Music Television 5

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Post  misery guts Mon Oct 03, 2022 8:04 am

Ukraine's Musical Freedom Fighters, with Clive Myrie
BBC newsreader pals up with some of the members of the newly-formed Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, prior to their debut at the Proms a couple of months back. One of the players had a father on the front-line, another had parents who did in fact manage to flee the country. And so on.

The Velvet Underground - Under Review
Two band members were present and correct, but no Reed or Cale, unsurprisingly. Their 4 albums were all covered, plus a live effort and a "lost" creation too. Their sound evolved as their line-up changed.

Berlin Live: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
They got to play in 2017, and did a typically solid show.

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Live from Decades Liver Arena
With help from guests like Bo Bice, 3 Doors Down and Hank Williams Jr, what currently passes for the legendary rockers delivered a crowd-pleasing set in Atlantic City in 2006.
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Post  misery guts Wed Oct 05, 2022 6:40 am

Storyville: And Still I Sing
To Kabul, for season 14 of Afghan Star. Two of the finalists were Sadaqa Madadgar and Zahra Elham, hoping to become the first female winners of the show, and encouraged by judge Aryana Sayeed. Sadaqa gets eliminated around 7th, but gets a second chance along with other eliminatees. But she doesn't get it. Zahra makes the final 2, and in fact wins. Aryana plans a big concert marking the 100th Independence Day for Afghanistan, and helps Zahra out with a couple of tracks. However, the Taliban take over and the US leave, and the concert gets cancelled. Aryana makes it out in a plane, Zahra is smuggled out to Pakistan. The film ends with Sadaqa left behind in Kabul facing a grim, music-less future.

Carole King - In Concert
A short set from 1971. James Taylor came on for a song, Danny Kortchmar was there for another. Most of the songs are now seen as classics from Tapestry, but she did round off with a couple of Goffin-King classics too.
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Post  misery guts Fri Oct 07, 2022 7:04 am

American Masters - Carole King: Natural Woman
This 2016 effort felt over-familiar, and ended up pushing her "Beautiful" jukebox show. Amusingly, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill liked the first version, which was more about them and Carole and Barry. But focus groups didn't understand why it would not include Tapestry. James Taylor and Carole Bayer Sager were among other contributors to the general story of Carole's life. Her approach to song-writing was both straight-forward and ingenious (eg Will You Love Me Tomorrow? being the follow-on from Tonight's The Night). Gerry Goffin writing Pleasant Valley Sunday because he resented having moved to the suburbs was pretty amusing.

Berlin Live - Stereophonics
Unlike most of the other shows, Kelly and the others got to chat backstage about how things are and were. The music was good stuff too.

CNBC Conversation: Tiesto
Dan Murphy talked to the DJ with 30+ years in the business before a gig in Dubai. He won a Grammy in 2014, and is in his 50's now, and a father of two. He helped Avicii and Martin Garrix along the way. The Business was meant to encapsulate the end of lockdown, but it went on longer than he expected. His advice was "invest in yourself and in what you understand".
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Post  misery guts Mon Oct 10, 2022 7:50 am

Reel Stories: Robbie Williams
Dermot O'Leary takes the former Take That! star through his 30+ year career, since he's recently released XXV, an album of orchestrated improvements to some of his hits. TT took up a lot of duration, given he left quite early in his career. Robbie's personal struggles ruined things for a long time, but now he's a married father, he has found a better approach to his life.

Joan Armatrading at Asylum Chapel
The legendary singer-songwriter rattled through tracks for almost 2 hours, with little banter, and all the better for it.
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Post  misery guts Wed Oct 12, 2022 6:15 am

Wales: Music Nation, with Huw Stephens
The radio DJ looks at developments over the past thousand years, from instrumentation to creativity, talking to a range of academics and stars varying from Tom Jones and Max Boyce, through Gruff Rhys and Nicky & James from the Manics, to a more modern face, Mace the Great.

This Cultural Life - John Wilson interviews Nicola Benedetti
The ever charming and reliable violin whizz was born in North Ayrshire, and picks out Brahms' Violin Concerto and meeting Wynton Marsalis as key moments for her. She studied at a Yehudi Menuhin school and briefly met the titular genius himself. She has an online presence too.
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Post  misery guts Fri Oct 14, 2022 7:19 am

Wales On Air: BBC at 100
Rather like one of the summer Proms, here Alex (not that one) Jones presented as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales provided musical background to news stories of the past century, along with chat features with certain Welsh icons like Simon Weston and Gareth Edwards.

