With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘Monorail’ – PERCY June 22, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:49 pm
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The brand new PERCY album comes out this week on Ten Foot Records and I have had the pleasure of listening to it a lot over the past couple of months. Have the West Yorkshire Superheroes delivered? Read on to find out dear readers. The album starts with perhaps one of the most wonderfully weird songs Percy has recorded so far, “Chunks”. No one writes lyrics quite like Colin, do they? I think this song is about how the powers that be try to mould people into bland equally sized chunks as though we are all the filling in a shitty Fray Bentos pie. Next up is “ICU” which if John Peel was still around would be a banker for inclusion in the Festive 50 for 2022. I have heard this song played live and I think this will become a Percy classic with Colin’s unique vocal style and some excellent post-punk riffage. Paula’s keyboards on “Midnight On Broadway” evoke a dark 60s cop show that might have been soundtracked by the Doors. But in reality, this is dark music for the 21st Century. After a few listens “Dry Your Tears” is the track on the album where the whole band comes together perfectly, this one is a real grower. “Disinfect Me” feels a bit goth-punk, especially the rhythm section which drives this track like a finely tuned racing car. I can imagine this being played in a nightclub scene in a very modern vampire tale or maybe even a remake of ‘The Hunger’.

The intro to “I Want” comes across as real classic rock. But then when Paula’s synth organ sound gives the song a desecrated church feel and Colin’s vocal kicks in you just know that this is Percy on top form. I bloody love “Rock A Hula” it has an eerie circus vibe about it and I reckon it needs to be included on the soundtrack to Rob Zombie’s “Munsters” film. “I’ve Been Down” is another Percy classic in waiting. The stutter in the chorus brings the song a dark and sinister pop feel. Jason’s drumming is sublime on this. Next up is a song named after a street in York. The tune has a menacing spoken vocal and a hypnotic synth motif that hooks into your brain at super speed and refuses to leave. Is the song actually about the street? Honestly, I have no bloody idea, but I do know it’s a great song. Tucked away at track 10 of 11 is the magnificent “What Lez Said” which I think is possibly Percy’s finest song to date. It drives along as though it is being performed by a strange version of the Kinks that somehow fell into our dimension from a warped parallel universe. If Carlsberg created a Percy tune it would be this one. The album closes with “Last Chance Saloon” which has “play me as a weird interlude in a Tarantino film” writ large all over it. When I eventually get my arse into gear to start producing an internet radio show I might just have to beg Percy to let me use this track as the regular intro/ theme music for it. I thought Percy’s ‘Seaside Donkeys’ from 2020 was a brilliant album and believed it would be hard for the band to better it, but they have fucking done it! ‘Monorail’ is a great album and definitely a contender for album of the year!

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The David Bowie World Fan Convention 2022 – Day 3 June 19, 2022


Just how did the final day of the rather spiffing David Bowie World Convention come around so quickly? I really don’t know, but here it is. the day kicked off really well as I managed to complete a great set of autographs in the “Little People, Big Dreams – David Bowie” (written by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Ana Albero) for my 18-month-old grandson Leo. The book has dedications for Leo from John Cambridge, Woody Woodmansey, Donny McCaslin, Gail Ann Dorsey, Robin Clark, and Carlos Alomar. Carlos was kind enough to add a cartoon self-portrait. I plan to teach Leo everything I know about Dame David! I suspect that after the excellent Bowie Ball on Saturday night that there were a few sore heads in the audience for Sunday, but the schedule was busy and exciting.

