The World Cup Brief Part 2

The first weekend of the tournament is out of the way, and so here are the next lot of fixtures to get my ten word review treatment…

18th June: Sweden 1 – 0 South Korea
Koreans pay the penalty as Swedes open account with win.

18th June: Belgium 3 – 0 Panama
Three goal burst flatters Belgians as they beat tournament debutants.

18th June: Tunisia 1 – 2 England
Last gasp winner for Kane salvages deserved win despite referee.

19th June: Colombia 1 – 2 Japan
First red card of tournament for Colombians as Japan victorious.

19th June: Poland 1 – 2 Senegal
Late Polish comeback not enough to peg back ecstatic Senegal.

19th June: Russia 3 – 1 Egypt
Own goal starts Russian goal glut as Salah falls flat.

20th June: Portugal 1 – 0 Morocco
Early Ronaldo goal the difference but Morocco keep floodgates shut.

20th June: Uruguay 1 – 0 Saudi Arabia
Suarez goals wins match as Uruguay still struggling to perform.

20th June: Iran 0 – 1 Spain
Costa knees in winner as Iran refuse to roll over.


Juke Box Jury 18/06/18

Another week has passed us by. For the football fans, the World Cup is taking up most of the time, and for the non-football fans, well, Poldark is on a Sunday night… None of last week’s featured tracks made it into the Top 100 chart, which is not surprising as they were all pretty bad.

The first of this week’s tracks is ‘I Can Dream’ by Boyzone. The Irish boyband, who are now all way too old to be a boyband, have got a new album coming, and this is the end. Again. As a parting gift to their fans, they have clearly gone back in time to the 90’s with this song. Dronin’ Ronan leads the way in this piece of pop, and with the announcement of the split, I expect the wave of nostalgia to make this a HIT.


Track two is ‘Darth Vader’ by Chip. I chose this based purely on the title. To be honest, that’s about as good as it gets. This is absolute fucking garbage. Actually, garbage is better than this. Why is this music popular? Let me say this: Chip is shit. But, to be on the safe side, I’ll say it’s a MAYBE.


The next track is ‘Gold Rush’ from Death Cab For Cutie. The only example of their previous work I know of is ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark’, which is a bleak song to say the least. Good, but bleak. This, however, is different. It’s got a groove. It’s enjoyable in a different way. It will bear up to repeat listening. It may end up being a MISS, but I don’t care, and neither should they.


The penultimate track is ‘I’m Your Man’ by Spiritualized. Hailing from Rugby, Spiritualized may be remembered by their 1997 album ‘Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space’, and that’s how I remembered them. This has elements of that sound, and then a good chorus to boot. And it all goes together pretty well, if you ask me. While it will probably be a chart MISS, it might well be something I add to my own collection.


And on to the last track. ‘If You Wanna Love Somebody’ is the new single from Tom Odell. I know the name, somehow, but I’ve never has the misfortune to listen to his work. In the name of blogging I sought him out, and I’m so glad I did. Not. I must be a true artist, because I’m fucking suffering here. You can too, but first, this is a MAYBE. Now, suffer as I did…


Which just leaves the matter of the classic chart hit. Going back to this day in 1998, ex-Housemartin Norman Cook had released ‘Rockafeller Skank’ under his latest guise, Fatboy Slim, and it was a new entry at Number 6. Enjoy…

The World Cup Brief Part 1

The festival of football has kicked off in Russia, and as I sat watching the Spain vs Portugal match, I thought to myself ‘how can I sum up a game in ten words?’ So, here is the first of my bi-weekly attempts to sum up every game in ten words…

14th June: Russia 5 – 0 Saudi Arabia
Putin watches hosts thash lacklustre Saudis in opening match victory.

15th June: Egypt 0 – 1 Uruguay
No Mo for Egypt as South Americans snatch late winner.

15th June: Morocco 0 – 1 Iran
Moroccans dominate and finally score late goal – at wrong end!

