Unknown Mortal Orchestra cover the Grateful Dead…
Unknown Mortal Orchestra cover the Grateful Dead…
Something in my brain absolutely loves random facts. The more daft, obscure or seemingly unbelievable the better. Of course some random facts aren’t even facts – for instance, a duck’s quack can echo, your fingernails and hair don’t keep growing after you die, lightening can strike the same place twice and Mamma Cass didn’t die whilst choking on a ham sandwich.
These peculiar music-based random facts are definitely at least 99% true though:
R&B singer Akon‘s birth name is Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam.
Stephen Stills and Harry Nilsson both auditioned to be in The Monkees – Charles Manson did not.
The final two Pink Floyd albums were recorded on David Gilmour‘s Surrey houseboat studio, the Astoria. The boat was built by Fred Karno, manager of Charlie Chaplin and inventor of the custard-pie-in-the-face gag. The houseboat can accommodate a 90-piece orchestra on the top deck.
Keith Richards‘ favourite tipple is 2 measures of vodka with one measure of Sunkist orange soda, plus ice. He calls it ‘Nuclear Waste’.
In 1996, Ringo Starr appeared in a Japanese advertisement for apple sauce. Uncoincidentally ‘Ringo’ means apple in Japanese.
Public Image Limited bassist Jah Wobble briefly worked on the London Underground after the band split. Rumour has it he once made the following announcement over the PA system at London’s Tower Hill underground station – “I used to be somebody. I repeat, I used to be somebody.”
Prog rockers Emerson Lake And Palmer were masters of the on tour entourage. In 1977, they had 63 roadies, a karate instructor for drummer Carl Palmer, a personal doctor, and rumour has it, a ‘carpet roadie’, whose job was to transport and sweep the Persian rug Greg Lake liked to stand on during shows.
Leo Fender, inventor of the Stratocaster and Telecaster, couldn’t play the guitar.
Enjoy those facts? Check out Three music myths debunked.
Following on from the success of last year, the excellent Blackthorn Music Festival is back later this month on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th.
The festival’s idyllic surroundings at Whitebottom Farm in Etherow Country Park sit just 30 minutes from Manchester. Over three days it’ll play host to a cracking mix of well-known festival favourites, up and coming bands and slew of exciting tribute acts – all curated to put a big smile on your chops and a wiggle in your walk.
This year’s headline act is the mighty Maximo Park, and other big names on the bill include Stereo MCs, festival circuit favourites The Bootleg Beatles, Eliza & The Bear and I Am Kloot’s John Bramwell. There’s also some peerless disc spinning courtesy of Craig Charles’ Funk and Soul Club and generation spanning Manchester favourite, Clint Boon.
There’s loads of brilliant up and coming acts on the bill too. My favourites include Mancunian neo-post-punkers, Cabbage, bluesy stompers, Sittin’ Pretty, quirky garage rockers, Heavy On The Magic, and jerky noiseniks, Sly Antics (who rather brilliantly describe their sound as like being, “hit hard and repeatedly in the face with a box of stale cereal”). Four bands worth the festival’s (bargain) entry price alone.
Add to that at least another 50 quality bands, lots of tip-top scoff and booze, and Blackthorn Music Festival is a great weekend away without the hefty price tag associated with most festivals these days. Day tickets start from just £20, a full weekend ticket is just £55 and to encourage the family vibes, weekend tickets for those under 15 cost just £20 and under 6’s get in for free. What’s not to love?
The further info visit the festival site here.
I love discovering cool, funny and peculiar t-shirts (I’m sat writing this in a Jim’ll Paint It design that still makes me chuckle everytime I slip it on). It’s a dream of mine to open an online shop packed with loads of great finds from artists and designers from across the world one day. But today I’m here to push your peepers towards the t-shirt brilliance contained within one particular print studio based in Truro, Cornwall.
Blackwater Studios have specialised in screen printing t-shirts for more than 40 years and have just launched a great new artist shop. Their idea was to create their own collaborative store with a small selection of talented illustrators from around the world. And more specifically, illustrators who could fully embrace the virtues of single colour prints.
The current crop of tip-top illustrators includes Michael C. Hsiung, Engin Oztekin, Bene Rohlmann, Mark Breed, Ivo Matić and Jim Hollingworth (aka JIMP).
JIMP‘s been on my radar for a few years now and I have one of his originals hanging in my home. He’s a master and I take great pleasure in the superb off-kilter art he consistantly produces. But what’s striking about the Blackwater Studios Artist Shop is how great it is across the board. There’s a certain peculiarity and oddness that permeates all their current designs. Take a look at a few of their t-shirts below: