With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“What You Are” – Skylights August 18, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:41 pm
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Following hot on the heels of the excellent “YRA 2018”, which I reviewed back in April, Skylights are back with the towering sonic powerhouse that is “What You Are”. I bloody loved “YRA 2018”, in fact I still do, but with “What You Are” they have topped it. They mine a rich seam from British rock history; Beatles, Stones, Small Faces, the Clash, Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene among others. But while they have influences they take things to a whole new original level. This lot has the potential to become a great band so get on board now before they hit the heights, you will not be disappointed!

The York music scene is incredibly strong right now and it is great to have Skylights as a part of that scene. They are headlining at the Crescent in York tonight and if what they have released so far is a good gauge then it will be a stunning set. If you haven’t heard any of their stuff yet then click here for their SoundCloud page and prepare to be blown away! Skylights, what you are is a fucking awesome band! No pressure lads!

 

“And the first one said to the second one there; I hope you’re having fun” August 6, 2018


Many of you, I am sure, are aware that Paul McCartney recently played a gig at the iconic Liverpool venue the Cavern. The original Cavern is seen by many as were the Beatles were born. The Fabs played nearly 300 shows there. Click here to read the write-up in the Guardian. Whilst this show in itself is historical with Macca playing to a small crowd in his home city of Liverpool, (he also played the same venue in 1999) this is not the Cavern of old.

In 1973 the original Cavern Club was subject to a compulsory purchase order by British Rail. The warehouses that sat atop the club were demolished and the rubble was used to fill the famous cellar club. But it sounds like Sir Paul played a stunning set of nearly thirty songs, including 13 Beatles tracks, 6 from the Wings catalogue and many more. Were you there? If you were I would love to interview you for this blog.

The full set list, preceded by a band jam, was;

  • 20 Flight Rock
  • Magical Mystery
  • Jet
  • All My Loving
  • Letting Go
  • Come On To Me
  • Let Me Roll It
  • I Got A Feeling
  • My Valentine
  • Queenie Eye
  • Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five
  • Lady Madonna
  • In Spite Of All The Danger
  • Things We Said Today
  • Confidante
  • Love Me Do
  • Who Cares
  • Birthday
  • I Wanna Be Your Man
  • Fuh You
  • Get Back
  • Ob La Di
  • Band On The Run
  • Hi Hi Hi
  • I Saw Her Standing There
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • Helter Skelter

All photos were sourced via Google. If they are your pictures I would be happy to credit you on the post, or remove them. 

 

The Velts – Fulford Arms, York – Thursday 26th July 2018 August 1, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:29 pm
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You can’t beat a gig showing four bands for four quid can you? Especially when it is at the Fulford Arms in York and even more especially when you know and love three of the bands playing; thank you Glass Traps, Honours and Tax! The gig was set up to launch a new York record label, Safe Suburban Home (SSH). The label specialises in releasing exclusive seven-inch vinyl singles by up and coming bands. This gig was to support the launch of the first SSH single by Maltese band the Velts. It is a shame it wasn’t a local band, but I am sure that will come. But before the Velts hit the stage there was the little matter of three fabulous support bands. Before I tell you about them I have to air a little gripe; the sound and mix at times was utterly atrocious. Was it atmospherics caused by the extreme heat or was the sound man having a particularly bad day? I am not sure what the sound was like from the monitors, but I got over the worst of it by standing closer to the stage.

Glass Traps

First up were the Glass Traps, they are quite a young band and they have tons of potential. At times a little Beatlesesque and Byrdsian with a smattering of Tom Petty. The Beatles thing was compounded by the bass player using what I think was a Hofner bass, but not just that, he was also left-handed like Macca! The Glass Traps have some excellent songs, but like all of tonight’s bands the sound let them down a little.

