With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Newen Afrobeat – The Crescent, York – Wednesday 18th May 2022 May 25, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:05 pm
Tags: , , ,

I had been looking forward to this gig for a while and it was one of those occasional shows where my Catwoman (a.k.a. my wonderful wife Catherine) joined me. Why does she only come to some? well my taste is ridiculously eclectic, while Catwoman has great taste it is not as wide as mine, so I would never take her to a punk or metal show. But enough of us we were here at the mighty Crescent in York to witness Newen Afrobeat in the flesh. On paper, a Chilean band playing Afrobeat doesn’t sound right, but who cares about paper, on stage, they were something stratospherically special. A combination of Latin rhythms and beats combined with the kind of Afrobeats forged by the late great Fela Kuti was mesmerising and I am pretty sure everyone in the crowd was on their feet for the whole set. At one point there were at least thirteen band members on stage, I don’t think I have ever seen that many people on the Crescent stage! There were drums, percussion, guitars, keyboards, amazing brass, and two incredibly energetic singers who frankly danced the rest of us off the floor!

The band kicked off with an instrumental track before the two singers bounded on stage and upped the already high energy level even more. Their original material is incredible and their covers of Fela Kuti songs are played in such a way that the tunes are taken to another level completely. I have been listening to their ‘Newen Plays Fela’ EPs and they do absolute justice to the master but the live versions are blisteringly good. “Zombie” was an absolutely immaculate performance! Newen Afrobeat has played some huge festivals, including Felabration in Lagos, but seeing a band this good in such an intimate setting makes it a mind-blowing experience. They were joined on stage by a true giant of Afrobeat, Dele Sosimi, for a few songs. Who would have thought that they could sound even better, but they did when Sosimi joined them. I heard on good authority that the band and Sosimi went to Young Thugs Studio in York the next day to record together. I am looking forward to that stuff! The band has quite a few dates left on their European Tour (check the tour poster at the top of this post). If you can get to any of them you really should, this is a band that I suspect could never disappoint even if they tried. Next time they are in my neck of the woods I will be there!

All pictures, except the tour poster, were taken by me using my very cheap Chinese Android phone. The videos were found on YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be removed please let me know.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

Mayhem Virgins – Astoria May 24, 2022

Filed under: Mayhem Virgins — justwilliam1959 @ 11:28 am
Tags: , , , , ,

This is the sixteenth in our Mayhem Virgins series and it features Leeds band Astoria. The band is made up of Vinnie Smith on vox and lead guitar, Luke Etchells on rhythm guitar, Alex Mawson on bass, and sticksman George Grady. They released their first single “Where The Light Lives” in May 2021. It has been described as an alt.rock ballad and it certainly has those qualities. Above that, it is a very open, emotional, and soulful tune. There are not many rock songs that bring a tear to my eyes, but this one does. The band says that the song “was intended as a love letter to a friend, although written years too late“. It sounds like there is a whole gamut of emotions driving its creation. Follow up release, also from last year, was “The Snow”, coupled with what in the olden days would have been a b-side “(Don’t) Turn Around”. Astoria sound like a band that really knows where they are and where they want to go. “The Snow” is an anthemic rock track that is cinematic in scope Vinnie’s vocals are stunning here and the riffs are huge. Meanwhile, I think the rhythm section is on fire. This is probably my favourite Astoria track at the moment. “(Don’t) Turn Around” sounds rougher and harder than their other tunes, like Cast taking a shot at metal. This is a band for the 21st Century, one that may help to see us through troubled times. I can hear in them the potential to become one of Yorkshire’s finest rock bands, maybe even one of the UK’s greatest bands! You can catch them headlining live at the Lending Room in Leeds on Friday 15th July, click here for tickets.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

Professor Elemental – Fulford Arms, York – Sunday 15th May 2022 May 17, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:35 am
Tags: , , ,

