Posts Tagged ‘Morrissey’

features, music

The best parody of The Smiths ever – from, err, Horrible Histories

By Stefano on June 12th, 2013

The BBC’s Horrible Histories has had some wonderful musical parodies in the past (the theory of evolution set to Bowie’s Changes springs to mind) but this one is something else. A chronological account of the life of Charles Dickens set to the music of The Smiths. It is spot on too. The level of detail is superb, the Morrissey style vocal mannerisms, the occasional sudden break, the funky Marr-esque guitar, they are all there.

It is about four Smiths songs in one but Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Know and This Charming Man feature prominently.

And don’t miss its excellent finale- and what is he doing with that Gladioli?

Oh, and isn’t that Al Murray on drums. Now that is what the licence fee is for.

More fantastic TV kids shows for adults here.



music

Smithsfest – a two day Smiths festival at the ICA in March

By Stefano on February 18th, 2013

smiths

If there’s one band that you could probably take and turn into a mini arts festival without actually playing a note of their music it is The Smiths. From their cover art, through to their musical influences and passion for films, The Smiths are still IMO the most interesting British pop band of the last 30 or so years.

So no surprises then that the ICA have chosen the band for a festival at the end of March. With Morrissey and Marr still putting the dampeners on any reunion talks this is probably as close as you’ll get to the band this year.

The details haven’t been fully announced but the ICA website says

Over a two day festival comprising talks, performance, art and film, Smithsfest will survey the artistic and cultural impact of The Smiths, one of the most iconic, seminal and controversial guitar bands in the history of pop music.

Among the stuff confirmed so far is the London debut of Terry Christian’s solo show Naked Confessions of A Recovering Catholic while Mark Simpson, author of Saint Morrissey, will be in discussion exploring the question Morrissey: Saint or Sinner?

From our perspective though the highlight will be a double-bill of the superb films Taste of Honey & The Leather Boys both of which will be introduced by legendary 60s actress Rita Tushingham.

There is some less cerebral stuff too including the chance to get a Moz Makeover with Open Barbers, and confront MozTerMind: ask him anything about the Smiths/Morrissey and he knows the answer! DJs The Readers Wifes play a Smiths inspired set, plus there’s an exhibition of exclusive Smiths and Morrissey photographs by legendary rock photographer Tom Sheehan.

It will be held on 29 March 2013 – 30 March 2013 – and to keep up to date with the latest news and buy tickets go here. Spotted by.



features, Gallery, music

The British films that inspired The Smiths’ record sleeves

By Stefano on February 11th, 2013

the-smiths-the-complete-picture-originalIt is incredible to think that The Smiths were together for just five short years. In that time they managed to release four official albums, a few compilations of sessions, singles and oddities and of course, a run of some of the most amazing and unique 45s ever.

And one of the things that made The Smiths’ singles and albums so special was there sleeves. Handpicked mostly by Morrissey, they feature a series of cover stars most of whom dated from the late 50s and early 60s, and for Smiths fans they gave an real insight into the singer’s world – who his heroes were and the influences that shaped him.

Some of those cover stars were familiar, like Yootha Joyce, the star of two very successful seventies sit-coms. Others like French actor Jean Marais from Jean Cocteau’s 1949 film Orphée, were a bit more obscure.

Not surprisingly quite a number of the stars featured in British films from the 60s, so I have rounded up those covers and attempted to give a little more information about the films they came from. Most of them are very watchable – a couple of them are classics.

I have added YouTube links to each one. Two of the films are available in a full version on YouTube, the rest are clips and trailers.

Click on for the gallery and links.

Ask - Catch Us If You Can

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Picture 1 of 7

As every Smiths fan knows the cover star of the band's peerless 1986 single Ask was actress Yootha Joyce, but the still wasn't taken from her successful 70s sit-coms Man About The House or George and Mildred but from a decade or so earlier when she enjoyed a brief but significant film career. In fact Joyce managed to appear in several of Morrissey's favourite films - Charlie Bubbles and Sparrows Can't Sing - as well as one of the great unsung movies from the decade - Catch Us If You Can. The film doesn't get taken too seriously for one very obvious reason - it stars lovable Tottenham beat boys The Dave Clarke Five - the One Direction of their day. However if you overlook the way it was set up as an attempt to rival Hard day's Night CUIYC is actually a superb film and fascinating viewing for anyone who loves 60s pop culture. Without giving too much away the film is basically a road movie with Dave - and model Barbara Ferris in tow - as a stunt man and a model who escape their minders and head off into the wild English countryside. Along the way they hang out with some prototype hippies (this was 1965 before anyone was calling them that) go swimming in London's iconic Oasis pool and finish up at the stunning Art Deco hotel- which at that point was run down and deserted - on Burgh Island. They also pop into Bath where they meet Yootha Joyce, the wife of a socialite who quite fancies a bit of Dave. She eventually takes the gang to a fancy dress party in Bath spa. The pic was apparently taken off set. Catch Us If You Can is a fabulous film, directed in a highly imaginative way by John Boorman - later to shoot Deliverance and Hope and Glory. Had it featured some cooler stars it would undoubtedly be hailed as one of the best British movies of the decade. Catch Us If You Can Trailer



features, music

12 of the most disastrous second albums of all time – Stone Roses, Duffy and more

By Stefano on January 9th, 2013

Aaah the tricky second album syndrome, it catches a lot of bands on the hop doesn’t it? After all you have a decade or so to piece together the tunes for your first album, while the second is often flung together in a heartbeat after months of touring.