Honours

The second band to take the stage were the mighty Honours, without a doubt one of Yorks finest young bands. Even with the issues with the sound this bunch were fucking awesome. The sound was definitely better closer to the stage, perhaps we got a bleed from the monitors. Honours have the potential to be their generation’s Oasis, only better. Jordan has more stage presence than Liam Gallagher as a front man. Meanwhile Struan’s guitar playing at times hits the majesty of Mick Ronson at his peak. “Freedom” and “Duchess” are outstanding tunes and “Higher Than A Mountain” is heading that way too. It doesn’t matter whereabouts on the bill Honours are, they always play like a headliner!

Tax

I had the pleasure of reviewing the ‘Averageism’ EP from another great York band, Tax, back in January. So I was looking forward to finally seeing them play live. It feels like their sound has developed immensely in those few months. Not just Space Cadets, but proper spaced out cadets! There is definitely a whiff of Tom Verlaine and Television about them while the Mark E Smith influence is also clear. But they are influences and Tax are very much a band mining their own eccentric seam of great music.

The Velts

Headliners were the Velts from Malta here for the launch of their exclusive seven-inch release “Rollercoaster” b/w “Rattle The Cage” which is also the first release on Safe Suburban Home Records. It was a real shame that the bulk of the crowd had disappeared by the time the Velts arrived on stage. Those that left early missed a treat, well apart from the poor sound mix which never really improved the whole night. The Velts are to me what the Beatles might have been like if they had arrived on the scene in the late 90s with a fully formed more modern take on ‘The White Album’. George Harrison would have been proud of some of their left field wig outs! Both tracks from the single were played and they have some other great songs too.

So in summary this was a good gig that might have been great if the sound was better and the crowd was bigger. I hope the safe Suburban Records is a very successful venture and maybe they should try out a few releases from local bands in the next few months. I feel pretty sure that would pull bigger crowds and more sales. But I am the very proud owner of the single, mine is numbered 11 of 250!

All photos were taken by me using my cheap Chinese android mobile phone, hence the quality!

 

 

The Survival Code – ‘Hopelessness Of People’ July 27, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:00 am
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Can you believe that the Survival Code have a new album? Well they do, it’s called ‘Hopelessness Of People’. Can you believe that those music funsters over at 3 Songs & Out gave me the opportunity to review it? Well they did and if you click here then you can read my review.

 

The Human Project – ‘Clarion Call’ July 26, 2018


Click here to read my review of the rather marvellous album ‘Clarion Call’ by the Human Project. I gave it five stars don’t you know. I would also like to give a big five stars to those dedicated uber music fans over at 3 Songs & Out who gave me this review opportunity!

 

Latitude Festival 2018 Day 3 Sunday 15th July July 19, 2018


The third day of this spiffingly good Latitude Festival arrived way too soon. Black Honey opened the curtains on the Obelisk Arena Stage on Sunday lunchtime. This colourful and punky tribe pack a serious punch that could easily knock out some more established bands. With their début album due out some time soon they may well get the opportunity to be crowned champions. All too briefly the Lake Stage was a home from home for Caswell a Suffolk based singer songwriter who is a BRIT School alumni. She has a great band behind her and Caswell herself has a soaring vocal style that appears almost effortless. She croons every bit as well as Adele, although she takes a much more left field approach than West Norwood’s finest diva and another BRIT School alumni. The style is sophisticated and very classy R & B pop. This was apparently the largest crowd Caswell had ever played for and they totally nailed it.

Caswell

There was a fabulous vibe at the Lake Stage on Sunday, starting with Dylan Cartlidge. I reviewed his song “Scratch, Sniff” earlier this year for Northern Radar. (Click here to read it). What I said about that song then was ” If Beck was British this would be him. Weird, wonderful and deserves to be heard. Some vocal parts evoke Jeff Buckley and Hawksley Workman. A truly epic tune.” Now having seen Mr Cartlidge in the flesh it is clear that he is one very talented dude. As well as the aforementioned artists I felt a bit of Shuggie Otis in his style and songs. He has an immaculate talent for freestyling as well, not many other performers can freestyle as well as that, it was magnificent. I also had a brief chat with him later and that just hammered home what a great bloke he is. This was the first time that he had ever been to a festival. Given that he is only 22 I think he will be attending many more festivals as an artist rather than a punter.

