Archive for Music

Waltzing with the Balance of Power.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 04/07/2011 by bimbo78

Do you think if I just launch straight into a blog nobody will notice that I have been absent for a number of months.? I’m going to give it a try so sssshhh don’t draw attention to me. (Bimbo slowly opens the door and squeezes herself quietly into her blog)

My musical taste is getting more diverse I think. I’m getting more and more into alternative folk but then again it has been more in the public eye recently what with the likes of Mumford and Sons and Fleet Foxes wandering about with their waistcoats and braces on. I’m not a massive fan of the aforementioned but they’re ok. Mumford and Sons have a couple of really good tunes and one of Fleet Foxes song is really tremendous…when sang by First Aid Kit. Bob absolutely detests Mumford and Sons and he is backed up by Neil and KP. The word urchin and mass produced has been bandied around….

I think an effect of listening to more folk has meant that I have been downloading more ‘hard rock’ to offset it. A couple of days ago I downloaded a few Bellowhead tracks after watching their set at Glasto and straight after also downloaded some Pantera and Magadeath. It’s almost like my Itunes has a balance of power fight going on. Maybe the Folk could form an alliance with the Post Punk and General Alternative to try and snatch power from Rock. It’s unlikely to succeed.

Anyway, the reason I decided to write this blog was a little seed Spex put in my head a couple of weeks ago by mentioning Waltz’s. How many Waltz’s do I have on my Itunes? Without listening to my entire music library I guess I shall never know but let’s go for the more obvious ones first, (like the word Waltz in the title!!)
Owl Waltz by Seabear
Waltz #2 by Elliot Smith
Waltz for Richard by First Aid Kit
Waltz for Lumumba by Spencer Davis Group, (this is a very fast Waltz!)

Right that might be it for the easy ones but some more that spring to mind.
Blackout by Muse, (this is actually the song that started my mind ticking ages ago if I’m honest. Bob has seen me Waltz around the kitchen to this tune on numerous occasions. )
Crown of Love Arcade Fire
Iris the Goo Goo Dolls.
Subterranean Homesick Alien by Radiohead
Where did you sleep last night Nirvana.
Flightless Bird American Mouth, (once again very obviously a Waltz). Iron and Wine
My name is Jonas, Weezer.
Nothing Else Matter, Metallica.

Now I am sure there are lots more lurking in my itunes library and I may add to this list in the future.

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Oh Yoshimi……

Posted in Music, weekends with tags , on 17/11/2009 by bimbo78

I had a bit of a crazy couple of days at works at the end of last week. The weather was looking particularly awful for the weekend especially on the south coast. Oh joy of joys that was indeed where I was off to. I wrote a couple of emails to my friends resident at the south coast and also to my dad who was going away to Torquay for the weekend telling them all to wear their heavy shoes. I took a half day Friday and escaped the mounting chaos of the flood forecasters. The rain decided it would accompany me all the way down to Pompey but did not fall quite so intensely as I was expecting. I arrived nice and early, Spex had also left work early so we lounged about for a bit. H then arrived after an 11 day stint at work, oh my god the poor thing. Spex rustled up some grub whilst we planned logistics. It was decided we would enter Pompey via public transport as that would be the last thing ‘they’ would be expecting, take them by surprise that’s what I say. We arrived close to the Guild Hall and piled through the door straight to the bar. This bar sold 2 pint glasses which Spex decided to partake in, luckily for him he didn’t have to order it at the bar, the guy behind me just said my word, you’ll need two hands for that! How rude!! Hannah and I decided against such excessiveness. The outcome was Spex looking Like Merry and Pippin in Lord of the rings when they find out that it does indeed come in pints.

It comes in pints!!

We wandered in and saw the support, Star Death and White Dwarfs, (shouldn’t that be dwarves?). Which is indeed an odd name for a band. A white dwarf is the final evolutionary stage of a quite small but dense star. It doesn’t have any fission going on anymore so the luminosity is caused by just thermal energy. This will fade over time and leave a black dwarf so a white dwarf is on the way to being a dead star, (which is incidentally a fabulous song by Muse: You used to be everything to me, now you’re tired of fighting….. apparently about the relationship between the British Government and George Bush) Woah there, tangent city, my head is completely full of coherent thoughts again. I need to empty them out to make room for more. It’s like in the last 2 years my head has been storing all the stuff it would have been thinking about normally and has picked now to let it all come flooding into consciousness. So you must excuse my excessive randomness.

