Football’s coming home?

With Euro 2016 kicking off in France in less than an hour, here are three of the best football songs of all time to get you in the mood.

Ant & Dec – We’re On The Ball

Everyone’s favourite Geordies Ant & Dec re-vitalised their music career in the early 2000’s to record a song for the 2002 World Cup, ’We’re On The Ball’. The extremely catchy number reflects upon England’s previous heartbreak in tournaments including Euro 96 as well as referencing that famous 5-1 thumping of Germany. As one might expect, there’s an extremely cheeky video to boot, including Ant & Dec’s impersonation of then manager Sven-Göran Eriksson.

David Baddiel, Frank Skinner, The Lightning Seeds – Three Lions (1996)

In 1996 comedy partners David Baddiel and Frank Skinner teamed up with The Lightning Seeds to record ‘Three Lions’. Referencing everyone from Bobby Moore to Gary Lineker, the song is a timeless classic that breeds optimism. Since its release in 1996, the song has been re-recorded and re-released numerous times, re-entering the top 40 alongside every major tournament but it’s the original track that remains the greatest football song of all time. Now to stop the 50 years of hurt…

New Order – World In Motion 

An electric house piano and an infamous John Barnes rap makes ‘World In Motion’ one of the most catchy football songs of all time. The track was also the soundtrack to England’s greatest footballing achievement since the 1996 World Cup and is also New Order’s only No.1 single. Barnes’ rap has gone down in history and has been re-created in various different forms over the years, most notably by James Corden and Mathew Horne in ‘Gavin & Stacey’.

BRITS 2016: Live Updates

22:14: Adele brings this year’s lacklustre BRIT awards ceremony to a close. It was of course inevitable when Adele released ’25’ back in November, she would dominate music charts and ceremonies over the coming 12 months. Tonight sadly is another nail in the coffin for the BRIT awards which continues to get more tame year on year. Not even cheeky chappies Ant & Dec could save this year’s lame show. Safe performances and pre-scripted acceptance speeches don’t wash with me. Credit where credit’s due, Adele has played a huge part in British music over the last 12 months but so have many other artists. The last two and a half hours have felt more like a celebration of Adele’s life rather than a celebration of British music. Let’s hope there’s more booze fuelled incidents to report on next year rather than this tame affair.

22:12: My money’s on Jack Garratt to pick up next year’s Best British Male award. You heard it here first.

22:08: Surprise surprise Adele’s ’25’ picks up the BRITs ‘Album of The Year’. A foregone conclusion to a pretty uneventful evening. Bring back Madonna, all is forgiven.

22:05: The Weeknd rivalling Jess Glynne for worst haircut of the evening. ‘The Hills’ is great though and this performance proving why he’s had such a successful 12 months.

22:00: As IF Adele didn’t win an award. Good for One Direction winning Best Video for ‘Drag Me Down’. Shouldn’t Louis be changing nappies though? And where are the other two members of 1D?

21:47: Heartfelt speech about Bowie by Gary Oldman, if a little lengthy, followed by a musical tribute featuring “the future of music” (in Bowie’s words) Lorde. Whilst I might not agree with his sentiment, she is doing a good job of proving just how incredible David Bowie was. A fitting tribute for such an influential and groundbreaking artist.

21:39: The BRITs honouring David Bowie is about the most sensible thing they’ve done all night. A dramatic but moving tribute to Bowie from Annie Lennox and no question that he should be honoured with the ‘British Icon’ award.

21:30: Is there any point voting for this Best Video category? We all know Adele is destined to win. Also, WHY is Jessie J nominated? She stopped being relevant a long time ago.

21:26: Little Mix lightening up proceedings following Adele bawling her eyes out. A different spin on hit ‘Black Magic’ proves that they’re probably one of the best girl bands to come out of this country for a long time. Singing, skimpy outfits and choreographed danced routines seems to be the ‘perfect recipe’ for a chart topping girl group. Not sure about the tribal routine though.

