toyed with the idea of getting up early on Monday to walk Arthur’s Seat, but slept in. Try again in 2018.

I walked around Edinburgh on Monday morning, really realising how much I miss going to MacAulay and Co on weekday mornings, with the show having been cancelled by BBC Scotland in 2015.

So, what to do on Monday night?

Monday lunchtime was a free show called Circled In the Radio Times by John Osborne about inheriting his Grandad’s old editions of Radio Times and being able to pinpoint the exact moment he stopped watching Eastenders. It involved a Mitchell family feud.

Monday teatime was spent watching a stage version of The Damned United.

We even got a programme. Well, a sheet listing the cast, but i’m counting it as a programme.

It was very sweary, with some of Brian Clough’s mannerisms being spot on.

I wouldn’t say it’s the best play about Brian Cough at this year’s Fringe, but it’s in the top one.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t run for 44 days.

Warning, it’s very sweary.

Monday night was spent seeing Fred MacAulay at The Stand.

I’ve been a fan for a while but never got round to seeing as I usually went to his BBC show for free so didn’t feel the need to.

He observed his level of fame as being people know his name but don’t know his name and shared his fear that he might be related to Donald Trump.

So, that was it, my Edinburgh was over for another year and I flew back to Belfast on Tuesday morning.

One downside is that when you go, there will be some acts you miss. Here are some i’d suggest if you are heading over that I would have loved to have seen but they weren’t on when I was there :

Fred MacAulay In Conversation

Iain Connell

Limmy

Live At The Pleasance

Mark Watson

In Conversation With Amy MacDonald

Mr Laurel and Mr Hardy

So that is me, until August 2018 when it will be uphill walks, apologising to flyerers, rain, and most importantly, a good time.

Edinblog 2015

Edinblog 2014

Edinblog 2013

Edinblog 2012

Edinblog 2011

Edinblog 2010

TOP 25 SIMPSONS GUEST STARS

Believe it or not, America’s favourite family celebrates 25 years since it’s first ever episode (full episodes, not it’s appearances on The Tracey Ullman Show)

That’s The Simpsons, not The Waltons, although George Bush might disagree. George Bush was, of course, a memorable Simpsons character, although it wasn’t voiced by him. If it was, it would have been one of the greatest Simpsons guest stars ever.

In celebration of The Simpsons 25th anniversary, here’s 25 of the best guest stars of The Simpsons.

1. MICHAEL JACKSON

Jackson played a man pretending to be Michael Jackson, who befriended Homer when Homer was admitted to an asylum, referred to by guards as “The big white guy who thinks he’s the little black guy”

Homer has never heard of Michael Jackson, prompting the classic line :

“I’ve never heard of you, name one of your songs” “Beat It” “No you beat it”

Homer invites “Michael” to visit his family, who speaks to Bart, who is fooled by the voice believing him to be Michael Jackson, so he tells everyone.

A large crowd appears, only to be disappointed when it wasn’t Michael Jackson. Meanwhile, Bart forgets to get Lisa a birthday present, so “Michael” helps Bart write a song for her.

2. DUSTIN HOFFMAN

Hoffman played an inspirational teacher, Mr Bergstrom, who covers for Miss Hoover when she goes off sick. Mr Bergstrom isn’t afraid to make fun of himself, encouraging his kids to make fun of his name, suggesting Mr Nerdstrom or Mr Boogerstrom.

Eventually, he leaves town for another school, leaving Lisa heartbroken.

Classic line, came after bumping into Lisa and Homer at a museum, to Lisa :

“I thought that your dad was helping you with your homework. After talking to him, I believe that not to be the case”

3. RINGO STARR

A brief one, where Marge rediscovers her love of painting, and it emerges she sent some paintings of Ringo Starr to Ringo Starr. He’d spent 25 years replying to fanmail and finally got around to Marge. In this episode, he revealed that his real name is Richard, and that they have french fries in England, only they call them chips.

4. SPINAL TAP

Bart goes to a Spinal Tap concert and decides he wants to be a rock star. Taking his guitar to school, Otto gives an inpromptu concert on the buss, causing him to run late, then speed to get the kids to school on time, causing him to lose his lices, job and house. He eventually gets them all back.

It’s Spinal Tap, who steal the show, with so many classic lines ”

“Hello Springton!!!!”

“We’re very big in Eastern Europe. We bought a soccer team in Hungaria, or is it Bulgaria. I dunno, it’s one of the Garias”

“Could you record a trailer, nobody rocks as good as Bill and Marty?” “But what if somebody does rock as good as Bill and Marty? Or better?”

5. ELIZABETH TAYLOR

Two time guest star, playing Maggie Simpson, only saying one word at the end of the episode where the reminisce about Lisa’s first word. Although, none of the other family members heard it.

Then there was a later appearance as herself, turning down the chance to appear in a Krusty The Clown Special

6. KELSEY GRAMMAR

Sideshow Bob. Say no more. So many appearances, i’m not even sure if he’s a guest star or a regular cast member.

Classic Moment : The rakes. Burrrggggghhhh!!!!! Burrrggggghhhh!!!!!

