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Well it seems as if all my friends had a wonderful weekend. Pretty much everyone went to see Bond and loved it (I am taking my mom and dad on tuesday)... Cat and Adam went to London to see Wicked and were as enchanted as I constantly am with it... Simon and Mark had their mothers down for the weekend and painted the town red with them... even dazparty and Harona went out for a bit of a boogie... I was perfectly happy staying in this weekend as the spirit of Christmas infused me. Or something. I mean it was just everywhere. Sarah McLachlan's near perfect Christmas cd piping into Starbucks; the festive trims on coke bottles being put on the shelves; seasonal adverts all over television; and me starting work on the 24 days of christmas posts that start a week on Friday. So how was your weekend, l'il dudes???
Sigh. What the eff happened on the X factor this very weekend?? So many disasters in one show, it's not even funny... First off, as you can see above, Eton Road (and Leona's) stylist should be fired this week. I'm sure The Road were trying to recreate a scisster-esque look, but honestly it didn't work... the bacofoil trousers were just so so wrong. Eton Road need my fashion advice - STAT! OK, lets concentrate on a nicer pic of La Road and get on with the comments on the show...
Ok, as usual I will bypass the snoozefest that is the over 25s (though I was worried by the quality of gravel voice Ben's performance. Git), and head over to the lesser performances in the other two categories. Ray was just a gurning, over the top, caricature of an XFactor contestant. He swivelled and grinded his way through a chico-esque performance of La Vida Loca and stood grinning like a constipated chipmunk during the judges comments. GAH! But I have to say I feel more sympathy for the lovely Macdonalds as the weeks go by. This was definitely their best week. They are not great, but they are not as bad as Simon makes out. They are two smashing chaps out of their depth, but trying their best and utterly likeably. The cute dark haired one looked destroyed by Simon's comments this week :(
Leona was once again in a league of her own with a spine tingling version of Bridge Over Troubled Waters that reminded me of the classic Mariah years. Before she went ghetto. Amazing. Best vocalist in the competition by a long shot. So here is why Eton Road need to win: Their outfits this week were horrific, their dancing all over the place and actually so was their singing on a cover of I Don't Feel Like Dancing. An inspired choice of song for sure, yet it felt like four separate vocals competing for attention. Yet they still had this great fun stage presence and a sparkle that put a smile on my face. Yes, Leona is by far the best singer, but she will do well coming second. I think Eton Road winning this competition is the only way a boyband can be launched in this country (number 60 for 265? Ouch!), which will then of course open the floodgates for Billiam, Pacific Avenue, Digital et al... Wishful thinking? maybe - the boys were lucky to survive this week so only time will tell. And as always check out the essential hilarity over at Bitch Factor...
LINK: The Bitch Factor blog
LINK: Eton Road unofficial blog
MP3: Leona - Bridge Over Troubled Water
MP3: Eton Road - I Don't Feel Like Dancing
Well you are either going to like G4 and Il Divo or hate them. The choice is yours. My personal preference goes to G4 - DazPretzel and I saw them busking in London before their appearance on the X-Factor and they made enough of an impression that we knew who they were as soon as they auditioned. Then of course they came second, but ultimately have been much more successful than that creepy dude that won. Their strength lies in knowing what their strengths are - much like Westlife know that cover versions and swoony ballads will keep them at the top of the charts, G4 know that carefully orchestrated vocal harmony versions of classic songs are selling out tours and doing brisk album sales. Their new set "Act Three" (what the fuck has the dude second from right done to his hair? Luckily blonde Jonathan is still cute as a button...) sees them launching off with a predictable yet still snuggly cover of Danny Boy and one can only hope when it is released, it will feature festive tunes as the bonus tracks in preparation for their Christmas concerts in late December. To which I am going. Viva!
And of course, Il Divo are the reason Simon Cowell didn't want G4 to win the X-Factor... he had already put together a similar vocal group from around the globe. For me, Il Divo's songs are beautiful pieces of work and showcase the international slant to the group by often being sung in different languages. The image and music is very Simon Cowell so occasionally there can be a slight soulless feel to the instrumentation, but the harmonies are tight enough to carry it off. The 4th (4th!) album in 3 years sees the usual bunch of covers and a simply stunning version of Somewhere from West Side Story. Sigh... (now D'Luv - are they also on the same street as Take That and BSB?!)
LINK: Pre-order G4's Act III
LINK: Pre-order Il Divo's Siempre
MP3: G4 - Danny Boy
MP3: Il Divo - Somewhere
Regular readers of my blogazine will know that i often think i could pick much better singles for acts than they or their managers/record labels/shirley from down't road do. As the run up to the Christmas number one starts to heat up, it's time for a quick review of some of the singles making the rounds over the next couple of weeks...
~ My absolute darlings The Feeling (lead by Dan Gillespie-(sex)Sells) release their 4th track from THE debut album of the year, Love It When You Call. This is absolutely the right track for them to release. There are a couple of great remixes available, but the real draw is their cover of Don't Give Up on the flip. Just lovely...
