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Magazine Part 2

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Magazine Part 2

  1. 1. THE KING [Words:John MacInnes] OF The Big Yin - from Scotland to Hollywood, COMEDY plus we interview the man behind the man; Billy’s former road manager, Jamie Wark B illy Connolly has enjoyed a long- standing career as one of the world’s best- loved comedians, while at the same time carving out a career as a respected motion picture and television actor. Connolly is one of Scotland’s greatest success stories from the comedy industry. He became the nation’s favourite Glaswegian in 1975 after an appearance on the Parkinson show when he told a now famously rude joke about a hard-up Glaswegian who, after mur- dering his wife, left her backside strategi- cally exposed above the grave so that he had quot;somewhere to park his bikequot;. Parky winced, and the BBC braced itself for trouble, but the viewers loved it and within a year the strange, hairy Scotsman was one of the biggest stars of comedy. Known as the “Big Yin” the local boy made good. Perhaps more than any other Scot who has been successful outwith the UK, Con- nolly has suffered from an acute case of the quot;pedestal syndromequot;, in which prominent people are built up only to be knocked down. In Connolly’s view it is the press that ► TOTAL June 2008 23
  2. 2. Billy picks up his CBE presented to him in 2003 has done most of the knocking, and for a good number tering humour of the workplace. This was what pro- of years he has steadfastly refused interview requests vided him with the self-confidence and the patter to with Scottish papers, or done them on rather grudging talk his way out of the shipyards and on to the stage. terms. His live shows with his hugely successful folk band, Specifically, his beef is with the tartan tabloids that the Humblebums, were characterised by increasingly made a meal of his distant relationships with his long comic interludes between songs, and eventually mother and the collapse of his first marriage. But on a Connolly abandoned the banjo altogether to concen- more general level, Connolly seems to feel he can’t trate on stand-up. win with the press; if he talks about Scotland he's trad- Connolly’s relationship with Scotland has always been ing on a past he’s risen above, and if he doesn’t he has complex. His Glasgow upbringing still provides the forgotten his roots. bedrock for his comedy, but he avoids sentimentalising quot;It takes me two years to do my world circuit, and by the land of his birth. quot;London is where the action is - I that time the press have had all that time to paste me mean what’s here? The Apollo? Down there they have and I've got to undo it in one night,quot; he said. Whether got all the facilities for an actor,quot; he said in the media view reflects popular opinion is another the late Seventies. matter, but it is true that deep down we tend to be un- This was the start of his bad press, but also comfortable with Scots who leave, and return home as showed a realism about the way show busi- an occasional visitor. ness worked. Leaving Scotland was part of Connolly’s purchase of a Highland retreat with the title an attempt to transform himself from folk of “Laird of Lonach” inevitably resulted in him being hero to international entertainer. En route he slammed as someone who had lost track of his roots; acquired a glamorous wife, in the form of the subtext being that here was a man who had gotten Australian comedienne Pamela Stephenson. too big for his (banana) boots. He is a man who is as The couple moved to Los Angeles towards likely to talk on stage about the peculiarities of life in the end of the Eighties, and Connolly began his stateside home of Los Angeles as the Glasgow the slow and daunting task of trying to crack streets remembered from childhood. Hollywood. In this endeavour he had limited Billy Connolly was born on the kitchen floor of a tene- success; he managed to transfer his status on ment in Anderston, Glasgow in 1942. His mother left the Michael Parkinson show as most home four years later, leaving Connolly and his sister favoured guest into a similar gig on David to be brought up by his two aunts. quot;They felt trapped Letterman, and joined the cast of a moder- by this instant family and took it out on me,quot; Connolly ately successful sitcom called Head of the recalled in an interview. quot;There was a system of torture Class. inflicted on me by one aunt in particular.quot; Connolly has a unique way of talking about After leaving school at 15, he went on to become an lifestyles and their problems. A prime exam- apprentice welder in a Clydeside shipyard, but accord- ple of this was his suggestion that cannibal- ing to Connolly the real apprenticeship was in the ban- ism could provide a solution to the problems 24 June 2008 TOTAL
  3. 3. of over-population and hunger. quot;People are saying there's not enough food and too many people,quot; he explained. quot;Cannibalism is the obvious answer. If we ate one person each, the problem would be halted overnight. You could TotalComedy eat the unemployed, eat prisoners, eat the homeless.quot; It has been said that he is a genius in the art of life. Certainly Connolly had come a long way from Ander- ston, a fact he readily acknowledged on stage. quot;I am in- credibly famous and wealthy. I am married to a beautiful woman. I am laid with monotonous regularity. Don’t you fucking hate me?quot; If nothing else this line demonstrates the size of Con- nolly’s ego, though that has never really been in ques- tion. Although Connolly held his own in Hollywood, he never really cracked it. In recent years most of his screen work has been in Scottish film and television produc- THE MAN BEHIND tions, which included The Big Man, set in the world of bare-knuckle boxing, and a couple of TV films written by Connolly’s old Glasgow pal, Peter McDougall. His THE MAN World Tour of Scotland, a Scottish travelogue mixed with live stand-up footage, proved hugely successful on television, and spawned a follow-up shot in Australia; both were BBC Scotland productions, as was Mrs Brown, the Oscar-nominated movie in which Connolly played Queen Victoria’s devoted ghillie, John Brown, a Total talks to Billy’s former role which resulted in his most accomplished perform- ance to date. road manager Jamie Wark There’s a sense in which Connolly seems to have come a full circle, having negotiated a more relaxed relationship [Interview: John MacInnes] with the land of his birth, and perhaps us with him. quot;I have a deep love of Scotland and I know where the cul- ture lives,quot; he said. quot;But I'm also a European and I Total magazine can now bring you the story of “the man behind would suggest that if your nationality is the strongest suit the man”. We obtained exclusive access to Billy Connolly’s you can play then you are in deep shit.’ former tour manager Jamie Wark who worked with Connolly Billy’s latest US conquest is an appearance in the latest for over 20 years. He’s seen more than most, the good and the X Files movie due out in July of this year. bad, the private and the personal. Here we tell you his story: TL You've seen Billy in more intimate surroundings than that of the general public, how different is his on stage persona to that of him off stage? JW Bill’s stage persona is exactly the same off stage, he really Billy signs an autograph at Celtic park is no different. The only time you’ll see him in a different per- sona is when he’s taking time out with his family. It’s then that he gets annoyed when people keep bothering him – looking for the BC they see on stage. He likes to keep his family life pri- vate and that’s where his general dislike of the press comes from. TL How was he to tour with, did his banana boots clutter up the place? JW Of all the artistes I’ve worked with he was one of the best. He was just so laid back at times he was almost horizontal! Basically he just let us get on with the job. That’s not to say there were not moments when my back was really up against the wall. I’m not telling tales out of school, and Bill would agree with me when I say that he had a drink/drug problem be- fore meeting Pam. Those problems sometimes flowed over into his work when I would have to get in a taxi and start searching his usual haunts to locate him before a gig. Looking back now there were some hairy moments when I thought I’m not gonna find him in time or worse still, that he would be ► TOTAL June 2008 25
  4. 4. in no fit condition to go on stage. grandeur of his homeland. He them? If so surely to God they However we managed it some- had been under some pressure at can find a more interesting how and as they say, the show that time for moving to LA and bloody meal ticket – why do must go on. abandoning his roots and her- they do it, they slate him, drag itage, and so grew the new world up some fuckin rubbish from TL What is your favourite tour tour TV series. This became a yonks ago then scream that he memory/favourite show with massive success and was proba- won’t talk to them, so that him? bly the main propellant shooting equates to he’s bigger than them, him onto a national and interna- so we can knock him off his JW My favourite tional stage as well as the cine- pedestal instead. Frankly they’re memory…there are so many it’s matic screen. a bunch of fuckin parasites that’s difficult to pick just one, but here all. As Bill would say fuck em, we go anyway. I remember one TL He is often criticised for for- no matter what I do they ain’t night at the Apollo theatre when getting his roots and hw hasn't satisfied! a group of wheelchair users played a serious Scottish tour for caught Bill’s eye. The stewards many years, what do you think TL Did you find it difficult to had placed them away to a side are the reasons for this? work with him as his popularity area where they could hardly see seemingly waned in his home a thing. Bill stopped the show, From top JW I think one of the main prob- country? jumped off the stage and organ- One of Billy’s lems here is that this is a double- ized for everyone to brought to early shows in edged sword. He gets panned by JW No, it’s a common miscon- the front of the stage where they London and, the press for forgetting his roots, ception that his popularity waned below, his fa- could see. He then went back on mous banana yet also gets panned for being so dreamed up by the Scottish stage and harangued the stew- boots successful in the USA as a Scot- tabloid press. Bill’s as popular ards for their stupidity, made a tish export. How can you win today as he’s always been, a fact sketch out of it just like that – against that mentality? Bill’s that can be easily proved by the and the show rolled on. That’s made it big, of that there’s no sell out tours he does. His last the Bill I know but few rarely get doubt, he’s a genuine working tour of Scotland actually had to to see. One other abiding mem- class boy made good story. The have extra dates tagged on to try ory is that of a naked BC danc- problem appears to stem from and cope with demand for tick- the fact that this ‘boy made ets, and even then many didn’t I remember him good’ left Scotland to try his get to see him. Some of the hand in the US – was successful main difficulties in working with thumping a Sunday both on stage and screen, and we BC were down to the problems seem to have a problem with created by the press. They gave Mail photographer that. I don’t know whether it’s a me the largest headaches of all, territorial thing, he’s ours and we particularly the well-documented right on the hooter... want him here, or whether it’s tussles with the media. But hey more a jealousy thing that’s that’s just Bill for you. He as Bill would say, fuck going on. What I do know is sometimes acted before thinking that Bill hates the fact that he’s of the consequences. I remem- em. said to have forgotten his roots. ber him thumping a ‘Sunday I know for a fact that when he’s Mail’ photographer right on the back in Scotland he never forgets hooter one night at the Clutha to look up his old mates and go Vaults bar, the Mail didn’t get ing on Dundee Law – in a for a drink. He also keeps in their picture but they did get a bloody blizzard! Mad or what? touch with the old gang and I story out of it. BC – well he just regularly get calls from him from had a right good laugh at it. TL Billy's World Tour of... series all over the world. A tour sched- really brought him to the fore- ule is both a hectic affair as well TL Billy sometimes courted front of British television, who as a lonely one. Bill’s one of the controversy with his gags, one in came up with the concept? most gregarious man I have ever particular regarding Ken Bigley, met, yet he barely has a friend in was there ever a time when you JW The World Tour Of concept the world at times and when on had to say to him quot;look, you came from Bill himself after he tour, sits alone in his hotel room can't do thatquot; or do you think it had been appearing at the Syd- drinking tea. It’s then he makes was an over reaction by the PC ney Opera House. Prior to that all these calls to people he brigade? he had flown back to London to knows. I don’t think he has for- take part in the BBC’s Parkinson gotten his roots, I think he’s ma- JW Bill always courts contro- show – again. He wanted to tured and moved on and certain versy regardless of where he is, come up with a concept that al- people try to make a meal out of what he’s doing, or what the lowed him the freedom to show that. Why do the tartan tabloids, topic of the subject is. After all a larger audience his talents as BC calls them, hate him so, is at the end of the day Bill will al- combined with the scenery and it because he’s a meal ticket for ways be Bill – you can’t change 26 June 2008 TOTAL