We Are England - Photo Me Famous
Conor McDonnell blagged his way into a Subways gig in Manchester, and has seldom looked back. He's enthused about the return to live touring, which for him meant snapping Calvin Harris in Las Vegas. As well as talking on Zoom to Calvin, he revisited his old school, the Manchester venue where he talked to the Subways frontman, and he talked about his camera use and nature sidelines. A more interesting look at photography than sometimes is the case.
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Post  misery guts Tue Oct 18, 2022 7:50 am

Olivia Newton-John at the BBC
A belated tribute to the late singer, with performances ranging from the early 1970s through to as late as 2017. Only one number from Grease, which at least pushed that she did have a career beyond the film, though clearly life before the film was a rather different kettle of fish (such as singing the 1974 UK entry to the EuroVision Song Contest). Physical was probably bigger even than Grease, and she had several solo US #1 singles.

Failte gu Alba
Mischa MacPherson meets asylum seekers and refugees in Glasgow, and also people who run projects trying to help them out. She followed a Syrian rapper, Ali, as he got the chance to record in a proper studio. She met a Zimbabwean singer, Eyve, who also had her own songs. She duetted with Aref, from the Musicians In Exile set-up, on a song in his language which she followed phonetically, I think.
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Post  misery guts Thu Oct 20, 2022 7:20 am

Only Olivia
A telly special from 1977, notable for coming before the smash success of Grease, which completely altered the trajectory of her career. She did hits old and then-new, and some banter between songs. One of the backing singers was Clare Torry.

Revolution of Sound: Tangerine Dream
A 2017 look back at the sonic pioneers, using audio archive from the late Edgar Froese, and many former band members and family members to relate other parts of his and the band's story. Also, Jean-Michel Jarre was impressed and put them in context with the likes of Karlheinz Stockhausen and French composer Pieter Schaeffer (often not mentioned). Jarre managed to meet and work with Froese before it was too late. They remain an under-rated band, it seems.
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Post  misery guts Tue Oct 25, 2022 7:34 am

David Gray - White Ladder: From Then 'Til Now
He was supposed to do a 20th anniversary tour but lockdown postponed it. As well as performing all the songs in album order, he looks back on a doc made around the time, Up To A Point, which captured him and those around him, on the brink of success which famously had taken years to happen (though he hit big in Ireland first). A likeable chap, he had Marc Almond on stage as he re-did his version of Save Hello, Wave Goodbye, and also told an anecdote about meeting David Bowie at Glastonbury 2000 after his dad got involved. This cued up a take on Life On Mars? Overall, a decent bloke and the albums have always been solid.

Sensationalists: The Bad Girls and Boys of British Art
A 3-part series with some musical overlap - Goldie had plenty to add, Keith Allen did the narration, Damien Hirst directed Blur's "Country House" video, the girl at the centre of Pulp's "Common People" was part of the scene, and Fat Les combined Blur's Alex James, Keith Allen and Damien Hirst to create a 1998 football song.
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Post  misery guts Thu Oct 27, 2022 9:18 am

Hans Zimmer: Hollywood Rebel
The composer relates his story, his affection for the UK, his alleged inclusion in a Buggles video, his big Rain Man break, and how he pays it forward by working in teams with young and upcoming composers. His children seemed to like him too.

Berlin Live: Pixies
Legendary in the 1990s among a certain crowd, and still pleasing after all these years.
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Post  misery guts Sat Oct 29, 2022 7:46 am

Music Is My Life: Joseph Shabalala
The story of the founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who were doing alright in South Africa even in spite of the apartheid regime, but then Paul Simon met them and nothing was ever the same again for either of them. They met and collaborated with Dolly Parton, Stevie Wonder and many others. Joseph experienced tragedy in his private life, and his health declined. His family continue the band without him.

Rip It Up Unwrapped - The 60s
From early pioneers like Karl Denver and Alex Harvey, through more mavericks like Bert Jansch and Donovan, through to Lulu and the Incredible String Band. Alex Harvey's version of Shout led to Lulu's.
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Post  misery guts Mon Oct 31, 2022 8:46 am

Jonathan MacDonald's Legacy
He died in 2021 in his late 80s. He had a busy career and made a big impression of friends and colleagues, though his music didn't rate a mention in this show for some reason.

Tormod - In His Own Words
A similar tribute, this time the late Norman MacLean talked how he went from teaching to entertaining to television fame to heavy drinking. He lived to 80, dying in 2017, and seemed modest and amusing in his recollections. A piper as well as a singer, and also a Gaelic advocate.
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Post  misery guts Wed Nov 02, 2022 8:27 am

Berlin Live: Simple Minds
From 2018, around the time of the Walk Between Worlds album, which they played quite a bit of, before switching to the more classic material.

