Fantasy Festival Line Up – Day Two

Wake up, rise and shine – it’s another jam packed day of music and fun! No, you don’t have time to wash, and I don’t want to hear any crap about hangovers – grab another cider and keep her lit! Check out Part One here!

9.30 – 11: Basil Poledouris

Keeping with the instrumental start to the morning as exemplified in Day One, we kick off Day Two with the greatest underappreciated composer in Hollywood History. Poledouris sadly passed away a few years ago, but as this is fantasy he has been resurrected say thank ya. I’ve talked about his Conan The Barbarian score being the best movie score ever written, but he is also known for many other personal favourites and classics – Robocop, Starship Troopers, The Hunt For Red October, Free Willy, Lonesome Dove – all of which would sound epic on stage with a full orchestra.

Have I Seen Them Live: No

11 – 12: Lene Marlin

Lene Marlin is primarily known for her late nineties hit Sitting Down Here, which many people probably view as a quirky one hit wonder. While she is in no way prolific, she has released several superb albums – Sitting Down Here is not the best representation of her music, sounding light and fun. The vast majority of her output is dark and what the average fool on the street would consider depressing – highly melodic but often horribly sad. Who said festivals needed to be a superfunhappy time? Nevertheless, her songs introspective quality balanced against the hooks would set the scene for an intimate, emotional gig.

Have I Seen Them Live: No

12 – 1: Mika Bomb

We’d need something faster and more upbeat after Lene – who better than a bunch of punk ladies from Japan with songs rarely going beyond three and a half minutes. With only two (great) albums in almost twenty years, the band remain essentially unknown, but a big festival performance could be what they need to fire them into the spotlight – songs like Bettie Page, Super Sexy Razor Happy Girls, Contact Tokyo, Heart Attack, Shut Your Mouth, and more, these would get the crowd pumped up and ready to smash the place up. Possibly the most fun, buck nuts gig of the weekend.

Have I Seen Them Live: No

1 – 3: Tori Amos

It’s a bit of a jump about day – with Tori we’d return to a more settled calm. Naturally, the super fans will clamour to the front while others may want to grab some lunch and keep an ear out for the songs they know. There are few artists now with such an eclectic and long history as Tori – you never know what you’re going to get from one of her shows. Performing since the 80s and still going today, you can be sure to get a range of angry piano led alt rock classics, tempestuous epics with orchestral backing (maybe Basil would like to join in), and ballads to poke holes in your soul.

Have I Seen Them Live: Yes – Belfast

3 – 5: Alice In Chains

As a grunge kid, I never managed to actually see any grunge bands live. Alice In Chains are still going today after a lengthy hiatus following the death of Layne Staley – they’re still a great band today but if we’re seeing them live then it has to be the original line-up. Normally I’d have them nearer the end of the night, but as you can see from the rest of the night – we’re jam packed. On a Summer afternoon, the band’s blend of fury and despair is a great lead in to the coming darkness.

Have I Seen Them Live: No

5 – 7: The Doors

It’s The Doors. If you like music and writing and poetry like me, then you fall in love with The Doors at some point. I was never the most obsessive fan in the world, but I do have all the albums, a bunch of bootlegs, and I’ve visited Jim’s grave. I feel like they are a band best experienced in the dark but having them slightly earlier in the evening might allow them to hit that pre-sunset reflective atmosphere – the day winding down while the band knock out the hits. Having been born after most of these bands were done, there are always a handful that you wish you’d had the opportunity to see – The Doors are going to be high up on most lists.

Have I Seen Them Live: No

7- 9.30: Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd are more than just a band – seeing them live is more of an experience than a concert, what with the lights and sets and everything else. Two and a half hours doesn’t seem like enough for them, but in that time they could play large chunks of The Wall, Dark Side Of The Moon, Animals, Wish You Were Here, along with some of their earlier Syd era stuff and later material. They’re a band you want to see in the dark, the full effect of their stage show taking on a transcendent quality once the sun sets.

Have I Seen Them Live: No, but I did see the Roger Waters show at Glastonbury which was essentially Pink Floyd’s hits with a few solo efforts thrown in.

9.30 – 12: Led Zeppelin

Who else but Zeppelin to close the night? Again there are so many songs that two and a half hours doesn’t seem enough, but after hours of standing up and jumping around to great music I think we’ll need a kip by midnight. Two hours should allow for songs from each of their albums (maybe not Coda) and sufficient room for their instrumental freestyling which often stretched the songs to two or three times their original length. This being a fantasy festival, we’d have Bonham back behind the kit and kicking ass. This would be a thunderous, spiritual way to end the second day, and send the punters back to their tents knowing they’ve just been part of something special.

