Same Title, Different Song

One of the reasons I avoided watching The Who at Glastonbury last year (apart from the fact that I would much rather watch FFS, a decision which, having watched the footage when I got home, I was completely correct in making) was that I had been so disappointed by them when I last watched them at the same place in 2007.

And one of the reasons I was so disappointed by them then was that they didn’t do this, to my mind one of their greatest singles:


The Who – Substitute

On balance though, I would have been more impressed had they performed this entirely different song with – you guessed it – the same title:


Clout – Substitute

I bloody love that record, and it is at least partially responsible for this blog.

Whilst it’s a record I seem to have always known – I listened to a lot of Radio 2 as a kid – I didn’t come into ownership of my own copy until I wandered into the Fopp record store that used to be in Cardiff one day about 10 years ago and came out owning it, on a double compilation album called “Guilty Pleasures Rides Again”. I hadn’t noticed it on the track listing when I decided to buy the CD, but when I got home and listened to it and it got to this track I remember thinking “What the hell is this doing on an album I’m supposed to feel guilty about liking?”

And then I realised I’d been thinking it for the previous ten tracks on the same CD (ELO and Manfred Mann are in that ten track bunch, for Christ’s sake – what’s wrong with liking them??)

I feel a new thread coming on…..

Anyway, imagine my surprise when several years later I found that Clout’s “Substitute” was in fact a cover version, the original having been done by (and I’m open to correction here, in case there’s an even earlier version I’m unaware of) this pair of housewives’ favourites:


The Righteous Brothers – Substitute

More soon.

Apropos of Nothing

When I was DJ’ing at the end of the 80s/start of the 90s, I bought this on 7″ single, only to find that I had inadvertently picked up the “Radio Edit”, which substitutes the phrase “Big Mac” for the phrase “Milk Shake” (it may actually be Big Shake, I’m not sure).

The reason for this alteration was that the Poppies (for it is they) doubtless wanted their record to be played on the BBC (particularly Radio 1 although I doubt they would have sniffed at it being played on Radio 2, 3 or 4 or…that’s the lot. Pre-digital days, see) and the BBC – to it’s eternal credit and possibly detriment – doesn’t do advertisements.

See, the publicly funded BBC is supposed to be impartial, to not show bias or preference to any person, party, corporation or company.

I say supposed there like I think they don’t manage it. Let me clarify:  The BBC may have many faults (failing to commission a third series of Sharon Horgan’s “Pulling” for example), but lack of  impartiality isn’t one of them.

The BBC, as ever, is under attack from the UK Government. This seems to be an ongoing situation, and sadly isn’t restricted to the current regime. The Conservatives are constantly baying for it to be either closed down or privatised (their “answer” to everything, it seems), and Labour were no better when they were in. Generally, the given reason for this is that it is biased one way or the other.

Is it fuck.

As Simon Blackwell, writer/producer with a fine pedigree (Veep, The Thick Of It, In The Loop, Peep Show, Four Lions, Have I Got News For You) recently tweeted:

Like the NHS, the BBC is an institution us Brits should be proud of. We’ll miss them both when they’re gone/sold off.

Anyway, I seem to have gone on a bit of a rant rather than just posting the record, so I’ll shut up and do just that:


Pop Will Eat Itself – Def Con One

More soon.

How Not to Do a Cover Version

As I’ve previously mentioned, when doing a cover, it is often best to try and pick an obscure one that your average Joe Public won’t realise is a cover.

That said, try to remember to pick one that doesn’t make you look like an utter sleazebag.


Robert Palmer – I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On

Now, I’m sure Mr Palmer was a perfectly lovely guy. But this choice of cover, coupled with the rather lazy rehash of the “Addicted to Love” video which accompanied it, always made me feel a little icky. Like he had just wheeled up at a primary school, proffering a bag of Haribo Tangfastics and the promise of puppies. Or, like he was standing up in Court and giving his testimony under oath.

Or like this (apologies, embedding this has been blocked by “the author”, but you can click the link and just watch it on YouTube):

Adam Johnson, take note.

Compare it with the breezy “Ooops, sorry Mister, did I do that?” innocence of the original:


Cherrelle – I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On

I’ll leave you to chew on that.

More soon.

How To Do a Cover Version

I’ll be brief.

Today’s lesson: pick a little known song (the original is lifted from a 4-track EP which was the only thing released by the original power-pop band), make it the opening track on your era-defining album, release it as a single, and sit back and watch as no-one realises it’s a cover version.

In other words, totally fucking own it.

Like this:


Blondie – Hanging On The Telephone

And the original:


The Nerves – Hanging On The Telephone

More soon.

A Big Night Out

So, on Monday night I went to see the “25 Years of Reeves & Mortimer: the Poignant Moments” tour as it hit London.

Part of the tour had been rescheduled due to Bob having to undergo heart surgery, but I’m happy to report that he was in fine fettle, looking remarkably well considering. Were it not for a couple of gags about his health, if you didn’t know about it then you would have had absolutely no clue.

As the title of the show suggests, this was a trip down memory lane with many of their old characters, particularly those from “Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out” and “The Smell of Reeves & Mortimer” shows brought back and dusted down for one more outing. There were a few, of course, that they simply couldn’t fail to revive.

For a couple of weeks beforehand I’d been having anxiety dreams, where I didn’t know a single catchphrase to shout at the appropriate moment, and worse still got picked out of the crowd by Vic to finish off one said catchphrase, incurring the baying wrath of the crowd for being unable to complete even the simplest one, like “What’s on the end of the _______, Vic?”

Anyway, I’m not going to do a critique of the show here – it’s Vic & Bob, you know what to expect – but, I don’t think I’ll be giving too much away to any of you due to go see the comedy legends on the rest of the tour if I tell you that you get (amongst others) :

The Stotts:

Man With The Stick:

Mulligan and O’Hare:

There’s even a reprise of (bits of) this:

And, as they say, many, many more.

In between, when the duo were changing outfits, the big screen showed:

Carl and Chris from The Club:

and new versions of some of the adverts that used to feature on “Shooting Stars”, such as:

As I was there with my Geordie friend Jo, who I adore and don’t see often enough (hello, if you’re reading this) that last one was especially appreciated.

It was a truly magnificent night, the duo clearly loving performing together, spending much of the night treading the fine line between keeping it together and corpsing.

But at just about 2 hours long, there were always bound to be some characters which were omitted, and songs too. For example, I was disappointed that the night didn’t end with this:


Vic Reeves – Oh! Mr. Songwriter

Still, can’t have everything, can we?

More soon