Category Archives: covers of songs

The Yes Factor

And yes, that title is a play on that awful X Factor programme, and the talentless wannabees it produces. Especially as I know there is real talent out there, including one really excellent busker on the streets of Leeds, who deserves a far bigger audience than the few of us passing through town. But sadly, not only does he have far too much genuine talent for the likes of Cowell and Co, he’s also now a bit too old for them as well.

And no, I’m not a talent spotter either, if I was, I’d be signing him up, and these two here like a shot, because they have real talent, not the kind hyped up to the heavens, with nothing to back it up.

I know nothing about Gary Simmons or Kirsty Marr, beyond the small collection of videos on You Tube. The video here suggests they are British, covering Bucks Fizz songs might be a clue on that as well! The comments state this was filmed near Bristol, so I suspect they are somewhere in that corner of the country? What I do know is that both have great singing voices, make really clever videos, and I suspect they also have a wonderful sense of humour too. Yet beyond the small audience who have found them on You tube, and their friends, their talent remains unknown to the wider world. I admit it, I only found them because of their spoof Bucks Fizz video, when searching for the original, but I’m so glad I did. No, I’m not posting that here, because of the ending, that might not appeal to all. It is editing, he clearly survived, but, as there might be young people reading this…

Yes, I’m tagging both of them on this for one reason, the hope that they, or someone who knows them might just read this, and let them know. Or even better, that some record company person might click on the video, see how good they are, and sign them up! I’m only posting one video link here, but feel free to click through and hear some more.

Kirsty and Gary, I hope you get to hear about this, and I hope you get more publicity out of it, and more see just how talented you are. I know these blogs only have a small audience, but hopefully the whole friend of a friend thing can come into play, and they go viral at least.

The song, a cover of a Phil Oakey (Human League) song, very well done, and as I said, filmed near Bristol, a fact I know thanks to Gary’s comments, though Clifton bridge is pretty recognisable all the same.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPIHrgoB_cQ&feature=plcp&context=C396be40UDOEgsToPDskLsbab0_rQdZlPb7c0EKpPJ

I believe in Father Christmas

No, dont worry, seriously, at my age, I dont. I cant remember at what age I discovered the truth, but its fair to say it was well over 40 years ago, probably 45! 45 would be very apt for a music video, hope some are old enough to get that in-joke! 😉

Trouble is, I believe Father Christmas could make a better job of running my trains than Trans Pennine Express do! The new winter timetable started last Sunday, not that there were any differences for me that I noticed at least. So far, 9 journeys (got a lift home Sunday evening) since then, of which 5 have been on trains arriving more than 10 minutes late. Well, in fact the best of those is 14 minutes, but you get my drift, 10 is a nice round number. Today they got the double. Yesterday was the Christmas miracle, both were on time! So yes, 5 journeys badly delayed, a grand total so far of 84 minutes this week. Will they get the unwanted century tomorrow, I wouldnt want to bet against it!

Its not even like they have been at peak times, one was Sunday morning, the next was early (before 7) on Monday, and a third was Wednesday evening (just before 9), so hardly peak traffic moments. That could just about be used as a reason for both today, but… I think it really annoys me because fares are going up by about 8% in the new year, but the service is so awful.

Alright, brief rant over.

The song, well if you havent guessed from the title, I’m surprised. Personally I think this is one of those great Christmas songs that seemed to creep under the radar, perhaps because its not all sugar and spice? And yes, you were going to get the Greg Lake version (and I would seek it out if you dont mind repetition), but instead I’m going to offer a version by a promising Irish group, that some may have heard of. Yes, I am being cynical. Bono seems to be one of those love or hate people, so if you hate, then go find Greg Lake instead. Personally I think its quite a good cover though

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=qGrsQ7F-h5c

The next one on Sunday (all things planned) is another anniversary one, for a life taken far too soon. See if you can work out who?

Edit to add,

If it hadnt been for the stopper train being delayed by very late running TPE trains tonight getting into Leeds, I would have got the century, as my planned to get train arrived 17 minutes late!