  5. 5. him. With his particular style of the problems we were experienc- minute, yet there are other times comedy it will always be a case ing with fans. There were times when he can be a very lonely of not being able to please all the when Bill would merely leave man. A touring life is not con- people all the time. That holds his hotel and stroll down to the ducive to good family relations, TotalComedy equally well today for all comics venue himself, greeting people and you have to remember he’s and not just BC. For those who on the way. Unfortunately in now retirement age. Only make don’t like his type of material today’s society that can no sure you don’t tell him I told you he’s got two words for you – I longer happen, and I’m certain so. don’t need to tell you what they that’s just one of the reasons why are! I do think there are, and people think he’s too big for his TL Has their ever been an unex- have been times when he’s been boots now, he’s above them so to pected or unusual situation so close to the line it’s danger- speak, but it’s not that at all, its you’ve found yourself having to ous, as well as verging on dis- merely prudent security issues. cope with? tasteful and unacceptable. The Ken Bigley comment you men- TL Have you ever seen Billy get JW Yes, may years ago I got a tion was one of them. I think annoyed or angry when ap- call from Bill saying he was that in all honesty Bill didn’t proached by a fan or someone stuck in a box! One night, about mean to offend and was sur- who wants to wind him up? 2am, Billy was so drunk he prised by the backlash. But re- couldn't find his way out of a member this is what he does, JW There have been many occa- London phone box. Luckily, he talks about day-to-day issues and sions when Bill’s short fuse has was able to remember my num- makes light of them. In this case gone off and I have had to step in ber, so he called me for help. I think he stepped over that line to smooth things over. I have to “It's not that difficult, I said. I do think there’s been of decency and it taught him a be honest though he rarely gets salutary lesson to be more care- annoyed at his fans, with perhaps times he’s been so ful in the future. I think he learnt one exception when he’s out from that lesson, as he’s never with the family. It’s those occa- crossed that line since to my sions that are precious to him, close to the line its knowledge. Sometimes Bill can and he just wants to be treated as be his own worst enemy. any other dad out with his unacceptable. The Ken daughters for a day out. Even in TL Do you still keep in contact those circumstances he will sign Bigley comment was with Billy? autographs, but tries to explain and make it clear to people that one of them. JW Yeah, I see him maybe once he’s with his family for a private or twice a year and we speak on day and is not there as BC, the the phone occasionally. We still star that they know. I have to regard each other as mates. I say that this is more of a problem There's only four sides, one's got parted company with Tickety- in the US than it is here in Scot- the phone on it and another’s got boo, Bill’s company on amicable land. I’ve seen him here and the door.” terms, he understood my reasons people will just call out to him, “I cannae find the door...” re- and accepted them. After so without necessarily bothering From bottom peated Billy, utterly wasted. long on the road it becomes him. He can relax more here Billy in a promo- “Billy... where are you?' I draining and very tiring, and ba- with the family up in Aberdeen- tional shot for shouted.” one of his tours sically I had had enough, I shire than he can anywhere else, and, below, in “I'm, eh... I'm... och, somewhere wanted other challenges in life. which is why he sometimes Glasgow in London”' He was barely co- sneaks in to Scotland unan- herent. TL Billy must get a lot of atten- nounced for a break. “Read the address on the notice tion – especially in Scotland- by the side of the phone” how do you cope with that? TL Is he “always on”, you know, “I cannae focus.” Billy was constantly cracking jokes and clearly about to pass out. JW Well we dealt with it our- going into routines? Fortunately, Bill is a creature of selves at first in the early days by habit. I willed myself into my car sneaking him out through back JW Generally the answer has to and drove around all Bill’s usual doors, using the kitchen en- a resounding yes. Whether he is haunts. It was a miracle that I ac- trances of restaurants etc, but in the car between hotel and gig, tually found him in the end and after a while it was becoming too at dinner, relaxing with a cup of managed to drag his comatose much and too dangerous. We re- tea or even on a day off between body out of its red-box prison. alised, that is the road manage- gigs on tour he is just hilarious. “I was just enjoying a wee ment crew, that we needed I’ve seen myself having to stop snooze,” complained Billy. professional help. Eventually the car because I’ve been laugh- If I had my life to live over again Bill agreed to us bringing on ing so hard – tears streaming I wouldn’t change a thing. board a security detail to take down my face and I simply can’t care of all the issues surrounding function. He can be a gag a TOTAL June 2008 27