This was not a bad-sized crowd considering it was a Sunday night and I reckon everyone in the Fulford Arms enjoyed tonight’s gig, including the wonderful staff that always give the venue an extra pinch of music fairy dust! Interestingly there were no instruments on stage and while that might seem strange when you read about the performances you will see that it really didn’t matter. To be fair a couple of instruments, a Keytar and a recorder did make appearances later. First up was Matty Groove from Leeds who beatboxes like no one I have ever heard before. He is a true beatbox genius. How does someone develop a talent like that? He did techno, drum & bass, and a great take on “No Limits” the 1993 hit from 2 Unlimited. At one point he had five different noises going on at the same time. His Spotify bio simply says “i speak the groove and sample my mouth” and in a nutshell that is what he does, awesome!

Matty Groove

Next, it was A Short Dark Stranger, is he a musician, a performer, an entertainer, a full-on electro lounge singer, or a comedian? Yes to all of those actually! This really was a full-on performance by Mr. Stranger. Well, don’t expect me to give away his secret identity! Anyone who hates the Tories is a good person in my opinion and in at least two of his songs “The World Will Give You Cancer” and “Even Sharks Can Smile” are wonderfully witty and biting in their anti-establishment lyrics. “Pale Blue Dot” based on Carl Sagan’s observation of the insignificance of our planet was great. But perhaps my favourite for which the Keytar came out was “Hindenberg”, a song about the doomed dirigible in the style of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD). He even threw in the synth riff from “Enola Gay” at one point. I can’t pick out the reason, but at times I was reminded of Har Mar Superstar. I definitely hope to see A Short Dark Stranger again sometime.

A Short Dark Stranger

Finally, it was time for tonight’s headliner Professor Elemental. I knew this would be a good show for many reasons: people recommended it, I have listened to some of his stuff online, and he has comics and tea on his merch table. What other acts have that kind of merch? Dressed in his ubiquitous stage clothes of safari style suit and pith helmet, but this time in a rainbow style, Professor Elemental was keen to make this a really feel-good, happy show and he succeeded and in fact overachieved on that score. The costume was that of one of the great lost characters that should have appeared in that bloody awful remake of ‘Jumanji’. There is no one quite like Professor Elemental, certainly no rapper more totally old school English. The Wall Street Journal described him as “Chap hop’s leading exponent”. He has a huge following in the steampunk community and it is easy to see why. But that is not exclusive, there were clearly fans of all genres of music in attendance judging by the t-shirts being worn in the crowd. There are some great songs in his repertoire, I loved “Noise” during which the crowd kept Susan The Unicorn aloft for the whole track. She had been inflated with whimsy don’t you know! The sleazy businessman costume change for the businessman song was sublime satire. Then there was the amazing off-the-cuff rap accompanied by more amazing beats from Matty Groove. “All In Together” was another great tune that the Professor dedicated to the Fulford Arms team and all the punters. Audience participation was 110% throughout, every one of us did exactly what the Professor asked of us. You need to see Professor Elemental live, you will not be disappointed!

All pictures, except the gig poster, were taken by me using my very cheap Chinese Android phone. The videos were found on YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be removed please let me know.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

Shezza’s Leaving Do – Fulford Arms, York – Saturday 7th May 2022 May 16, 2022


It took a while but Shezza’s Leaving Do finally arrived and it was shaping up to be really special. For anyone of my regular readers who has no idea who Shezza is he is one of the founders of York’s wonderful music venue the Fulford Arms. His real name is Chris Sherrington and he is moving on to do a whole range of other things including working for the Music venues Trust. If you don’t know who Chris is Brad from one of the bands on the bill at this show, the Howl and the Hum described him like this on social media “Chris is a rare kind of creature. A sort that I particularly love as a monomaniacal obsessive within the music industry. He has dedicated himself to music in a way that few do. People usually think about the bands (for good reason), but without people like Chris, bands can’t exist. He’s the good side of the ‘industry’. He has turned the Fulford Arms from a waining pub into a truly great music venue. It fills a special gap as a venue that I’d imagine is hard to maintain financially. It is small enough for your first gig but big enough for almost anyone to play on the right night. It sounds amazing, the lights are great, it has a dressing room, a shower, more than one toilet (including one in a wardrobe), a great bar with wonderful staff, and brilliant sound engineers. This didn’t happen by accident. It happens when people care. It happens when people dedicate themselves for years to a space and don’t give up. Not many do it. They don’t have the guts, and they’re not stupid enough to doggedly stay in music until things eventually work out. We are lucky in York to have a few people like this, all of which mean our band still exist. Chris by no means did all this alone, the whole team is amazing of course” I don’t think anyone could have said it better! Thank you Brad but absolutely huge thanks to Chris!

