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Curiosity Killed The Cat biography

3 Days/ 30 Bands – 18 – 20th of June, Bay Festival, Isle of Man. Info & Tickets – here.

They appeared out of nowhere, as if they were transported from a parallel universe wherein blue-eyed soul was seen as rock & roll’s salvation in the late 80s. Likeminded groups like Johnny Hates Jazz, Waterfront, Living in a Box, and Curiosity

Killed the Cat all debuted and disappeared at the same time. Of the four Curiosity Killed the Cat leaned more towards the teen girl population that hung “Smash Hits” posters on their bedroom walls. The band’s lightweight funk and photogenic looks rewarded them with mainstream acceptance in their native England but America didn’t budge. Curiosity Killed the Cat was formed in 1984 by Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot (vocals), Julian Godfrey Brookhouse (guitar), Nicholas Bernard Throp (bass), Michael Drummond (drums), and Toby Anderson (keyboards). While in art school Volpeliere-Pierrot met Throp, who was then in a post-punk group called Twilight Children with the other future members of Curiosity Killed the Cat. After inviting him to sing Volpeliere-Pierrot became the band’s new lead singer. They recorded a track entitled “Curiosity Killed the Cat” which caught the interest of businessman Peter Rosengard, who eventually renamed the band after their song and became their manager. In 1985, Curiosity Killed the Cat was signed to Phonogram, and the group began making their first LP. However, producers Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare were taken off the project, replaced by Stewart Levine; as a result, the album was delayed for nearly a year. The toe-tapping single “Misfit” was released in July 1986, but it was not successful. The band gained much attention after Andy Warhol became a fan; he even did a cameo for the “Misfit” video. In early 1987 “Down to Earth” became a Top-10 hit in the U.K. Two years later the group shortened their appellation to Curiosity. 1992’s “Hang On In There Baby” peaked at No. 3 on the British charts, and the band disappeared from the music scene until they joined the 80s nostalgia Here and Now tour in 2001. ~ Michael Sutton, All Music Guide


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The Cutting Crew biography

3 Days/ 30 Bands – 18 – 20th of June, Bay Festival, Isle of Man. Info & Tickets – here.

Although the band has only been together a few years, it took years of individual experience to make them collectively, what they are today. Lead vocalist Nick Van Eede’s musical background stretches back to the late seventies, when he was managed by ex-Animal Chas Chandler, who sent him on a tour of Poland as support for Slade. Nick recalls “I went with a kazoo and an acoustic guitar and opened for Slade in amphitheatres in front of 18,000 people. I went down as a storm and had the loudest kazoo in Europe, because Slade took their own PA on the road!” His career continued with tours supporting headliners like David Essex, Hot Chocolate and Alan Price… but there was always the desire for his own band. The Drivers seemed for a while to be that band, and in the early eighties, they took off for Canada, to a new life and a promising deal. Things were looking good, The Drivers had a couple of hits and went on the road, this time with a support of their own… and it was around this time that Fate came up trumps, with the introduction of Kevin MacMichael.
Canadian Kevin was at that time in a band called Fast Forward… the band that was to support the Drivers on the tour. He had gained invaluable experience in Halifax, Nova Scotia, working the cabarets that go on seven nights a week, until three in the morning! Kevin remembers the tour; “By the end of it, I knew The Drivers’ songs really well and Nick used to say, ‘why don’t you come up and sit in?’ They were a three piece band and had always wanted to work with another guitarist.”
Commitments meant that a musical relationship got no further than the discussion stage at that time, and after the tour, the pair went their separate ways. However, shortly after their return to the UK, The Drivers disbanded and with nothing to stop him, Nick returned to Canada and began working on his own music. He approached Kevin and more or less told him that if they didn’t get together now, they might as well forget it… but Fast Forward were about to tour again and it looked like there was no solution. It was now that Fate really took an upper hand, for on the brink of the tour, the band were involved in a serious car crash… and Kevin was the only one who escaped unhurt. It meant freedom for Kevin and Nick to begin working together and soon after they began writing songs and working on demos in Toronto… but because of existing contracts it was some months before they were able to drop everything else and form a group. “We said it was time to stop talking about it and do it, so we set ourselves definite goals and began auditioning players,” says Kevin.
Here Martin Beedle comes into the story. Martin is from Hull and drummed his way around the world before emerging as drummer for Cutting Crew. When he was seventeen, he landed a job in the resident band on the QE2, went wild in many ports in many countries, and followed up with stints backing artists like Dennis Waterman, The Three Degrees and more recently, John Parr. While playing in a pub in Lewisham, he was spotted by the fourth member of the band, Colin Farley.
Bass player Colin grew up with his family encouraging his interest in music, and reckons he got the music bug from his Dad who played in a show band for many years. He turned professional as a teenager and the early days found him working in various studios as a session musician. He was discovered a few years later, by Kevin and Nick, serenading senoritas in a castle in Spain. When Colin happened upon Martin in the pub, he dragged him in quick… “I just knew he was going to be the guy for the band.”
The rest, as they say, is history. Cutting Crew signed to Siren Records at the end of 1985, and the first fruit of the relationship was the stunning “(I Just) Died In Your Arms”, which took Europe and Britain by storm, and reached number four in the UK national charts. The second single, “I’ve Been In Love Before”, was released to coincide with the release of the album, “Broadcast”. The band’s first nationwide tour, which ended triumphantly at the Astoria in London’s West End, could only be deemed a huge success.
Cutting Crew have only just begun to edge their way into the international music scene… today it’s Europe, tomorrow without any doubt and if there is any justice, it will most certainly be the world.