7. DANNY DEVITO

A guest role as Herb Powell, as Homer’s half brother, who Homer only discovered when Granpa made a deathbed confession when he thought he was dying. It turns out, that Herb is a very rich man, making his money from running a car company.

Herb decides to bond with his new found brother, allowing him to design a car, with predictable results, ending with him being bankrupt.

Devito makes a second appearance, where he gets back on his feet and becomes successful again through a range of baby monitors, with the help of Homer.

8. GEORGE HARRISON

A second Beatle in this chart, Harrison says hello to Homer backstage at the Grammys, during his pop star days with The B Sharps, though is more excited about the food on offer. Later in the episode, The Be Sharps do a rooftop gig for fans, and Harrison’s chauffer driven car pulls over, for him to dismissively comment “That’s been done”

9. JON LOVITZ

Originally appeared as Jay Sherman, in cross promotion for his show The Critic, where he plays a film critic. Springfield hosts a film festival where he is invited to be a judge. Sherman finds himself being wedgied from a basketball hoop after accidentally suggesting (prompted by Bart) that MacGyver was gay, facing the wrath of Patti and Selma.

Lovitz also appears as the recurring character Artie Ziff, forever determined to win Marge’s affections.

10. JACKIE MASON

Legendary comedian plays the disapproving Rabbi dad of another comedian, Hershal Krustovsky (or, if you prefer, Krusty The Clown). In real life, Jackie Mason used to be a Rabbi.

11. PATRICK STEWART

Known simply as Number One, Stewart plays the leader of a secret organisation called The Stonecutters, who in son, claim to control the British crown, keep the metric system down, keeps the martians under wraps, and keeps Atlantic off the maps.

Although, he is deposed by Homer, after it emerges he has the sacred Stonecutters birthmark. Disagreements about Homer’s direction of the organisation results in a breakaway group, which excludes Homer.

12. GLENN CLOSE

Close stars as Homer’s long lost mum, Mona, in a few brief appearances. Upon meeting his new grandmother, Bart immediately brings up the backdated birthday and christmas presents he is owed.

Mona bonds with Lisa, they start singing Blowin In The Wind by Bob Dylan …

“How many roads must a man walk, before you can call him a man?” – Homer shouts a number before being told it was a rhetorical question, only to shout another number.

13. DOLLY PARTON

A brief appearance, she helps Homer and friends escape from “Superbowl Jail” with her make-up remover, after she shares a mutual friend with Homer, Travel Agent Wally Kogen, who organised the ill fated Superbowl trip.

14. MARK HAMILL

By being swamped by fans at a convention, Mark Hamill accidentally sends Homer’s career spinning in the direction of the security industry, when Mayor Quimbey is impressed by Homer’s rescue of Hamill.

Classic moment : Homer and Hamill flee to safety in a prop spaceship, only for them to exit ti seconds later, with Homer saying “How was I supposed to know it wasn’t a real spaceship?”

15. DONALD SUTHERLAND

Sutherland plays a historian fiercely loyal to the legacy of Jebediah Springfield, to the point that he attempts to sabotage Lisa’s investigation when she gets a sniff that Jebediah Springfield might not be the great cultural icon he’s made out to be, to the point she, her children, and her children’s children are banned from the Springfield Historical Society. For three months.

16. ADAM WEST

Masked crimefighter and political icon West is the guest of honour at a car show, where Bart and Lisa don’t know who he is, having only seen Tim Burton’s Batman movies, asking “Why doesn’t Batman dance? Remember the Batusi?”

17. JAY LENO/STEVEN WRIGHT

Jay Leno organises a Comedy Festival in Springfield, and Bart persuades him to put Krusty on the bill. Krusty bombs and announces his retirement, on a low. At his press conference, Krusty goes on a rant, having the press in howls of laughter, so he announces his comeback, and an edgy, underground comedian, before failing to resist the lure of money and commercialism, by appearing in a car commercial.

Steven Wright appears on the bill, declaring that he read the dictionary, and it turns out the zebra did it. Everybody laughs, except Homer, who didn’t get the joke.

18. STING

Bart plays a prank on Springfield, putting a two way radio down a well, pretending to be a trapped child under the name of Timmy O’Toole. Realising he put his nametag on the radio, Bart tries to retrieve it, only to fall down himself.

Timmy’s case got widespread sympathy, including a charity single, where Krusty contacts Sting, who he had sacked his opening at some years earlier.

Sting gets his hands dirty in the rescue mission, prompting this classic line :

“Mrs Simpson, I can’t sit by while one of my fans is in trouble”
“Actually, i’ve never heard Bart play any of your records”

Only for Homer to whisper “Shut up Marge, he’s a good digger”

19. THE WHO

Springfield gets split into two, with their own version of the Berlin Wall, only for a concert by The Who to reunited the divided city.

20. LISA KUDROW

The only Friend on the list, Kudrow plays a new girl at the school, who befriends Lisa’s circle of friends, and struggles to understand why a bunch of eight year olds are so immature.

