Surprising appearances of Walking Dead stars

If you’re a fan of The Waking Dead, you’ll have grown to love the characters and their actors over a seven series story that has drawn us in and kept us going back for more.

That’s why it’s always so unusual when you see one of them appear in a different show or film. We’ve all seen Merle in Guardians of the Galaxy, but what are the weirder appearances? The ones you may have missed.

Here’s a list to get you started.

Norman Reedus (Darryl) as Jeremy in Mimic

A very brief appearance in Guillermo Del Torro’s ‘Mimic’. In fact, the above scene is the entire appearance. Great film though.

Lauren Cohan (Maggie) as Charlotte Higginson in Van Wilder 2

Terrible film, surprisingly good English accent.

Melissa McBride (Carol) selling Nexus Perms in 1994

Getting some practice in early for her fake nice Carol I seasons 6 and 7.

Lennie James (Mogan) in Lost in Space (1998)

Unforgettable film, unforgettable performance, but fun nonetheless.

Scott Wilson (Hershel) in In The Heat of the Night

I don’t think many people would make the link between the above scene and Hershel Greene. But there’s Sydney Poitier interrogating Wilson in 1967 when he was just 25 years old.

Andrew Lincoln in Teachers

This video compilation pretty much sums the whole show. Well worth seeking out.

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Best Albums 2016

Here’s a quick list of my favourite albums of 2016. In no particular order, although I suspect Gregory Porter edges it in terms of listens for the year, closely followed by Mr Bowie.

David Bowie – Blackstar

Gregory Porter – Take Me To The Alley

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

Travis – Everything at Once

Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein – Stranger Things Vol. 1

Michael Kiwanuka – Love and Hate

Takatsugu Muramatsu – When Marnie Was There Soundtrack Music Collection

Ed Harcourt – Furnaces

Musical Mistakes #02 – U Krazy Kats

One of the things that sticks out from my childhood is my constant bickering with my brother over who got priority on the much-coveted cassette player in our parents’ cars. My brother had hatched a well-thought-out plan by feigning travel sickness, which for years meant he automatically got to sit in the front seat, no questions asked. He had a massive advantage that was difficult to compete with.

Fortunately, we ran a democracy and our mum and dad did their best to make sure we had a fair stab at selecting the music to soundtrack our long journeys around the UK to various family members.

One particular occasion that sticks out was when we were on holiday in Perth in Scotland. We visited a local record store. I’m going to guess it was Concorde, but I’m not 100%. Our two musical choices were actually released on the same week, though if my memory serves me correctly this would have been the following summer. My brother’s musical purchase that day was the seminal Oasis album “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?”, an album that has cemented itself as one of the greatest of all time, certainly a high point for music in the Britpop era and one that, for my then 12-year-old brother, has proved to be an early indication that he knew what he was talking about.

My purchase that day was PJ and Duncan’s less-than-seminal “U Krazy Katz“, a cassette single that by the time we were in the shop was a bargain at just 29p. 

Needless to say, the history books proved me to be wrong that day in Perth, but my parents did the fair thing and gave us equal billing on the cassette player. Even if it was probably the wrong thing to do.

Musical Mistakes #01 – Football Anthems

As we fast approach the big England v Wales game in the UK, I have a confession to make. I am now the proud owner of a copy of the latest Manic Street Preachers single, “Together Stronger (C’Mon Wales)”, which is the Welsh national team’s anthem for the Euro 2016 football tournament currently making headlines for all the wrong reasons across Europe. For those outside Europe, it might not be obvious how wrong this is for a Englishman, especially when England have been drawn in the same group as Wales. Big rivals, never played each other in a major tournament before, must win match for both.

Hear me out, I have mitigating circumstances. Firstly, there was a signed copy available on the Manics’ website. Secondly, there’s an exclusive remix of “A Design For Life” as the b-side. Thirdly, it’s actually a very good song, especially for a football anthem. That said, there is something distinctly uncool about owning a football anthem, especially one for a rival team, but it’s something I’ll have to learn to live with.

This doesn’t quite compare to something similar that happened to me in 1996. As a newly-discovered supporter of Manchester United, I distinctly remember being stood in the big Woolworths in Burnley, pocket money in hand, staring at two potential musical purchases. It was always a tough decision – I got £2 a week and so I usually only had the ability to buy one single a week at the most. I had to get the decision right to ensure I had something enriching to listen to for the next week or so.

The first option was the official FA Cup Final single released by the Manchester United squad. Its name? “Move Move Move (The Red Tribe)”. It was utter tripe, but had the sole benefit of being the song from the team I supported.

