Music Television 1.5

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Post  misery guts on Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:31 am

Top of the Pops - Big Hits 1983
Usual hour accompaniment to the main doc, notable for what that left out. So we see Freeez, KC and the Sunshine Band, Malcolm McLaren (not him in person, of course, just Double Dutch), Mike Oldfield and Bonnie Tyler. A fine crop.

Promises and Lies - The Story of UB40
How a folk singer called Ian Campbell had 4 sons, 2 of whom formed UB40, an 8-piece from Balsall Heath who had big success promoting reggae, until they realised they weren't making the money they should. One thing led to another, with three of the band leaving. The others continue as UB40, and the leavers tour as "Formerly of UB40". They never seemed to work out where the money went (although their 3 UK #1 singles were all covers, and there were 8 people in the band, so that's 2 clues, I would have thought).
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Post  misery guts on Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:29 am

The Great Songwriters: Ryan Adams
Personally, I wouldn't class this guy with all the others, but it's not my show. He was likeable enough. His first records were quirky choices like Black Sabbath, Prince and The Smiths. He got a cheap guitar, tuned it openly through ignorance, learned riffs, formed a 3-piece band, learned from mistakes. He writes into songbooks, and then works up stuff on a typewriter. Perhaps the quirkiest section concerned his process of "stocks", a forced random process of origination to counter blocks. Life is a master tragedy, and guitars are powerful pieces of wood. Alcohol and drugs can help creativity. You get the idea.

Discovering: The Eagles
Glad to see this series return. The band members all came from outside the West Coast, and came together in Los Angeles with help from Linda Ronstadt. They developed their sound, had line-up changes, greater success, and finally a long 14-year hiatus. Inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.


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Post  misery guts on Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:04 am

The Ronnie Wood Show: Kelly Jones
The Stereophonics' frontman joined an old friend as a guest, to tell of how his band got their name (very dull), how he met Ronnie and did some work on one of his solo albums, where A Thousand Trees originated, and tales of ZZ Top and Otis Redding, among others.

Ladies & Gentlemen, Miss Renee Fleming...
This 2002 piece retold her story as a prodigious child singer, and her rise to become a great soprano, working on Verdi operas, singing for US Presidents, and guesting on what I assume was Sesame Street. Well, different.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:20 am

Amy Winehouse : Live at Shepherds Bush Empire
A reasonable hour or so with some bleary banter between songs. Most amusing was someone in the crowd complaining when she announced her last song, at which she responded boredly that it wasn't really, she was going to come back for an encore. That said, the encore was just a cover of "Monkey Man", so it might as well have been the end.

Discovering: Jethro Tull
Prog Rock legends who needed several name changes before they got lumbered with this one. They had huge success with concept albums in the 70s, and then tried other styles in the 80s, culminating with a notorious Grammy win for Metal. After many line-up changes, frontman Ian Anderson now prefers to use his own name rather than hiding behind Tull.

Live With... Belle Roscoe
Reasonable, fresh-faced Australian five-piece with brother & sister front-singers, and OK songs.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:54 am

Camille O'Sullivan Sings Brel
Over an hour from Wilton's Music Hall, East London, through a selection of Jacques Brel's material, with Ne Me Quitte Pas and Jacqui saved for near the end. Enjoyable enough.

Scott Robinson: My Career in 5ive
Boyband member easily overlooked given the others. Linking the videos they did with little anecdotes, such as where they were filmed, or who kept them from reaching #1. Likeable effort.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:01 am

HARDtalk: Petula Clark
Vintage chanteuse reflects on her lengthy career, that her voice hasn't changed much in 50 years. She first sang in public, aged 6, and became a small star on radio at age 9. Then a Forces sweetheart. Friction with her father being her manager, which she solved by getting married and moving to France. Experience different audiences, hit #1 with Downtown. Small furore from American censors over a duet with Harry Belafonte. Managed to raise her family and maintain her career. Plans to keep touring.

Writing The Song For Peace
A curious piece about Lauren Hope Omedal, and her plan to bring world peace with a song. Having started the project in 2001, it had gone through various forms, from "If I Believe Peace" and "Weave Me A Dream." She visited schools to drum up interest from various faith groups, shot a video in 2007, and this 2012 prog summarised the journey so far.

The John Fiddler Story
Formed Medicine Head with his school friend Peter, and others. They got a tape to DJ John Peel, who helped them out with gigs, and producing their LP, on his Dandelion Records label. They had a big hit with "One and One is One". Business tailed off, but John was able to buy a house, and experience being mobbed. He joined British Lions, but it didn't work for long. Then he joined most of the Yardbirds as Box Of Frogs. They had no interest here, so he went to the USA, made calls, and got a Top 40 LP. But the record company wanted them to tour, and the rest of the band just refused. Now John does solo projects under his own name.