Inside Classical: A Birmingham Celebration
Dalia Stasevska conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra through a 3-part programme which included many special contributors singing along, like presenter Casey Bailey.
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Post  misery guts Fri Nov 04, 2022 8:36 am

Louis Theroux Interviews: Stormzy
The tiresome interviewer launches a new series of (mostly) face-to-face interviews with the rising rapper about to deliver his new album. Mike also talked about his family, touring, a high profile relationship with Maya Jama, his mum, being a poor cook, and his goals.

Rip It Up Unwrapped: Synth Pop
Simple Minds' early work, then Altered Images and Midge Ure, the Associates and Annie Lennon, plus Jimmy Somerville and more recent works from Churches. It was good to hear some of the acts talking about each other with respect and affection.
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Post  misery guts Mon Nov 07, 2022 8:16 am

MTV Blackpool Illuminations - Switch On 2022 : The Best Bits
Belated but fine. Tom Grennan was a fine opener and seemed quite affectionate about the place. Mae Muller, Fuse ODG and Nina Nesbitt all made best use of some rare publicity, whilst Blue main evented, minus Lee who seems to be on parental leave or something.

Jefferson Starship
A concert from 1983 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. This was lumbered with a framing narrative about "Shortwave Mike" on some sort of space satellite.
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Post  misery guts Wed Nov 09, 2022 9:32 am

The Price of Fame - Prince
A reasonable part-drama-documentary about the troubled legend, his fractured home life, his busy love life and his busy work life. He was a genius at music, though.

Video Killed The Radio Star: Beyonce
Has she reinvented the wheel? No. Is she an inspirational figure? Yes, I assume she is.

Rip It Up Unwrapped - The Glasgow Indie Scene
Charming also-rans, though Teenage Fanclub had some American success, Soup Dragons had brief UK success, the Vaselines were popular with Kurt Cobain, and BMX Bandits and the Pastels were just popular with fans more than the general public.
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Post  misery guts Sat Nov 12, 2022 8:35 am

Berlin Live: Editors
They performed in 2016, and did a fair mix of the familiar and the less so.

a-Ha: The Movie
This 2021 doc told a thorough tale about three guys from Norway, how they wanted to be music stars, how one amazing video suddenly brought them the success they wanted, and what followed. Pal does most of the writing and is somewhat precious about it. Magne does keyboard stuff and is often under-rated. He was also (at this time) the most unwilling to consider another album. Morten was the guy the other two found and brought in, who took the brunt of the publicity work (which Pal for one clearly dislikes doing), but who felt sometimes disrespected. Manhattan Skyline was the moment they jumped the shark as far the American market was concerned, and subsequent albums (and reunions) followed from that. They have recently put out a new record, so that's a happier note for the future.

MTV Live: Tom Grennan
A fuller show of his turn at Blackpool, he did 6 numbers and seemed to be as pleased as the crowd.

The Hacienda - The Club That Shook Britain
A somewhat familiar tale, told by Peter and Stephen from New Order, Shaun of Happy Mondays, Peter Saville, Mike Pickering, several lesser named staff and a prominent regular in Noel Gallagher. It was a sort of well-meant vanity project which lost screeds of money for several years, suddenly hit a groove at the end of the 80s, then attracted a more dangerous crowd and the end was nigh. Though it has long been shut and redeveloped, this year marks its' 40th anniversary.
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Post  misery guts Mon Nov 14, 2022 8:36 am

The Rise of the Synths
Highly enjoyable look at "synthwave", a somewhat ersatz sound emulating the 1980s, often by people who couldn't really have known it at the time. Film director (and oft-composer) John Carpenter narrated links between the great many creators from around the world, some of whom had different visions for what they could achieve. 

Lwp - Curadur - Eden @ 25
Welsh girlband trio look back at how far they've come, and feature Caryl Parry Jones (who helped them get going, writing a song for them), and more newer acts like Francis Rees, Tara Bandito and Catty. A warm-hearted and positive show.
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Post  misery guts Thu Nov 17, 2022 9:36 am

Belladrum - Blue Rose Code
Firstly, Prentice Robertson (of Vistas) did a short solo set, before the main event of BRC. They got quite a lot of air-time for a band not that well known.

Rip It Up Unwrapped - The KLF
An episode on the half-Scottish anarchists, including an implausible solo album from Bill, the Timelords, the JAMMs and of course their post-career antics like burning £1 million. At least both Bill and Jimmy made it from archive, and their 18 months of chart success from Autumn 1990 to Spring 1992 felt as thrilling as they did at the time.