21. DAVID HYDE PIERCE

Joining another guest star (shouldn’t be too hard to guess who) as Cecil Terwilliger, Bob’s brother, who still hasn’t got over missing out on being Krusty’s sidekick, attempting to frame his brother in a dodgy construction scam, which would result in a dam bursting.

When confronted by Bob, Cecil says he’ll get away with it due to a criminal mastermind with a grudge against the city being on the payroll, to which Bob reference’s Cousin Merle (one of the construction workers) and his issues with parking tickets, before “Oh. you mean me”

22. DAVID DUCHOVY/GILLIAN ANDERSON

Before investigating crime in Belfast, Gillian Anderson (along with X-Files co-star David Duchovny) investigated extra terrestrial activity in Springfield, when Homer claimed he saw an alien. It turned out to be Mr Burns, glowing, after his Friday evening medical treatment.

23. MARTIN SHEEN

Sheen stars as Seymour Skinner, who turned out to be held in a POW Camp for 25 years, and that the principal of the local school, was a fraud. The other Skinner came to inform Agnes Skinner that her son was believed to be dead, but he didn’t get a chance to deliver the news as she immediately took him in, believing him to be her son.

The new Skinner gets put in charge of the school, but his reign is unpopular, and is overthrown and deported from Springfield, with the fraud Skinner going back to his original job, and the real Skinner is never spoken of again.

24. JOHN WATERS

Waters plays a gay shop owner who Homer befriends, not knowing he is gay. Homer insists that John and his wife to dinner, only for Marge to drop hints that “John prefers being in the company of men”, which Homer replies “Who doesn’t?”, interpreting it as like he is in the company of Lenny and Karl at Moe’s

Homer eventually realises that John is gay, and sends Bart to kill a Reindeer, as a final attempt to try and stop Bart being gay in the future, only for the animals to attack them, and John arrives on the scene to save the day/

25. BASEBALL LEGENDS

I know nothing about Major League Baseball, but I know the episode where Mr Burns hires various Baseball legends to work at the power plant in order to play as ringers for the company team is a classic episode.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 24.2.2012

1. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Supersonic
2. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Talk Tonight
3. Emeli Sande – Next To Me
4. Gotye – Somebody I Used To Know
5. Sleigh Bells – Comeback Kid

Seeing as this week saw what would have been Kurt Cobain’s 45 th birthday, why not have a Nirvana Chart.

For the life of me, I just can’t imagine what Kurt Cobain would have been like as a 45 year old.

FIVE NIRVANA SONGS

1. Come As You Are
2. You Know You’re right
3. Smells Like Teen Spirit
4. Heart Shaped Box
5. Man Who Sold The World

This week saw the 500th episode of The simpsons be broadcast. I am an unashamed Simpsons geek, so, here are my Top Five Simpsons guest stars

FIVE SIMPSONS GUEST STARS

1. Ringo Starr
2. Michael Jackson
3. Dustin Hoffman
4. Stan Lee
5. Adam West

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – JANUARY 1991

The latest in the series looking back at magazines from the past takes us to the January 1991 edition of Q, featuring INXS on the cover and looking back at the 50 best albums of 1990.

Randomly, the logo is in silver, and looking at the collage of back issues in the magazine (Aimed at selling back issues to those who missed it), it seems to change colour on a monthly basis, rather than the red with a white Q we all know.

The Spine Line simply reads “Ugly Rumours”

Everybody knows that Ugly Rumours was the name of a band in the early 1970s fronted by aspiring singer Tony Blair, but in 1990, he was Shadow Secretary of State for Employment, so it obviously isn’t a reference to him.

Q reader Ed Jenkins curiosity caused him to write in wondering whatever happened to The Small Faces, and Q obliged, filling him in with what they were up to.

Singer Steve Marriott died in a house fire in April 1991. By the end of the decade, bandmate Ronnie Lane would also be dead.

An advert for Our Price promoted some of the pick of albums out this year include an album by Prefab Sprout, them of the Hot Dog and Elvis fame with their album “Jordan : The Comeback”, which would have a totally different meaning in 2010.

Fans of classic Our Price adverts would be advised to check out this TV promo for OMD’s Best Of album, from 1988.

Ringo Starr, narrator of Thomas The Tank Engine and The Simpsons guest star, got a triple page spread for his music career, looking back on the US tour he had just done.

Six pages are dedicated to the Top 50 Albums Of 1990, with the Mancunian owner before me ticking and question marking albums on the list based on his tastes.

Concert fans in late 1990 were spolit for choice as Eric Clapton, Del Amitri, Dr Feelgood, Gary Glitter, Cliff Richard and Status Quo were all out on tour, though not together.

The reviews section had a sub section dedicated to videos, remember them, with the main focus being on Madonna’s “Ultimate Collection”.

Sharing a page with her on the opening page of the video section is “The Gary Glitter Story”, where reviwer Colin Shearman claims “Gary Glitter’s no longer a mere rock star, he’s now a Greeat British institution, standing somewhere between Paul McCartney and The Queen Mum”.

If only he knew.