Well, down at the boozer the air has been hot with indignation and bitter vitriol about the state of British music after what can only be described as a show where modern British music was disgraced in front of the whole world.
I don't think I really need to go on about the bollocks commonly known as the Eurovision Thong Contest.....a hall full of gay men in cowboy hats and luminous lycra. The usual "Boom Bang a Puppet on a String Box" gathering and E Humperdink was just the man for the job. Normal embarrassing useless crap.
THE JUBILEE CONCERT
It became pretty evident that some of the Jubilee Concert was really the corporate arm of the 'X Factor' franchise, on a day out, which meant we had to suffer some poo, and didn't we just? But wait a minute.....there were some great people on too weren't there? Well everybody who was a star in the 60's was still a star of that concert and performed like the REAL performers they are. But as for today's pop heroes?
CHERYL COLE (NEE) TWEEDY, IN A CLASS OF HER OWN!!!
It has to be said that Cheryl Cole (nee Tweedy) was in a class of her own for this concert and in some ways it was her re-launch onto the world scene, having been dumped by the Americans a year ago, so she had something to prove. Her publicity machine had conveniently brushed aside the recent controversy about her miming when appearing on the hit TV Show, 'The Voice", which is a show for singers apparently?
Some people said "She can't sing" and you know what, they're absolutely spot on!! but surely, she must be more than just a pretty little geordie ...... hang on, she was definitely taller than the Queen!!....that's something?
It's a good job the Queen didn't ask her about her dress either, a calculated publicity grabbing headline would surely have filled the Daily Rags to say she was wearing a dress designed by EWA MINGE...
I thought that was a Saturday night game for consenting adults and as for little Gary Barlow, now this might be a tad critical but "Gary I'd get another tailor" - I mean he must have been pissed out of his head when he went for a fitting cos his jacket had to be held together with a chain!! It didn't even cover his stomach, he was probably thinking "Well I'll slim down into it" and didn't quite make it.
My mate Crazy Malc said he'd tried to emulate her sound but had run out of cats to strangle.
Gary Barlow's face was magic, there was this fleeting moment of horror as he heard those first notes. He looked in her direction, (probably expecting to see a Yak?) and I bet he was thinking "What the ****?, I was hoping for a Knighthood for this?". Sir Gazza of Boybandland.
I could clearly hear the sound techie, who by the way was shit all through the concert, piling on the effects board to try and salvage what could only be described as a vocal Kamikaze dive into a sea of useless crap. As I watched this dire performance I was reminded of the mantra given to me by my old Indian cave-dwelling guru - "You can't polish a turd".
This is the face of music in our times my friends, concocted, orchestrated, publicity machine and AUTOTUNE. It was the only time I can think of being envious of the deaf, she probably sounded OK on sub titles. Her manager, Will-i-am came to her rescue though with a host of flatties himself during his performance and then pathetically struggling to sing with the incredible Stevie Wonder.
I take no pleasure in saying that the country's identity for musical greatness was saved by the artists from the 60's - Shirley Bassey (85), Tom Jones (73)...yes siree!, Elton John (a girl doesn't give her age away) and Macca (70) as the high quality talent, Macca's and Elton's croaky voice apart, they were all really amazing.....go Shirl' what a gob. I would bet money that the bewildering choice of "Ob-La-Di" as Macca's set closer was because it was the only song the Queen knew as she thought it was about posh people swearing- unsurprisingly, the VIP box was rockin along to that piece of throw away pap, except for the Queen herself who wore ear plugs throughout the concert - "Is it over yet?, right then, Mmmm, particularly loved the Yak impersonation, how novel, time for tea and Knighthoods" - "Not you Barlow!".
On Monday, following this embarrassing show the headlines in the papers were "Cheryl Shoots to her Third No 1" - well there you go. What was that song again "There's a sucker, born every minute......" Gary got an OBE.
BRUMMIES, DURAN DURAN ARE WILD BOYS ALRIGHT - PROBABLY LIVID!!
It didn't go un-noticed by us that there were no Brummies on the bill and only the other day I heard Duran Duran on the radio saying "We've been let down" "We had been waiting for the call to pack the things into the van". It's even been said that the Black Country's own, The Strollers, were actually thinking of reforming specially for the Queen. "The Strollers?" you ask in open mouthed amazement? yes, even them.
Click here - The STROLLERS.
At her last Jubilee gig The Queen had Black Sabbath (well not literally!!!) but it's rumoured that she's a bit pissed off with Prince Philip who keeps going on about the, "Is Bill Ward going to drum for Sabbath again?" controversy, so she didn't have them back. He walked past me one day and I swear he was humming War Pig.
|"BILL WARD WILL BE PLAYING THIS LONG, LITERALLY!"|
Those points of order having been agreed, we adjourned to the Snug to bemoan the fate of our football clubs, the state of the economy, the state of the world, brutal war and religion. The Skiffle King told me that he had been chatting to his offspring, Rossington Hoyer, (named after his first guitar) about the dreadful state of this planet and said "Well cheer up, Rossington I've heard a rumour that Jesus is returning anytime soon".
Rossington replied "What, to pick up his things?" Kinda sums things up I think??
Right then, back in the days of the 60's there were only a couple of girl singers worth a mention in Birmingham and one of then was the great Tanya Day.
|TANYA DAY WITH JOHNNY NEAL AND THE STARLINERS (copyright J Neal)|
Being one of Reg's stable she toured extensively in the UK and also appeared at The Star Club along with The Beatles. Whilst there she was approached to make a single, a cover of The Shirelles bizarrely titled "His Lips Get in the Way" where she was backed by the Nu Notes which included one Richie Blackmore during his session guitarist days. I've read somewhere that the Nu Notes played on both sides but...........
A couple of years back I had an hour's telephone conversation with Tanya and she said that when she had been offered the recording deal for "His Lips.." she told her backing group 'The Somebodys' that she would be recording a single but with session men as her backing group. She said their response was "Oh you can't do that Tanya you'll get ripped off, it won't be good for your image etc etc...", she then said to them "And they want you to back me for the B side ,"I Get So Lonely", at which point they all thought it was a great idea!!.
Well 'His Lips Get in the Way' did nothing for her chart-wise but at least "Recording Star" would adorn the Dance Hall posters and she would get a bit more dough. Tanya and The Somebodys gained some rather unwelcome notoriety for that 'B' side, "I Get so Lonely". It was positioned at No 10 in the list of the Top 30 worlds worst records by Kenny Everett. I haven't heard it myself but have to say that I've never heard a good 'A' side recording made in Germany from back then let alone a 'B' side that they would have been given 10 minutes to knock off.
I would have liked to have done more of an in-depth article about her and indeed Tanya had agreed to do an interview but unfortunately I never heard from her again. She and her husband Paul run a Hotel in Brum these days.
THE LATE PHIL SAVAGE
|Phil Savage in Action with Frosty Moses (copyright Frosty Moses)|
Phil in his finest hour, pure energy. I know he will be missed by everyone.
OLYMPICS UPDATE!!! Lord Snooty and his pals have shown support for the 80 British unsigned bands and various other musical invitees who are playing at the games by NOT Paying them anything. I bet they discover that they will have to pay their own electricity and admin bill at the end of it. Why are musicians are treated so badly by this and every other Goverment?
Buy a gun and run for the hills!! The Stratocaster Kid, Tony Blair says he wants to be Prime Minister again.....
Until next time our cyber paths cross,
copyright: Bulls Head Bob