Trueman And The Indoor League

It was an early start and sadly I missed Chris Sherrington performing with Petrol Hoers who according to their social media play digital horsecore. But I did get to see Chris as the set ended and now I probably need therapy! He was wearing pants and an animal mask (Zebra I think) as was his partner in Petrol Hoers crime. I definitely need to see them play at some time though. After that, it was time for a band that I have now seen six times, including on the date that was originally scheduled as Shezza’s Leaving Do. For me, one mark of a good band is a band that enjoys themselves on stage and this lot clearly does. Bearing in mind Trueman was suffering from an eye infection and went off to hospital straight after their set this was still an awesome set. The saga of the broken g string (you probably had to be there) was superb performance art! The new tune “Judas The Messiah” is one of the band’s best songs to date. Was there really a Frankie Valli and Postman Pat reference in there or did my ears deceive me? “Playstation Dreaming” without guitar was pure and classic Trueman. Can this bunch be the UK performers at next years Eurovision, please? (I did write that note on the night and therefore well in advance of Sam Ryder’s epic showing on May 14th).

The Howl And The Hum

The Howl And The Hum played two sets and the first was billed as a “normal” set, more of their second set later. But for this one, it was a classic outing for probably the greatest band ever to arise from my adopted city, York and the competition is fierce too. The highlights for me were “Hostages” and “The Only Boy Racer Left On The Island”, the latter was eloquently dedicated to Mr. Sherrington. Every one of the band was playing at 110% tonight and it showed. Do they usually have support from a backing vocalist? I am not sure, but bloody hell it worked, she was great. For a band that describes themselves as “a miserable disco who write Bond themes” the comment about playing at Chris Sherrington’s wake was classy comedy. Next, it was the wonderfully named Pat Butcher, a real 21st Century punk powerhouse of a band who write incendiary modern-day stories, just like the Bards of old, but with added sonic assault. If Samuel Pepys was around today I am sure who would be writing stuff like “Race Day Wankers”. Is this one of the best, and truest, songs about York and probably any other city that hosts big horse race meetings? They have songs about nosy neighbours, angle grinders, and council workers to name just a few subjects. The guitarist is like a satanic cross between Angus Young and Kevin the Teenager and he fuels the songs stupendously. Is this the first band ever to use a mandolin in a punk style? (That was a mandolin, right?). In the most true sense of the phrase, this band really is 4 REAL!

Pat Butcher

Flat Cap Carnival is another band that I had not seen before tonight. How the hell would all of them fit on the Fully Arm’s intimate stage? I’m not sure, but they did. Who knew York could do Latin music so well? This abundantly talented 7-piece is an incredible party band that it is impossible not to shake your arse to. Their original songs are perfect, but their covers take them to another universe completely. “All That She Wants”, “Careless Whisper” and “Spice Up Your Life” were masterclasses in how to cover a song. They made each one their own and allegedly Chris Sherrington requested the Spice Girls cover. Their social media tag describes them as “a Latin-infused Skanival band from York. Dancing is compulsory.” I definitely can’t argue with that! Now it was time for the second set of the evening from the Howl And The Hum, described on the bill as a party set. How would these self-confessed purveyors of miserable disco perform a party set we all wondered? Singer and frontman Sam did ask for forgiveness before they started, but frankly, forgiveness is not required. This was a covers set like no other and it proves that this is a band who could turn their hands to anything. Kicking off with a stomping “Highway To Hell” the band mesmerised the audience and we were all up for a party. they followed with a funky version of Prince’s “Kiss” which for me took the song back from that awful Tom Jones version of it from a few years back. They did a marvellous cover of Jone’s “Delilah” later in the set too. “Psycho Killer” was very special indeed and if you shut your eyes you could imagine it was Talking Heads playing in a small sweaty venue. “These Boots Are Made For Walking” works so well when performed by a rock band, the mighty Avalanche Party used to include that in their set back in the day. My least favourite song ever is probably Robbie Williams’ “Angels” and to be fair the Howl And The Hum even made that sound ok. Although it was a covers party set the band closed with one of their own songs, the sublime “Godmanchester Chinese Bridge”. A second set from such a great band was a fine way to end a really great night.

