With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Live At Leeds – Saturday 16th October 2021 October 22, 2021


Finally after a long Covid driven delay Live At Leeds is back! Click here to check out my review for Soundsphere Magazine, along with some rather excellent photos from the talent John Hayhurst of Snapagig, some of which you can find below!

Dea Matrona
The Murder Capital
Dream Wife

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Mayhem Virgins – Dea Matrona

Filed under: Mayhem Virgins — justwilliam1959 @ 12:00 am
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Photo by John Hayhurst (@snapagig)

This is the fourteenth in our Mayhem Virgins series and this time it is the turn of Belfast power trio Dea Matrona formed in 2018 who I was lucky enough to catch at Live At Leeds last weekend. My Live At Leeds review for Soundsphere Magazine is coming soon! They started out busking and that has given them enhanced musical skills. The band is made up of one time school friends Mollie McGinn and Orlaith Forsythe. Mollie’s younger sister Mamie completed the band when she was brought in to play the drums. Unfortunately Mamie wasn’t in the line up at Leeds. The name Dea Matrona has it’s roots in the Celtic language and mythology, it means divine mother goddess, the same goddess who gives her name to the river Marne in Gaul. It certainly suits them because Dea Matrona are divine rock goddesses. There roots are clearly in classic rock which is evidenced by their choice of covers from the likes of Cream, old Fleetwood Mac, Chuck Berry, Led Zeppelin and Them. Mollie and Orlaith are full on rock chicks in the way they perform and dress. in the style of Joan Jett, Suzi Quatro, the Runaways and Girlschool. Live they have an abundance of energy and they rock harder than some much older more experienced bands. Can they transform their live impact into their recordings? I certainly hope so and the quality of their own compositions like the glam stomp of “Stamp On It” and the very hard and very heavy “Make You My Star” suggest that they will. They are building up a decent following on social media, I suggest you check them out. If you like great rock music you will love Dea Matrona!

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‘Ready To Kill’ EP – Delilah Bon October 14, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — justwilliam1959 @ 10:46 pm

Lauren Tate is one of the most prolific artists around at the moment. Some excellent work with Hands Off Gretel, her classy solo work and more recently her bad ass bitch alter ego Delilah Bon. In my opinion the first Delilah Bon album is a contender for album of the year. So just when you thought Lauren might be taking a well earned rest she launches a horror themed Delilah Bon EP, ‘Ready To Kill’. Are you having a Halloween party this year? Then this EP has to be at the core of your party soundtrack. The sounds rage from classy rap, nu metal, punk and yes horror film theme vibes. Chain saws, coffins, killer clowns, cannibals, Dracula, what more do you need for Halloween? But this is no novelty horror cash in, there is not a duff track here. I hear there is a new ‘Scream’ movie coming, well producers please consider including a track or two from this EP on your soundtrack. The six tracks certainly evoke a spooky element perhaps no better than “Clown”, although “Cannibal Summer” runs it a close second. Even with the main horror theme Delilah manages to smash out at misogyny, particularly on the aforementioned “Cannibal Summer”. For me this EP and the superb album from May proves that Delilah Bon is most definitely here to stay. Remember when those snotty little kids come to you door on 31st October, blast them with the spine chilling, bone rattling, chainsaw massacring tunes from ‘Ready To Kill’, they will thank you for it, eventually. Can I make my suggestion once again for a range of Delilah Bon candies with sticky red fillings and called Delilah Bon Bons? Get your ears around these tunes ASAP, otherwise you will find zombies, ghosts, Vampires, Evil Clowns, Freddie Kreuger, Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees knocking on your door, because I will send them!

Delilah says this of the EP “I wanted the EP to have a ‘Jennifer’s Body’ meets ‘Harley Quinn’ energy to it. I wanted to create a character that was both disturbing but enchanting too, a real femme fatale. It’s more than just a few songs on an EP, it’s my music and art combined, a whole concept brought to life. For each song I created visuals based on the lyrics, influenced by iconic villains in horror movies”.

Check the new EP out, it’s released tomorrow, 15th October. And as it is now tomorrow, click here to listen on Spotify.

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“Two Car Family” – Apollo Junction

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:07 pm
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In advance of their forthcoming sophomore album ‘All In’ next month those talented lads of Apollo Junction release a new single, their third in 2021, and it’s another thunderous banger of a tune. It has a thumping, infectious glam rock beat that Don Powell would be proud of and some mostly upbeat positive lyrics. It is song that made me smile and want to dance, especially the chorus which has a solid gold hook. I was lucky enough to hear them play it live recently and this song will be one of the first on their set list for many years. As a harbinger of the new album it suggests that the future for Apollo Junction will be very bright indeed. They have played some huge support slots (Kaiser Chiefs, Pigeon Detectives) this year and a great set at the Isle Of Wight Festival too. Will 2022 be the year the world picks up on this great Leeds band? I bloody hope so. Check the new tune out, it’s released tomorrow, 15th October and get your order in for the new album, just click here and you’re nearly there! Click here to listen to “Two Car Family” on Spotify!

