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Posts Tagged ‘#WalkOffTheEarth’

#ChristmasSongADay

December 25, 2015 8 comments

As you will know if you follow me on Twitter (@clivechip) or are Facebook friends (I’m Clive Pilcher), I have been posting a Christmas Song every day throughout December. I even started my own hashtag – see above! – but I don’t think it has really caught on. I just did a quick search on Twitter and the only tweets I could find using this were my own! Still, I had a lot of fun choosing them, anyway!

For Christmas Day I thought it might be an idea to reprise a few of my favourites from these here, on the assumption that you won’t have seen them. I tried as far as possible to steer clear of the usual suspects too, so if you are looking for Wham, Wizzard or Slade please move along now, nothing to see here! I’m hoping that some of these videos, dredged from the depths of my musical taste, will be completely new to you and will encourage you to look at the full set, which is available here. If you check it out you’ll find that, for the 25 days of December I have posted, er, 27 videos. I gave a couple of bonus ones along the way! Only 7 of these have been chart hits in the UK, so I think I’ve managed to find the more obscure ones quite well!

The first one of this ‘best of’ is from my favourite live band, Bellowhead. You may well never have heard of them, but don’t worry, they have only been going for 11 years and are in the midst of their farewell tour! This gives you a feel for why their live shows are so spectacularly entertaining:

I’m going to miss them: I think I’ve seen them play live 7 times so far, and will add an 8th to that in April. And if you weren’t already wide awake you are now!

I included this next one among my choices as, although it doesn’t to my knowledge appear in any compilation of Christmas songs, it is in my view a perfect modern retelling of the nativity story, the gift of a special child who will change people’s lives. Add in the fact that it is a beautiful song from one of my favourite singers and there’s no way I could leave it out! See what you think:

One of the all-time great Christmas pop songs is I Saw Mommy (or, in UK English, ‘Mummy’) Kissing Santa Claus. There have been many versions of this, but it was easy for me to choose the one for my list: John Mellencamp has made so many good records and his version of this is great. This video also has the bonus of a cameo performance by his daughter. Given that this was in 1987 I hope she looks back at her younger self now and sees just how adorable she was (and hopefully still is!):

Another pop standard at this time of year is Little Drummer Boy. Again, there are so many versions of this to choose from, but I went for this one. I bet you’ve never seen it done like this before!:

If you haven’t come across Walk Off The Earth before, all I can say is “where have you been?!” Look them up on YouTube and you’ll find some brilliant videos, both covers and their own songs.

For Christmas Eve I posted this:

A bit of a no-brainer really: accurate in my timekeeping, and it’s a lovely little song. Mindy Smith was one of only two artists who featured twice in my selections, the other being the aforementioned Walk Off The Earth, and the other of hers that I chose – Snowed In – is equally lovely. 

My final choice, for Christmas Day, is a version of another Christmas standard. This is a largely unknown singer – Brynn Andre – but I think her version of this is an absolutely perfect way to round off this brief walk through Christmas songs, and the video is so appropriate for Christmas Day:

All that remains is for me to wish everyone reading this a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful time, with the people who matter most to you. If you’d like to see the full selection of songs, do please look up my YouTube playlist. And if you really want Slade and Wizzard et al I have a longer playlist which you can find here.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!

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Shake It Off

November 7, 2015 9 comments

As it’s the weekend I’m taking it easy (see what I did there?!) and will be spending the day with the paper, music and football. I can only really share one of those with you, so here goes…..

One of the great delights in music for me is when someone covers a song and adds something to it. Many covers are just inferior copies or, in some cases, total massacres of great songs. I’m thinking Madonna’s destruction of the iconic American Pie, or perhaps Cher’s annihilation of Marc Cohn’s lovely Walking In Memphis (Walking in Memfuss, anyone?). Now that I’m about to tell you this, I guess this isn’t a guilty pleasure any more, but I love Taylor Swift’s music. I know, I know! I’m about 50 years older than most of her fans, and the wrong gender, but hey, each to their own! The first single off her most recent album was this one:

Catchy, fun, funny, what’s not to like? Unless it becomes today’s earworm after you’ve heard it. Sorry. (Not really!)

Some of the best covers I know are made by The Canadian band Walk Off The Earth. They have made a specialty out of incredibly inventive videos, both for their own songs and for covers. Their version of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know is amazing and has over 168 million views on YouTube. Here’s what they did with Shake It Off:

Now THAT’s how to do a cover! Keep the song, but make it your own too.

Have a great weekend 🙂

Something For The Weekend, Sir?

November 8, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s the weekend! (in case you hadn’t noticed – no need to thank me, it’s all part of the service!) As it’s a time for most of us to relax and recharge the batteries after the trials and tribulations of the working week, I thought I’d try to do nothing more today than entertain you. As I mentioned earlier in the week, music has always played an important role in my life and I’ve chosen a few songs for you that I hope will lighten your weekend.

The first is by an English singer/songwriter who may be unfamiliar to many: Frank Turner. I love the rough edge to his music, the feeling of spontaneity he gives you. This is from his most recent album, Tape Deck Heart, and it has a killer chorus! Apt title for a Saturday morning, too!

In a rather different vein, and to prove that I’m down with the kids (yeah, right!) here’s the new one, currently ‘riding high in the charts,’ (ahem!) from my guilty pleasure, Taylor Swift. I don’t know why, I just enjoy her music so much! Another catchy chorus too:

Another band that I love, both for their original music and their cover versions, is Walk Off The Earth. Here’s their newest video, released 4 days ago and already over 800,000 YouTube views:

Recognise it? The first of their videos that I ever saw has become an internet staple now, with over 161m views. You’ve probably seen it before but I think it’s worth another look, as it’s simply stunning:

Fancy another? This is a song and video that just defies anyone to watch it and not feel happier afterwards. Thank you, The Lumineers!:

I had planned to finish with that one but can’t resist sharing just one more. For those outside the UK, who won’t have seen these before, the department store John Lewis has built up a ‘tradition’ over the past few years of Christmas adverts that share the magic of that special day. This year’s launched a couple of days ago, and already has 6.5m views on YouTube. It is beautiful:

The music, by the way, is Tom Odell covering John Lennon’s Real Life.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this musical interlude. Have a great weekend!

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