Random jukebox – The All Seeing I feat. Tony Christie

Arguably the best thing The All Seeing I did was drag Tony Christie out of retirement for his exceptional vocals on their album Pickled Eggs & Sherbet. Here he is, delivering a great vocal on Walk Like a Panther:

The BRIT Awards 2006

Chris Evans hosted the 2006 BRIT Awards on 14th February at Earls Court in London.

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 2005 ceremony here, and the 2007 ceremony next time.

MasterCard British Album

Presented by Madonna. Nominees:

  • James Blunt – Back to Bedlam
  • Kate Bush – Aerial
  • Coldplay – X & Y
  • Gorillaz – Demon Days
  • Kaiser Chiefs – Employment

Winner: Coldplay

Best British Single

Presented by Morten Harket of a-ha. Nominees:

  • James Blunt – You’re Beautiful
  • Tony Christie feat. Peter Kay – (Is This The Way To) Amarillo
  • Coldplay – Speed of Sound
  • Sugababes – Push The Button
  • Shayne Ward – That’s My Goal

Winner: Coldplay

Best British Male Solo Artist

Presented by Wayne Coyne. Nominees:

  • Antony and the Johnsons
  • James Blunt
  • Ian Brown
  • Robbie Williams
  • Will Young

Winner: James Blunt

Best British Female Solo Artist

Presented by Jo Whiley. Nominees:

  • Natasha Bedingfield
  • Kate Bush
  • Charlotte Church
  • Katie Melua
  • KT Tunstall

Winner: KT Tunstall

Best British Group

Presented by Blondie‘s Debbie Harry. Nominees:

  • Coldplay
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Gorillaz
  • Hard-Fi
  • Kaiser Chiefs

Winner: Kaiser Chiefs

Best British Breakthrough Act

Presented by Chris O’Dowd. Nominees:

  • Arctic Monkeys
  • James Blunt
  • Kaiser Chiefs
  • The Magic Numbers
  • KT Tunstall

Winner: Arctic Monkeys

Best British Rock Act

Presented by Tamsin Greig. Nominees:

  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Hard-Fi
  • Kaiser Chiefs
  • Kasabian
  • Oasis

Winner: Kaiser Chiefs

Best British Urban Act

Nominees:

  • Craig David
  • Dizzee Rascal
  • Kano
  • Lemar
  • Ms. Dynamite

Winner: Lemar

Best British Live Act

Presented by Thandie Newton. Nominees:

  • Coldplay
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Kaiser Chiefs
  • Oasis
  • KT Tunstall

Winner: Kaiser Chiefs

Best Pop Act

Presented by Harry Hill. Nominees:

  • James Blunt
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Madonna
  • Katie Melua
  • Westlife

Winner: James Blunt

Best International Album

Presented by Paris Hilton. Nominees:

  • Arcade Fire – Funeral
  • Green Day – American Idiot
  • Madonna – Confessions on a Dancefloor
  • U2 – How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
  • Kanye West – Late Registration

Winner: Green Day

Best International Male Solo Artist

Presented by Boy George. Nominees:

  • Beck
  • Jack Johnson
  • John Legend
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Kanye West

Winner: Kanye West

Best International Female Solo Artist

Presented by Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys. Nominees:

  • Björk
  • Mariah Carey
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Missy Elliott
  • Madonna

Winner: Madonna

Best International Group

Nominees:

  • Arcade Fire
  • The Black Eyed Peas
  • Green Day
  • U2
  • The White Stripes

Winner: Green Day

Best International Breakthrough Act

Presented by Beth Orton. Nominees:

  • Arcade Fire
  • Jack Johnson
  • John Legend
  • Daniel Powter
  • The Pussycat Dolls

Winner: Jack Johnson

Outstanding Contribution to Music

Presented by Ray Winstone.

Winner: Paul Weller

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

The All Seeing I – Pickled Eggs & Sherbet

We all have music which we know we love, but somehow inexplicably we forget about and neglect for years on end. Pickled Eggs & Sherbet is probably the best example for me. When it originally came out back in 1999 I knew I loved Walk Like a Panther and 1st Man in Space, but somehow I didn’t buy it at the time. Intermittently in the intervening years I’ve

Pickled Eggs & Sherbet opens with top ten single Walk Like a Panther, with Tony Christie‘s brilliant vocal. Even the first line harks back to Christie’s Show Me the Way to Amarillo, with its references to the outcome of his relationship with Marie. The song is co-written by Jarvis Cocker out of The 1990s, and the outcome is truly wonderful.

Walk Like a Panther mixes into No Return which introduces one of the most enormous bass sounds on any song ever. Beat Goes On follows, the first commercial hit for the group, which just missed out on a top ten placing in early 1998. It’s a great cover version of Sonny and Cher‘s 1967 single, and was justifiably a significantly bigger hit in the UK too. Interestingly you’ll also find The All Seeing I‘s production of this song but with a slightly different vocal tucked away at the end of Britney Spears‘s debut album …Baby One More Time.

There are nominally thirteen tracks (plus a couple of sneaky extra ones hiding at the end too), and every one of them has a slightly grimy northern sound which works in their favour and makes them somewhat timeless. The more ‘pop’ tracks and singles are interspersed with fun instrumentals of varying lengths.

Finally the third full single 1st Man in Space turns up with its excellent vocal from Phil Oakey. Backed, unusually for Phil, by flanged guitars, and with the ingenious lyrics, there’s a very obvious sixties feel. As with most of the vocal-based tracks, this is another Jarvis Cocker lyric, making you dream of the day of the first Yorkshire astronaut (the first Yorkshireman in space wouldn’t be until Nicholas Patrick in 2006, although Piers Sellers was a University of Leeds graduate and had visited space ten years earlier).

It quickly becomes apparent that Sheffield has a massive influence on this album. The vast majority of contributors are from the steel city, from The Human League‘s Phil Oakey to Tony ChristiePulp‘s Jarvis Cocker, Babybird‘s Stephen Jones, the band themselves who would later evolve into I Monster, and I’m sure the list could go on.

Cocker finally turns up for his own vocal on the brilliant Drive Safely Darlin’, just before Tony Christie returns for what is, in my opinion, the best track on the entire album, the swing-inspired Stars on Sunday. You can hear a lot of early I Monster on this track, but once again it’s Christie’s vocal which makes it so wonderful.

This is a deceptive album, in a way. Somehow I suspect it would be easy to miss the better songs hiding on here and just take it all to be dull and samey. But it’s worth making the extra effort and working to find what you’re looking for on here, as there are plenty of great tracks.

Happy Birthday Nicola, the third outing for Tony Christie, is a great example, turning up as it does just before the end. There’s something rather sinister about it, as Tony sings “If we’d used some contraception / I wouldn’t be here, and you wouldn’t be you,” and maybe I should leave the rest of the lyrics for you to work out for yourself, but it’s a great song. I can’t help but feel slightly that Jarvis Cocker was raiding Christie’s back catalogue again for inspiration (he sang Happy Birthday Baby back in the 1970s).

Unpredictably and unnoticeably the song mixes into Babybird‘s vocal on Plastic Diamond, and I have no idea whether the segue is solely there for aural reasons or whether it’s somehow supposed to be part of the same story. But, secret hidden material aside, that finally brings the album to a close, and a quite fantastic album it is too.

Unfortunately Pickled Eggs & Sherbet is only currently available second hand, so I’ll leave you to work out whether you prefer to buy through Amazon, Discogs, eBay, Gemm, or wherever else.