21:23: Adele winning the ‘Global Success Award’. Probably deserved, but we’ve all seen enough of her for one night. Yet another acceptance speech from that very distinctive (read: annoying) voice of hers, this time getting a bit emotional, no doubt earning her a few more headlines for tomorrow. She can do no wrong at this awards ceremony it seems.

21:20: Didn’t expect Catfish & The Bottlemen to win Best British Breakthrough. Thought Jess Glynne or James Bay were almost guaranteed it. Well deserved though and a nice short acceptance speech that maybe others could learn from.

21:17: Highlight of the night is without a doubt the unexpected appearance from Drake. His dance moves have certainly improved from that ‘Hotline Bling’ video. Very raunchy!

21:13: Nice to see a bit of ‘Consideration’ from Rihanna’s new album ‘Anti’ getting an outing before going into lead single ‘Work’. Still no idea what on earth she is going on about. Absolute drivel.

21:08: Turns out the half naked lady from earlier was supposed to be a BRIT award. Clearly lost on me.

21:05: Unsurprisingly Biebs picks up the award for ‘Best International Artist’. Despite his philosophical acceptance speech, he seems to be the only artist tonight so far tonight to not take his award for granted.

21:04: Are Major Lazer the first people to face the right way when presenting an award? Definitely the first and probably only act to open with wagwan.

20:59: Really don’t understand how James Bay won Best British Male. Such an average performance.

20:55: Coldplay pick up Best British Group. Well deserved for Chris Martin’s humorous acceptance speech if nothing else. Would have been nice to see Foals pick up the award but this is the commercial BRIT awards after all.

20:45: Adele wins Best British single for ‘Hello’. Unsurprising given how big the song was but boring and predictable as far as the BRIT awards go. It almost feels as if the whole night is catered towards her. Multiple awards and no doubt that big finale performance. Loads of hype surrounding her but is she really worthy of all these awards? Hopefully she doesn’t win again so we don’t have to hear her speaking voice again.

20:44: Impossible not to love Ant & Dec. By far the best thing about the show so far.

20:41: Jess Glynne medley. Potentially the worst hair in music. She also has the worst fashion sense. However, her music is actually quite good and she’s got a cracking live voice.

20:40: Don’t really know why a half naked lady appeared in front of Ant & Dec then.

20:38: Did Tame Impala win that because they were the only band in attendance? The best of a very poor category. U2? Really?

20:28: James Bay really needs to get a new hat. On a serious note, James Bay has hardly been the Best British male of the last year though has he?

20:27: Kylie presenting Best British Male. Realistically the only time she’ll ever be on the BRITs stage again.

20:25: That jacket is still looking HOT.

20:22: Bieber ruins it when he speaks. He’s ditched James Bay too to perform ‘Sorry’. Without a doubt one of the best songs from last year.

20:20: Who would have thought a year ago it would have been cool to like Bieber? His jacket is almost as good as ‘Love Yourself’. James Bay getting in on the action too with his rolled up sleeves.

20:12: Talking of One Direction here are Louis & Liam for Best British Female. No surprises that Adele won, especially given the rest of the females in the category. Ant & Dec alluding to Adele’s infamous cut off speech from a few years ago has easily been the highlight of a rather tame BRIT awards so far.

20:11: Expecting Adele to clear up tonight. One Direction should win Best Video though for ‘Drag Me Down’.

20:05: On to the music and Coldplay kick off the show with ‘Hymn For The Weekend’. A slick performance from the band. Plenty of confetti as ever.

20:01: Already making light of last year’s infamous cape incident, Ant & Dec get this year’s BRIT awards off to a cracking start. The less said about that electronic opening, though, the better. What an absolute waste of time.

