With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘Out Of Mind’ – Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate January 16, 2019


Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate is probably the finest band name that I have heard in years. These talented London prog rockers have a new album out, it is called ‘Out Of Mind’ on Glass Castle Records.  and it is rather splendid. This band are steeped in the genealogy of the finest Prog Rock to emanate from the fair shores of Blighty. If you like Genesis, Marillion, King Crimson, Pink Floyd and maybe even Uriah Heep you will love Hat’s Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate. But they are more than just prog, I can hear Brian Eno here and maybe a little Bowie inflection in the vocals. ‘Out Of Mind’ is for me a superb album to listen to on headphones in a darkened room surrounded by joss sticks and smoking a fat one. The sound is that of a huge band, but from a recording perspective this is the sound of two (sometimes three) people; Malcolm Galloway Vocalist, guitarist and keyboards, Mark Gatland, Bass, more keyboards , backing vox. They are occasionally aided and abetted by Kathryn Thomas on flute and more vocals. The orchestration and production throughout is truly stunning. Just to prove they have endless talent the production was magnificently handled by Galloway and Gatland.

The album has an English cinematic feel streaked with science fiction overtones. There is a beautiful melancholy feel throughout and it is certainly and album I will return to again and again. Just getting this review together has seen me play it end to end six times. My favourite tune from the record at the moment is “The Rose That Was Red In The Dark” although that may well change on the next spin. Album closer “Lidice” has a hypnotic Mike Oldfield circa ‘Tubular Bells’ feel in the music and it is overlayed with a gorgeous, fragile and emotional vocal from Malcolm Galloway. Lidice was a small mining village in Czechoslovakia, which was razed to the ground by the Nazis during World War 2. They deliberately killed 88 children and 252 adults, in reprisal for the assassination by resistance fighters of Reinhard Heydrich, one of the chief architects of the Holocaust. Listen to this song and try not to become even a tad emotional, I dare you.

Philip K Dick is noted as the inspiration for two songs in this collection; “Coming Back (Time Out Of Joint)” from his novel ‘Time Out Of Joint’ and “The Electric Ant” another of my favourite tunes on this LP which is a kind of proggy electronica take on drum and bass, it was inspired by a Philip K Dick short story. Literary references abound with a story from Ann Leckie’s Ancilliary series proving the background and subject for “When I Was A Ship”. Even ancient anatomy texts are prominent with “De Humani Corporis Fabrica” drawn from the Vesalius book of the same name which was published in 1543. Do you need to be a Prog fan to like this album? No of course you don’t, all you need is to be a lover of wonderfully put together meaningful rock music. I urge you to give your lugholes a treat and take a listen to ‘Out Of Mind’ now!

Public Service Announcement: all pictures were sourced via Google and the videos via YouTube. If they are yours and you would either like a credit or for me to take them down please let me know.

 

The Receivers – Fulford Arms, York – Tuesday 8th January 2019 January 15, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:58 am
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A new year and my first Northern Radar gig of the year. Simon “Northern Radar” Pattinson never lets me down with his shows, did this one measure up? Read on to find out. Azera were first on, they have some really great and some ‘alright’ (their words) songs. They covered the Pixies and smashed it and smashed it again with a brave and brilliant cover of Radiohead’s “Just”. Some might say that a band with a singing drummer might be a bit of a novelty, not me though. This bloke is an ace sticksman with a bloody marvellous voice. I am not sure what their closing song was called but honestly if you closed your eyes you could almost imagine that it was Nirvana on stage.

The driving, punchy, punky riff fest that is the Silvertones were next up. This lot are in possession of some incredibly melodic and very, very rock sounds, especially in the vocal department. I felt that they were reminiscent of some of the finest post punk, new wave power pop from the late 70s, the Motors spring to mind. I also felt the influence of Blur’s Graham Coxon in some of the guitar hooks. The Silvertones are definitely a band to watch out for.

Tonights penultimate band was Neon Salmon, oh boy what a band! If you like your rock funky, jazzy (but not jazz funk), psychedelic a bit C86 and a bit Orange Juice then this lot are definitely for you. I blooming well love them! Their stage gear included kimonos and fairy lights which made them seem like a vision of Del Trotter at bedtime! Thank you to Simon P for that line 🙂 neon Salmon are the epitome of a good time party band. It looked like they were absolutely loving it. The chocolate fish prize for the most enthusiastic dancer was ace and was awarded to a very worthy winner too. This band deserves great success. Anyone who has a song called “Smoked Mackerel Cat” must be good, right?