Flatcap Carnival

It was great to run into so many people from the York music scene on the night too. Including band members, even those not on the bill, venue owners and managers, promoters, photographers, sound engineers and far too many to mention by name. But a truly wonderful bunch of people that make support York’s amazing music scene. Chris will be missed by the Fulford Arms but he will continue to do great things with the Music Venues Trust. To paraphrase Abba, Thank You For The Music, Chris and good luck with whatever you do next!

All pictures were taken by me on my cheap Chinese Android phone. The videos were found on YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be removed please let me know.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.


 

The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Song Chart – April 2022 May 9, 2022

Filed under: Mayhem Top 20 Chart — justwilliam1959 @ 8:00 pm

Are you ready for the second Mayhem Top 20 Song Chart We promised you this in the last Artist Top 20 and here it is! The inaugural Mayhem Top 20 Song chart. This month’s number one is a band that reached number 4 in the Mayhem Artist Chart for April 2022, but with their song “It’s Been A Pleasure” the Hazy Janes make it right to the top of the pile! There are a lot more oldies in this months chart, including Roxy Music and Gene. To complement those appearances Roxy frontman Bryan Ferry makes it to number 4 with his dark, brooding cover of Dusty Springfield’s 60s hit “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” and former Gene drummer and co-writer Matt James makes the top ten with his “Born To Rule” single. Ukraine is represented by two songs, so I guess this months chart is at least a bit topical. The oldest release on the list is “Something In The Air”, a 1969 UK number one from Thunderclap Newman at number 11. Eight of the artists who featured in the Mayhem Top 20 Artist chart for April also feature on this list. We would love to hear your thoughts on the Mayhem Song Top 20 Chart as we hope to make it a regular feature. Check out the complete list below.

1 It’s Been A Pleasure – Hazy Janes
2 Everybody Was Rockin’ – Betty Wright
3 Easy Skanking – Bob Marley & The Wailers
4 I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself – Bryan Ferry
5 Zvidky Vy – The Ukrainians
6 Someone Saved My Life Tonight – Elton John
7 Masterpiece – Motionless In White
8 Brand New Start – Paul Weller
9 Born To Rule – Matt James
10 You Me And Everything – Friendmaker
11 Something In The Air – Thunderclap Newman
12 Do The Strand – Roxy Music
13 Out Here – Muda
14 Big Boy (Live) – Dana Gillespie
15 Fantastic Voyage – David Bowie
16 Demons (Radio Edit) – 10 Guage
17 Laura – Third Lung
18 Mercy – French The Kid
19 For The Dead (Live) – Gene
20 Ukrainian National Anthem In Dub – Jah Wobble & the Ukrainians

We love our readers so much we have even created a Spotify Playlist of the Mayhem Song Top 20 for April 2022. Click here to give it a spin!