The Last Shadow Puppets’ Beautiful New Artwork

The Last Shadow Puppets have just revealed the artwork for their second album ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect’ and it’s glorious.

shadow art

Out on April 1st, the supergroup, consisting of Alex Turner and Miles Kane, have written and recorded 11 brand new tracks. The album’s track-listing is as follows:

1 Aviation

2 Miracle Aligner

3 Dracula Teeth

4 Everything You’ve Come To Expect

5 The Element Of Surprise

6 Bad Habits

7 Sweet Dreams, TN

8 Used To Be My Girl

9 She Does The Woods

10 Pattern

11 The Dream Synopsis

‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect’ features lead single ‘Bad Habits’ which was released last month.

 

The Last Shadow Puppets – Bad Habits

The Last Shadow Puppets’ eagerly awaited comeback has been somewhat overshadowed by the death of David Bowie. Released in the early hours of Monday morning, the supergroup consisting of Alex Turner and Miles Kane released comeback track ‘Bad Habits’.

Loud, brash and string-heavy, ‘Bad Habits’ is a startling return from Turner & Kane. Whilst some have felt the track to be underwhelming, I find it a perfect continuation of what made the duo’s debut LP ‘The Age of The Understatement’ so great, whilst the trippy video to accompany the track is mesmerising from start to finish.

‘Bad Habits’ precedes The Last Shadow Puppets’ second album, due for release in the Spring.

The Man Who Changed The World

David Bowie’s contribution to popular culture simply cannot be overlooked. Not only did he write and perform some of the most ground-breaking and revolutionary music of the last 30 years, but he was also a driving force in the world of fashion and film. He was ground-breaking and a visionary. One only has to look at the outpouring of emotion around the world following Bowie’s shock death on Sunday to realise just how influential he was. A pioneer in revolution and a champion for individuality, Bowie helped give people a voice as well as influence some of today’s much loved artists.

ziggy-stardust

Born David Jones in January 1947, he soon reinvented himself as David Bowie in 1966, in order to avoid confusion with The Monkees’ Davy Jones. This would prove to be the first in a series of re-inventions. From Ziggy Stardust to Aladdin Sane, Bowie would continue to re-invent himself time and time again in a career spanning over four decades. Bowie’s debut record was released in 1967 and was titled ‘The World of David Bowie’. It was, however, the title track ‘Space Oddity’, from Bowie’s second album that gained widespread interest. The track told the tale of an abandoned astronaut, Major Tom, and became a hit in 1969, the year of the first Moon Landing. This would be Bowie’s first of many affiliations with space. It was the release of ‘The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust’ that propelled Bowie to worldwide stardom, however, featuring hits such as ‘Rock ’N’ Roll Suicide’ and ‘Starman’. Bowie promoted the record as the sexually ambiguous Ziggy, before killing him off in 1973, and the rest, as they say, is history.

bowie

Not only did I grow up listening to Bowie classics such as ‘Let’s Dance’ and ‘Space Oddity’, but I was also raised on the cult classic Labyrinth. The 1986 film sees Bowie play The Goblin King and was played often in my house. His hit ‘The Jean Genie’ is featured in ‘Bernard & The Genie’, a TV film produced for the BBC in the early 90s and something that is very close to my heart. Following his headline performance at Glastonbury in 2000, Bowie took himself out of the spotlight. It was, however, his brief appearance in the Ricky Gervais sitcom ‘Extras’ that proved what an extraordinary and versatile actor/musician Bowie really was.

Bowie’s first new material in 10 years, ‘The Next Day’, released in 2013 was met with widespread critical acclaim. It was a throwback to his rock and roll years during the late 70s and early 80s. He released what was to become his final album, the jazz-infused ‘Blackstar’, just last Friday. Creative even in his final moments, the producer of Bowie’s 26th album has revealed the record was a carefully orchestrated farewell to his fans. The video for most recent single ‘Lazarus’, will no doubt be viewed in a different light now, with Bowie lying in a hospital bed before retreating into a dark wardrobe. The track features the lyrics, “Look up here, I’m in heaven”, perhaps Bowie’s most poignant words of all. The album’s final track ‘I Can’t Give Everything Away’ is a beautiful and moving finale. A fitting end, for one of the world’s greatest ever rockstars.