Headliners were another great York band, the Receivers. This lot doesn’t only have balls, but a huge talent as well. The lead singer was sporting a Smiths T Shirt but they are so much happier and smile bringing than that miserable old sod Mozza is these days. Their sound is a bit grungey, a little jangly indie and has added all out rock vibes. They are an incredibly tight band and it felt like they were really well rehearsed. The guitarist never stopped moving and even made a couple of forays into a highly enthusiastic crowd. Their rapport with the audience was classy. “Rimshot” is a magnificent new song and despite the introduction I doubt that it is actually about pleasure in the nether regions.  Personally I wouldn’t have fancied following any of tonights support acts, but the Receivers didn’t think that way as they blew the roof off the Fulford Arms during the venues fifth birthday week.  Calling the Receivers in has always seemed so negative, but I would be very happy to call this lot in!

Public Serve Announcement: apart from the gig poster all the pictures are by me and taken on my rather spiffing Canon camera which was a birthday present for my birthday on January 1st (if you must know I am now 20 with 40 years experience) Also this is my first attempt at gig photography, please be gentle with me 😉

 

‘Beautiful – The Carole King Musical’ – Stephen Sondheim Theatre, New York, USA – Wednesday 2nd January 2019


Seeing a Broadway show was never on my bucket list, but it was a part of my beautiful wife Catherine’s list! So while in the Big Apple we had to do it and we chose ‘Beautiful – The Carole King Musical’. It was at the rather amazing Stephen Sondheim Theatre on 43rd Street, a theatre that is mostly underground!

The show tells the story of the rise of the former Carol Klein from a starry-eyed and understated yet ambitious 16-year-old into the incredibly talented superstar singer songwriter Carole King. The show deals with the ups, downs and heartache of her relationship with her early songwriting partner and husband Gerry Goffin. Back in those early days she composed the music while Goffin provided the lyrics. There are some wonderful scenes where the pair have their songs recorded by the Drifters (“Some Kind Of Wonderful”) and the Shirelles (“Will You Love Me Tomorrow”). The affection of Carole’s friendship with fellow songwriters Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann is depicted in a beautifully heartwarming and humourous way. The guy who played Don/ Donnie Kirshner; Paul Anthony Stewart is a very classy actor, although no singer, well not that he was required to sing of course. So maybe he can hold a tune. Evan Todd brought home a brilliant emotional performance as an often troubled Gerry Goffin.

I should also give a very special mention to Mike Longo who covered three parts; Neil Sedaka, Lou Adler and Bill Medley. The latter off of the Righteous Brothers. There were many highlights for me; Little Eva (one time babysitter for King and Goffin who became an overnight sensation with the pairs “The Locomotion”. Eva was played by Gabrielle Elisabeth. Ben Jacoby’s performance overall, but particularly “Who Put The Bomp” and “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” he really nailed Barry Mann’s initial disdain for the future Righteous Brothers smash. But the best part of the show for me was Sara Sheperd’s performance. She totally stole the show as Carole King. The finale of “It’s Too Late”, “You’ve Got A Friend” and “Beautiful” was truly awesome and regular readers know that I really do use that word sparingly. Not only that but Sara is an understudy to the usual lead Jessie Mueller. Sara is also Dance Captain, although I must confess that I have no idea what that is. But Sara Sheperd is most definitely immensely gifted and talented. I totally loved this show and coming from someone who is really not a fan of musicals that is high praise indeed, believe me! If you do get a chance to see this show, especially in New York City then do not miss it!

Catherine On Broadway!

 

Lily Allen – ‘My Thoughts Exactly’ January 10, 2019

Filed under: Book,Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:36 pm
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I have read many music related biographies and autobiographies and I believe that a lot of them never live up to expectations. However Lilly Allen’s is easily up there with the best. It is incredibly honest, brutally so at times. She is not afraid of exposing her own demons and insecurities in any form and this is most certainly not a salaciously delivered tell all gossip style work.

Lily comes across as a very strong feminist with a barbed sharpness for exposing the manipulative, cynical and misogynistic behaviour of a lot of men in the music industry. Some of these men clearly and blatantly abuse their position and prey on women, particularly younger women. She talks of her battles with drugs and mental health. The stories of the paparazzi and tabloid treatment of Lily’s private life sickens me. But it is no less than any genuine person would expect from the scum that work in the vile, gutter press.

Ms. Allen describes her family at great length. The strange and often strained relationship she has with her parents, particularly her father. There are some lighter moments, notably the tale of Lily and her brother Alfie meeting Princess Diana when they were kids. That was laugh out loud until you choke kind of funny.  This book is for me one of the best music related autobiographies that I have ever read and easily fits into my top five. In case you were interested the other four, in no particular order, are;

  • Diary Of A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star – Ian Hunter
  • Rod – Rod Stewart
  • Life – Keith Richards
  • Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. : A Memoir – Viv Albertine

Public Service Announcement: Photos and videos were all found via Google and YouTube. If any of them are yours and you would like a credit or for me to take them down please let me know.