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Post  misery guts on Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:35 am

Scooter - Live in Hamburg 2010
A lengthy set of old & new material before an appreciative, large crowd. There's something amusing about Scooter, the lack of pretension perhaps. Their use of samples to take songs somewhere they were never meant to go, maybe.

Live With... Laurence Jones
A British 3-piece ran through several songs well enough.

Discovering: Carpenters
How Karen was pushed upfront where she didn't feel happy, how Richard found esoteric covers and gave them unexpected new arrangements. All went well until their appeal began to fade, Richard turned to drugs, and Karen met her sad end.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:03 am

Discovering: The Monkees
The usual saga of four lads brought together to take off the success of the Beatles, and accidentally inspire the development of pop videos. I never knew Mickey Dolenz couldn't actually drum at first. They had trouble live, trying to marry the on-screen perception and studio-made albums, with reality. When the band took control of the music, sales began to drop off. When they took control of the telly series, that got cancelled. Their movie, 'Head' is famously even weirder than usual. They had a revival in the mid-80s when the series got repeated. They kept reforming for tours, usually to coincide with anniversaries. Davy died in 2012, but the others keep going.

Arena: Alone with Chrissie Hynde
She had her book out last year, but this didn't mention it. Chrissie is too spiky to do a normal format look-back, so this saw her on Sandra Bernhard's radio show, painting at home in Maida Vale, helping out as guest at a pub gig for a little band called Mother's Little Helper, revisiting a cemetery near Akron, buying clothes and having her portrait sketched in Paris. You know, the usual. I did find her more likeable here than I often do.

The Dave Gregory Story
Lived in Swindon, and was flattered to be invited to join XTC after their first 2 LPs. Andy Partridge, the brains of the outfit, altered their sound to suit, and they had hit singles and albums. They had an accidental big hit in America with "Dear God". Sales declined, but Andy kept writing, and the band kept recording. Dave stayed for 19 years, but eventually lost his rag with Andy and quit. Elsewhere, he did session work on Peter Gabriel's 3rd solo LP, and does arrangements for acts as diverse as Porcupine Tree and Jason Donovan. So he seems content with how things have turned out.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:31 am

Blancmange at Electric Dreams
Charming set from the 80s festival held at Butlins, Bognor Regis. Lead singer bore uncanny resemblance to Charlie Brooker, but was clearly having a great time and put this across.

Off Camera with Sam Jones: Jackson Browne
A lengthy chat beginning from a shared heritage in Fullerton, Orange Co. JB's parents were both teachers, and he was drawn to the piano. Learned his trade in folk clubs, and his songwriting craft as he went along. He met the Elektra Records crowd, briefly played with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, then played guitar for Nico. He was unsure of his singing voice, but felt inspiration from Bob Dylan. Sometimes feels songs need performance time before they're ready to be recorded. Got a great break when David Geffen started his own label when others showed no interest. He was able to get his publishing back from Elektra AND Geffen. Certain songs gain extra meanings from universal response. Thinks short singles impose an absurd restriction. Had a big hit in Indonesia thanks to bootlegging. Feels it's vital to oversee production and protect the catalogue, or blunders get made, and money gets mislaid.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:05 am

The Nude Records Story, with Saul Galpern
Likeable Scots record label owner. He had early attempts in the 80s, managing to sign Simply Red to Island. After getting the sack in 1991, he opted to start his own effort, and almost his first signings to Nude Records were Suede. The first album went to #1, and the band took most of his time, and they won the prestigious Mercury Prize. The 2nd album suffered, and Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler fell out, with the latter leaving. Anderson was keen to carry on, and the 3rd LP was hugely successful. But other signings like Geneva and Ultrasound didn't work out too well. The label went into hiatus around 2000, which meant he was unable to capitalise on spotting Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand and Kaiser Chiefs early. The label returned for a while in 2005.

Discovering: The Mama's and the Papa's
They had 1 outstanding song in California Dreamin'. Though John Phillips was the brains, people felt Mama Cass was the talent. They made a few albums before splitting, and Cass died in 1974.

Tom Waits - Tales From A Cracked Jukebox
He ploughs his own furrow, he sings like no-one else, he does the odd acting job, he writes classic songs like "Downtown Train", he made it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he's still got a sense of humour.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:20 am

Lower Than Atlantis: On Record
Mike and Ben of the band talk about their latest album, their 5th, their 10 years together, being from Watford, seeing 5 Seconds of Summer as a gateway for youngsters to head towards harder rock bands like themselves, upcoming tours and music festivals, trying to control ticket prices and the financial sense of using their own studio.