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

Play It Again Mayhem – “I Was Only Joking” – Rod Stewart May 5, 2022

Filed under: Play It Again Mayhem — justwilliam1959 @ 9:15 pm
Tags: ,

This is the twelfth song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began back in 2020. Check out the previous entries along with this new one in the Play It Again Mayhem Spotify Playlist, click here to take a listen! Once again this one goes back to the 70s, which remains my favourite era for music. In fact, 75% of the Play It Again Mayhem songs are from the 1970s so far. This track is, in my opinion, one of Rod Stewart’s greatest songs. It comes from his 1977 album ‘Footloose And Fancy Free’ and reached number 5 on the UK charts when it was released as a double A-Side single (paired with “Hot Legs”) that same year. Rod wrote the song with Gary Grainger and the song really feels like some kind of autobiographical lyric. I think it was probably the lyrics that first drew me to the song and it is the Rod Stewart song that I play more than any other. I have copied the lyrics below and those lines in the gold font are the lines that summed up so many things in my own youth, particularly the second verse.

Ever since I was a kid at school
I messed around with all the rules

Apologised then realised
I’m not different after all

Me and the boys thought we had it sussed
Valentinos all of us
My dad said we looked ridiculous
But boy, we broke some hearts

In and out of jobs, running free
Waging war with society
Dumb blank faces stare back at me
But nothing ever changed

Promises made in the heat of the night
Creeping home before it got too light
I wasted all that precious time
And blamed it on the wine

I was only joking my dear (my dear)
Looking for a way to hide my fear (my fear)
What kind of fool was I? (Was I)
I could never win (never win)

Never found a compromise
Collected lovers like butterflies
Illusions of that grand first prize
Are slowly wearing thin

Susie, baby, you were good to me
Giving love unselfishly
But you took it all too seriously
I guess it had to end

I was only joking my dear (my dear)
Looking for a way to hide my fear (my fear)
What kind of fool was I? (Was I)
I could never win (never win)

Yeah baby, whoa

Now you ask me if I’m sincere
That’s the question that I always fear
Verse seven is never clear
But I’ll tell you what you wanna hear

I try to give you all you want
But giving love is not my strongest point
If that’s the case it’s pointless going on
I’d rather be alone

‘Cause what I’m doing must be wrong
Pouring my heart out in a song
Owning up for prosperity
For the whole damn world to see

Quietly now while I turn a page
Act one is over without costume change
The principal would like to leave the stage
The crowd don’t understand”

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

‘What You Are’ – Skylights


The anticipation for the debut Skylights has been huge for a long while now. The band has slogged their way onwards and upwards to the point where they are selling out shows as far afield as Scotland and Ireland. They are clearly outperforming their beloved Leeds United too. As Leeds head for the Championship Skylights are heading to the top of the Premier League! Will this album cement them in the classic UK rock mantle? I think it might. The record kicks off with “Outlaw”, a mighty powerful statement indeed and in my opinion their finest single so far. What better way to kick off an album than with an absolute banger. It features Turnbull’s finest riffs to date and Rob’s vocal oozes a heady passion. “Nothing Left To Say” drops the intensity very, very slightly, but the sweeping chorus and haunting backing vocals from Jonny more than compensate. The guitar screams like a banshee on heat and Jonny’s bass would register on the Richter scale. “What You Are” makes it three anthems in a row. Then comes “Britannia” which doesn’t let up, Myles’ drumming is reminiscent of early Public Image Limited and drives the tunes, ultimately positive and hopeful, lyrics.

The acoustic take on “Darkness Falls” brings the power level down a little and is a truly sublime ballad. The string arrangements are classy and enhance the already great track. This is the band’s most complete and beautiful lyrics in my opinion. Rob’s voice has a yearning, soulful feel to it and you really do believe he is sorry as the words say. If you like post-punk “Enemies” has that kind of feel and once again features a riff-fest with the might of a neutron bomb. Just over halfway through the tune has a stupendous psychedelic feel and the chorus won’t let you go. “Breaking outta school cos we were high, Kicking down doors just a you and I, Enemies they’ve got to know, Dream those dreams don’t let ’em go” These lads have never let their dreams go and this album proves it. Next is perhaps the one Skylights track that everyone is surely familiar with, “YRA”. It is always a true highlight of their live set and it shows how far the band has grown when you consider that this great tune is not even close to being the best on the album.