Dylan Cartlidge

I stayed at the Lake Stage for the quirky and magical Girlhood. Two great female singers and a Vince Clarke/ Chris Lowe keyboard, beats, computer and synth boffin type dude. They have some absolutely impeccable songs which were perfectly delivered and they seemed to be having so much fun. I felt a faint echo of the Fugees about them. If you set out to dislike Girlhood I think it would be truly impossible. I took a more relaxing item in after my time at the Lake Stage, one of my favourite authors, Matt Haig was in conversation with Lisa Blower mostly about his new book ‘Notes On A Nervous Planet’. this was in the Speakeasy, he is a very warm, engaging and intelligent man. He clearly values integrity and has a wicked sense of humour. That book will be purchased by me very soon. The mighty Rag ‘N’ Bone Man was next up on the Obelisk Arena Stage. I had the opportunity to review his first album about six weeks before it was released last year and I played it to death. his songs and his outstanding voice are to die for. This is a blueprint for all modern soul singers. On top of that Rag ‘N’ Bone Man a.k.a. Rory Graham can rap in a very smart way and his ciphers are sharp. He delved into songs from his 2014 EP ‘Wolves’ along with the expected classic songs in the making from last years début album ‘Human’. Inevitably “Human” was probably the highlight for most of the swaying, adoring crowd and that is an amazing song. But already this guy has an exceptional collection of songs. “Hell Yeah” is explosive and hard-hitting and given the right production Rag ‘N’ Bone Man should be given the opportunity to record a Bond theme. I want to see him headline soon.

Girlhood

I returned to the Speakeasy after that spellbinding set from rag ‘N’ Bone Man. My wonderful wife Catherine a.k.a. Catwoman and I chanced upon Dickie Beau: A Pinch Of Notoriety Will Do. Dickie is a very open, very effeminate homosexual man. He is an Artist Research Fellow at the Queen Mary University of London and the Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre. His talk at Latitude focused on the 50th anniversary of the publication of Quentin Crisp’s landmark memoir ‘The Naked Civil Servant’ and explained in parallel with that the history of homosexuality, particularly in the UK. It was enlightening and fascinating even for an old straight bloke like me. Dickie will be coming to the big screen soon playing Kenny Everett in the upcoming Queen biopic. This was followed by a Salon London presentation ‘The Tao Of Jazz’ which featured Juliet Russell on vocals, jazz guitarist John Wheatcroft and philosopher Dr Julian Baggini. essentially it revolved around the performance of a number of jazz standards and how philosophy concepts lend themselves to jazz creation, performance and its iconic artists and performers. Our Latitude 2018 was rounded off by Rob Kemp’s ‘The Elvis Dead’. This show has won many awards since its first outing at the Edinburgh Fringe. What is it about? Well in simple terms it is a retelling of the 1987 horror movie ‘The Evil Dead II’ through the songs of Elvis Presley. It was beyond any doubt one of the cleverest and funniest things that I have ever seen. You have to see this if you get the chance. Sadly I missed one of the last performances of the weekend; Boss Caine one of York’s most talented artists at the Alcove Stage. An overdose of heat and alcohol meant that I fell asleep at my tent and didn’t wake up in time 🙂 But in spite of that it was another superb Latitude Festival and I am looking forward to next years already.

And it’s goodnight from me – Photo by Andy Golborne

 

Latitude Festival 2018 Day 2 Saturday 14th July


So on to the second day of what is shaping up to be a great Latitude Festival. The second day was kicked off for me on the BBC Music Stage by the 60 strong Suffolk choir; Pop Chorus. This was just a small subset from the whole choir group which has circa 300 members. It was a remarkable set from what I understand is an amateur choir group. Conducted by a talented choir mistress their five-part harmonies gave an almost church-like feel inside the tent. Their repertoire included songs from Alt J and the Killers among many others. Next it was a short hop to the Obelisk Arena for the former Howling Bells singer Juanita Stein. Her sound is rooted in 70s west coast US rock and modern-day Americana injected with a strong sassy twist.