Sat right next to this abomination was the FA Cup Final single released by the Liverpool squad. In hindsight, this was also utter tripe, though marginally less tripy than United’s effort. It was titled “Pass and Move (It’s The Liverpool Groove)”. Bracketed song titles were very popular back in the mid-90s, as were rapping footballers

I faced a tough decision, but it was one I found a way out of. I couldn’t afford both on CD single so I bought Liverpool on CD single and United on cassette. The utter shame. Two terrible songs entering my music collection, plus a betrayal of my team to go with it.

So maybe this Wales incident won’t be looked back on with such embarrassment. I guess much of that will depend on the result on Thursday afternoon.

The Music of the Walking Dead

One of the standout elements of The Walking Dead throughout the every series has been the music. Whether it is incidental orchestral music or one of the eclectic choices of alternative rock, there is ample scope to discover new music by keeping your ears out whilst watching.

Jamie N Commons – “Take Me Home”

Perhaps the most memorable track is the Jamie N Commons song “Lead Me Home”. It played over the end of episode 12 of season 3 – “Clear” – as Michone and Rick drive back to the prison after a failed attempt at taking Morgan back there with them. This is quality blues music and the raspy vocals perfectly fit the scene.

Nine Inch Nails – “Somewhat Damaged”

The perfect song for an angry family mourning the death of a beloved relative whilst deciding whether or not to seek revenge for the death, Nine Inch Nails track “Somewhat Damaged” was a genius choice. It featured at the start of the penultimate episode of season 5 – “Try” – and completely altered the mood of the episode. If you aren’t having a great day, why not try to listen to this on full blast?

Emily Kinney – “Hold On”

Wait, is The Walking Dead actually a musical? For this brief moment, it sort of was. Emily Kinney is a singer in her own right and this brief scene allowed her to showcase her talent. Admittedly, it does feel a little wedged in, a platform to promote her album, but when it sounds this good do we care? It’s a beautiful rendition of an excellent Tom Waits song, which fades out to let the main man perform the end of the song over the end credits.

How to Buy

There are a few official The Walking Dead CDs out there, the best of which is titled The Walking Dead Original Soundtrack Vol. 1. Before you rush off to buy it, however, it’s worth noting there are only eight songs on it. You may consider the second release The Walking Dead Original Soundtrack Vol. 2, but that is even worse with just five songs on it. Or you could try the Global Stage Orchestra doing covers of The Walking Dead songs, though they don’t seem overly accurate. My recommendation is that you seek out the individual artists’ respective releases and see if you like other tracks by them before buying.

Film review – Elvis Costello: Mystery Dance (Mark Kidel, 2013)

I’ll throw it out there – I’m a huge, huge Elvis Costello fan. I can’t pinpoint an incident that served as a catalyst to get into him. As a 30-year-old Brit, the only major hit of his I remember is the Charles Aznavour cover “She” from the Notting Hill soundtrack, which, I think it’s fair to say, probably isn’t a great representation of his fantastic and varied body of work. Yet somehow the songs seeped into my psyche and I now rate him as one of my favourite artists.

This documentary serves as a biography of sorts, albeit potted around some key periods of Costello’s life. Aspects covered include his upbringing, his hometown, the politics of his lyrics and a small selection of his songs. Some huge guests are interviewed, including Paul McCartney, Mark Ellen and Nick Lowe.

Each element that is picked out is tended to perfectly. In particular, the collaborations with Paul McCartney really ignited my enthusiasm to seek out more information. Kidel has managed to get all this contributors to talk really enthusiastically about their part in the Elvis Costello journey and I as a viewer found myself swept along with it.

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Unfortunately, the documentary length doesn’t allow too much delving into each topic, whilst the shear bredth of his career means that a lot of his life is skipped over. It’s an impossible balance to achieve because his life and background are both so interesting, and perhaps his story is instead worthy of a series. Or perhaps that’s just the inner fan getting the better of me and I should just make do with what I’ve got.

The one lasting impression you get after watching this film is that Elvis Costello is overly enthusiastic about everything he has done. Be it having a string of top 10 albums, releasing an album of jazz soul music with Allen Toussaint, collaborating with one of the greatest songwriters of all time or creating an ill-received classical string album with The Brodsky Quartet, he has continually done so enthusiastically and been hugely successful in a variety of ways with every genre he has tried his hand at.

If you’re willing to be enthused by one of Britain’s greatest ever songwriters then check this out. Otherwise, the limited storytelling might have you searching for a biography that has a bit more detail.

Elvis Costello: Mystery Dance is available on the BBC iPlayer in the UK until 20th November 2014.