  6. 6. MUSIC AND MUD A guide to the But the music lovers never allow headlining festivals this year after reunit- their spirits to be dampened, and ing for several shows last year, they are after spending the best part of £200 set to return to festivals such as T in the summer to go to a festival, why should a lit- Park this summer. tle rain ruin their fun? Tickets for all festivals in the UK are 2008 is the Chinese year of the Rat, selling fast with T in the Park already a a year defined in Chinese culture as complete sell out. At Total magazine we festivals a time of hard work, activity and re- know people may be undecided on which newal. A good year to begin a new festival to go to, so we’ve compiled a job, launch a product or make a handy guide to the best of the UK festi- fresh start and if the line ups for the vals and one further afield. major festivals are anything to go by, that is exactly what’s happening I in the music business. Who knew rock groups paid attention to Chi- nese culture? [Words:Neil Leslie] The big reunion this year is un- doubtedly Rage Against the Machine. The politically charged US group are t is said that the only thing that’s sure making a big return to the festival circuit in life is Death and Taxes. The only other after their 2000 break up and with all things missing from that list would ap- their festival dates heading for total sell pear to be summer rain and music festi- outs, a new album will surely follow. vals. Rock legends Kiss are also on the come- From the washout at Glastonbury which back trail this year. Having played resulted in the festival being postponed smaller shows in recent years the band two years ago to the swamp at T in the are headlining Download for the third Park last year which led to 12-hour tail time, 12 years after their last show at the backs for traffic as cars entering the former Monsters of Rock festival. campsite promptly sank in the mud. 90’s indie group the Verve are also back Festival goers camp out at Glastonbury 28 June 2008 TOTAL
  7. 7. Travel: Again, Download is on the green Babyshambles T in the Park- July 11,12 and 13 bandwagon. Shuttle buses are in opera- Tickets: Sold Out, but try your luck on tion from points around the UK as well eBay if you’re really desperate to go. as buses from the nearest main rail sta- Sometimes tickets are made available TotalMusic tions at Derby and Loughborough with a nearer the time as organizers release re- shuttle bus going from the stations to the turned tickets, but these are very limited. site. If you want to fly, East Midlands Travel: Coach travel had to be booked airport is right next to the festival site, with the tickets and buses are departing cheap flights are available from many from all over the country. If you’ve not UK airports. got a bus ticket, it is still possible to get to Leeds by rail. National Express, Cross Glastonbury- June 27, 28 & 29 Country, TransPennine Express and Northern and East Midlands Trains all run services to Leeds City Station. From there it is possible to get a shuttle bus Headliners: The Verve, Rage Against straight to the festival. The nearest air- the Machine, R.E.M port for flights is Leeds Bradford. Other big acts: Stereophonics, The For Reading, the same applies with the Fratellis, Kings of Leon & Amy Wine- coaches, and for rail travel, it is a 15 house minute walk to the festival site from Tickets: Sold Out, but try your luck on Reading station. If you prefer you will be eBay if you’re that desperate to go. able to get a shuttle bus which will take Sometimes tickets are made available you from the station to the site and back. nearer the time as they release returns, Please see their website www.reading- but these are very limited. buses.co.uk for further information and Travel: TITP is another festival taking Headliners: Jay Z, The Verve & Kings their timetable. See also information on note of the green issue and is advising of Leon the Plus Bus scheme whereby you can everyone to travel using the official shut- Other big acts: TBA buy your bus ticket at the same time that tle buses that can be purchased at the Tickets: Registration for tickets closed you buy your train ticket - www.plus- same time as tickets. Buses leave from on March 14th so coming across tickets bus.info/(orig)indexmain.htm points all over Scotland and will shuttle will be very difficult due to the anti-tout- fans to and from the campsite. There are ing methods put forward by the organis- On the continent... no train stations near the festival site so ers, but where there’s a will, there’s a Rock AM Ring- June 6, 7 & 8 the bus or the car really is the only op- way. Headliners: Metallica, Rage Against the tion. Beware however, last year the vol- Travel: National Express are running Machine & Die Toten Hosen ume of cars travelling to the site led to shuttle buses from all over the country. Other big acts: Babyshambles, The 12-hour tailbacks on all main roads lead- The main station serving the festival is Streets, Queens of the Stone Age & Kid ing to the site. Bristol Temple Meads and buses are run- Rock ning to and from the station during the Tickets: Tickets for the weekend are Download Festival- June 13, 14 festival. There has been no announce- available priced 126 euros. & 15 ment of special train services to Castle Travel: As Rock AM ring is in Germany Cray station from First Great Western but flying is the easiest option costing it is expected shortly. around £80. After arrival in Frankfurt air- port take the rail link to Koblenz. From Leeds/Reading Festival- August there shuttle buses will take you to the 22, 23 & 24 festival site. Other festivals V Festival Played over the weekend of the 16th and 17th of August in Chelmsford and Staffordshire. Headlining these gigs are Muse, the Verve and Stereophonics, it certainly looks like a festival not to be Headliners: Kiss, The Offspring, Lost missed. Further information is available Prophets at www.vfestival.com. Other big acts: Judas Priest, Incubus, Live@Loch Lomond Motorhead & Disturbed Now in its third year, it’s well worth the Tickets: Weekend tickets are available at trip to Balloch if only for the spectacular £130 or £150 with camping. If you want Headliners: Rage Against the Machine, scenery and friendly atmosphere. Tickets some more home comforts, you can up- the Killers, Metallica are still available, check out www.liveat- grade to “VIP” packages with tickets and Other big acts: Queens of the Stone lochlomond.com for further details. hotels from around £300. Age, Bloc Party, Tenacious D & TOTAL April 2008 29