If you are smart you have saved a few great songs from your early days to tide you over. If not then you better hope that the substance induced writers block disappears and fast.

The tricky part is deciding do you simply try and replicate that first album and risk accusations that you haven’t moved on? Or take the band in a different direction and then risk alienating the fans who loved your early stuff. Either route is fraught with danger.

Here then are twelve apocryphal tales of bands whose second albums were in one way or another disastrous. Some of them, in fact many of them, are actually pretty good, but, poor reviews, a lack of hit singles and a general falling from fashion meant that they stalled, and in some instances killed, a band’s career.

So have a look through the list and tell me which ones I have missed in the comments.

If you enjoyed this check out the following

Under rated 90s British indie bands

Under rated 80s British indie bands

The best Psychedelic albums of 2012

12 The Thrills - Let's Bottle Bohemia

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Picture 1 of 12

With So Much For The City, the Irish band patented the sound of 2003, all jangly guitars and west coast harmonies. Much was expected of its follow up Let's Bottle Bohemia, but in spite of the first two tracks - Tell Me Something I Don't Know and Whatever Happened to Corey Haim? - this was a lot lighter on hummable tunes and The Thrills' audience disappeared. It is actually quite a good album, but suffers quite badly when compared with that incendiary debut - a maxim that applies to a great many of the second album flops.



music

Morrissey likes Nigel Farage and nearly voted UKIP. Big Mouth Strikes Again in a bizarre interview

By Stefano on January 9th, 2013

Oh, Stephen Patrick, your Big Mouth Strikes Again.

The lead singer of arguably the best band the UK has produced since The Beatles has been mouthing off again and this time has come up with some real gems. Morrissey has been talking to Loaded magazine (I am not sure why? Surely they represent a lot of things he hates) and the conversation has been picked up by of all people The Daily Mail.

When pressed on politics Morrissey has the usual go at Cameron and then takes time to say how much he likes UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage

‘I nearly voted for UKIP. I like Nigel Farage a great deal. His views are quite logical – especially where Europe is concerned, although it was plain daft of him to applaud the lavish expense of the Royal Wedding at a time when working-class England were told to cut-back, shut-up and get stuffed.’

I am not entirely sure he means it…

Morrissey also has a blast at Jimmy Saville – ‘He was a profiteer, and those who protected him are still here. However, I’m not sure if witch-hunts against aged Radio Caroline DJs is quite the point. ’2013 enlightenment can’t be applied to dark and dim nights of 1972, otherwise every singer who ever slept with a 14-year-old would suddenly be behind bars – and that would take a lot of bars.’

The Beckhams ‘I’d… have the Peckhams (Beckhams) dragged to the edge of the village and flogged because they are insufferable to anyone of intelligence, and they actively chase the paparazzi.’

And in a more traditional vein stag hunting. ‘If I kicked a dog I’d be fined £200, yet we’re asked to accept Cameron shooting down a majestic stag just for a hoot. Weird world, isn’t it?’

Weird indeed.

‘Sweetness I was only joking when I said…’



Celeb style, features, Grooming, music

20 Most Iconic Rock ‘n’ Roll Hairstyles

By Gerald Lynch on June 29th, 2012

Rock ‘n’ roll can be broken down as follows: 10% fashion, 10% music and 110% HAIR. We know that adds up to 130%. That’s why we’re writing for a fashion site and aren’t quantum physicists. But it also acts to highlight just how important good hair can be in the making of a musical and cultural icon, and cementing the status of bona-fide rock ‘n’ roll stars. Where would Elvis be without his quiff? Or Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust without his…his unique style? On the dole queue, that’s where. Here, Brandish pick out the 20 most iconic hair styles in rock ‘n’ roll history.

Scroll down to get started!

Adam Ant

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Picture 4 of 20

The dandy prince of pop was like a fairytale character come to life when he stormed the charts with hits like "Prince Charming" and "Stand and Deliver". The Adam had nice black curls to begin with, it was the attention to detail that made his look stand out. Influenced by tales of the pirate Blackbeard weaving lit fuses into his hair to scare off attackers, Adam's hair was a dazzling web of ribbons and charms.



Gallery, Heroes and Celebrities, News

Agyness Deyn, Chloe Sevigny, Paul McCartney & Morrissey at Coachella 2009

By admin on April 20th, 2009

Celebs already make us jealous with their post-Christmas holidays in the Carribean, the Bold and the Beautiful have been out at Coachella, the first festival of the summer.
From David Hasslehoff to Jared Leto the US stars were out in full force, having a lovely time but we also had some Uk slebs representing, with Agyness Deyn and Henry Holland putting in an appearance.

Click image to start gallery


Gallery, Trends

Gallery: Topman’s Spring Break Collection

By admin on February 10th, 2009

Topman’s Spring Break collection is about to hit the stores and it’s a poetically downbeat affair. Set against a backdrop of blustery coastline and caravans there’s more than a touch of ’80s era Morrissey going on here.

The clothes are retro, but not excessively so, modern cuts and and neat tailoring give an up to the minute feel.

Click image to enlarge



Grooming, Polls

Poll: Flat-top haircuts, yay or nay?

By admin on April 16th, 2008

elvis quiff.jpgI wrote a piece on flat-top haircuts yesterday and I know that EJ at Style Salvage would probably give them a thumbs up but what about the rest of you?

Elvis sported the flat-top’s forebear, the quiff and his haircut apparently got voted the most iconic hairstyle (I never trust these surveys!) so he must have been doing something right. Post your vote after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »




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