 

East Village Punk ‘n’ Rock Tour (NYC) from Rock Junket Tours – Saturday 29th December 2018 January 8, 2019


As a part of my birthday jaunt to NYC my wonderful wife Catwoman (a.k.a Catherine) booked a rather intriguing East Village Punk ,n, Rock walking tour of New York’s East Village from Rock Junket. Our host and Rock Junket Head Honcho was Bobby Pinn (not his real name) and it was a pure delight to spend a couple of hours in his company. I pride myself on knowing an awful lot about rock music, but I bow to the vast encyclopaedic knowledge of Mr Pinn. I learnt so much on this tour.

We saw the apartment block where Joey Ramone (a.k.a. Jeffrey Ross Hyman and also a.k.a Jeff Starship!) lived. Not far from there is the spot where the iconic photo of the Bruddas that adorns the cover of their first album was taken. Take another look at that picture, in particular the subtle way in which Joey is bending his knee and Dee Dee is standing on tip toes just so that the vast gap between the pair of them does not appear so vast.

Whilst I didn’t try one until later in the week we learnt what an Egg Cream drink was. The drink is immortalised in song by Lou Reed and apparently one of the best spots to buy one is the Gem Spa, a one time haunt of the New York Dolls. Strangely enough the Egg Cream beverage contains neither egg nor cream! Go figure!

I already knew a lot about Bill Graham’s venue the Fillmore/ Fillmore West in San Francisco, but I knew next to nothing about the Fillmore East in New York. Many great acts took to the stage there from the Allman Brothers to Frank Zappa. The most appearances by any artist or band was by the Grateful Dead.

Apartments that were once home to a young Madonna and tortured jazz giant Charlie Parker were encountered. Charlie Parker even has a street named in his honour. Now that is not bad for a suicidal junkie who died aged just 34. But that was just a part of his story and it is impossible not to recognise the towering influential, pioneering genius of Mr Parker. Also who knew that Madonna’s early live appearances were as a drummer for her then boyfriend’s band? I certainly didn’t!

I I hadn’t been on this tour with Bobby Pinn I am certain that I would have walked right past the building that features on the front cover of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 double album ‘Physical Graffiti’. The building was the home of Jimmy Page’s drug supplier who lived on the fourth floor. That floor is conspicuously missing from the album cover after a real cut and paste job by artist Peter Corriston. The very same tenement block was used in the video for the Rolling Stones 1981 single “Waiting On A Friend”.

The tour ended at the site of the now defunct CBGB’s; the iconic 1970s New York punk venue. I took the obligatory pictures outside and even ventured into the ridiculously expensive and rather disappointing shop that is now on the site. That said, the Captain Fantastic pinball table was stunning!

In this post I have tried to give you a flavour of this magnificent tour of some classic rock landmarks in the East Village. I didn’t want to add much more and therefore spoilmyour enjoyment when you take it. Make sure that you go walking around New York with Bobby Pinn next time you are in the Big Apple. You will not regret it. Click here to check out the Rock Junket site and to book your tour.

Apart from the Rock Junket header all pictures were taken by yours truly, apart from those that feature me which were taken by the most wonderful person that I know, Catherine Adamson. If you were wondering which landmark birthday I was celebrating it was 18 with 42 years of experience. 😉

 

‘Anthem Of The Peaceful Army’ – Greta Van Fleet January 7, 2019


I finally got a chance to listen to Michigan’s Greta Van Fleet on my recent flight to New York City from Manchester in the UK. I listened to all of their current album ‘Anthem Of The Peaceful Army’ and a few tracks from their earlier EPs. There has been a great deal of noise, both positive and negative, about them on social media and I wanted to know if they lived up to the hype or the criticism. Greta Van Fleet are clearly talented musicians who play what they play really well. But it seems that like many other folk I have issues with what they play. They write and play their own songs (apart from a handful of covers from earlier releases. Their cover of Sam Cooke’s ” A Change Is Gonna Come” is very well handled).

While these songs are in effect original songs they are so derivative of Led Zeppelin that in my opinion it borders on plagiarism. My advice to Danny Wagner, Sam, Jake and Josh Kiszka is to learn to plow a more original furrow or simply become a Led Zeppelin tribute act. But having said that it does appear that they a Marmite band in that people either love them or hate them, no one seems to be completely indifferent to them. What do you think of Greta Van Fleet?

 

“Gone” – Honours December 21, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:50 am
Tags: , , , , ,

That rather jolly bunch of ace tune-smiths and smart rockers from York known as Honours are back with another single. It is called “Gone” and trust me despite the title you really won’t want this one to go away! I can hear elements of Ocean Colour Scene, Primal Scream and even the Who in this classic rock riff avalanche that would impact the world on a seismic level. It is funky, it is soulful, it is made to dance to and it is a staggeringly good song. Everything this band has released so far points to a brilliant début album when it happens. Check this fabulous new single out and check Honours out at a venue near you soon. See them before they start moving on up to much bigger venues! These boys are a rock force to be reckoned with!  Click here to find it on Spotify!

 

 

 
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