7 Things That Happened In 2015:

WE ALL BECAME BELIEBERS: 

Justin Bieber’s transformation from greasy haired pop munchkin to the coolest popstar on the planet is undoubtedly the most shocking story of 2015. First came his feature on Skrillex’s ‘Where Are U Now?’ and then came ‘What Do You Mean?’. Surely Bieber hadn’t made an absolute banger? Prior to releasing its follow up ‘Sorry’, Bieber tweeted he’d punch himself in the face if people didn’t like it  – a statement 12 months ago we’d all hope would come true. However, it turns out ‘Sorry’ was even better than its predecessor. It’s not you who has to apologise Biebs. It’s us. Sorry for ever doubting you.

ADELE SOLD A LOT OF RECORDS … AND THEN SOME MORE

adele-hello-video

It was always inevitable that Adele’s comeback was going to sell by the bucketload and sure enough it did. Less than 2 months after its release ‘25’ has broken every record going. It all started in late October when a mysterious 30 second clip (of what turned out to be ‘Hello’) premiered during the break of The X Factor. Cue internet frenzy and the rest is history. Adele hasn’t left the airwaves or the charts since and probably won’t do till approximately 2019.

DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS

One Direction literally became history as 2015 proved to be a difficult year for directioners around the world. First “bad boy” Zayn Malik left the group in March (and has done nothing but spat with NaughtyBoy since) and then the remaining four members announced they were taking a ‘hiatus’ in August. Jay-Z has since proclaimed he can make Harry Styles the biggest star in the world within a year, Louis is set to spend his millions on nappies whilst you can expect the other two to dwindle into solo obscurity.

MADONNA’S CAPE FEAR

Post Oasis, the BRIT Awards have been a rather dull affair. 2015’s big selling point was a live performance from Madonna. Closing the ceremony with a performance of ‘Living For Love’, Madonna took a tumble when a backing dancer failed to undo her cape. She fell on the lyrics “I let down my guard, I fell into your arm,” and was back up in time to sing “now that it’s over, I’m going to carry on,” and the rest is history. All rather ironic when you look back on it.

RIHANNA DIDN’T RELEASE AN ALBUM 

rihanna-album-cover

Just like Christmas, a Rihanna album used to be an annual event. RiRi last released one in 2012 (Unapologetic) so surely one is long overdue? All signs pointed to a 2015 release, we got three singles and even got the title (ANTi) and supposed artwork (see above), but alas, still no album. Here’s hoping given how bad 2 out of the 3 singles actually were, Rihanna scraps the whole thing and starts again.

COLDPLAY SAID GOODBYE?

86544572_f64a4466-c5ae-4061-8e4e-41c6c0ea94eb

A year and a half since the morbid ‘Ghost Stories’, Coldplay released the happy follow up ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ last month. Chris Martin likened the album to the final Harry Potter book saying “It’s our seventh thing, and the way we look at it, it’s like the last Harry Potter book or something like that. Not to say that there might not be another thing one day, but this is the completion of something. I have to think of it as the final thing we’re doing otherwise we wouldn’t put everything into it.” Whilst Coldplay’s swan song isn’t the band’s best work, it’s given us ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’ and ‘Up&Up’ which is the most refreshing the band have sounded in years.

KANYE WAS AS MODEST AS EVER

Midway through Kanye West’s Saturday night headline slot at Glastonbury, West proclaimed he was “the greatest living rockstar in history,” before then going on to murder ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Perhaps this wasn’t the best way to win over Worthy Farm or quite live up to his self-proclaimed title, however West did prove he is certainly one of the most interesting and exciting artists of our generation.

The Last Shadow Puppets Are Back

The Last Shadow Puppets have teased new material with a mysterious new YouTube video. The 60 second clip features clips of Alex Turner and Miles Kane in the studio with snippets of new music. The mysterious video ends with the words ‘Spring 2016’. The new album will be the duo’s first album in seven years, following up 3008’s ‘The Age of The Understatement’.