~ Aah, Emma Bunton. The world and his blog has written about Downtown (boo) and Life In Mono (yay) this week, and i am firmly in the Downtown (boo) category. But it's for charidee so I won't be a grinch. Plus she has some great 60's themed b-sides that would've worked better as an A side. Her cover of Cilla Black's Something Tells Me fits much better as a progression of the aces Free Me cd, and i'll have a little more on Perhaps(x3) tomorrow. But for now, i'm cutting straight to Life In Mono as a single - a song I first fell in love with when it was in Great Expectations. Emma does it proud...
~ Did i mention that actually i like Take That? Well i surely do, and they are virtually a shoo-in for number one next sunday. The song continues to grow on me - a lovely matured sound for the boys with great harmonies and a lovely lead vocal from Gary. The acoustic mix strips it back to an intimate strumalong tune that highlights how well these boys continue to work together...
~ I've said this before and I'll say it again - bodieswithoutorgans have got their releases the wrong way round. Chariots of Fire should have been the third single, leaving Will My Arms Be Strong Enough for the festive market. It just works better that way. To placate my wrath, bwo have put out some quite good remixes of CoF to get my Christmas party started. Thanks to Sounds of Sweden!
~ Pop on over to poppostergirl and read all about Christmas cramming (and my thoughts in the comments) - at least McFly have chosen one of the songs I suggested to them, but i can't see it getting above, ooo, number 9...
~ you might be wondering why Shirley Bassey is at the top of this feature. Or not. But any"hoo" you can check out her marks and spencers (where all the best people shop) commercial here and listen to her do the most amazing cover of Get This Party Started. Anyone ripping this to an mp3 and sending it to me will receive my forever love...
LINK: Purchase The Feeling's Love It When You Call
LINK: Purchase Take That's Patience
LINK: Purchase Emma Bunton's Downtown
LINK: Children in Need website
LINK: Pre-order BWO Chariots of Fire
LINK: Purchase McFly's Motion in the Ocean - they need the sales :(
LINK: Click here to be taken to the music for this post
Gosh, i sure do love my 7 in 2007 guys. They keep doing things that reaffirm my commitment to the cause and have music that delights me constantly. Lets see what the lovely lads are up to, shall we??
~ Simon Curtis: There is a big feature on Simon coming up, including an interview and some news on what he is up to with his forthcoming album Alter Boy. And fingers crossed it's all very positive stuff. Can i spot a star in the making or what? ;) In the meantime, Broken (show mix) remains my most played song for the fourth week in a row...
~ Justin Lanning: Make sure you pop over to his myspace site to view his second Justin's World episode. Also he has a new blog on that same page which seems like he is busy getting his album ready for our enjoyment. Bring it on I say. Plus he uses the phrase dueschebag - so what's not to love? ;)
~ Conor (above): Conor has been a busy boy. Apparently he has lots of exciting stuff coming up which should start happening in the new year. Plus, being the super nice chap he is, there is a free download on his myspace site for y'all to enjoy! It's called Play With You and apparently it means many things. I have my own personal theory on what it means but that l'il daydream moment is far too rude to print here ;)
~ Switch22: Lord luv S22 and the fact that they have a new song (back to the dancefloor) on their site this very day. And not only is it a new song, but it is also one of the best pop songs of the year. And in a year when i've fallen for Beware Of The Dog, Alter Boy, I Don't Feel Like Dancing et all, that's not something I say lightly. In fact, it's what Robbie Williams Rudebox should have sounded like if he had put any effort at all into it. And that little "film" bit at the beginning? Superhero genius. So expect me to rave on about this for a little while ;)
~ Pacific Avenue: The saviours of boyband pop? fingers crossed! They are featured in an article about the return of 5ive (so that's where Pinkie went) and have just announced they will be doing a second season of the popular webisodes The Journey's Just Begun. I love it when a show gets "renewed" :)
~ BONUS! Jadion watch: Jadion is currently working with girl group Bliss on an out of this world cover that he is producing which should put the girls into a whole new arena. Fayden too is working with some new acts as well as doing some music of his own. Expect a bigger article on Fayden soon and more news when we get it!
~ Bloody nora! Fresh from doing a cover of Dirtylicious, Keane have only gone and done a blooming cover of Depeche Mode's Enjoy The Silence. And it's quite good. They should ditch the Iron Sea and just release covers instead for a while. Again, anyone gets me an mp3 of this and eternal love follows ;)
~ Is charlotte church the new live lounge? Very possibly - check her duetting with nerina pallot on Message In A Bottle and Alesha on Somebody Told Me. Plus many more over at Zeon's...
~ You know how i love a pop star in a shirt and tie? Well DazPeaSoup had an interview this morning and looked so popstar in his getup that i wanted to rip it all off with my teeth. RAR!
~ Peter Andre and Jordan on children in need were freaking hilarious (unintentionally) in their cover of JJ's Best Things In Life Are Free. I was most disappointed that Peter didn't do the rap in the middle, but the backing dancers were foxy.
~ is it just me that misses Fierce Girl? Probably...
~ The cast of Bad Girls cover Bananarama? Bloody priceless...
Coming soon: well gosh, something on pop photographers; another book club; shockingly something on Matt Willis :O; Richard Marx?!?!; a walk down the Avenues; dad rock; some album reviews; more greatest hits done right; dyyce and young divas; something on christmas tours; the 24 days of christmas; some more Jadion stable stuff - and lots more too. Gosh taking a weekend off to do X Factor (scroll down to continue voting) rejuvinated me big styl-ee :)