Have I Seen Them Live: No, but I have seen Robert Plant play at Glastonbury.

Let us know what acts you would stick in your dream festival line-up!


Hilarious Lyrics Translations – November 14

Please note – the following hilarious translations are not the same as the equally hilarious misheard lyrics, nor are they actual translations currently out there in Pop Land. All I have done is taken a famous song and slapped the lyrics into one of the famous (ly bad) Internet Translation tools – translated from English into Korean, then back into English, with hilarious results. I picked Korean because, based on previous experience, it seems to struggle in the funniest way with the English language, and vice versa. Each week (or month), I’m going to select some of the most famous songs of all times, of recent times, and throw in a few obscure favourites too, all for your enjoyment! Lets start the laughter right now!


An unspeakably awful ‘song’, Bonkers stormed the charts back in fuck knows when, and unsurprisingly had dicks up and down the country slapping words from their mouths in clubs, cars and other dreary places. Critics positively argue that it’s all a satirical take on the hedonist, celebrity lifestyle, but everyone with half a thought realizes it’s a cheap cash grab shrouded in the gnarled humming of a broken bumblebee. Having been plagued with it back then, enough time has since passed to take a Revisionist approach to the song. Spoiler Alert – it’s still shite.

The Original

I wake up everyday it’s a daydream. Everything in my life isn’t what it seems
I wake up just to go back to sleep. I act real shallow but I’m in to deep
And all I care about is sex and violence. And a heavy bass line is my kind of silence
Everybody says I got to get a grip. But I let sanity give me the slip

Some people think I’m bonkers. But I just think I’m free
Man I’m just living my life. There nothing crazy about me
Some people pay for thrills but I get mine for free
Man I’m just living my life. There nothing crazy about me



Bon, bon, bon, bon, bon, bon, bon, bon

The Translation

I wake up everyday it‘s grapefruit. It seems that not all of my life
I just got up to go to sleep again. I really shallow roles, but in the deep
I am worried about all the sex and violence. And heavy bass line is my kind of silence
All I had to grip. But the spirit of Let’s give a message to me

Some people think I’m crazy. But I just do not think I
 Man I’m just living my life. Nothing crazy about me
 Some people pay for thrills, but to get mine for free
 Man I’m just living my life. Nothing crazy about me

  Bars, rods, rod, rods, rod, rods, rod, rods


For any lyricists out there, a very important rule is to go back over your words and think a little outside of the box – just a tad so that you can come up with some unique, original twist which no-one will have heard before. Of course, you have to be careful not to stray too far from the path and risk alienating the entire human population. It’s a fine line between wacky and insightful, Lynch-mystery, and jumbled nonsense. ‘I wake up everyday it’s grapefruit’ is a perfectly apt opening line for a song entitled ‘Bonkers’. It’s both humourous and unusual enough for the more lyrically inclined amongst us to wonder what is really means. Is it bemoaning the routine of fame? Is grapefruit from underground term for drugs, or some inside joke? We may never know, and that’s probably for the best.

As you re-write your own lyrics, it’s entirely possible that a slight modification can cause a monumental shift in tone and meaning. The original Bonkers is quite clear in its admissions that fame can lead us to some unsavoury places and addictions, but the rewrite is much more poignant, with a serious of lines left hanging in the air, like the writer has simply given up. ‘I am worried about all the sex and violence’ could be the singer speaking about himself, about the world in general, or could even be a line he hears others whispering about him. Switching the title of the song to Nutty is questionable, but the ‘bars, rods rods’ finish is a definite improvement.

Fire To Your Plain

Tori Amos has always been known for her powerful lyrics, merging genuinely cutting satire, with emotional shock and awe tactics. Sometimes she goes completely buck nuts too and spouts apparent stoner filth. Fire To Your Plain is a middling effort, with nothing to bizarre or inspired.

The Original

Shock, got the shock of my life. Just buckle up girls, I’m stealin’ the night
From the still of the night What they’re down to Let’s see, in cold daylight

I gotta get this right. I gotta get this right

‘Cause she’s all And I am low Watching you watching her play this game
Yes, she’s bold. Bold enough To set fire to your plain. Her fire to your plain

Pray. You can pray to your Jane. I put out the call But not to be saved
Called my Deviline kin With her yellow Aston Martin

We gotta get this right. I gotta get this right

‘Cause she’s all And I am low Watching him watching her play this game
Yes, she’s bold, Bold enough To set fire to his plain.