15th June: Portugal 3 – 3 Spain
Ronaldo hat-trick denies Jekyll and Hyde Spaniards in goal fest.

16th June: France 2 – 1 Australia
French labour to beat plucky Aussies with help from VAR.

16th June: Argentina 1 – 1 Iceland
Messi misses penalty as Iceland’s viking effort earns impressive draw.

16th June: Peru 0 – 1 Denmark
Peru rue missed penalty as Danes nick goal to win.

16th June: Croatia 2 – 0 Nigeria
Croats comfortably beat Nigerians without breaking sweat in underwhelming game.

17th June: Costa Rica 0 – 1 Serbia
Kolarov free kick the difference as Serbians labour to win.

17th June: Germany 0 – 1 Mexico
Mexican counter attack then create a wall to deny Germans.

17th June: Brazil 1 – 1 Switzerland
Brave Swiss fail to roll over as Neymar’s hair disappoints.

Juke Box Jury – 11/06/18

Evening All! How lovely is this weather we’re having in Shropshire?!! Two of last week’s tracks entered the Top 100 – The 1975 and Gorillaz – which is a nice surprise. By featuring the Beth Orton/Chemical Brothers track set my wife off on a voyage of Tim Buckley discovery, which got me thinking: has anyone been influenced by this feature to listen to something new? Whether it’s the track featured, or the artist, or an original artist if it’s been a cover version? I’d be interested to know, so please leave a comment here, or on my Facebook page. On to the business of this week’s releases…

The first one is ‘Deep End’ by Daughtry. Daughtry are an American band formed by some dude who was an American Idol finalist. If he was singing stuff like this, then it’s no wonder he didn’t win because it’s boring, beige nonsense. My twelve year-old had produced better, and he really doesn’t comprehend music properly (he likes Ed Sheeran ffs). This will be a massive MISS.


Track two is ‘Beautiful Life’ by Rick Astley. Remember when he was never gonna give you up? Or let you down? Or run around? Or desert you? Based on this, he should have given up the music. I can’t think of anything good to say, other than it’s short – running time is 2 minutes 53 seconds. I guess the Astley fans from the 80’s who have now grown up will like it, but are there enough of those to propel this into the charts? I highly doubt it, which makes this another MISS.


The third track is ‘Hair Too Long’ by The Vamps. Who are the Vamps? Do you know? Apparently they are some British band. What can I say about this? Not much really, because it’s spectacularly shite. But, having said that, it’s a MAYBE.


The fourth of this week’s tracks is ‘From The Outside’ by Real Friends. Real Friends are classed by Wikipedia as ‘American pop punk’, which immediately makes me think it’s not going to be great. Only the American’s could put punk and pop together. It’s the sort of thing that would feature in an American Pie movie, if they were still being made. Is it capable of making the charts? No fucking chance. That’s a MISS.


Which leads me to the last of the five tracks. ‘Summer Fever’ is from Little Big Town, who are a country pop band from the US of A. It sounds like they have Googled “how do I write a summer hit?” and thrown everything into a mixer – slight funk/disco rhythm, lyrics including the word summer, repetitive chorus, and a music video featuring the group doing summery things. If only the song that resulted wasn’t dogshit, which this is. Sadly, for them at least, this is going to be a MISS.


So, I’d like to apologise for the absolute rubbish you’ve had to listen to this week, and hope that the classic chart hit can make up for it, even just a little bit. Coming back up the charts on this day in 1977 were the Sex Pistols with their version of our national anthem – showing their respect for our reigning monarch. Ah, no wait, that’s not right…

Juke Box Jury – 04/06/18

Monday has come around again, all too soon. At least now, at the time of typing (almost nine o’clock), it’s almost over. So, none of last week’s featured songs broke the Top 100, which is fine by me. And now, to this week’s offerings…

First up is ‘Love Lasts Forever’ from All Saints. Remember them? They were fairly big in the 90’s, then split in acromonious circumstances, and now they’re back to top up the retirement fund. There is always the argument that bands shouldn’t reform because they’ll never recapture the old glory. But then Take That pissed all over that particular argument, and they’re all at it. But, as a warning, for every Take That, there’s an East 17! This particular song has that distinctive All Saints ‘sound’ which is nice to hear, but it’s difficult to say that this is as good as the old stuff. If there is any room for them in a world of Taylor Swifts and Katy Perrys, then this could be a hit. MAYBE.


