52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

just like every cowboy sings a sad, sad song....

Shall we talk about music for a bit?

I have a real urge to get back to basics here after the excitement of the last couple of days.... no photos, I promise.

The producers of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross made a great decision on Friday - they booked Coldplay to perform, and those crazy rock n'rollers, Vince Neil and Tommy Lee of Motley Crue only got to perform like seals in an interview. It won't come as a surprise to anybody, but they're not the sharpest tools in the box. If the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist, then the greatest trick Motley Crue ever pulled is convincing anybody that they are a legendary rock band.

Are they bollocks.

They were rubbish then, and I have no doubt at all that they are rubbish now. They always struck me as a kind of Poison-lite, if you can imagine such a thing. You don't get Bill & Ted gaining entry into heaven quoting the lyrics from Dr. Feelgood at God, do you?

Bill S. Preston Esq: He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood. He's the one that makes you feel alright.
Ted Theodore Logan: He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood. He's gonna be your Frankenstein.
God: Bugger off

The End.

A lot of noise about their lifestyle masking an almost complete lack of talent.

Of course, it's their lifestyle, more specifically a book talking about their lifestyle, that has brought them back. They're currently in Europe on tour (hence their appearance on a chat show). Oh what jokers though. We saw some footage of crazy ol' Tommy Lee putting himself through the X-ray machine at customs! There is a section on their show called "Tommy's Titty Cam" where Tommy persuades female fans to show the audience their breasts!

Totally bonkers mad, mate.

Mind you, we did learn that Vince Neil's most recent wedding was performed by none other than MC Hammer. How cool is that? This nugget led to the following exchange between Jonathan Ross (who can't pronounce the letter 'R') and Vince Neil (who can't spell it):

Ross: how did you know he was the right man for the job?
Neil: he's not a white man

He wasn't making a joke. Ross had to explain his speech impediment.

Coldplay were much better. They performed three songs: current single "speed of sound", "in my place" and "fix you". The last one in particular is fantastic, with some lovely church organ style keyboards, and the refrain:

"and the tears come streaming down your face
when you lose something you can't replace
when you love someone but it goes to waste "

That one's going to be massive. Mark my words.

As has been said elsewhere, Chris Martin is never going to be cool, but he definitely has something about him. I like the fact that he isn't so far up his own arse that he isn't able to take the piss out of himself. The band gave Jonathan Ross a signed copy of the Crazy Frog single, and Martin threw in a bit of "ring-a-ding-dinging" during all of the band's three songs, which I thought was very funny (although by time he did it for the third time, perhaps he was protesting a little bit too much?)

What do I think of the album? Early days yet. Standouts for me so far are 'Square One' (although as statements of intent go, it's no 'Politik'), 'Fix You', 'Talk' (the one with the Kraftwerk riff), 'Speed of Sound' and 'X&Y'. As with "A Rush Of Blood to the Head", the last few songs on the album don't seem quite as good as the first few. It's also apparent that Chris Martin has lyrical themes that he can't get away from: things are broken and can't be fixed, puzzles are missing pieces, there are lots of unanswered questions. As Lord B pointed out, they're his equivalent of Bono's bullets ripping the desert sky.

It's harsh to judge an album on only a few plays though, and my overall impression is good. It's far too early to hail this as a classic though (as almost every single review I have read has done). I really want this to be a classic album, but only time will tell.

When Jonathan Ross finished, I flicked the telly over to fall asleep in front of "Later...with Jools Holland". At its best this can be a fascinating mix of bands and a really good place to discover new music. At its worst though, it can be smug muso back-slapping (when I tuned into this last week, they had the Kaiser Chiefs as their headline act, and Van Morrison whining about how the bastards were stabbing him in the back... again). This week had, amongst others, New Order and the Coral. I have a real blind spot for The Coral - I assume they are shite, and have avoided them on that basis, although I actually quite like their current single. Are they any good? I really want to hate them.

James Blunt was also on. I've heard the name, but this was the first of his stuff that I have actually heard. My first impression was poor - I thought he had a terribly affected voice - but on reflection I think he was just nervous. I've heard a couple of songs since, and a whole lot of TV advertising (clearly the record company is thinking he may be the new Damien Rice). I'm thinking of giving him a go, actually.

Any thoughts? Anyone got the album? Is he on at Glastonbury?


I also bought the new White Stripes album, but I haven't had a chance to listen to it at all yet... although I'm liking Jack White's flamenco-goth look. Classy.


This is going to be my last post about Coldplay for a little while. I promise.

At least until I get back from Glastonbury, anyway.


Look at that. A whole post and no pictures. I think it's safer that way, don't you?