Artists Den presents Soundgarden
From the Wiltern in LA in Feb 2013, they managed not to do either Black Hole Sun or even Fell On Black Days. But otherwise a typically solid turn.
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Post  misery guts Mon Nov 21, 2022 9:06 am

MTV Europe Music Awards 2022
Rita Ora and Taika Waititi hosted, Taylor Swift won several awards, and others went to Muse, Anitta, David Guetta, Nicki Minaj and others.

Sir Bob Geldof - In Conversation With - Alan Yentob
To a live audience at the South Bank, London, they spent half the time on Bob's upbringing in Ireland, and time fronting the Boomtown Rats, and then the second half on Band Aid and Live Aid. Bob was typically acerbic, or acerbically typical, talking of attending the USA for Africa recording and getting signatures of the great and the good.
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Post  misery guts Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:38 am

The Sound of Petula
The last one of her 1973 series, with her running through a whole gamut of songs from Everything Is Beautiful to That Old Devil Moon to an English translation of Je Ne Regrette Rien.

Rip It Up
An excellent 3-part series on the history of Scottish pop music up to 2018 anyway. From the 1960s with Lulu, the 1970s with Nazareth, the 1980s with Deacon Blue & many more, and so on and so on. Poignant to see both Rab Noakes and Dan McCafferty among a long list of faces, both having recently died.

Later w/Jools Holland - Arctic Monkeys
An end-of-series special as Alex and co played stuff from their new The Car album, chatted briefly to Jools, and did a few old favourites along the way.
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Post  misery guts Sat Nov 26, 2022 7:51 am

Rip It Up Unwrapped - Chemikal Underground
Busy Scottish record label started by members of the Delgados, and giving space and succour to Mogwai and Bis, among others.

Louis Theroux Interviews - Yungblud
Dom from Doncaster finishes a busy US tour and meets Louis, as well as many fans. Much of their chatter happens in a Parisian hotel, and later he takes Louis back to meet his family. Dom has had his struggles, but uses that to inspire others to face up to their struggles too, where possible. He's quite popular live.

Iconic Albums: I Am Chipmunk
Just Chip these days, of course. He talks about how he honed his craft as a teenager, and was somewhat surprised that having delivered some hits, he was able to make a full album, and when he toured he gave a leg up to others in his set, like Wretch 32 and Skepta. He got a #1 single with Oopsy Daisy too.

BBC Proms Classics: Radio 1 Ibiza Prom
From 2015, with Pete Tong alongside Jules Buckley conducting the Heritage Orchestra, and guest spots from Ella Eyre and John Newman. Plenty of classics from Pjanoo to Porcelain, One More Time to Strings Of Life, and more.
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Post  misery guts Mon Nov 28, 2022 8:01 am

Sisters With Transistors
A major look at the women who have contributed to the development of electronic music, from British pioneers like Daphne Oram and Delia Derbyshire, through other legends like Wendy Carlos, Maryanne Amacher, Pauline Oliveros and so many others. A really informative and inspiring programme.

Jools' 30th Birthday Bash
The Later host moves to the Eventim Hammersmith Apollo for a lengthy show including performances from Robert Plant, First Aid Kit, Michael Kiwanuka, Seasick Steve, Poppy Ajudha, Benjamin Clementine, Martin & Eliza Carthy, Richard Hawley, Gogol Bordello, Imelda May, The Joy and Celeste. A good summation of the show.
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Post  misery guts Wed Nov 30, 2022 8:19 am

Petula Clark at the BBC
A round up marking her 90th birthday, with clips stretching back to a film role in 1946m all the way forward to her 2013 album. Regrettably, no room for her boss cover of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy though.

Berlin Live: Eric Burdon and the Animals
In 2015 he was still recording new stuff and touring. He was quite vocal in backstage chat bits, and on stage too. He finished on Boom Boom rather than some of the bigger Animals hits.

Rip It Up Unwrapped - Rise of the Misfits
The penultimate edition brought together a few overlapping stories without a strong, central theme, which meant Franz Ferdinand and KT Tunstall, among others. Tragically, Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit, the last act included, took his own life a few weeks after filming.
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Post  misery guts Fri Dec 02, 2022 8:08 am

Westlife - Live at Wembley Stadium
A show from their "Wild Dreams" tour. Their original songs are more interesting than their covers.

Ennio (the Maestro)
Lengthy but justified look at the noted film composer who's worked on hundreds of films over the years; helped Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood make a timeless trilogy that rebooted the Western genre; helped loads of Italian directors to triumph; pepped Joan Baez to create a folk protest classic; needed multiple goes to win an Oscar in his own right, not just an honorary one; was praised by directors and fellow composers alike, also rockers like Bruce Springsteen and James Hetfield. A joyous tribute.

BBC 6music: Wet Leg - Live at the Great Hall, Cardiff
One of last year's big new names delivers a decent little set to much crowd pleasure.
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