Live With... CC Smugglers
Never heard of them, a 6-piece "busker band". Sounded alright, nice songs, though.

Star Treatment: Noel Murphy
From 1979, as a talent contest star gets his own show. "Murf" from Killarney was something of a comic folk singer, like an Irish Mike Harding or something. He did do Ralph McTell's lovely "From Clare To Here", and finished with Fairport Convention's "Meet on the Ledge".

Discovering: Stevie Wonder
Arguably Saginaw's most famous son, had a tough childhood, but developed a multi-talented musical touch when he was in Detroit. Motown capitalised, and tried to get him into movies. He progressed socially and spiritually, received huge royalties when he turned 21, and then re-signed to Motown on a better deal. He repaid them with a series of landmark albums that won more sales and Grammys. Wrote tribute songs for Martin Luther King, Bob Marley and Duke Ellington. "I Just Called to Say I Love You" added an Oscar to his trophy cabinet. He duetted with Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson and many others, and was part of We Are The World. Though he releases less albums, he still keeps working.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:28 am

Star Treatment: Koffee n Kreme
A mixed-race singing duo, Lance "son of Ray" Ellington and Bet Hannah, who met in 1975, and shone on New Faces in 1977. They have an odd mixture of material, the lowlight being a medley of 1950s/early 1960s tunes like Lipstick On Your Collar and Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. But you could see they were talented enough.

Piers Morgan's Life Stories: Boy George
The outspoken journalist bandies words with the Buddhist who set many a debate on fire from 1982 onwards as the charismatic lead singer in Culture Club. The band quickly scored 2 #1 singles in a twelve month period, but eventually the industry moved on. George had troubles with drugs, and worse troubles when he ended up on community service, and later jail. But he's been clean for 9 years, tours happily with Culture Club, and has been one of the judges on talent show The Voice. He felt a sort of rivalry with George Michael, but they were cordial when they met. His stage show Taboo didn't take off too well in the USA, but he remains a forceful personality, and has strength from his family and friends.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:47 am

John Otway - Cor Baby, That's Really Me
John talking to Iain McNay about his career, a triumph of experiences over success. He's only had 2 hits (Really Free and Bunsen Burner), but several record labels, unusual gigs in places like the Royal Albert Hall, or Dunkirk, and he's written two volumes of autobiography about his status as Rock's Greatest Failure. It would be a hard-hearted person not won over by his charm, imagination and perspective.

Avec Sans at Electric Dreams
As with Blancmange, only half as long. A synthpop duo from London (female singer, male keyboardist), and several reasonable songs.

Gonks Go Beat
A 1965 film based loosely on Romeo and Juliet, notable here for its rock and roll backdrop, so that acts like Lulu and the Luvvers, or the Graham Bond Organisation (with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, among others), and the Nashville Teens. Many musical numbers in the tale of one island full of crazy rocking dudes, and the other which is more sedate and pop friendly. Love saves the day, if that's not too much of a Spoiler.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:17 am

Mallory Knox: On Record
Their new album Wired is out later this week. Mikey and Sam spoke to Jon Mahon, about what they've been up to since their last LP in 2014., and how they put the new album together. Using multi-media ideas along the way, trying different song paths. They've grown as a band, with benefits in all departments.

Pop Profiles: Eminem
Raised in Michigan, was inspired by Melle Mel and the Beastie Boys. He came to the attention of Dr Dre, and the rest was foul-mouthed history. His first 2 LPs were hugely successful and had some classic singles. The 3rd LP went off the boil. He did the 8 Mile film, worked with D12, had a hiatus to deal with addiction problems, then returned to Grammy-winning form, with big news collaborations.


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Post  misery guts on Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:42 am

Kiri te Kanawa at the BBC
The renowned New Zealand soprano looks back on a half-century of success, from the London Opera Centre, to the Royal Albert Hall, to BBC chat shows, to singing at the wedding of Charles & Diana, even Top of the Pops in 1991 when she sang the theme to the Rugby World Cup (World in Union). Expresses satisfaction at looking back on old clips.