Track number two is ‘Humility’ from Gorillaz featuring George Benson. Continuing the long line of collaborations from across the musical spectrum, this is a little bit funky with a seventies groove to it. The music video features Jack Black, which is fine with me, but the song itself will stand up to repeat plays. It’s got to be a HIT!


The third of this week’s tracks is ‘Africa’ by Weezer. Yes, that song by Toto, covered by Weezer. Apparently due to a Twitter campaign by a Weezer fan, the band decided to give it a go. Hmmm… I wonder… Anyway, you know the song, you know Weezer. This is a pretty faithful cover version, but I don’t know if it’s going to get a big enough following to break the charts. I liked it, but I fear this will be a MISS. Right, where’s my copy of Buddy Holly…


The fourth, and penultimate, track for this week is ‘Give Yourself A Try’ by the 1975. I’d heard of this band, but not listened to them because I assumed they were just another middle of the road band with nothing remarkable about them. And I was right. Listening to the song was just bearable, but then I watched a bit of the music video below, and I was struck by how similar they look to a bunch of dickheads. But, hey, don’t the kids love it?! On that basis, this bunch of dickheads will have a HIT.


And now to the fifth and final song of the week. ‘I Never Asked To Be Your Mountain’ is a cover of a Tim Buckley song from the unlikely collaboration between Beth Orton and The Chemical Brothers. Now, I’ll apologise now to any Tim Buckley fans and say I’ve not heard the original prior to listening to this version, but I have to say I like this. You can see what each has brought to the party – Beth Orton has essentially provided basic song, with the Chemical Brothers tastefully embellishing it in their own unique way. Heck, I don’t just like this, I think I really bloody like this. The reality is that is won’t be a chart hit, but this could be one of the best tracks I’ve ever said will be a MISS.


Which brings me to the end of the post, and the traditional classic chart hit from yesteryear. This week in 1969, Jackie Wilson was lifting us ‘Higher And Higher’. I defy anyone not to love this song. Until next time…

Juke Box Jury – 28/05/18

Happy Bank Holiday folks! Yesterday’s weather was quite shockingly bad up here in Shropshire, and thankfully things are a bit better today! Two of last weeks tracks broke into the Top 100 – which gives me a 40% success rate for last week alone!! Let’s see how I get on this week…

First up is ‘I’ve All I Need’ from Liam Gallagher. Trying to showcase his softer side, I remember listening to this when the album was released last year. I thought it was a bit dreary then, and nothing has changed. I can’t quite see why people are still going mad for Liam – he’s nothing special without his brother. I mean, he’s okay, but still a bit of a knob personally. This is a vinyl release, so unless you really love Liam, and really love vinyl, it’s unlikely to trouble the charts, which makes it a MISS.


The second track is ‘Aspects’ by Paul Weller. This is a rather haunting song from the Modfather, just an acoustic guitar and an orchestral accompaniment combining for a rather delightful little number. Probably as far away from Paul Weller-esque as you could imagine, yet still unmistakeable. I like it, but I’m not sure the masses will. Not enough to make an impact on the charts, sadly, which means this has to go down as a MISS.


Track three is ‘A City United’ from Prose. This is a charity single from Manchester-based band Prose (never heard of them) with the Manchester Survivors Choir. It may be for a good cause – the Manchester Emergency Fund and Peace Foundation – but as a song, it’s a little dull. The singer’s voice gets on my nerves, the choir is alright, and yes, the lyrics are about Manchester and the people, but it leaves me a bit ‘meh’. I’d like it to be a hit, because then people will be benefitting, but I really can’t see it. I’ll go with a MAYBE.