So anyway, Star Death and White Dwarfs were really good, quite seventies and funky. They were really digging the fake smoke. A little too much it turned out as about 5 songs into their set I saw a dude in a high vis vest run across the front of the crowd and start talking to the lead singer. How rude I thought. The lead singer stopped and that’s when we all became aware of the fire alarm going off. Ooh dear, we all wandered out into the crazy wind outside and finished our drinks, luckily it wasn’t raining. After about 15 minutes we traipsed back in and the support apologised profusely before continuing. They finished with a cover which just sounded so strangely familiar, the suddenly it dawned on me. It was freaking Borderline by Madonna. Oh my god, how infinitely better than the original.

The good thing about our little excursion outside was that we didn’t have to wait long for the main event…ladies and gentlemen may I introduce The Flaming Lips, complete with big dancing rabbits at the side of the stage just like they are famous for. Unfortunately Justin Timberlake wasn’t amongst them. Now I can’t remember how long I have loved the Flaming Lips for. Not full on Oh my god they are my favourite band type love but they have certainly written one of my favourite songs ever. Yoshimi is in my top 10 songs. I also love that they are a bit out there, a bit kooky, some may say a bit like me.

So Wayne Coyne comes on the stage and gives a kind of safety announcement before getting into a giant zorb and crowd surfing, hahahahaha. He disappears off before confetti cannons cover the smiling laughing crowd in confetti and streamers. Giant balloons appear and the crowd get to bash them around as Mr Coyne sheds his zorb and starts singing. They were just amazing, I can’t actually articulate how immensely awesome were. The crowd were great too, no animosity no baying for space. People were shaking hands and singing with complete strangers, it may have had something to do with the 2 pint glasses but I just think it was the unbelievable happiness their music produces. Spex has put together a play list so there you go. At the end of the main set they went off to rapturous applause, we cheered and stamped and sure enough Mr Coyne re-entered the stage. Unfortunately it was to tell us that two people, including one of the giant dancing rabbits had not liked the strobes in the last song and the dancer was actually at the side of the stage still having some issues. Oh my god how guilty did we feel for cheering them back onto the stage. He just asked us to stay chilled and quiet for a bit until they knew everything was ok. After about 5 minutes they retook the stage and played do you realise. Woo hoo!! So maybe it was the little incidents that added to it. H had mentioned outside this is how great nights start and she was right.

In the taxi home we discussed how legendary it had been, we all agreed up there possibly the best gig ever and given how many gigs those two have been to that is indeed an immense compliment. We chatted into the early hours hearing the stupid wind picking up outside. Next day we went to the Arthur Conan Doyle exhibition at the museum, yay!! I know this isn’t a particularly feminine author to like but I do so don’t make me fight you. We mooched around other bits of the museum as there was little else to do with the storm raging outside. We took in some ‘art’ and an exhibition about the footy club before leaving. We drove along the sea front, well I say drove, I think we would have continued to move even if Spex had taken his foot off the accelerator, it probably would have been sideways though. It was stupidly wind, later I heard 100 mph gusts were reported which may explain this insaness. We had a nice quiet night on Saturday going out for dinner and then going back chatting and drinking.

On Sunday I drove back in the winter sunshine towards Dorset, I drove past the Lamer Tree Gardens where End of the Road Festival took place and I couldn’t help a smile coming to my lips. Then I arrived at Ebbys for Sunday lunch…there was definitely something wrong I could tell. I didn’t question her but have since found out. What bizarrely parallel lives we live sometimes young lady. Xx. Anyway, lunch was lovely but I was so tired and was desperately trying not to succumb to the lurgy which I could feel attacking me, so I didn’t stay long and don’t really remember much of the drive home. That’s really bad isn’t it? I shall stay longer next time and we shall drink vino and talk about everything in the world.

Right now, time to hjave a good stab at getting rid of this freaking cold. Is it too early for a hot toddy? I believe it may be.

A trip to the doctor

Posted in Music with tags on 26/11/2008 by bimbo78

“Excuse me doctor I can’t stop being a miserable git and I keep listening to songs about death and crying”

“Right ok, just a few questions. Do you wear mostly black clothes and a studded belt?”

“ Why yes I do”

“Interesting. Is you profile picture on your social networking site of choice a photo of you miserable little face taken by yourself looking upwards at your camera phone?”

“ Um no, it’s me on a swing”

“ Maybe things aren’t as bad as I thought. Have you been listening to My Chemical Romance?”

“ Well yes actually, especially Helena”

“ Do you talk about death quite a lot?”