The Suzi Quatro Story
Her father played music, her mother sang. She got a set of bongos at 7, around the time she saw Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show. A few years later, she saw the Beatles on the same show, and was soon playing bass in a family band called The Pleasure Seekers. This ended when Mickie Most offered her a solo deal. She struggled in London, but then worked with the Chinnichap team of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. They wrote hits, she would write the rest of the albums. She had #1 success with Can The Can. She toured America, where Elvis invited her to Graceland. She turned it down, feeling unready. She appeared in Happy Days, then left Most's Rak Records, and declined in the 1980s. She had 2 kids, and then divorced her husband. She remarried, and recently wrote her autobiography, Unzipped. And she continues to keep working, and rocking.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:01 am

Talent Spot: Emily Estelle
A short showcase for a rising opera singer who has performed with Russell Watson and Andrea Bocelli. She sang Coldplay's The Scientist and the Killer's Human. She'd like to collaborate with Calvin Harris.

Live With... Emily Barker
An Aussie singer-songwriter who apparently did the theme for the BBC version of "Wallander". Plenty of good material here.

Stages: An Evening with Josh Groban
From the Los Angeles Theater, 2015, to promote an album of theatre music, much of which was predictable, but no less enjoyable for that. And naff or not, the guy can sing.

All Time Low: On Record
Their new album is out this week. They didn't give a lot away, although they're on tour this month, too. They're being supported by Waterparks and Swmrs, because they like the idea of helping bands up if they can. They've been going since 2003.

Unfinished: The Making of Massive Attack
This was more a preamble to the release of their 1991 album "Blue Lines" and notably none of the main band members were featured. Bristol developed its own sound from Jamaican sound-systems. Through post-punk and hip-hop, the band slowly coalesced, with help from Neneh Cherry too. And the rest was trip-hop history.


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Post  misery guts on Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:56 am

Amy Winehouse - In Her Own Words
This 2015 half-hour culled snippets of chat on all sorts of topics, with performance footage from her brief, troubled career. Her sense of being out of her natural time, of her troubled relationships, and her influences at least made a change from the more familiar rest of it.

Dazzling Duets at the BBC
Mainly classical instrumentalists together, but with the occasional vocal effort. Nigel Kennedy and Victor Borge were among those managing to produce something quirky, though the talent was impressive all the way through.

Off Camera with Sam Jones: Taylor Goldsmith
Don't know him or his band, but a likeable enough chap. He grew up in LA, identified with Bob Dylan's impetus to evolve to survive. He's worked with Jackson Browne and Robbie Robertson. Doesn't shirk from uncool topics like feelings. Only 28 when this was done (in 2013). Wears his heart on his sleeve.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:12 am

Geri's 1990s - My Drive to Freedom
Continuing this series where musicians report on a decade as it affected them, the ex-Spice Girl recounts her formative years, her love for local lads Wham, her rave years, her father's death, her time in the Spice Girls, her solo career and so on. She met Nelson Mandela and George Michael, sang for Prince Charles, had many #1 singles, and used her humour in two notable Brit Award performances. Among other contributors, it was nice to see and hear from Alison Limerick.

Talent Spot - Sally Franklyn / Jarka Laclavikova
Two upcoming singers, both of whom seem to have benefitted from unusual teaching methods, and familiarity with foreign languages.

Discovering: Leonard Cohen
A poet first & foremost, born in Montreal in 1934. He formed bands at University and had 2 novels published. Once signed to Columbia, his debut solo album came in 1967. He would prove more popular in Europe than the USA. He had a gloomy image, and mixed fortunes with producers. His major works were Bird On A Wire and Hallelujah. He reinvented his sound, had a long gap between tours (I believe this was the infamous issue with a manager who fleeced his money, though not discussed in this show), and played Glastonbury. A mammoth 2 year tour earned millions. Entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:30 am

Classic Quartets at the BBC
An hour-long collection from all sorts of shows, and composers. The more notable ones were the particularly unusual (Stockhausen's Helicopter Quartet, or those covering rock tunes like Baba O'Riley or Pills and Soap).

The Enid - Live at Electric Dreams
More from the festival, this time a largely electro-prog band and their pleasant acoustic journeys.

Happy 100th Birthday - Dame Vera Lynn
She had no formal training, and couldn't read music. But she was spotted by the right people, got a BBC radio show and became a Forces Sweetheart during WW2, visiting troops in places like Burma. Her versions of We'll Meet Again and The White Cliffs of Dover have become iconic. She had 3 of the 12 records in the first UK Chart. She had radio and then telly shows, and achieved a #1 LP in 2009. And now she's 100.


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Post  misery guts on Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:01 am

Andrea Bocelli: Cinema
A gig at the Dolby Theatre, Hollywood, to promote an album of songs from the movies. His pal David Foster helped out, and there were walk-on spots for the likes of John Travolta and Andy Garcia, and duets with Nicole Scherzinger and Ariana Grande. Some songs were in English, some in Italian. Nice stuff.