  1. Poster Girl said...
    Awww, I quite like Matt Willis (the Willis? the Matt?), even if you're not so fond of him ;) Though I do hear he's been less than enthralling on TV.

    One more random note that's only tangentially related to what you wrote about: I hate to say it, but speaking of stars and stylists, I think Anthony Callea may be in need of your help lately...not all of the time, but there've been some pretty desperate cases...

    Anyhow, yay for Take That, the Feeling, and BWO! I do hope all their singles do well, though there seems to be no question about that happening for Take That.

    An interview and news on Simon? I can't wait!

    The Conor song is great, as is the Switch 22 song...and I just adore Pacific Avenue. Please let them release an album!
    Dan Project 76 said...
    Once again, thank you for the music.
    Paul said...
    PG - it will be a positive post on Matt. i now re-like him. Actually i just like him now as i never liked him before! Fashion tips for Ant and Eton road coming right up!

    Simon's interview is great - he's been most generous with his answers :)

    I concur re Conor, S22 and PA... the dream is still alive.

    Dan - you are welcome sir. Still loving your blog ;)
    Anonymous said...
    Hi paul...
    I'm Gabo From Chile. I can't download "sounds like love". I don't know what happens... Take care

    Trixie said...

    1. I hated The Feeling when they started but they've gradually grown on me. I like I love it when you call because it sounds exactly like the Charlotte Church Theme Tune.

    2. La Bassey should totally be releasing Get the party started for Xmas. Surefire #1!
    J'ason D'luv said...
    Pablo, what's this I hear from my transplanted Brit friend about G. Barlow secretly being a raging 'mo? Is he just doing wishful thinking?

    Thanks for the alert on the Il Divo cover art. I think you'll like what I did with it ;)

    The Bad Girls cover of "Love In The First Degree" was hot!
    Paul said...
    gabo - email me at and i'll hook you up!

    trixie - hello! Glad the feeling have grown on you - they sort of have that effect don't they?! and yes definitely to Shirls! Can you imagine the dance remixes?!

    d'luv - i think he's married which doesn't mean anything but his wife and daughter are v cute so i hope not! I loved your post! I am imagining it right now :)
    Robpop said...
    That Bad Girls was the best of a sorrowful evening. I never know why I watch that show.

    As for Eton Road, I watched it with a successful soul singer who now spends most of her time reading classics at Kings but was once a vocal teacher to the stars...when Eton Road performed she was very worried. She said that it wasnt that they weren't hitting notes(which is important but..) they were actually straining their throats. You can get away with a lame voice as long as you dont sing in a particular way. My friend, who knows her shit, was shocked that eton road were singing so badly. I showed her a performance when they did hit notes on youtube and still she managed to show me that it was still terribly wrong. It wasnt so much that they werent hitting notes but they were making the sounds in all the wrong places of their throat. She managed to isolate only one of the boys who was singing properly and that was the base(the one with shaved hair).

    She said if they continued sing in the way that they were...(as in if their vocal coaches didnt step in..)they wont have voices...
    Robpop said...
    OH i just wanted to add, on a happier note, that the first batch of girlbands are finally online!
    Paul said...
    you mean now i have to worry about their voices and their style?? sheesh kebab!

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