Jonathan Barnbrook
Pegg, Duffy, Auliac, O’Regan

First up were a couple of very interesting and informative short films presented by the curators of the David Bowie Is exhibition, Victoria Broackes, and Geoffrey Marsh. This was followed by Jonathan Barnbrook a supremely talented designer who created the cover for Bowie’s final two albums and Heathen to name just a few. Not only is he a great designer he is also a confident and eloquent raconteur. His sense of humour is magnificent and frankly right up my street! After that Kevin Cann was back to facilitate a conversation with the owner and creator of the Duffy Archive, Chris Duffy. Chris is a talented photographer in his own right and his father was the person behind the iconic ‘Aladdin Sane’ album. Chris talked about his childhood, his father, Bowie, and many of the artists he has photographed. Very entertaining indeed! Chris returned for the next session in which Nicholas Pegg was in conversation with Mr. Duffy, Phillipe Auliac, and Denis O’Regan. It was pleasing to hear Phillipe say that it was him who shot Bowie not doing a Nazi salute at Victoria Station in 1976. I was there and there most definitely was not a nazi salute. The press turned a snapshot into a vile slur. O’Regan’s memories were enlightening, especially his story about the on-stage feuds between Mick and Keef. The final session was Nicholas Pegg in conversation with the obscenely talented Donny McCaslin. Donny went into great depths about the creation of ‘Black Star’ and the ‘No Plan’ EP. We learned that while Donny is a master of many instruments, the piccolo is not one of them. Donny shared some demos of his new project which is performing ‘Black Star’ and other Bowie songs with a full concert orchestra. The plan is for it to be performed for the first time in the US in September. Even the demos sounded magical, they made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and I was washed with wonderfully warm emotions. Donny closed his session with a solo sax performance of, I think, “Warszawa”. Every session has been incredibly good, (apart from the NFT presentation on Friday), but I think Donny’s just about shaded it for me as the best of the whole weekend. Before we left we were treated to seeing all the remaining guests appear on stage as a final thank you.

Donny McCaslin

The 2nd David Bowie World Fan Convention is planned for June 2023 in New York, sadly I won’t be able to make that, but I am so glad I made it to Liverpool for this one. We met some great people, especially top bloke and our new friend Jeremy. Perhaps a slight disappointment was not being able to get into the incredibly limited capacity Bowie Quiz at Phase One. But that is minor and did not spoil a truly spectacular weekend!

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The David Bowie World Fan Convention 2022 – Day 2


All of us hard-core Bowie fans flocked back to the Mountford Hall in Liverpool on Saturday for day 2 of the magnificent David Bowie World Fan Convention. Proceedings were kicked off by Bowie specialist and author, Kevin Cann, If you ever had to choose someone who might truly be the font of knowledge for all things Bowie, Kevin might well be it, followed closely by Nicholas Pegg. Kevin’s rather excellent presentation centred on Bowie’s early years, particularly his childhood and early manager Ken Pitt. He shared some very rare clips and photographs that absolutely delighted his audience. Woody Woodmansey’s appearance on day 1 was incredibly funny, but early Bowie drummer John Cambridge’s session on Day 2 took the humour to another stratospheric level. What a wonderful raconteur he is and his memory definitely borders on photographic. He stayed in touch with David over the years and some of their interactions, particularly the emails he shared showed that both Cambo and Bowie possessed great comedy talent.

Nicholas Pegg was back on stage to facilitate the next session which featured Professor Alex Sharpe and Doctor Bethany Usher alongside John Cambridge and Woody Woodmansey. Woody clearly enjoyed the first day so much that he stayed on! Although we had two wonderfully talented academics on stage this was also quite a fun session too. It was really interesting to hear Professor Sharpe’s personal take on how Bowie had been so important in her journey as a transgender woman. Dr. Usher’s story about living opposite Roker Park in Sunderland as a young child and hearing David Bowie play there in the 80s started her own Bowie journey. John Cambridge confirmed what many of us probably believed that David Bowie was an alien. Obviously, I took that as a cast-iron fact! The day’s proceedings closed with Kevin Cann hosting a panel that included Carlos Alomar, Robin Clark, Gail Ann Dorsey, and Donnie McCaslin. This was perhaps the most emotional session we have experienced so far with all four of the panel sharing intimate memories of their friendship with Bowie including their very last conversations with him. My new friend Jeremy suggested that this might have been quite cathartic for them and I think he is right!

After that, we all dashed back to our hotels to sparkle up for the Bowie Ball. My wonderful wife Catherine and I used the theme of “put on your red shoes and dance the blues”. Check out our pictures below. There were some truly amazing costumes on show and so many people had made a huge effort to look great. Many of us are more all the old dudes (and dudettes) these days, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time enjoying some great film footage from Nacho (check out some of his fab Bowie videos below) and singing and dancing to a great Bowie tribute act, Rebel Heroes. We left just as the Bowie DJs started playing. Why so early? Well at our age we need the sleep! The venue, St. Georges Hall is a stunning and in places labyrinthian building. The size is breathtaking as are the stained glass windows. Day 3 will, I am sure be another epic day!