“Lifeline” opens with the couplet, “I’m in the mood, I’m in the mood for grooving” and this is the Skylights track that is crying out for a warped dance mix, someone like the Chemical Brothers would blow this one out of the sky. It is already a force 10 funk gale with titanic tornado riffs. The whole band are on fire with “Take Me Somewhere” which is reminiscent of Green Day’s “When September Ends”, albeit a little faster. The album closes with “Driving Me Away” which has a Beatlesesque feel in the production and orchestration and shows just how versatile this band can be. Some versions of the release will include a commentary from Rob and Turnbull on all the tracks and they add a nice curio to the whole thing, although I think only Skylights fanatics will listen to them regularly. The album is an absolutely superb debut and without doubt a contender for album of the year! The vinyl and CD version of the album is out on 6th May and the digital release follows a week later. “Driving Me Away” will be the band’s next single and that comes out on 6th May. All on the rather splendid 42’s Records.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – April 2022 May 3, 2022

Filed under: Mayhem Top 20 Chart — justwilliam1959 @ 10:20 pm

Here we go with the Mayhem Artist Top 20 chart for April 2022. Many of you know that I am a keen user of a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I achieved a level of only 95% more obscure than other users in the UK this month, down from 100% last month. Regular readers will know that it also lists my most obscure artists, (two of which had been there since I began doing these posts, although for the first time ever Woke Up Dead and Promethium are not on that list! Sorry chaps) which currently are;

Gene (The best British band of the Britpop era in my opinion)

Martin Rossiter (Lead singer of the best British band of the Britpop era. You can tell what I’ve been listening to this month, can’t you?)

Hazy Janes (In your face like a two-man Led Zep, a great band from Halifax)

Vaquelin (One of York’s finest young bands. Check out the video for their rather wonderful single “Iridescent Street Lights” below)

Blue Rondo á la Turk (Would you believe that it was reading Johnny Marr’s autobiography ‘Set The Boy Free’ that got me listening to these early 80s salsa, pop, jazzateers!)

Incidentally, four of those obscure artists feature in the artist top 10 for April.

As for the April Top 20, only Dame David remains from the last chart, but he has been there pretty much all the time. Other classic artists include Elton John, Roxy Music, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, and Abba. There are quite a few appearances from artists that have never appeared before including TV Girl, the Ukrainians, French The Kid, and Peach Pit. Sitting at number 11 is possibly one of the finest UK bands around at present, the Howl and the Hum, from my adopted city of York. The astute among you may have noticed a young man named Harry Styles at number 14. I can sense you thinking, what is that Styles bloke doing in the Mayhem chart? Well, I am out of the closet on Harry Styles, he is a hugely talented artist and I bloody love his music! I would love to hear your thoughts on this chart. Oh and keep your eyes open for the second Mayhem Monthly Song Chart, just like an old-school top 20 singles chart! That one includes songs by a few of the artists featured in the April Artist Chart.

1 David Bowie
2 Elton John
3 Gene
4 Hazy Janes
5 Ukrainians
6 Roxy Music
7 Bob Marley & The Wailers
8 Wet Leg
9 Marvin Gaye
10 Blue Rondo a la Turk
11 The Howl and the Hum
12 French The Kid
13 Dana Gillespie
14 Harry Styles
15 Cigarettes After Sex
16 Peach Pit
17 Lana Del Ray
18 TV Girl
19 Martin Rossiter
20 Abba

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.
 

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2022 Part 3


This is the third singles round-up of 2022 which includes ten great songs released earlier in the year (yes we are still catching up!) from a group of artists from all over the world. Reading, New York (via Montreal), Buckinghamshire, Ireland (two of them), Berlin, Manchester, Hull, Canada and London. I think only Head Ballet have appeared on these pages before and while the rest are new to us I am 100% confident that their first appearance will not be their last appearance. It was also rather spooky and random that the artists at 9th and 10th in this list actually have 9 and 10 in their names, freaky huh?