Festival Shadows – Photograph by Andy Golborne featuring, from left to right, the shadows of Andy Golborne, Rachel Vernelle and me 🙂

UK rapper Piers James was a big hit with the Lake Stage crowd. He inspired some very highly spirited moshing, which is something you don’t see too often at Latitude. I would say he is clearly a fan of Dizzee Rascal, Kanye and Outkast although he takes those sounds to another place with some beats that would have graced maybe some Warren G tracks back in the day. The BBC Music Stage swung to some sweet, bright, summery, indie pop from Alvvays. There is an exquisitely dark undertone to their songs. Alvvays are a sumptuously sounding band who were clearly enjoying themselves. I really wasn’t particularly impressed by Parquet Courts on the Obelisk Arena Stage. They have some excellent which at times come across like Jonathan Richman backed by the Doors. A gloomy and surly bunch who on this showing are not as big as their hype suggests.

Whenyoung

Irish band Whenyoung stormed the Lake Stage all guns ablaze with a set of banging tunes. I love the attention to their stage image, with the band members wearing coloured jump suits/ overalls which had the band’s logo on them. Festival organisers please give this merry gang a bigger stage next time. There was a volcanic level of rumour and speculation about who the surprise guest would be; names bandied about included Snow Patrol, Ed Sheerhan, U2 and Madonna among many others. However I was bitterly disappointed when it turned out to be that well-known Oasis tribute act Liam Gallagher! I feel that perhaps Liam is very much a Marmite act these days, people either love him or loathe him, for me it is the latter. Having seen Oasis twice, Beady Eye twice and Liam solo at the Leeds Festival last year I believe that he is way past his best and that he is desperate for an Oasis reunion. (Eight out of the thirteen songs he played were Oasis songs).I hope that never happens, but some of the grown men in tears at Liam’s appearance on the BBC Music Stage I am sure will have a very different opinion to mine.

Boy Azooga

Jessie Ware is a true diva, but in the sense of her performance not in her behaviour. Her tight and talented band gave her a perfect bed for her soulful pop vocal style. This was the perfect soundtrack for a sunny late afternoon at the Latitude Festival. Along with my good friends Rachel and Mac we also enjoyed some hilarious people watching. Thank you to the stoned dancing bloke and to the impractical parents who not only did not master how to put up a child’s play tent, they also managed to break it! Cardiff rockers Boy Azooga seemed to be having a party on the Lake Stage. They were enjoying themselves immensely and rightly so. They put in an awesome performance and engaged perfectly with the audience. I understand that we were their biggest crowd yet. If these boys don’t go on to bigger things then I will have to eat my Festie Cowboy hat!

My festie hat with tiny Trump hands attached as a small protest at the Mango Mussolini’s UK visit. Will I have to eat the hat because of Boy Azooga?

I was lucky enough to grab twenty minutes of Mogwai’s BBC Music Stage set. It was full on prog power psyched up to maximum levels. Possibly one of the best bands the UK has ever spawned. Today the Obelisk Arena Main Stage headliners were the Killers and pardon the pun, but the killed it! Brandon Flowers is the consummate front man. He knows just how good both he and the band are and they totally understand what the crowd want. All their best songs were there; “Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine”, “Human”, “Mr Brightside” and “All These Things That I’ve Done” and many others. Around halfway through their set none other than Liam Gallagher swaggered on to the stage very briefly. He prattled some utter bollocks and walked right off before the Killers played a decent version of the Oasis classic “Acquiesce”. I heard from a very reliable source that Liam was supposed to share vocal duties on the song with Brandon, but he clearly couldn’t be arsed, or at best he couldn’t remember the lyrics! The Killers delivered in spades they are one of the most entertaining bands around. I rounded off the night in the Music and Film Arena for the Trojan Sound System band. They played some wonderful reggae tunes to help celebrate 50 years of the iconic Trojan Record Label.

The Killers at Latitude – photo by Andy Golborne

 

 
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