  8. 8. 2000 - TOTAL MAGAZINE TAKES A 2000 ALBUMS OF THE YEAR [Words:Danny Harkins] THE 21st The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem Certainly the best Eminem album and possibly one of the best Hip-Hop albums ever released. The Marshal Mathers LP is both dark and amusing at the same time; Amityville is frighteningly sinister while Criminal highlights everything that’s right and wrong about Eminem; from the hateful, homophobic lyrics to the beautifully constructed, humorous rhymes. Eminem switches between scenarios and characters effortlessly and makes the odd intelligent point here and there. A con- troversial classic that today’s Hip-Hop stars could learn a thing or two from. Other otable Mentions: Rated R (Queens of the Stone Age), The Hour of Bewilderbeast (Badly Drawn Boy), XTRMNTR (Primal Scream) 2001 Is This It? – The Strokes Hailed as the saviours of rock, The Strokes have garnered quite a reputation since the release of this album. Recorded in a basement New York studio, Is This It? lacks a little on the lyrics (seemingly every song is about ex-girlfriend generated paranoia) but some fantastic guitar riffs and lead singer Julian Casablancas passionate, crackling delivery on songs like ew York City Cops and Last ite makes the album a rock classic. Other otable Mentions: Gorillaz (Gorillaz), Origin of Symmetry (Muse), The Blueprint (Jay-Z), Stillmatic (Nas) Songs for the Deaf – Queens of the Stone Age Featuring former Nirvana drummer and now Foofighters lead singer Dave Grohl on drums, Songs for the Deaf is a dark heavy rock album generally considered to be the band’s best. The album switches be- 2002 tween the dark operatic atmosphere of Mosquito and up beat, bounce-along tracks like o One Knows. Grohl’s pounding drums perfectly compliment Nick Oliveri’s bass and Josh Homme’s killer riffs, mak- ing Songs for the Deaf one kick ass album. Other otable Mentions: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (The Flaming Lips), Up the Bracket (The Libertines) and Original Pirate Material (The Streets) 2003 Room on Fire – The Strokes The Strokes follow up album was always going to be surrounded with hype and while Room on Fire doesn’t break any new ground it is still a fantastic rock album on a par with their debut. The album en- compasses everything from the down beat, typically suspicious Strokes track Between Love and Hate (“never needed anybody” is the constantly repeated chorus) to the fast paced hit 12:51 that’s near im- possible not to sing along to. Is This it? No it isn’t would be the bad pun of an answer to that question. Other otable Mentions: Elephant (White Stripes), Echoes (The Rapture), Get Rich or Die Tryin (50 Cent), Absolution (Muse) 30 June 2008 TOTAL
  9. 9. 2007 LOOK BACK AT THE BEST 2004 TotalMusic SINCE THE TURN OF CENTURY The Libertine’s – The Libertines The Libertines are a story of love and hate and a drug infused descent into destruction that rivals anything the 1960’s had to offer, but it’s a story played to its death and beyond in the tabloids. It’s this album however that reminds you why the Libertines deserved the hype and why you should lament the loss of the band. Pete Docherty’s spiral into heroin addic- tion, the strain on the relationship between Doherty and Carl Barat, and the eventual break-up of the Libertines is all chronicled in this post punk rock album that surpasses their debut, Up the Bracket, and all competition for the 2004 top slot. Other otable Mentions: Eagles of Death Metal (Peace Love Death Metal), Kanye West (College Dropout), Kasabian (Kasabian) and Arcade Fire (Funeral) 2005 Demon Days – The Gorillaz Damon Albarn’s pet project reaches a level of maturity with this album, or, that is, as high a level of maturity an album supposedly created by four cartoon characters can get. Demon Days sounds like Blurs Think Tank tweaked for 4 years by Albarn and with some hip-hop thrown in. Dennis Hopper’s guest appearance on Fire Coming Out of a Monkeys Head is particularly clever, if a little preten- tious. Other otable Mentions: Thunder, Lightning Strike (The Go! Team), Lullabies to Paralyze (Queens of the Stone Age) and Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike (Gogol Bordello) 2006 Cansei De Ser Sexy - CSS Brazilian group CSS not only produced the greatest album this year but the band’s lead singer, the art- fully named Lovefoxxx, put in some of the best live performances. Fusing English and Portuguese with electro pop, Cansei De Ser Sexy features some of the greatest tracks of the year, including Music is my Hot Hot Sex and the perfectly titled Lets Make Love and Listen to Death From Above. Other otable Mentions: Pieces of the People We Love (The Rapture), Black Holes and Revelations (Muse), Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (Artic Monkeys) and Waterloo to Anywhere (Dirty Pretty Things) 2007 Because of the Times – Kings of Leon Kings of Leon, one of the most promising and interesting bands in recent years, seem to only get bet- ter with age. Because of the Times mixes the influence of 1960s southern rock and blues with a quiet understatement. Lead singer Caleb Followill sings with a Creedence Clearwater Revival like southern croak over a rising crescendo of thunderous drums and guitars. Hardly a particularly radio friendly album but one that gets better with each listen. Other otable Mentions: The Good, the Bad and the Queen (The Good, the Bad and the Queen), Panic Prevention (Jamie T), Shotters Nation (Babyshambles) and the Meanest of Times (The Dropkick Murphy’s) TOTAL June 2008 31
  10. 10. BATTLE OF THE DOWNLOAD SITES TotalTechnology In the month that iTunes became the top music seller, Total compares 3 different download methods [Words:Neil Leslie] The way we listen to music is constantly changing. From vinyl to tape, disc to digital, the music industry has always been at the forefront of the technological evolution. However, in recent years, the music industry has been slow up all over the place; the leak has sold over 4 billion songs viruses, their computer sys- to catch on to the growth of which the industry thought since its inception. tems slowing down, and the the internet, and the growth of they had plugged with the In fact, it was recently an- length of time it can take to online music sharing. closure of Napster only grew nounced that iTunes has over download items. In 1998 student Shawn “Nap- larger. Limewire, Bearshare, taken Wal-Mart as the number Limewire also offers a “pro” ster” Fanning changed the WinMX and Morpheus, to one supplier of music in the service which, although is world of music forever. His name but a few, attracted United States – a staggering chargeable, offers a faster revolutionary peer2peer (P2P) Napster’s client base, and the achievement. download speed and a wider