Cant Help Falling In Love

Oh, did you think you were getting some details on my post romances? Ah well, sorry to disappoint. There was only really one, and though we stayed together for 12 years, it wasnt ‘a fine romance’, but most of that was my fault, and my body problems, not that I knew why at the time. She’s out there somewhere, but wouldnt recognise my name now, even if she saw this.

So alright, its about contriving a blog to fit tonights video find, lol!

Its funny how some cities you visit, you instantly fall in love with. I can only really think of one in the UK that struck me like that, and that would be Inverness. Dont ask me why now, that was over 30 years ago now, and though I havent been there in a long time, and have no idea how its changed, I will always have a soft spot for it.

As has been mentioned before I believe, there is one US city that captured my heart the first time I saw it, and thats Seattle. Maybe its the weather, maybe its the people, or a whole combination of things, but its one of those places I look forward to visiting again, maybe next April if things work out. The only US cities to even get in range are Chicago, and San Francisco, and the latter isnt just because of its whole, very relaxed attitude to LGBT people, though I suspect that might count as a bonus. Chicago, I have no idea why, just had a good feel while there.

Two others deserve a mention, one being my new love of this year, Toronto. I know, its cold in winter, but I almost suspect I could live with that given the chance. Tallinn in Estonia is the other. Like Inverness, the first visit was a long time back, and indeed my only visit so far, and that was 14 years ago now. Again, I suspect a lot has changed there since then. And like Toronto, the winters are a bit chilly lol!

Its actually very windy here tonight, though not as bad as some parts of the UK all the same, thanks to the last remnants of Hurricane Katia, thankfully all will be gone before Saturday when I fly out to Boston. Cant see me falling in love with the place, didnt really do so first time around, 23 years ago, so cant see why it would now?

Oh alright, enough waffling, you want to know about the video I guess? Its hard to believe how long this band has been together, and the line up has barely changed in all that time. Irony is the name of the band refers to the unemployment benefit form of the time, though they certainly havent been out of work since then! It is a cover, but thats something they were good at, excellent cover versions.

So no more, hope you enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajp0Uaw4rqo&feature=related

Arrival

The one thing I do from time to time, is let the music pick the blog subject, and in a sense, tonight was one of those times. Even more so when I found a great cover of a song being performed live by a musical genius. More on that later.

I actually picked out a few songs before this, thinking it fitted a good blog, without having a definite plan on what I would write, and then the You Tube randomiser suggested this, and lo and behold…

Arrival is actually a moot point, though when Benny and Bjorn wrote this, they didnt actually specify a moment of arrival. Possibly because they knew what a certain train franchise’s punctuality record would be like lol!

When I started blogging, I mentioned a certain train company who were the bane of my travelling life, nothing has really changed since then. First Transpennine Express are that recalcitrant train company, though they are more often announced at Huddersfield as Delayed First Trans Pennine Express, so maybe they’ve changed their name? Happened twice today, so just maybe… 😉

I’d love to say good things about them, but on the whole, its hard to do so. Their punctuality record is dreadful, despite setting themselves up decent stopovers at Leeds, York etc, they still are very often late. Despite umpteen promises, trains are badly  overcrowded at nearly all times of the day, its the main cross Pennine route, and also serves Manchester Airport, so draw your own conclusions. If the fares were reasonable, it might all be forgiven, but they’re not, they are one of the more expensive per mile franchises in the country. They do have a few lovely staff, the class 170 trains on certain runs are very cute, but after that, I struggle to say a nice word!

My journey should take just under 20 minutes with them, tonight it was 27! No train in front of us or anything, just a typically slow, annoying journey on an overcrowded train! The train that stops at all stations from Leeds only takes between 34 and 37 minutes!

Hopefully someone there checks categories at places like this to see comments, but I doubt it somehow. Right, rant over, I’d better let you have the music video, which is probably what people come here for by now!

The title gives away what the song is, the mention of the writers should make most realise it was originally an Abba song, but I’ve never found a proper video of them performing it. Tonight, I was lucky enough to find this, a Mike Oldfield cover, live version, and a pretty good one at that. Please enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON_ZIqzbIZs&feature=related