Catherine, me, and Jeremy jazzin’ for Blue Jean at the Bowie Ball
What a lucky man I am 🙂

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The David Bowie World Fan Convention 2022 – Day 1 June 17, 2022


Day 1 of the David Bowie World Fan Convention was good. Nicholas Pegg, writer, actor, Dalek, Twitter star, and wonderful interviewer facilitated sessions with Gail Ann Dorsey, Woody Woodmansey, RobinClark, and Carlos Alomar. Gail Ann Dorsey is an all-around wonderful human being she was really open about how sometimes she felt worried that she wasn’t very good. I have seen her play live and she is supremely talented! Woody Woodmansey has absolutely hilarious and extremely honest. Carlos Alomar was interviewed with his wonderful wife Robin Clark, what a stunning voice she has! They both came across as great people. I even got to ask them a question: “I was lucky enough to see David Bowie play live quite a few times from 1976 to 2004 and in every show, it seemed like Bowie and everyone on stage with him were really enjoying themselves, so what was your funniest moment on stage with David?” It was quite a brilliant but long reply focussing on Bowie’s sense of humour and how he turned Robin and Carlos on to British humour, including Monty Python. I thanked them both and added “nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition”. I was so pleased when Robin guffawed and looked over at me and said “Touche”, my day was made!

The evening drinks reception for us VIP guests at the British Music Experience in the Cunard Building was great, I will definitely be coming back to spend more time there, probably early next year with my delightful wife Catherine a.k.a Catwoman! A big shout out to a new friend and Bowie fanatic Jeremy too. His suggestion that I should dress up as the Laughing Gnome for the Bowie Ball tomorrow night was brilliant, I just wish that I thought of that ages ago! You can find a rather delightful video of me and Jeremy dancing to Madonna’s “Vogue” at the BME on the Mayhem Twitter account, our performance will definitely scare Madonna! Day 2 is looking good too, John Cambridge, Kevin Cann, and more from Gail, Woody, Robin, and Carlos!

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The David Bowie World Fan Convention 2022 – Day -1 June 16, 2022

Filed under: Observation — justwilliam1959 @ 8:10 pm
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Hello constant readers and music lovers, I am now in the fantastic city of Liverpool with my wonderful wife Catherine (a.k.a. Catwoman) for the David Bowie World fan Convention 2022. Three days of immersion into the extraordinary life and work of Dame David. I will get the opportunity to interact with many people who worked with Mr. Bowie, including Woody Woodmansey, Gail Ann Dorsey, Carlos Alomar, and many others like Nicholas Pegg who wrote the marvellous ‘The Complete David Bowie’ Perhaps it is quite fitting that I am writing this on the 50th anniversary of the release of the iconic ‘Ziggy Stardust’ album too. Is there anything you would like me to ask any of the guests? Just message me if there is and I will do my best to get a response for you. We have VIP tickets so that means early entry to most things. We are also looking forward to Saturday night and the star-studded Bowie Ball, we will be making extra effort to look like strange ones, maybe I will even dye my beard, paint my nails, and put on some makeup. There will be pictures! I will not be dressing like any particular period Bowie, our theme will come from a classic Bowie lyric, but I promise you that what Catwoman and I turn up in will be colourful! I plan to post daily about this wonderful event. Are any of you going? If so give me a shout! Love on ya xxx Bill

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“(Hard)core Memory” – Glytsh June 10, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:01 am
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The new single kicks off with a deep almost doom-laden synth bass sound that lulls you into thinking this will be simply a very good synth-pop track. But then the screaming, angry industrial metal riffs and heavy, heavy vocals kick in and take things to another level completely. The guitar solos are reminiscent of classic 70s rock while the voices owe more to the likes of Hole and Bring Me The Horizon. They nailed their love of dark industrial rock to the wall with their recent, stunning cover of Nine Inch Nails “Closer”, Glytsh, (incidentally that is a great name), formed in 2021 and they are French singer Jennifer Diehl (a.k.a. Luna Blake) and Swiss guitarist Claire Genoud (a.k.a. Hella Sin). Based in London I think they are about to explode onto the scene in the form of a musical nuclear weapon. This band has power, darkness, passion, and raw talent. The video that accompanies the track is like a psychedelic 60s horror film outtake with a 21st Century soundtrack. I want more Glytsh and I want it NOW!

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“Stuck” – Bull June 9, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:53 pm
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Bull have stormed back with a splendid new single, “Stuck”. It is perhaps their most danceable tune and frankly, it pushes the psychedelic switch up to 11. Everything about this song is great and the band is on fire. Vocal harmonies are every bit as good as the Beach Boys or the Byrds, the keyboard runs are reminiscent of Ray Manzarek of the Doors. The production is wonderfully over the top as the band plays a whole plethora of instruments and maybe even the kitchen sink! Get STUCK into Bull now!