  • At 9:35 pm, Blogger Damo said…

    The new White Stripes album is great. And so's the Coldplay one, although like I said previously I think side B isn't as good as side A (sorry, side Y isn't as good as side X - check the sleeve). "Fix You" gets a Brucie Bonus for ending with Beach Boys harmonies.

    "The Dirt" is an essential read. It's not like some books where you decide that the band are rogues, but loveable ones... Motley Crue really are scum. That's a strong word, but nobody should dispute me unless you've seen the book...

  • At 9:59 pm, Blogger Statue John said…

    Having read all 'classic' reviews, i'm a little disappointed in the new Coldplay so far....keep waiting for that big song to kick in and it never quite arrives. They do tend to grow on you though so we'll see...

    (big up the Motley Crue!)

  • At 10:02 pm, Blogger LB said…

    yes, James Blunt is on at Glastonbury. "You're Beautiful" is a good record, worth seeing I reckon.

    I agree with Damo, I think "X and Y" does a "Rush Of Blood To The Head" and sort of trails off after a great start. I like their slower stuff so "What If?" and Fix You" are standout songs for me. I love "Talk" as well, and "X and Y". I'm not sure yet about this transition from good indie band to Stadium Rock, although "Speed of Sound" went from being "a good single" to "genius" over the period of a few weeks so is a bit early to say.

    I am with you entirely, I hate the Coral. I actually think their new single is about the most irritating piece of shit I have heard in a very long time - it has a "Have A Nice Day" bollocksness about it that I cant abide - its the rubbish repetitive glockenspiel.

    and come on, we want more internet lycra porn. it's free and we love it.

  • At 10:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Never mind this Coldplay nonsense - you forgot to mention Rufus.

  • At 11:52 pm, Blogger swisslet said…

    ah yes - Rufus Wainwright was on too. Actually I thought the sound on the whole programme was a bit shit, with muffled vocals, and then Rufus came on and showed us all what a great voice he has. He's a real talent. He also revealed some exclusive information when he was interviewed by Jools at the piano - apparently he was a massive Judy Garland fan when he was growing up.

    No really....

    No shit Sherlock.

    As if that's the missing piece of information that explains the whole wizard of Oz thing he is doing to close his current live set with (whilst playing "the gay messiah", in case you needed any more clues).

    Fox - I too think the White Stripes are great. They are brilliant live, too, so Friday night at Glastonbury will be a real good treat.

    Lycra porn? good grief.


  • At 1:00 am, Blogger Flash said…

    I've managed to listen to X & Y about 5 times now & it really is getting better every time. I love "Talk". The stripes album is clearly ace but in that I-know-it's-gonna-be-ace-even-if-it-doesn't-sound-ace-now kind of way.
    And rather scarily I feel exactly the same way as you do regarding The Coral. The new single is irresistable, damn them "Cosmic scousers".

  • At 8:58 am, Blogger Damo said…

    Is there anyone who DIDN'T buy the Coldplay and White Stripes albums this week? How predictable are we?

    What about the Tears album - did anyone get that? I haven't... I might do later on. Would definitely have done if it had been a McAlmont and Butler record, but Brett's lyrics... pffff.

  • At 9:17 am, Blogger swisslet said…

    I sadly bought mine in sainsbury's on monday morning on the way into work (and yes, I know - we've discussed how rubbish this is before). The woman behind the counter asked me if Coldplay and the White Stripes were the same kind of thing. I paused for a moment, as all kinds of thoughts about rootsy, detroit-based blues by a husband/wife/brother/sister/whatever duo collided with thoughts about sad, uplifing, yearning, piano-led stadium rock played by public schoolboys from England... and for the sake of simplicity, I just said yes. Apparently everyone in that morning had been buying them both.

    I was halfway out of the shop, and idly looking at the CDs, when I turned on my heel, walked back and had them both replaced because of scratches. They will keep the CDs in those stupid cardboard wallets. I'd already spent a minute trying to make sure I got the only CD cases that weren't scratched or cracked because they had been packed too tightly.

    Bloody supermarkets. Why isn't there a selectadisc on my way into work, eh?

    (Damo - I've not even heard the tears single yet, but the album was panned in the review I read)

    (fox - you seem to know an awful lot about Tommy Lee. Firsthand experience -so to speak- or just a casual bit of filesharing?)


  • At 9:18 am, Blogger LB said…

    i din't buy the White Stripes. I don't really like them, I must be missing the point but find it completely soulless.

    and I didnt really like the Tears single either. I agree with Damo, I liked the last McAlmont and Butler record a lot (released just after "A Rush Of Blood To The Head", coincidentally).