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Snow Crystals

From here.

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Christmas Carols

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Christmas Gifts

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Michael Jackson – Weekend MTV

Sub sloganul “M is For Michael”, MTV ii dedica lui Michael Jackson, cu ocazia aniversarii a 51 de ani de la nasterea regelui muzicii pop, weekendul din 29-30 august!

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Rich Britons help to drive up house prices in tax heavens

While house prices across Europe have plunged in recent months, a stream of wealthy tax exiles is continuing to push up property prices in offshore tax enclaves across the continent.

According to a new survey, tax havens from Gibraltar to the Isle of Man are bucking the slump, with many wealthy Britons helping to drive up prices.

The survey, by the Sovereign Group, an international offshore tax specialist, points to Monaco – home to businessmen including the Topshop boss Sir Philip Green – where prices have risen by up to 30%, while in neighbouring Provence they have fallen back rapidly. In Gibraltar a local estate agent reported “a marked increase in interest for properties”, in contrast to the nearby Costa del Sol, where home values have been in near-freefall.

Nearer home, Jersey’s chief government statistician said prices were up 7%. In neighbouring Guernsey, however, apartment prices are down, although house prices are stable. The Terra Firma private equity boss Guy Hands has recently relocated to Guernsey for tax reasons.

On the Isle of Man, prices this year are up 4% and one local agent said: “Enquiries from UK applicants have risen strongly.”

“The facts speak for themselves here,” said Howard Bilton, chairman of the Sovereign Group. “Property prices in the south of France and southern Spain are languishing in the worst slump they’ve seen in many years but on their outskirts are two little areas – Monaco and Gibraltar – where the market is extraordinarily resilient. We believe, and all our local sources are telling us, that much of this disparity is because of interest from a new breed of British tax refugee.”

Bilton said 20% of new business in his London office was coming from people looking to move offshore. Many are planning to take their businesses with them. “This is not the 1960s, when currency controls and limited communications made it difficult to relocate yourself and your business,” he said. “This is the broadband age, when voting with your feet is a very viable option for many.”

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Fertile women more open to corny chat-up lines

For men whose chat-up lines aren’t working, it could simply be a case of bad timing. Psychologists have determined that women are most likely to give their phone number to a male stranger when they are likeliest to get pregnant.

Researchers recruited handsome young men to experimentally hit on women on a street corner to determine whether fertility affects receptivity to male advances.

Large amounts of research have shown that women are more responsive to masculine voices, faces, and odours when they’re fertile, but no studies have probed the obvious outcome of such inclinations, says Nicolas Guéguen, a psychologist at the University of South Brittany, France.

“These studies did not focus on women’s behaviour. It’s the first study to test the role of the menstrual cycle on courtship request, in a real social context and not in laboratory,” he told New Scientist.

To bridge that gap, he asked five handsome 20-year-old men – winnowed down from a larger group rated for attractiveness by 28 women – to ask unsuspecting females for a date.

On sunny summer days, the hunks approached the first young woman they saw on a street corner and delivered a standard pick-up line:

“Hello. My name’s Antoine. I just wanted to say that I think you’re really pretty. I have to go to work this afternoon, and I was wondering if you would give me your phone number. I’ll phone you later and we can have a drink together someplace.”

If she said yes, “Antoine” responded, “See you soon,” and left. Rejections were given a similarly cheery standard response: “Too bad. It’s not my day. Have a nice afternoon!”

Less than a minute after the encounter, a female researcher approached the woman and clued her into the experimental nature of the encounter, asking her to fill out a short survey.

Questions gauged age, contraception use, days since her last period or pregnancy status – none of which measured her likely dismay at the deception.

After analyzing responses from 455 women – only 51 declined the survey – Guéguen noticed a couple of trends.

Overall, 8.6% of the women who filled out a survey gave out their phone numbers. Rough odds, considering the men were judged as hunks.

Women off the pill accepted offers twice as often as women on the pill (5.8% as opposed to 12%), perhaps a reflection of the likelihood that women on the pill are more likely to have men in their lives than women not taking birth control.

A more interesting trend emerged when Guéguen analysed the data according to a women’s fertility. Among women off the pill, those in their fertile phase accepted 21.7% of advances, while women in the midst of their periods gave out their numbers to just 7.8 % of men, a significant statistical difference that did not exist for women on the pill.

Guéguen is cautious in his interpretations, but the study seems to offer real-world behavioural support for studies showing that women are most receptive to advances when they are likely to get pregnant.

Hormones could play a role, as estradiol (a form of oestrogen) and progesterone levels wax and wane during a woman’s cycle, and most birth control pills contain progesterone. But Guéguen worries that a woman’s relationship status will confound such associations, since single women could be less likely to be on birth control.

To firm up the results, he is also testing the effect in an environment where men might have a better chance of winning a woman’s heart, or at least her cellphone number

“Twenty-year-old women were approached by 20-year-old males in nightclubs and solicited to dance with them during the period when slow songs were played,” Guéguen says.

Until this study comes out, guys may want to focus their attention on less personal cues to a women’s interest.

Journal reference: Biological Psychology

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Extreme Ironing

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Funny Kitties!

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