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“Sour Milk” – Ruby Addy

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:35 pm
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Ruby Addy is back with her sublime new song, “Sour Milk”. Ruby is most definitely a torch singer for the 21st century. The emotion in her voice makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and it is impossible not to imagine her playing in a dark New York jazz club and stunning the audience into silence and sending them away with a feeling of supreme adulation for such a fine singer-songwriter. If you thought her last two singles were good, you need to listen to “Sour Milk” it is, in my opinion, her best yet!

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The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Song Chart – May 2022


Here comes the third monthly Mayhem Top 20 Song Chart. This month’s number one is from a band that has featured on this site quite a few times and will continue to do so if they keep up the superb quality of their great music and live shows. They scraped into the artist chart at number 20 back in March. But now they follow Prairie Brigade and the Hazy Janes to hit the top spot in the song chart. Who am I talking about? A fabulous York band called Vaquelin with their current single “Roads Leading Nowhere”. They managed to hold off competition from Harry Styles who sits at number 2. There are a lot of oldies in this month’s chart, including Bill Withers, Love, Steely Dan, the O’Jays, the Clash, Mike and the Mechanics, Traffic, and the Sex Pistols. T.Rex take “Metal Guru into the top 20 for the second time in three months, it hit number 20 in March and sits at number 18 for May. David Bowie makes it three entries in a row and Roxy Music appear for their second month in a row. The oldest release on the list is “Alone Again Or”, a 1968 UK hit from Love at number 8. A really eerie cover of Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” by M Ward hits number 6 and my favourite Professor Elemental song, “I Love Libraries” gets to number seven. There are also appearances from Leeds band Astoria at a very creditable number 4, the Institutes, Let’s Eat Grandma, and Kendrick Lamar. Eight artists featured in the Mayhem Top 20 Artist chart for May 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 Roads Leading Nowhere – Vaquelin
2 Music For A Sushi Restaurant – Harry Styles
3 Goodbye Mr. Blue – Father John Misty
4 (Don’t) Turn Around – Astoria
5 Use Me (Live) – Bill Withers
6 Let’s Dance – M Ward
7 I Love Libraries – Professor Elemental
8 Alone Again Or – Love
9 Haitian Divorce – Steely Dan
10 All That You’ll Ever Know – The Institutes
11 The Living Years – Mike and the Mechanics
12 London Calling – The Clash
13 Pyjamarama – Roxy Music
14 I Dig Your Act – O’Jays
15 What In The World – David Bowie
16 United In Grief – Kendrick Lamar
17 Happy New Year – Let’s Eat Grandma
18 Metal Guru – T Rex
19 Freedom Rider – Traffic
20 Anarchy In The UK – Sex Pistols

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The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – May 2022 June 7, 2022


The Mayhem Artist Top 20 artist chart for May 2022 is here. 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 96% more obscure than other users in the UK this month, one point up from last month’s 95%. 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, back for a second month)

Har Mar Superstar (American modern disco maestro and supremely good live act)

Astoria (A fine young band from Leeds who were recently featured in our Mayhem Virgins series)

Vaquelin (One of York’s finest young bands. They will definitely be in the Mayhem Song chart for May 2022 when it is posted soon. Check out their latest video below too)

Matty Groove (An incredibly talented beatboxer who I recently saw supporting Professor Elemental)

As for the May Top 20, only Dame David remains from the last chart, but he drops from number one to number six. Other classic artists include Sex Pistols (at number one), Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, John Lennon, and The Clash. A few would giants make an appearance too including Bill Withers and the Four Tops. I learned in Uncut magazine this month that somewhere out there is an unreleased album that the Tops recorded with Norman Whitfield. Who do we need to speak to about getting that released? There is quite an eclectic mix here for May: Father John Misty, OMD, Steve Earle, Professor Elemental, and The The. Harry Styles rocked up at number 14 in April and hits number two in May. I am most definitely a Harry Styles fan, 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 third 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. Will one of this month’s obscure artists get the coveted number one in the song chart? Maybe, but you will find out soon!

1 Sex Pistols
2 Harry Styles
3 Pink Floyd
4 Bill Withers
5 Four Tops
6 David Bowie
7 Father John Misty
8 The Institutes
9 Steve Earle
10 Arcade Fire
11 Lou Reed
12 Daryl Hall & John Oates
13 Elvis Costello
14 The Clash
15 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
16 John Lennon
17 Yelawolf
18 The The
19 Professor Elemental
20 Linda Ronstadt

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