The penultimate track of this week is ‘Funky’ from Kawala. I will say one thing for it – they’ve tried to make it sound funky, which must make them feel so proud of themselves. Is it any good though? In all honesty, it’s very average. It’s very unremarkable. It’s going to be a MISS. Keep trying though, eh lads?!


And so to the last of the week’s new releases. ‘Do It Tonight’ is by Cedric Gervais. Cedric is a French DJ, and this track is unashamedly aimed at the clubbing scene. Before the animal rights activists start sending him hate mail, I mean night clubs, not poor little seals (can’t beat a good dad joke). Mercifully, this is just over 2 minutes long, which means the song has already finished, leaving me to type in peace. I think that, with the wind behind it, this could go far. I’m throwing caution to the wind, and backing this to be a HIT!


As sure as June follows May, I end another JBJ with the classic chart hit. Going back to the heady days of 1996, with the European Championships taking place on these shores – the first major football tournament since 1966, and the last time I might add – the nation was full of optimism. And nothing encapsulates hope like a good tournament song. Like ‘World in Motion’ six years earlier, ‘Three Lions’ was an instant hit with the fans. It was Baddiel and Skinner, the best double act since Morecambe & Wise at the time, and Britpop stalwarts, the Lightning Seeds, combining to create sporting and musical immortality. All together now, “it’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming, football’s coming home…”

Juke Box Jury – 21/05/18

The Royal Wedding is out of the way, the football season is virtually over, which means that summer is almost here! After two of last weeks tracks found their way into the Top 100, it’s time to sit back and relax while I take you through 5 of this weeks efforts.

First up we have ‘Solo’ by Clean Bandit featuring Demi Lovato. Let’s not beat about the bush here, this is seriously awful. I mean if you put an infinite number of monkeys in a room with a computer program, the room would be full of monkey shit, and that shit would still sound better than this. And in spite of this, I have a sneaking suspicion this could be a HIT.


On to the second track, which is ‘All The Time’ by The Kooks. Remember them? They were probably lauded as ‘the next big thing’ at some point, but never really lived up to the hype. Well, they’re back. They were on the One Show last week plugging this new single, and I couldn’t help but feel apathetic. It’s a distinctly average song. I don’t think there’s going to be much of a following for this, so it has to be a MISS.


Track number three is ‘God Break Down The Door’, the new single from Nine Inch Nails. Now, I’ve never really been a huge fan of this lot, but judging this by it’s own merit, it’s not bad. There’s a hint of late David Bowie about it with the drumbeat and the vocal delivery hinting at experimental sound that I didn’t associate with Nine Inch Nails, or NIN as the lovers of acronyms might call them. There is a chance that this could be a hit, but I will hedge my bets and settle for a MAYBE.


The fourth of this week’s new releases is ‘Sangria Wine’ from Pharrell Williams and Camila Cabello. Clearly trying to tap into the summer vibe, it’s a bit repetitive musically and lyrically. Perfect for sticking on the stereo at your summer barbeque and then getting a desire to drink sangria. Which may or may not be a bad thing. Will it trouble the charts? I think it certainly has the ingredients to be a HIT. Whether I like it or not.


Which brings me to the last of the five tracks this week. ‘Win’ is from Jay Rock. I think he wants to win… Do I like this? I do not like this. It’s average. It’s annoying. Jay Rock? Jay Cock, more like. Big fat MISS, makes him a ‘loss’. See what I did there?!


And that brings me to the classic chart tune. On this day in 2011, Adele was at Number 16, on her way down the charts with ‘Someone Like You’ having peaked at Number One. This was when she basically ruled the world. I have to say that this is a pretty good song, although I can’t say the subject matter is something I can relate to. Anyway, enjoy, and see you all next week!