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Post  misery guts on Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:20 am

Blancmange - Live at the Water Rats
Another hour or so from the early 80s electro-poppers. A few different numbers to their Electric Dreams set, but a few reliable faves.

John Bishop: In Conversation with Olly Murs
The scouse comedian's interview series tackled the 2009 X Factor runner-up. He came from a small town in Essex, and entered X Factor in 2007 and 2008 with no success, and won just £10 on Deal Or No Deal. He has an elder sister and a twin brother, but fell out with the latter when he had to prioritise X Factor over attending his wedding, and they've not spoken since 2013. Murs also spoke about his stint presenting the X Factor, which is only remembered for one mistake. Though he wanted fame so he could leave his hometown, he values going back there to have some normality time.

Live With... Ella Shaw
A Britain's Got Talent semi-finalist, apparently. She teaches kids to sing, but has done an album, which sounded OK from this short set.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:52 am

Bradley McIntosh: My Career in S Club 7
Brad recounts the short-lived heyday of SC7 through their videos. They had several #1 singles, but had split by 2003. I'd think only 2 or 3 band members are still remembered, and Bradley isn't one of them.

Kings Of Pop
A rather random hour compilation of 13 artists, from Elton John and Bruce Springsteen through to Stevie Wonder and Elvis Presley. Some unusual song choices too (You Can't Hurry Love for Phil Collins, Happy Birthday for Stevie Wonder).
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Post  misery guts on Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:57 am

Deaf Havana: On Record
Matt & James talk about how things started off badly after their previous album was released in the Autumn of 2013. Not only did their management fail to capitalise on it, but they found themselves in debt for things they had no clue about. They came close to splitting, but kept working to pay off the debts, and realised how much they enjoyed working with each other. So their new LP came together much better, involving all the band in the recording process, and cutting down a longlist of 25-30 tracks to decide on the final running order. They feel more confident in themselves now, and set to crack other countries too.

Ben Adams: My Career in a1
Another set of old videos, one of the lesser-remembered boybands from the turn of the millennium, though they did get a couple of #1 hits in the UK. Apparently they made a modest comeback in 2010, but I don't remember it.

Marsheaux - Live at Electric Dreams
A Greek synthpop outfit with 2 lads and 2 lasses. They had some good material, so maybe we'll hear more from them sometime.
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Post  misery guts on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:17 am

Discovering: The Cure
The end of this series, for now, and an hour-long episode unlike most of the others, which is a bit spurious. They've been around for almost 40 years, and been fairly regular album creators, and supposedly one of the biggest rock acts in the world (yeah, right). They went through phases of having hit records as well as critically popular albums too. They've had a wide influence, and not just on Tim Burton's entire act.

Brian Pern: A Tribute
The spoof series of Simon Day and Rhys Thomas perhaps comes to an end. Peter Davison and Chris Eccleston featured among the contributors, while Phil Collins plugged his book and Peter Gabriel obliged with another cameo.

Brian Pern at the BBC
Send-up of the BBC fashion for clip show, here with half a dozen performances of varying styles, some parodies working better than others.

Noisey: Blackpool aka The Controversial Rise of Blackpool Grime
A chap called Poet visited the North-West England seaside resort to follow-up on YouTube vids featuring three characters from that scene, Afghan Dan, Soph Aspin and Little T. All three were intriguing in different ways, and once Poet talked to them about their beefs with each other, he managed to get them to perform a rap sequence together. This was from 2012, so goodness knows where they're at now. Not my scene, but for Blackpool I'll give it a whirl.
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Post  misery guts on Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:28 am

MTV World Stage: One Republic
Froim the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds, in Manila, from June 2016. A selection of familiar tracks from the unfathomably popular band.

Stunning Soloists at the BBC
A wide cross-section of clips, and all sorts of instruments from xylophone to sitar and harp. Typically, the more intriguing were those less seen, such as the closing Dudley Moore.

Fresh Blood Live: Astroid Boys
A 5-piece rock band from Cardiff who claim to mix rock and grime. They mention Creeper as a fellow band they respect. They had a track used by WWE. They're working on a new record. They like to challenge their audience. Their best number here was Tainted Love, which helpfully only takes a sonic sample as a basis for their won lyrics.

From Berlin To New York
A New Year's Eve Concert from 2013 at the Semperoper in Dresden, with Christian Thielemann conducting, and Renee Fleming and Klaus Florian Vogt handling the vocals. They covered a broad range of material, from European to American, with Gershwin nestling alongside Kunneke and Stolz.
misery guts
misery guts
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