More of the same is often the best

I’m still a bit under the weather, so I really can’t be bothered to find examples, but I know that I have expressed the opinion that when bands or other musical artists produce new work that sounds pretty much the same as their old as their old work (assuming that their old work was decent stuff), that’s just fine.

Here’s Public Service Broadcasting proving my point:

This is great, but it sounds pretty much exactly the same as some of their previous work. Fortunately, their previous work was also pretty good (see?), so that’s just fine

And check out the comments:

And yes, the relies to that offer further validation to my theory:





Life lesson: You’re doing just fine.
Don’t feel that you need to change things just because it seems to be the cool thing to do.

We’ve been here before…

After a lot of teasing, they finally shared the tour poster yesterday:

And the idea sounds pretty awesome:

Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy will be performing in An Evening With format, with an interval. For the first half of the concert, they will play new and old, familiar and less-familiar songs. Then, after returning to the stage, they will play the ten songs of their 1985 debut album Hunting High And Low in the running order of the original release.

Which, as I recall from my cassette tape days is this:

Take On Me
Train of Thought
Hunting High and Low
The Blue Sky
Living a Boy’s Adventure Tale
The Sun Always Shines on T.V.
And You Tell Me
Love Is Reason
I Dream Myself Alive
Here I Stand and Face the Rain

I thought that I’d missed their last ever concert. And then I thought I’d seen it.
It turns out that I was wrong on both of those.

But it’s always been a privilege for me to see a-ha in concert, and I’m happy that they’re still around and – hopefully – producing even more new material. While this all sounds very special, the surprising omission of a South African leg on the tour, together with the frankly terrifying state of the South African Rand means that we won’t be going along this time.

Still, if they’re going to do all their albums this way, there’s always the 2020 Scoundrel Days tour to consider. And then another 8 to follow that…

I’ll start saving now.


I’m not a massive fan of Graham Norton or Christine and the Queens, but I happened to see this the other evening and I have to say that I quite like the song, and I really thought that this was a truly striking performance.

So much better than the usual formation choreography nonsense that we get served up, day in, day out.

Really worth 4 minutes of your time. Promise.

And yes, it’s on here. Of course.

Warning of possibility of fight at concert after fight at concert

As promised yesterday.

Concertgoers in Sweden have been warned of possible violence at an upcoming performance this weekend, after a brawl broke out at a similar concert at the same venue earlier in the month.

You might be wondering which punk band or hippity-hop outfit were playing on the night of the brawl, but you’d be barking up completely the wrong musical genre, because it was Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons leading his Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony which triggered the appalling set-to.

Classical music is, of course, well-known for encouraging violence – one only has to consider Antonín Leopold Dvorák’s Serenade for wind instruments, cello and double bass in D minor Op. 44, B. 77 which is widely believed to have been one of the major catalysts for World War I.
And Mahler’s Fifth evidently still evokes those same aggressive tendencies.

Or maybe it’s not so much hearing the music as not being able to hear it:

A fist fight broke out at a performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No.5 in Malmö on Thursday night, after a listener was sent into a rage by another rustling a bag of gum.

Nothing unusual here. Apart from the fist fight bit, obviously. Concert audiences are regularly notoriously irritating to those of us who actually paid money to listen to the music rather than chatting to our friends or rustling a bag of gum.

What Happens Next Will Amaze You

At this point that the rustling on the second balcony became apparent, ruining the effect of the gently soaring strings and softly plucked harp for all sitting nearby.
After a few minutes, a young man sitting next to the woman with the chewing gum lost patience, snatched the bag from her hands and threw it to the floor.

And that was that. Well, at least for 70 minutes, it was.

70 minutes is a long time to sit and think about how you might react if someone has thrown your bag of gum on the floor. It’s widely believed that Lord Horatio Nelson took just 40 minutes to come up with his strategy to defeat the French and the Spanish in the Battle of Trafalgar, and that involved a revolutionary method of approaching the enemy in two columns, sailing perpendicular to their line -one towards the centre of the opposing line and one towards the trailing end – then breaking the enemy formation into three, surrounding one third, and forcing them to fight to the end. So one can only imagine what an extra half hour listening to Mahler’s Fifth could produce.

70 minutes is a long time to seethe and stew and plan. Especially when you don’t have any gum.

The moment the music stopped, she took her revenge.


“The woman gave the younger man a slap right in his face.”

Right. Well, I guess that what it lacks in the strategic complexity department, it makes up for in its pure simplicity – and power, apparently:

…the blow was powerful enough to knock the man’s glasses from his face.

He became angry and started fighting back.

And then it all went off.

The woman’s companion, an older man, then seized him by his shirt, and began to throw punches in his direction.

Olof Jönsson, who was sitting in the row behind, described the onslaught as “a violent attack: It was very unpleasant actually. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

But then, Olof has led a very sheltered life.

So how did this bloody rumpus end then?

Eventually, the other audience members managed to calm the two sides down and they went home.

This reaction proves a few things about the Swedish public. First off, that they are a peace-loving people, who (generally) abhor fighting at concerts. Secondly, that they’re generally quite dull and – having had a fight – will just head off home to bed, and thirdly, that they’re very thorough in their follow-through of these sort of incidents in checking that both parties actually do go home and don’t begin to kick off again at the bus stop.

“Leave ‘im, Magnus: ‘e ain’t werth it!”

Good for them.

So if you’re heading out to a concert in Scandinavia this weekend (and let’s face it, we’ve all done it, haven’t we?), please don’t rustle your gum bag.

It’ll all end in tears.


I’ve loved listening to this wonderfully fragile, simple offering from Thom Yorke for the past few weeks, now. (Yes, it’s on this Spotify playlist.) So I was obviously delighted to find this live performance for 6Music on Youtube.

I know not all my readers enjoy my musical posts (although, reasonably, how could you not love this piece?), but I do have clear evidence that there are others who do enjoy a break from the endless words on here (including me), and thus they are here to stay.

Tomorrow’s post is about music, but isn’t actually music, which will probably suitably alienate both parties.