  • At 10:21 am, Blogger John McClure said…

    Fix You = this summer's anthem with definite potential for a "crowd singing your song back to you so loud you don't need to sing yourself" moment at Glasto.

    The album as a whole is growing on me, but I keep skipping between Fix You and Speed of Sound. I'm probably going to ruin those two for myself in fact. I also can't help noticing a certain nod towards Big Country at times: White Shadows and Talk both wander in that direction at the beginning.

    The Killers have a bit of that going on too at the start of All These Things That I've Done when the guitar and drums arrive in earnest.

    On the Coldplay album, I really like Square One as well, but can't help feeling like the Edge is guest guitaring and Bono might arrive as a guest vocalist at any moment - still, I suppose if you're aiming for a transition to stadium rock, you could do worse than learn from the best.

    The White Stripes has only had a preliminary listen so I wouldn't dare venture any opinion other than "nice tache, Jack."

  • At 10:47 am, Blogger Teresa Bowman said…

    I always think Jack White should have been born in the early 1900s. He obviously loves his early-period blues stuff, and he has a look of a 1920s silent movie actor about him. At the moment he looks as if he's all geared up to play the dastardly villain. He's working on the moustache (necessary for evil moustache-twirling); all he needs is a big swishy cloak.

    Either that or he's based his current look on King Charles II. But I don't think Charles II was quite as good a guitarist. (Although, to be fair, the amps weren't up to much in the 17th century.)

  • At 11:06 am, Blogger Damo said…

    Mr Fox: if you held Suede in high esteem "personally", you should read "Love and Poison", their official biography. Brett does not come across as a particularly nice man...

  • At 11:17 am, Blogger swisslet said…

    blimey - fox is Richard Oakes.....but he's not bitter.

  • At 12:16 pm, Blogger Soaring said…

    Have only just come back, sorry its been ages. But just wanted to say how fetching you looked in your tri-outfits. I was particularly overwhelmed and moved to tears at the beauty of it all. Just wanted you to know. I am also a supporter of chafe-minimisation apparel... Go Toni!

  • At 2:33 pm, Blogger LB said…

    i don't remeber the episode of Mr Benn when he walked into the changing room of the shop and out into Pamela Anderson's boudoir?

    i'm on the third listen of "X and Y2 today, it really is quite good. Although it does sound a lot like U2 in places, John is right. And I'd be interested to see Crris Martin being asked in an interview if he was pleased that their new pride and joy sounds like Big Country...

  • At 4:10 pm, Blogger John McClure said…

    I'm maybe being a bit specific - Big Country, Simple Minds... take your pick - dodgy, celtic roots-inspired half-rock from the mid to late eighties.

    Even that isn't overly fair - it's not like the whole song sounds like a tribute or anything - I just can't hear that excessive reverb twangy guitar accompanied by rumbling drumming without harking back to a certain era.

  • At 8:52 pm, Blogger Mark said…

    I didn't buy the White Stripes, because they don't do anything for me. I bought Coldplay. And The Tears. Which is, once you get past the feeling that reuniting two muses for cash is desperately wrong, is quite good.

    You know Barnett do you Foxy? I've still got his number in my phone, and he's always been quite good to me. Then again, "L&P" is, "Dirt" aside, probably the least wanky music book ever, because it's sadly honest.

  • At 9:18 pm, Blogger LB said…

    eh, John, you stick with Big Country. I have been humming "Look Away" since I read your post.

    how many of these comments are written by people in Suede, do you reckon? I'm all excited, in a fan sort of way as (going back to the "six steps from Kevin Bacon" thing), I feel like I am no more than a couple of steps away from singing "Still Life" at karaoke with Brett Anderson.

    TO be fair, I am more likely to sing "Still Life" at karoake with Alisha's Attic, but that won;t stop me dreaming.

    and it I start http://lycraporn.blogspot.com, how many of you are likely to contribute? (other than Swiss who has hard drives full of this stuff, so I gather)

  • At 9:27 pm, Blogger swisslet said…

    these comments here? blimey, you are all starry-eyed if you think suede are checking in on my blog AND leaving comments.

    I have now got a mental picture of Fox hanging out in the Good Mixer in Camden with Menswear though, which is a little bit alarming.

    and you keep your nasty lycra fantasies to yourself (oh, hang on - that statement could apply to me, couldn't it?)


  • At 10:04 pm, Blogger LB said…


    They were touted as the Take That of indie music, weren't they? The fact that they turned into the One True Voice of indie music....

    One minute Fox is starring as Pamela Anderson in an episode of Mr Benn, the next (s)he is chatting to Menswear in a London club. Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous, eh?


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