“Normally only when I have had a few but I’m trying to stop that. I just talk about it anytime now”

“Goodness, well it appears Ms Howells that you are suffering from an acute case of emoitus. I think you should delete MCR from you MP3 player and go for a run once a day, preferably before a meal to disperse the melancholic gloom”

“Oh dear, I thought I was too old to get emoitus, I don’t even own any skull printed clothing, are you sure? And should I also delete Paramore?”

“ Emoitus can strike at any age. It is especially prevalent in miserable gits like yourself. And yes you should delete Paramore, Jimmy Eat World, Weezer, Dashboard Confessional, New Found Glory and Funeral for a Friend”

“ Right you are doc, I’ll just listen to Rage Against the Machine instead. Thinking about it I have been wearing more skinny fit jeans recently, oh my god, I’ve got emoitus!”

“The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, I think we are already getting there”

Frozen fun.

Posted in Music with tags on 06/11/2008 by bimbo78

On Tuesday Bob and I nipped to the Civic in Wolverhampton to see Sigur Ros. I haven’t been too well recently and had been suffering big time with snot and headaches etc…Anyway I felt ok on Tuesday evening and so off we went. The gig has got to have one of the most diverse audiences I have ever seen. Loads of kooky people ranging from 16 to about 70. It was nice, I felt like I belonged which I have to say I don’t really feel at most gigs anymore due to the little wipper snappers with far too much attitude.

First the support band, For a minor reflection, they are a 4 piece also form Iceland. They took the stage and played just the most beautiful instrumental atmospheric melodies, after the first ‘song’ the lead guitarist said they had only ever played to about 20 people before so it was very special for them. The entire place just erupted into cheering and applause because they had blown us away and nobody quite believed they had never done a bigger gig before. (they actually played airwaves in Reykjavik but that doesn’t count). The set carried on with crazy soaring tunes with quite hard rocky guitars. I’ve since found out that the guitarist is actually one of the dudes from Sigur Ros’s little brother. There must be something in the water in their village, (probably some nasty volcanic substance)

Then after much waiting around in the interlude Sigur Ros took to the stage. The lighting was really cool giving the impression that the band were playing their gig on the sea bed, this made even more realistic by the strange Whale type noises that accompany most of their tunes. They were fabulous and very experimental as ever, (I have never seen anyone sing into their guitar before, or play it with a strange bow type thing). We got snowed on at several points throughout the evening just to make the little monkeys feel at home. I felt at home too, I’m sure I have mentioned this before but I left a piece of me in Iceland, (and I don’t mean a toe nail, that was in Austria). I felt at home there more so than I have felt anywhere before. I love my home and I really do believe that Britain is beautiful but I fitted in Iceland. Bob says I couldn’t live there because the darkness in the winter would send me nuts but I think that is what is supposed to happen. Anyway, enough of this longing for my frozen Isle of fire and ice. Sigur Ros were great and so were For a minor reflection.

Guitar Heroes and Heroines. Rock Gods and Goddesses.

Posted in Music with tags on 15/10/2008 by bimbo78

This is pretty self-explanatory and is a continuation of a conversation myself, Bob and Spex had a couple of months ago. There are two halls of fame. One for Guitar Heroes and Heroines the other for Rock Gods and Goddesses, you can appear in both lists but you have to be pretty special. I’ve tried to be unbiased and not let my personal taste in music influence the lists.

Guitar Heroes and Heroines, (in no particular order)
1. Matthew Bellamy (well he would have to be first)
2. Jimmy Hendrix
3. Charlotte Hatherley
4. Angus Young, (purely for the insane continuing riff through Thunderstruck)
5. Jimmy Page
6. Slash
7. Jennifer Batten, (I’ll even excuse the hair)
8. Brian May
9. Dave Grohl
10. Pete Townsend
11. Keith Richards
12. Jeff Beck
13. Tom Morrello
14. Joni Mitchell
15. Joan Jett
16. Dave Davis
17. Graham Coxon
18. Chuck Berry
19. BB King

Rock Gods and Goddesses
1. David Bowie
2. Freddie Mercury
3. Mick Jagger
4. Dave Grohl, (ohh there you go first to appear in both)
5. Kurt Cobain
6. Roger Daltrey
7. Matthew Bellamy, (that’s the second)
8. Debbie Harry
9. James Hepffield
10. Ozzy Osbourne
11. John Lennon
12. Axl Rose
13. Courtney Love, (I’m not sure about her, she’s an amazing front woman which I s’pose makes her a rock goddess)
14. Jeff Buckley
15. Stephen Tyler
16. Siouxsie Sioux

Additions?