She said, “get in” And set the SatNav to hell. Or would it be a purgatory?

I gotta get this right. I gotta get this right

‘Cause she’s all. And I am low Watching you watching her play this game
Yes, she’s bold. Bold enough To set fire to your plain. Her fire to your plain

Her fire…Bold enough…Her fire to your plain

The Translation

Shock, shocked in my life. Just buckle women, I said, ‘I’m stealing night
On a cold day, let down that they’re still in the night

I gotta get this right. I gotta get this right

I see that she’s got and she sees this game cause
Yes, she is bold. Bold enough to set fire to the ordinary. Her ordinary fire

 Prayer. You can pray to Jane. I put the phone but you can not save
 Yellow Aston Martin relatives call her my deviline

 We gotta get this right. I gotta get this right

 ‘She is both a cause and a low she reported him to see the game
 Yes, she is bold enough to set fire to his normal, bold.

 She set the SatNav to go” and hell. Or is it purgatory?

 I gotta get this right. I gotta get this right

 ‘Cause she‘s all. Jeoyi game and looking at her watch and play
 Yes, she is bold. Bold enough to set fire to the ordinary. Her ordinary fire

 Plain bold enough to fire her her fire


There actually isn’t much to say about the changes in this one, proving conclusively that Tori does indeed use Babelfish when writing her own lyrics. There is a little more of a masculine hardness and bravado to some of the lines. The only real noticeable change is from ‘plain’ to ordinary, and in the final chorus, the mention of a ‘Jeoyi game’ is surely one only the Korean fans will understand. Fan service is all well and good, but you don’t want to make things difficult for the people who don’t get the reference. In fact, I don’t think anyone gets it.

Tori Amos- Belfast November 2011

Night Of Hunters

I saw, I heard, and it was good. Nearing the end of the Night Of Hunters Tour, and following a rave reviewed performance at the Royal Albert Hall, Tori landed in Belfast on 11/8/11 for her first concert here since 1994. She was reminded of this fact during the Meet and Greet and embarrassedly mentioned it during the show. Speaking of meet and greets, I didn’t get into the city early enough and so missed the opportunity to ask any silly questions- ‘Who does your hair?; How powerful are orange knickers?; Wanna come back to mine? And so on.

I arrived around 6.30, chucked the car into a space (possibly reserved for buses) outside St George’s market, and traipsed round to Victoria’s Bar (formerly The Advocate) to meet other gig-goers. Only 6 were in my group, and we are all sitting in different parts of The Waterfront. I was on the top floor, row 2 but as I headed for the stairs a Top Man model looking type said that due to low capacity the top section was closed and I would be re-seated. Into the middle section I went, and was promptly seated beside two older women. Chatting about recent sets, albums, and the fact that no-one we knew knew who Tori Amos was took us up to the support act- Mark Hole. This jaunty English character gestured like a Shakespeare Company Stalwart to my general annoyance, although thankfully his songs were pleasant enough- bitter and sad songs of love spliced with their meanings and stories about his recently made ex- girlfriend.

After this ended I got an excited call from one of my friends who just happened to get moved to the front row, within pant throwing distance of the Bösendorfer. Lucky git. Anyway, around 9, Tori’s string Quartet- Apollon Musagète stepped on to the state as the lights dimmed. A few painful moments later Tori bounced on, stood in the spotlight, and saluted us in her own special way before sitting down and launching into new album opener ‘ShatteringSea’.

You’re never going to please every fan, and with 12 albums and a million covers and b-sides, it’s likely your favourite song will be missed. Not that Tori fans would care too much as we’re a pretty ravenous bunch. Having spent some time on I knew that Tori wasn’t sticking to any fixed list of tracks, mixing as much as possible but starting and closing with the same tracks. I was hoping for Northern Lad and Sugar, but alas. We did however get tracks from most of her albums including 4 from her latest release.

The setting was odd, at times Tori was a lone figure on stage, and no matter where I looked I saw empty seats. The main hall seemed pretty full, but due to the top half being closed I don’t imagine we’ll see her coming back. I knew there wouldn’t be that many Tori fans fromUlstertoMunster, but surely there are enough to fill The Waterfront Hall? Between songs there was little time for banter- we did get a couple of a capella interludes where Tori sang us a short story, but she only spoke to us a few times. Not to start any rumours, but a friend said that he did not see her usually omnipresent husband in attendance.