“Laura” – Third Lung

This excellent track from Reading’s Third Lung reminds me of U2 at their best with its immense, soaring Bonoesque vocal and a barrage of riffs all underpinned by a huge rhythm section. Can someone let Third Lung play a set at Red Rocks please?

“I Was Made For Loving You” – Karine Hannah

Karine Hannah takes the classic Kiss power ballad and turns it into a steamy, sultry torch song. A truly magnificent cover version.

“Born To Rule” – Matt James

Matt James was the drummer and co-songwriter with one of the greatest British bands of the 90s, Gene. He left the music business for a while, but now he is back and based on this track, very much on form. This Latin-tinged, brass-driven beauty rolls over your ears nicely and bodes well for his first solo album, produced by Stephen Street, which will be out later this year.

“When I’m Not Awake I’m Dreaming Of You” – lullahush

This track from Ireland’s lullahush is, I suppose, electronica but a kind of dreamy, chilled, and at the same time dancey type of electronica. Vocally there is a folk-like element, which reminded me of Jon Marsh of the Beloved and the synth patterns are otherworldly, which maybe fits the dream subject perfectly. I love the contrasting female vocals towards the end.

“You, Me And Everything Else” – Friendmaker

This starts out as a soft lament and builds into a beautifully orchestrated crescendo, which evokes some of the great choruses produced by Semisonic back in the day. David Marron’s vocal performance is sublime and contains great emotional depth.

“Distant Shouts” – Donkey Kid

Berlin’s Donkey Kid’s songwriting for me compares lyrically, on this track at least, with Mike Skinner. But musically it has shades of some of the best alternative electro sounds from the early 80s. The sort of tracks that John Peel would have championed. I am now most definitely a Donkey Kid fan!

“To Know Yours” – Head Ballet

Supremely talented electro pop duo from Manchester Head Ballet were formed by Kiera Court and Danny Casio and with this single they have come up with another sublime stunner of a track. It refuses to leave your head after just a couple of listens. In a parallel universe this would be playing from every radio during a scorching hot summer!

“Eyes Wide Open” – Breeze

The opening to this rather fabulous ditty had me thinking of the Fountains Of Wayne at their peak twinned with the type of infectious hook and chorus that Noel Gallagher used to be good at back in the 90s. These Hullraisers can only get better, they have an average age that is just over 25% of my age! I am looking forward to seeing them live.

“That Was Yesterday” – J9

Janine “J9” Carter really is a very special talent. This track has everything from drum machine dance vibes, to dark electronic drone, androgynous vocals, a cinematic feel and a sweeping sound that would not be out of place on the soundtrack to “Blade Runner”. A bloody awesome tune! It also has a video that leaps right over the state line of Weirdsville!

“Demons” – 10 Guage

This is heavy, but not just heavy, we are talking FUCKING HEAVY! A tune that forces you to head bang along to its cascade of heart stopping riffs. Rob Jewson’s vocal performance is off the charts./ I will be first in the queue when the 10 Guage album hits the world and I hope they come and play up here in York soon.

Click here to stream a playlist of all the above tracks on Spotify. If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

‘IV’ – Letting Up Despite Great Faults April 18, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 6:53 pm
Tags: , , , ,

This great new album from Letting Up Despite Great Faults, (great name by the way!), has all the hallmarks of classic indie music. Jangling guitars and low-key almost whispered vocals. What this band also have is fantastic songs with great hooks and superb production. “Kisses” is an excellent opening track with multilayered instrumentation. “Gorgeous” is more upbeat with well-balanced gossamer vocals. “New Ground” has a great instrumental introduction. “Gemini” opens out into a song with touches of The Cure and is more grandiose than the other tracks. Single “She Spins” has a good commercial feel and excellent hooks. “Curl” is a slower keyboard-led piece that breaks up the album nicely. “Self-Portrait” returns to the band’s calling card of jangly guitars and closes the album off nicely. A great album from a dedicated and skilled group of musicians.
Written by Paul Bamlett.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: