Singles Night at the Virtual Hot Tub #20

Here we go with the first Singles Night of 2021! The Virtual Hot Tub is ecstatic with anticipation for the return of these playlists.

What’s it all about? Well, I’m glad you asked. The singles in question are 45rpm vinyl singles, which I have accumulated over time from various sources. The plan: listen to the records, side A then side B, one after the other without skipping any in the pile. Whilst drinking booze.

Let’s see how I got on this time…

  1. The Temptations – “Psychedelic Shack” / “That’s the Way Love Is”
  2. Queen – “Killer Queen” / “Flick of the Wrist”
  3. Buzzcocks – “I Don’t Mind” / “Autonomy”
  4. The Clash – “Bankrobber” / “Rockers Galore… UK Tour”
  5. The Clash – “Complete Control” / “City of the Dead”
  6. The Damned – “History of the World Part 1” / “I Believe the Impossible” / “Sugar & Spite”
  7. Skids – “Sweet Suburbia” / “Open Sound”
  8. The Beach Boys – “Mona” / “Rock and Roll Music” / “Sail on Sailor” / “Marcella”
  9. ABBA – “Head Over Heels” / “The Visitors”
  10. Bananarama – “Cheers Then” / “Girl About Town”
  11. The Belle Stars – “Sign of the Times” / “Madness”
  12. Chicory Tip – “Son of My Father” / “Pride Comes Before a Fall”
  13. John Farnham – “You’re the Voice” / “Going, Going, Gone”
  14. Stevie Wonder – “My Cherie Amour” / “Don’t Know Why I Love You”
  15. Bardo – “One Step Further” / “Lady of the Night”
  16. The Motors – “Love and Loneliness” / “Time for Make-Up”
  17. Hot Chocolate – “So You Win Again” / “A Part of Being with You”
  18. Elton John – “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” / “Screw You”
  19. Blondie – “The Tide is High” / “Susie and Jeffrey”
  20. Slade – “We’ll Bring the House Down” / “Hold on to Your Hats”

Twenty – count ’em – twenty great tracks. Well, mostly. A solid offering from the world of punk rock in that collection, with the Buzzcocks, Clash, Damned and Skids singles all being salvaged from a local charity shop. Lucky day.

I had a great night spinning these discs, there are some really awesome records to add to the collection there. Time for more soon. Stay tuned!

Lordi Gig Review

Lordi + Hollywood Groupies + Dirty Passion

Friday 3rd April 2015

The Live Rooms, Chester

One thing’s for sure: when the Live Rooms say “doors open at 7pm”, make sure you get in there on time.  I was having a cheeky pint in Kash up the road, so missed the start of the first set tonight.  I arrived about 7.20pm and the first band were already on.

Dirty Passion were that first band, and I’m happy to report that they were pretty damn good.  Hailing from Sweden, this gang of greasy deviants sounded somewhere between Motorhead and Sonic Temple-era Cult.  A confident start to the night.

Next up on our international smorgasbord of rock was Hollywood Groupies, all the way from Italy.  The fact that there were two females in the band (one on vocals, one guitar) is one reason why this band stood out.  Female equality is all very good, and not a novelty in this case – the whole band threw out a quality set.  Again it’s straight up rock’n’roll, and I sensed a slight Danzig influence with big, sing along choruses in abundance.  Nice work. LORDI_on_Tour_Force_One_2015_Masters_of_Rock_CZ

Finally, our main course tonight is a Finnish dish – the Eurovision slaying Monsters of Rock known as Lordi.  I’ll never forget watching the Eurovision song contest in 2006, and the moment when Finland’s entry appeared on stage.  Fully kitted out in monster outifts, the band made jaws drop across the world and rightfully stole the event.

Tonight at the Live Rooms isn’t much different – Lordi appear on stage and drag the audience in to their bizarre horror rock world.  Complete with lights, foam guns, confetti, additional (monster mask wearing) dancers and more, it’s an unrelenting show that is pure, spectacular fun.

I have a couple of Lordi albums, but know only about a quarter of the songs played tonight.  No matter – I was quite surprised even the songs I wasn’t familiar with were listenable, catchy, enjoyable.  “Hard Rock Hallelujah” is played third song in, but there’s no indication of Lordi giving away their ace card too soon, there’s plenty of thrills to be served up.

Like seeing Alice Cooper, there’s a sense of theatrics with Lordi’s show.  It all adds up to a visual treat as well as a musical one.  Highly entertaining, and very hard rocking.  Hallelujah!!!

The Live Rooms website is here.  Keep an eye open for more great gigs coming soon!

The Lordi website is here.

Why the United Kingdom doesn’t win Eurovision

A short opinion piece concerning the UK’s lack of success in the international song contest

The Eurovision song contest – that cacophony of the beautiful, the unusual, and the downright bizarre.  Where reactions go from “This is pleasant,” to “What just happened?  Did I really hear that?” in the space of a few minutes.  Sometimes in the same song.  It’s all in the name of entertainment, and often the strange moments are the best.

The United Kingdom has had it’s share of winners over the years, and in contrast to most people’s opinion has been very successful.  These days, however, we constantly hear the public decrying the contest and complaining about the mutual voting of  sympathetic countries.  “That’s why we don’t win anymore,” the voices say, “all those countries voting for each other.”

Other reasons commonly championed as to why the UK hasn’t been successful include “No-one in Europe likes us”; and theories about the change in rules regarding singing in the national language.

So how is it possible that the nation that gave the world The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Bowie, the Clash (and on and on) – don’t win this contest hands down every year?

It’s because we don’t take it seriously.

I don’t mean we don’t take it seriously in a tongue-in-cheek, this is crap but what the hell post modern kind of way.  That’s fine.  Be ironic, have a laugh at the strange sounds and mangling of English phrases – that’s part of the fun.

No, by not taking it seriously I refer to the artists above.  We don’t win Eurovision because every year the rest of Europe wants to see the UK field a superstar.  A living legend like Bowie or Sir Paul, to lend their talents to the Greatest Music Competition in the World.  They want to see some of the musical geniuses that have sprung from these shores show the rest of Europe what pop music is all about.

We know that’s never going to happen.  Great fun as Eurovision is, it doesn’t have the cultural importance to tempt the like of Elton or Mick Jagger.  Not going to happen.

But just imagine if we did?  Imagine, if you will, a gleaming supergroup with Brian May on guitar, Roger Taylor on drums, Sir Paul on bass.  Elt on the old joanna, and vocals from some one like Jessie J, or Adele, or Tom Jones.  That’s what Europe want to see, and that’s what we need to win.

There was a rumour a few years ago (and I think it was just a rumour), of Morrissey being the United Kingdom’s entry for Eurovision.  Now I’m no Morrissey fan, but maybe that would do the job?  In the meantime, we have Bonnie Tyler to represent the country this year.  A woman with considerable fame and success across Europe, not to mention her undoubted talent.  Let’s see if she can do it.

Whoever wins, ignore the nay sayers and the whingers who complain because the UK doesn’t win.  Enjoy the fun and the spectacle, whoever the winner is.