file transfer system was a P2P system was alive and Single songs can be down- range of items. worldwide phenomenon.It well and to an extent still is loaded in around one minute Limewire can be downloaded was illegal and robbed the today. with a fast internet connection from its official website. record industry of millions In 2003, the music industry and cost the user 79 pence. but, at its peak, it had 26.4 hit back with Apple launching Albums are generally avail- million users. Soon, however, its iTunes music store service able at £7.99. came the backlash. The in conjunction with the indus- You can get iTunes from the Bit Torrent Recording Industry Associa- try powerhouses - Universal, Apple website. Bit torrent is a peer to peer tion of America (RIAA), who Sony BMG and EMI. This file sharing protocol. Put sim- had attempted to shut down has recouped the industry mil- ply, music, programmes, Napster but failed, now found lions in potential lost revenue. games and films are uploaded new allies in the Rock group Here at Total magazine, we onto a bit torrent website Metallica and Rap and Pop believe in giving our readers which can then be down- super forces Dr Dre and the right to make their own Limewire loaded for free. The differ- Madonna. Napster found choice, in our comparison of Limewire allows its users to ence between bit torrents and themselves well in over their three of the major services download music, videos, pic- other programmes such as heads, with the full might and available we will present the tures and other programmes Limewire is that large files, financial clout of three of the need to know facts about for free. The programme is such as whole albums, can be biggest selling artists in the them. easily downloaded onto a downloaded. A file is down- world. It became obvious computer and the site contains loaded by the user from a early on they could not win, almost all recent music and website using a computer pro- and in July 2001, the service videos and is fairly easy to gramme called a bit torrent was eventually shut down. iTunes navigate around. client. But for the record industry, iTunes now account for over However, as with everything Popular Bit Torrent websites the damage had already been 70% of online music sales that sounds too good to be include piratebay.com, mini- done. and the latest figures, released true, it is. Users have reported nova.com and suprnova.org. Copycat services had sprung in January 2008 show that it a range of problems including TOTAL June 2008 33
  11. 11. BRIGHT, SHINY THINGS Angel Fingers www.gadgets.co.uk TO SPEND YOUR RENT ON £12.95 TotalTechnology Big Button Remote £17.95 www.gadgets.co.uk Isn’t it infuriating when the remote control goes missing? Well that Imagine being stroked by is much less likely to happen with the Big Button Remote Control - an angel and you’d be it is nearly a foot long! pretty close to what it The Big Button Remote doesn’t pretend to be a delicate piece of feels like to have these jewellery. Programmed to be compatible with all the major brands Angels Fingers brushed of TV sets, DVD players, satellite and cable receivers, it includes across your body. Send all the usual functions (volume, channel etc) plus many of the shivers and rapturous “extras” such as Teletext and Fastext. Setting it up is easy, using quivers through bits of standard setup codes or the built-in auto code search func- your body you didn’t even tion. know you had. Features: Features: • Chunky 22.2mm buttons (just under one inch) • Seven copper “fingers” • Easy to program • Relieves blockages, • Programmed compatibility with aches and pains over 500 devices! • The “fingers” are bend- able so you can adjust the surface area to suit tar- geted areas. Humphrey the Humping Dog Key Shark £14.95 www.boysstuff.co.uk £49.99 www.gadgets.co.uk Leatherman Who on earth thought quot;I know, let's make a Key Shark is a keyboard logging device which Micra stuffed Chihuahua that records every key pressed on a computer key- you strap to your leg www.gadgets.co.uk board - storing an and that humps franti- exact copy of every- £22 cally while yapping away thing typed by the in frenzied delight?quot; user! With enough ca- Where did that come pacity to store half a mil- from? We can only sit lion characters (key presses), back in awe at the thought it can quietly record the average process, and slowly begin computer user for many months and to understand how the still have memory to spare. Installation takes If the mighty Leatherman truly great inventors of just seconds, and the KeyShark starts to record multi-tools of this world our age spend their free automatically. Key Shark works with PS/2 could have a small and time. Humphry the Mini Hump- (small round plug) keyboards, and older DIN perfectly formed child ing Dog (what a delightful name) style keyboards (larger round plug, which re- without alarming the sci- has straps on his front legs so you can attach him quires a DIN-PS/2 adaptor). KeyShark is a entific community, then to your leg, then with one squeeze of his ear he small external device, looking like an adapter this would be it. The begins to, er hump! His humping and yapping plugged into the keyboard socket. It is totally Micra is small enough to become more and more frantic and culminate in mobile meaning it can be unplugged and the fit on a keyring, tougher a satisfied groan - perhaps that’s more informa- information can be retrieved on another PC than trigonometry, and a tion than you needed. Humphrey the Humping without special software - as long as you re- lot more useful. Dog will incite uncontrollable laughter wherever member the password! Features: he performs. At least, thats what we’re told. Features: • A sleek, lightweight Features: • Helpful with recovering important informa- keyring tool set. • One sexually over zealous Chihuahua tion if the computer crashes • Comes in three colours • Straps for attaching to leg or table leg • Detect unauthorised access to PC, you will • Weight: 50g • Squeeze his ear to let him rip learn about it when computer is used when un- • Size: 6.5cm (closed) • Humps and yelps for up to 30 seconds (sigh) attended • A clip-point knife • 21cm high • Parents can monitor their children’s com- • A bottle/can opener • Strap for leg 23cm puter and Internet use • A flat Phillips screw- • 2 x AA batteries (included) • Employers can monitor the way computers driver are used by their employees 34 June 2008 TOTAL
