There's something in the air
This week I've been rummaging through my old recordings and decided to dig out some blasts from the past. Here are some of great Klub Kakofanney performances from bands who, as far as I know, are not playing any more. All these recordings date from 2014 or 2015, hence the blotchiness of the images, but these bands are just too good to forget. The sequence is: Empty Vessels, Amoral Compass, Phyal, and Space Heroes Of The People. Recognise any faces?
It may interest you to know that the third member of Amoral Compass, the drum machine, was affectionately known as Alfred.
They call me....
One of the few ways that musicians can make decent money from a song these days is by getting it used in a TV advert. I noticed recently that Samsung are advertising their new phone with a backing track by The Ting Tings of their great song from 2007, "That's Not My Name". This is by no means the first time this song was used in an advert. It has been used previously by Amazon, Coca Cola, Lego, and in numerous films and TV programmes. Here is the original video for the song which is simply excellent. It is minimalist, with liberal use of bold primary colours.
Here is a brain teaser for you. You know her name isn't Hel, or Stacy, or Mary-Jo, or Jane, but do you remember the actual name of the singer?
The king of the divan
In 2020, Kellogg's started using a backing track of "Ca Plane Pour Moi", the 1978 French-language Belgian prank-rock song by Plastic Bertrand. The song only became well-known originally thanks to air-time on the legendary John Peel show, and a fortuitous appearance on Top Of The Pops. This cover of Ca Plane Pour Moi is by the Swiss band, Tears, and their stylish anarchic video is far more in the spirit of the song than a cornflakes advert could ever be.
The phrase "ca plane pour moi" vaguely means "everything's going well" or "that works for me", but I wonder if the ad agency translated the rest of the song. It tells of being hungover and waking up in the gutter, whilst his cat lies on the bed, drinking his whisky.
Sing it out lou(d)
One band that was propelled to international recognition thanks to being picked for a TV commercial was the curiously named Asteroids Galaxy Tour, a band from Denmark. When the band was still virtually unknown, Apple picked their single "Around the bend" to advertise iPods in the run up to Christmas 2008, but an even bigger break for them was being picked by Heineken in 2011 for a global advertising campaign based on their song "Golden Age".
Unusually, this production features the actual artists on screen, in a central role, performing the song, playing their instruments, instead of hiding them away in a sound studio, away from the action.
Have you been jabeed yet?
I know some of you have had your vaccine shots already, and hopefully the rest of you will jump at the chance when your turn comes up, and not be put off by the dangerous and misinformed nonsense being put onto social media by clueless and malicious antivaxxers. The numbers are coming down well now, and if we keep them heading in this direction, an end is in sight. The government is promising to finally publish its plan on Monday, some eleven months after we needed it, and no doubt it will be billed as a "world beating plan". Ignoring the spin, maybe we will finally get some indication of when life might start returning to normal and what gigs might look like int he coming months. I'll keep you posted.
And for those of you still racking your brain, the Ting Tings are Katie White and Jules de Martino. They are from Manchester, and the band established itself playing free gigs at the Mill, in Salford, where Katie worked as a bartender.