Every time; Every time I have been to a concert recently I have forgotten my cameras. So apologies for not peppering these words with blurry pics of Amos spread legged between two pianos. Her playing was mostly perfect and punctuated with the usual graphic movements and stances, whilst her voice sent most of the crowd into frenzied tears at at least one point. For me, her playing of The Rose (played at my wedding) blending into Winter was ahigh point. With one encore taking the tally up to 24 songs, we certainly had a long, strong show. I see that Dublin had a much varied set the following night, even getting A Sorta Fairytale, Little Eathquakes, and Precious Things which we missed out on. I could be petty and say I preferred their setlist, but then I would be being petty.

As the front rows (including my friend) rushed the stage for the encore, the crowd picked up their energy and Tori bounced through finale Big Wheel as we chanted M-I-L-F along to her commands. Like a wrestler entering the arena, Tori ran along the stage to shake hands with the fans (including you know who) before disappearing into the night. You know who proceeded to leap on stage and rip the setlist from underneath the table, complete with scratched writing in felt tip including the mysterious track known as ‘Tori Says Hello’…

All in all this was a great night, and as I raced up the M2 towards the coast to try to get home before 1:00 am, no-one passed me. Just me, the night, and for some reason, Ride The Lightning blaring on the stereo.

Tori Amos; Waterfront Hall; 11/8/2011:

 Shattering Sea

Seaside (Solo)


Velvet Revolution (Solo)

Girl Disappearing


Pancake (Solo)

Father Lucifer (Solo)

The Rose (Solo)



Star Whisperer

Angels (Solo)

Your Cloud (Solo)

Way Down (Solo)

Cloud On My Tongue

Spring Haze




A Multitude of Shades

Baker Baker



Big Wheel

Tori Waterfront

Bands I’ve Seen Live: A

I’m going to organise this by first letter, starting with A:

Alabama 3: I saw these boys at Glastonbury on a scorching June morning. It almost set the scene for a day/weekend of debauchery with their funky rock/country drunken musings finding a happy fit with many fellow revelers. Of course I only knew of them through The Sopranos, but it was a laid back morning set which I could appreciate from a distance, whilst my first (fourth) pear cider of the morning washed down my breakfast.

Alabama 3
Alabama 3

Ash: Everyone from Northern Ireland has seen Ash live, most of us at least 8 times. It’s not that they’re that good, it’s just that they were all we had. They still perform several hundred shows here each year, but they haven’t had a hit in a long time. I’m doing them misservice- they are still the best band this unholy land have produced in a long time. Anyone who mentions Snow Patrol and their sub Coldplay embarassments will get a slap. Snow Patrol are as worthless as a terrorist. Ash knew how to make a nice pop/punk/rock single and with classics like Goldfinger and Girl From Mars, they always put on a good show, complete with more drunken singalongs.


Acid Mothers Temple: Now we’re talking. I saw these guys in The Pavillion- a Belfast pub/bar/club- the perfect place to witness a bunch of crazy Japanese post-hippies play their wacky jazz/rock/psychadelic fusions and close the night by inserting a guitar into the rafters. A great collection of songs had me dancing groin to groin (face) with the band by myself, whilst the rest of the crowd sat bemused at the farce unravelling before them. Seriously, what did you expect from a band with that name? Releasing a meagre 3 albums every year, you should catch them while you can. And, like me, dance along with a bottle of the cheapest red wine you can find, swooning for 18 minutes of ‘Pink Lady Lemonade’, possibly the greatest song ever (whilst drunk on said wine).

Nightman feeling the ill effects of proximity to wine and stars
Nightman feeling the ill effects of proximity to wine and stars

Alice Cooper: I’ve been an Alice Cooper fan since I could first walk. Trash was the first album I ever bought. I quickly grabbed his back catalogue and swallowed every word, and aside from Manic Street Preachers, GNR, and Michael Jackson, no-one else has had such an impact on my own songwriting. I never thought I would ever get to see him, but this year, finally, I got the chance. He was only a support act to a band who will remain unnamed until I get to that letter, but he blew everyone else off the stage with a mini show. Everyone shold have Killer and Hey Stoopid in their collection, showing the two most prominent sides of the man’s oevre- the early progressive blues style, and the later metal leanings.


Who is the best artist beginning with ‘A’ that you have seen live? Where and when was it? Which artist did you want to see but never had the chance?

Now updated with Setlists!

Alice Cooper – Odyssey Arena 2011

The Black Widow

Brutal Planet

I’m Eighteen

Billion Dollar Babies

No More Mr Nice Guy

Is It My Body

I’ll Bite Your Face Off

Cold Ethyl

Feedin My Frankenstein



Wicked Young Man


I Love The Dead

School’s Out