  12. 12. W I H NE... TotalHealth ...HAS CHLAMYDIA Total’s tips to avoid STDs this summer How STDs spread STD Stats Preventing STDs Treating STDs One reason STDs spread so In the UK, STDs have been It's much easier to prevent Don't let embarrassment at easily is because people rising continually since the STDs than to treat them. The the thought of having an think they need to have sex- 1990’s. Between 2004 and only way to completely pre- STD keep you from seeking ual intercourse to become in- 2005, the Health Protection vent STDs is to abstain from medical attention. Waiting fected. That's wrong. A Agency (HPA) reported a all types of sexual contact. If to see a doctor may allow a person can become infected 3% increase in the number you’re going to have sex, the disease to progress and with some STDs, like herpes of diagnosed STIs, with a best way to reduce the cause more damage. If you or genital warts, through total of 790,387 cases. The chance of getting an STD is think you may have an skin-to-skin contact with an biggest increase was in the by using a condom. People STD, or if you have had a infected area or sore. An- number of confirmed diag- having sex should get regu- partner who may have an other myth about STDs is noses of syphilis which rose lar gynecological or male STD, you should see a doc- that you can't get them if by a massive 23%, to a total genital examinations. There tor right away. If you don’t you have oral or anal sex. of 2,807 cases. There were are two reasons for this. have a doctor you may be That's also wrong because also increases in positive di- First, these exams give doc- able to find a local clinic in the viruses or bacteria that agnoses of chlamydia, geni- tors a chance to teach people your area where you can get cause STDs can enter the tal warts, and herpes. The about STDs and protecting an exam confidentially. body through tiny cuts or rise in the number of STD’s themselves. And second, Some national and local or- tears in the mouth and anus, also indicates a rise in cases regular exams give doctors ganisations operate STD as well as the genitals. STDs of HIV, the virus that can more opportunities to check hotlines staffed by trained spread easily because you lead to AIDS. There is an es- for STDs while they're still specialists who can answer can't tell whether someone timated 73,000 people in the in their earliest, most treat- your questions and provide has an infection. In fact, UK with AIDS. It is believed able stage. There are plenty referrals. Calls to these hot- some people with STDs that at least a third of these of clinics available and drop- lines are confidential. A don't even know that they people do not know they are in sexual health centres that confidential hotline you can have them. These people infected as they have not you can use quite anony- call for information is avail- may pass an infection on. been diagnosed. mously. able on: 0845 122 8690 TOTALJune 2008 37
  13. 13. Q My girlfriend wants us to move in together but I’m not sure. Q Im in charge of running my best mates stag We’re both 22 and have steady jobs with good prospects so weekend and a group of us are planning on going money is not the issue. I’m just not sure if I am ready to give up away for the weekend, where do you recommend? my freedom. I love my girlfriend and wouldn’t want to hurt her TotalQ&A feelings but I don’t know what to do? A There's a lot of places in the UK that are really good for a stag weekend away. Bristol is good for A The first thing you must do is talk to your girlfriend and tell a stag weekend, Glasgow is also good for a week- her what’s troubling you – she may also have similar concerns. end away with mates, especially for a stag week- Discuss any other issues you have, as this will help you both de- end with clubs like Buffalo Joes. London is also cide what to do for the best. If you are not ready to move the re- good, with a lot to do and see in the city during lationship forward, tell her this and ask for more time to think the day and to go out and have a laugh at during about moving in. The most important thing is not to rush into the night. Newcastle has become popular for stag any decisions which you may come to regret at a later stage. weekends in recent years, however it is also full Q&A of groups of women on hen weekends. Another place that we would strongly recommend is Bournemouth which has become very popular in recent years. Q I’m thinking of buying a monkey. Which monkey should I buy? A There are two types of monkeys, New World monkeys and Old World monkeys. New World monkeys have flat noses. Old World monkeys have narrow noses. A Rhesus Macaque monkey is an Old World monkey. Albert II was such a monkey and was also the first monkey in space. He died on impact, June 14 1949. For more on famous monkeys, see “www.ape-o-naut.org/famous/” The Common Squirrel Monkey is a new world monkey. They are very agile. Also, penguins are quite nice. Total Answers your Questions Q I’m a skint student; how can I survive on a food budget of £10 per week? A Vegetables are your friends. As supermarkets continue their dominance and force many local grocers out of business, local fruit and veg shops are practi- Q I owe £25,000 on my credit cards, what cally giving their produce away to entice customers back there. Use this to is the best way for me to try and get my make a pot of soup. A typical serving should cost about £3 to make leaving debt down to a more manageable level? you around £7 to spend. Pasta is another staple food; a large bag from Asda should set you back around A The first thing you must do is to stop £2. using them. Then check out the interest With the remaining fiver, shop wisely, look for special offers on the likes of rates you are paying on your existing cards. chicken and pasta sauces and other things to go with the pasta for a bit of vari- There are many deals available just now ety. Spare a quid though- you’ll need bread to go with your 9p multi value which will allow you to transfer balances to beans. a new card, which in some cases, offer zero It isn’t ideal and could be boring, but surviving on £10 is very manageable as per cent interest for a fixed period, and long as you’re not fussy. even for the life of the balance transfer. If you choose to go down this road, at least you’ll no longer be paying any interest on the £25,000 you owe, providing of course that you can transfer all of it to a new lender. Lastly make sure you cut up the old cards, eliminating the risk of ending up in the same situation. TOTAL June 2008 39