Fake rabbit, real snake!!

Posted in Music with tags , on 15/05/2008 by bimbo78

I’m still buzzing from last night. You’ll have to excuse the blog it is very self indulgent, but it’s my blog so I don’t care.

Bob and I nipped in to Hereford after work and had some dinner. Then we had a bit of a wander down by the Wye. There is a new floodwall being built down there, which is quite exciting, (sad geek). Then we went to the Barrels, which I haven’t been in for years. It’s still the same, thank God. I started to get home sick. This pub means a lot to a lot of people. To me it was my haven when I was a teenager in Hereford. Most of the other pubs were filled with the townie brigade with the guys in their checked Ben Sherman shirts and the chicks in their little skirts leaving nothing to the imagination. I used to go here and it didn’t matter what you were wearing or who you were you were always greeted with open arms and a very large glass of Wye Valley. It’s been done up quite a lot but it still has the same heart I can tell. There was a band playing upstairs and people dressed as pirates on the terrace, (they didn’t have a terrace when I used to go there!) There was quite a posh looking couple with a dog talking to a very scruffy guy who had drunk too much cider. There was a small child dressed as a cat and a dude with the biggest beard in the world. I want to be able to go here every weekend! Bob actually knows a guy who lives with a chick who wants to move but he won’t as he won’t be able to go to the Barrels anymore.

After a couple of little drinkies we wandered down to the Jailhouse, this place has a bit of a story too and it involves the whole club scene in Hereford. I probably shouldn’t go into it now. But I will. The Jailhouse was the only indie club in Hereford and it’s tiny. It got quite a rep for its drum and base nights and then it got sold and became a generic meat market club called DV8. The drum and base night, (the lock-up) moved to Saturday nights at the Crystal Rooms, (The Rooms). The Rooms was a very old club which at that time had the longest running dance music night in the country, (Naughty but Nice). When I was younger I had seen all sorts of famous dance DJs, which was silly as I didn’t really like dance music that much but still there isn’t much else to do in the mighty Hereford so I went to see Judge Jules, Tall Paul, Boy George etc….Anyway the downturn in dance music happened and Friday nights became less popular. Saturdays on the other hand became very busy. So cue a big Dutch businessman buying the Rooms and closing it!!! He bought most of the street actually and has done a lot for redevelopment in Hereford but he didn’t need to close it!!! This left Hereford with only generic meat market clubs. This was until the guy who had sold the Jailhouse bought it back, changed the name back re-established it’s indie roots and everything was hunky dory.

Sooooo I was flicking through the Hereford Times at my parents a couple of weeks ago and saw a pic of one of my favourite bands, The Young Knives were playing the Jailhouse, I had seen them a couple of months ago, (see the blog) but one of my fav bands playing my home town, this wasn’t ever going to happen again. I won’t go into why I love them so much as I did this in the previous blog about them but going to see a band that dresses in tweed jackets, shirt and tie. Who’s names are Henry, Charles, (House of Lords) and Oliver and who do NOT try to be cool is just sooo fabulously cool in my eyes. Geeks who rock, bring it on!!

So in we wandered and I suddenly remembered how small it was. It must have a capacity of about 150 and only about half of them will be able to fit in the main room. Bob and I went and found a nice seat under the stairs and were chatting whilst listening to the support. Bob nudges me suddenly, it was the House of Lords going up the stairs, I shouted but he didn’t hear. I was quite sad as I think he’s great. He looks so un rock and roll god like in his think rimmed glasses and pink rosy cheeks, like a taller slightly bigger version of Bob. Then a couple of minutes later Henry the lead singer walked up the stairs, he turned around half way up to talk to someone and saw me smiling up at him. He waved at me and I waved back and told him I thought he was fabulous. He told me I was too to which I responded “but you’ve never seen me live” which made him giggle.

Then the House of Lords came back down the stairs and sat behind us at the t-shirt stand. By now he had changed into his stage get-up, cords a shirt and tie!! I wanted a t-shirt anyway so went up and shook his hand. He looks constantly terrified of any attention so I didn’t chat to him too much. I finally got an “I am the Prince of Wales” T-shirt. Then Henry came down the stairs with Oliver too and they all sat on the table next to us. Henry inherited the charm in that family. I had a little chat but I didn’t want to be seen as a sad groupie so really didn’t want to bother them too much. I got an autograph from Henry and the House of Lords and spoke to Oliver too, (I think he was secretly chuffed that someone recognised him). Then Bob and I went and saw the final support band. Brandon Steep. They were quite funky and I would definitely see them again. I’m amazed they managed to fit on the stage with 3 guitarists a drummer and keyboard player. When they went off we went to the front to get a good spot for the main event. There were these two girls, which I can only describe as sluts dancing to the tunes the DJ was playing. The band was clearing their stuff away and one of the guys happened to bend over, oh my god the one chick flew forward and grabbed his arse screaming yessssss!!! nice arse!!! The guy looked horrified, these must be proper groupies. I then thought of my behaviour earlier as very restrained. Actually, they weren’t groupies, they were just trying to bag themselves a guy who was in a band as they will prove in a bit. The band came on and there was the big surge forward. There was no gap at all between the stage and the band so it was all very intense. Henry introduced the House of Lords to everyone; the little sluts were suddenly behind me their arms squeezing through towards the stage trying to grab at him. I got cross for several reasons. They were trying to squeeze their way through to the front which wasn’t going to happen, also the House of Lords looked terrified, he had no where to go the stage was too small for him to move out of the way, I swear he looked down at me with a sort of pleading look in his face. So I did what any true fan would, I screamed yahhh fuck off and pushed them away with my more than ample arse. The chick next to me who had also been waiting patiently at the front also shouted elbows at me as she got one of the little sluts in the ribs. And off they went to stand in front of Henry instead who is more than capable of coping with the attention.

I know there are good things about being in a band and a lot of guys would think this is one of them but I think it’s awful. I went to a gig once to see Bob’s mates band play, (Cantaloop). They really aren’t that famous but they have a very loyal following. We saw them at a tiny venue in Leominster with Emily, (who went to school with Bob) who is the drummers Fiancée. After they had finished Randle, (the drummer) came up to chat with us and some little cow pushed Emily from Randles arm and said I realllllyyy LOoove you. Randle took a swig of his beer and just said well you’re only human. I certainly wouldn’t be able to deal with being a band member’s other half. It’s like they are public property or something.

Anyway the gig was amazing; I can barely speak today which is always a good sign. The acoustics weren’t that good but that’s because we were stood in front of the speakers as there wasn’t enough room for them on the stage. As mentioned there was no gap between the band and the crowd so the crowd surfers kept getting dumped on the stage as there was no where else for them to go. Also the mosh pit collapsed at one point and I got squashed against a speaker. I have a bruise on my hand and on my back, but it’s all good fun. We were just out of the crazy moshing bit which was good as I’m too old and small to mosh. One more little self indulgent moment happened. During the tune Turn Tail, Henry looked over at me and gave me a little wink and a smile before launching into the first line. I told Bob after expecting him not to believe me but he’d seen in too. Yay!!!

The Jailhouse also has Forward Russia, Hot Chip, Does it Offend You Yeah booked in the next few weeks so long may this continue

Muse at Wembley: The return

Posted in Music with tags , on 12/03/2008 by bimbo78

Last night Bob and I met up with Dev and KP and toootled off to the Vue cinema to watch the realease of HAARP, (High Frequency Active Aural Research Program) which is the live DVD of the Muse Wembley gig. It is the footage of the Sunday night and also features the entire setlist of the Saturday night. We were atthe Saturday gig whilst Dev was there on the Sunday.

Anyway we sat at the back next to guy who was just soooo happy to be there, he was on his own but just had the biggest smile on his face for the entire gig. It was cool seeing the gig on a massive screen and actually seeing what Muse were up to on the stage as I couldn’t see much whilst at the gig. It was quite difficult keeping still with all the rocking tunes, I did do a bit of chair wiggling but managed to remain quite calm. I had my two little moments when they played Invicible, (mine and Bobs first dance at our wedding) and Unintended, (well it’s just our song).

I must also have a small rant about people still comparing Muse to Radiohead, it only seems to be done by people of a certain age now. Well people that are my age really, and who haven’t moved on musically. Radiohead are great and I do love them but you just can’t compare them. Matt Bellamy is classically trained pianist who has an incredible vocal range as well as being able to play the guitar like some sort of guitar god. He also exudes pure energy whilst he is on the stage leaping around skidding on his knees like a child at wedding, no wonder they keep winning awards for their live performances. In comparison, Thom Yorke is melancholy dude standing there having to have his backing track played through an ear peice because he can’t sing it right otherwise. So my advice is stop comparing them coz they just aren’t similar.