  14. 14. Music Total Whitesnake- Good to be Bad Release Date 28th April Goldfinger- Hello Total Rating: 10/10 Destiny Release Date- 28/4/08 Glam rock did not start with Total Rating: 8/10 Queen and end with the mea- gre offerings of the Darkness, it is still alive and well, albeit After an enforced hiatus provided by a group of fifty- due to singer John Feld- somethings. man’s knee injury and his Thirty years have past and their line up has undergone more al- son’s cancer scare, Goldfin- terations than Jordan’s chest, but Whitesnake’s sound is still the ger are back with Hello same. Destiny, their first offering since parting ways with major With thumping drums and sweet guitar riffs a-plenty, the band label Mojo. commemorates their pearl anniversary with the perfect mix of And the split has improved the band no end. big guitar licks and rocky, vocally powerful ballads. Their 2005 release Disconnection otice disappointed many Must hear tracks include the awesome Call on Me, the title of the bands fans as its clean, polished sound was seen as a track Good to be Bad and the stand out Best Years, with its gui- departure from their original style. They needn’t have those tar solos that will leave your face melted in a puddle at your reservations with Hello Destiny. feet. The album starts off at a blistering pace, the first four tracks In the 11 years that have past since their 1997 offering Restless are Goldfinger-punk at its best, fast guitar and drumming and Heart, former Deep Purple front man David Coverdale and gui- whiny, passionate vocals. tarist Doug Aldrich have been holed up producing this rock and The impressive opening quartet includes the albums stand roll melee. And it certainly shows; Coverdale feels that this is out track, Without Me, and the upbeat ska track Get Up. the first “rea”' Whitesnake album in almost 20 years, comment- From there however, the album slows down with an all out ing quot;It's very butch. Very muscular...quot;. We agree. reggae assault in The Only One. The change of pace does not Whether it’s for listening to on your iPod on the bus or pump- detract from the albums overall quality, in fact, after the ing up the volume on your car stereo, Good To Be Bad will breakneck opening, the track allows time for the listener to have you reaching for your air Fender long before the first recover and prepare for the rest of the album, as from there it track is finished. goes a little downhill. The album overall is a solid effort from the band who are be- Skindred- Roots Rock ginning to sound like their old selves again after their three Riot year absence and free from the pressures of a mainstream label. Release Date- April 21st Total Rating: 7/10 Skindred describe themselves as “Ragga Metal” and their unique mix of metal and reggae is back with their new release Roots Rock Riot, the long awaited fol- low up to their debut album, Babylon. The band have thus far failed to make an impression in the UK. The Welsh band have been relegated to playing small venues and their singles and albums have failed to chart, but if the bands recent success in America is anything to go by (their last album reached #5 in the Billboard Heatseeker chart), then success at home can’t be far off. Title track Roots Rock Riot demonstrates everything good about the band; the thrashing guitars and pounding drums alongside catchy verses and chorus that will have you bopping and singing along within the first few listens. Other songs on the album range from the brilliant to the average with many sounding just too underground to ever get the band across to a wider audience. Unless you’re a hardened fan of the genre, you’re unlikely to be greatly impressed with the album Roots Rock Riot is though a solid, if unspectacular album. A recommended purchase for anyone who enjoyed their previous offerings or is curious about the mixture of Reggae and Metal. 40 June 2008 TOTAL
  15. 15. DVD Total TotalReviews I Am Legend Release Date- 8/4/08 Total Rating: 6/10 I Am Legend, the movie based on the novel of the same name by Richard Matheson, was a massive success, gross- ing over £500 million at the box office. This month sees the DVD release. The plot sees Will Smith as Robert Neville, a survivor in a Manhattan where a lethal virus has killed of the everyone. Believing that he is the last man on earth, Neville spends his days wandering the lonely and empty streets of the city try- ing to find a cure. The movie tends to rely on its lead stars’ performance which prevents it from turning into the usual sloppy horror flick. Smith cuts a lonely figure as he spends his days in an empty city and puts in a credible performance as the vampire hunting, cure seek- ing doctor. The Oscar nominated actor seemingly can’t put a foot wrong these days and his role in this blockbuster will only further his career. The movie is available in both one and two disc Shameless edition. Release Date- 16/4/08 Total Rating: 8/10 Shameless, the series revolving around dysfunctional neigh- bours living in a council estate, sees its fifth series being re- leased on DVD and while most comedy series have become boring and routine by this point, Shameless delivers possibly its best offering yet. The fourth series of Shameless was labelled average when screened on Channel 4 last year, but the show has bounced back since the incorporation of a new writing team who added fresh characters and original storylines, returning the programme to its inventive, imaginative format. From the opening episode, which featured Frank in hospital believing he only had a week left to live, the fifth series has been a belly ache of laughs which have kept viewers tuning in week after week. Skins Release Date- 5/5/08 Total Rating: 9/10 After its first series, Skins became a massive hit amongst a teenage fan base due to featuring issues they could relate to while being highly entertaining at the same time. It focuses on a group of teenagers in a sixth form college. The second series was highly anticipated by its massive fan base and is much darker than the first, while still retaining its comedy value. It features the characters coming to the end of their college life before heading off to University. While the second series is quite dark, it still features a lot of its black comedy which lifts it above other teen dramas such as The OC and prevents it from becoming just another Hol- lyoaks. TOTAL June 2008 41

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