You can still catch them live in 2021, if there are any tickets left;

20th November – Blue Sky Café, Bangor
26th November – Preston Ferret
27th November – Leeds Warehouse
4th December – Jimmys, Liverpool
5th December – Aatma, Manchester
23rd April 2022 – Leeds University

The link to the new tune will appear here over the weekend!

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The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – October 2021 (August and September 2021) October 12, 2021



Thanks to a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I am now supposedly 98% more obscure than other users in the UK, that has increased from 90% in July! It also lists my most obscure artists, which currently are

Woke Up Dead

Promethium

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

Kid Acne

Barry Gray

Woke Up Dead, Promethium and Hat’s Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate stay in the top 5 and there are new entries for the talented British artist Kid Acne and TV Theme legend Barry Gray!

So who were the top artists for August (24th), September (15th) and October 7th? Check the full lists below, but I can reveal that Sparks were chart toppers in August, Elvis Costello and the Attractions in September and Millie Jackson in October Surprisingly David Bowie was close but no cigar, finishing 17th, 3rd and 2nd respectively. There are a few new artists in there, notably Dexter, Cowgirl, Thirst and The Helicopter Of The Holy Ghost. I was pleased to see Delilah Bon and the Tuts making an appearance too. Also plenty of the usual classic acts, including Rolling Stones, Elton John, Marvin Gaye and the Sex Pistols. Regular readers know that as I share this Spotify account with my wonderful wife Catherine (a.k.a. Catwoman) a few artists finished much higher than they might have done if they were only my choices 🙂 Notably Gregory Porter and Billy Joel . Give Obscurify a spin and let me know what your chart looks like and how obscure your tastes are 🙂

Mayhem’s Top 20 Artists on Spotify (October 7th 2021)

Millie Jackson
David Bowie
Sex Pistols
Elton John
Specials
Billy Joel
Scala and Kolacny Brothers
Emmylou Harris
T Rex
Skinner Brothers
Kid Acne
Paul Young
Stevie Wonder
Marianne Faithfull
Counting Crows
Steven Wilson
Wildhearts
Be Bop Deluxe
Kacy Musgraves
Brian Eno

Mayhem’s Top 20 Artists on Spotify (September 15th 2021)

Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Thirst
David Bowie
Cowgirl
Billy Joel
The Police
Rolling Stones
Captain Ska
Sting
The Helicopter Of The Holy Ghost
Uriah Heep
Nick Lowe
Tom Robinson Band
The Tuts
Bad Manners
Faintest Idea
The Skints
Gentleman’s Dub Club
Catfish & The Bottlemen
MK

Mayhem’s Top 20 Artists on Spotify (August 24th 2021)

Sparks
Velvet Insane
Thin Lizzy
Gregory Porter
Marvin Gaye
Dexter
Nazareth
Billie Eilish
Genesis
Gil Scott-Heron
O’Jays
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
Johnny Nash
Delilah Bon
Bob Marley & The Wailers
The Clash
David Bowie
Tin Machine
Avalanches
Kate Bush

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Bull – The Crescent, York – Friday 24th September 2021 September 27, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:03 pm
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A sell out gig at the Crescent in York? Yes I kid you not, the first sell out I have been to since before Covid and it feels damned good to be back to proper gigs. This was a delayed album launch tour from local heroes Bull who released their fabulous debut album ‘Discover Effortless Living’. But before the main attraction there were a couple of support bands that I need to tell you about. First it was the wonderfully named Fat Spatula. They put on an intense and powerful performance and they are clearly a tight band. But what are Fat Spatula actually like? Well the recipe for me was a few ounces of Talking Heads from David Byrne’s oversized jacket peak, a couple of fried Devo stock cubes. a hugely rich Modern Lovers sauce all served with the funkiest condiments you could imagine. I guess it was all mixed nicely using a fat spatula, right? Anyway, I like this band a lot and I will definitely be queueing up for second helpings sometime in the future.

Next it was the turn of a Hull band who are clearly not particularly enamoured by vowels, they are called bdrmm. They are a kind proggy shoegazey style but with extra added industrial sound and drone at times. Maybe there was even a bit of a Cure influence in there too. I think bdrmm are clearly accomplished musicians and they also feel like the sort of band I might listen to while smoking a fat one! I particularly liked the drums, although the drums on one track were very reminiscent of Toni Basil’s “Mickey” (thank you for pointing that out Eddie P).

Finally it was time for the main attraction, Bull. They are a 21st century Byrds with a distinctly heavier psych vibe than Roger McGuinn’s gang. Bull are a band that really know what they are doing and they do it supremely well. This was a local crowd for them and we were captivated by every note. Someone that I spoke to before the show described Bull as ramshackle, I disagree, I would say intense and informal, while never hiding their sense of fun. If this band do not become huge then the matrix or the multiverse (pick your cinematic universe) is broken. They were joined by an awesome brass section towards the end of the set which included singer Tom Beer on trombone. Get out and see this band and buy or stream their debut album, you need Bull in your life!

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‘At War With The Silverfish’ EP – Laura Jane Grace September 22, 2021


For some artists the Covid lockdown period has been creatively fruitful, Laura Jane Grace is one of those artists. Her creativity is showcased wonderfully in the surprisingly well-kept secret release of an EP, ‘At War With The Silverfish’ which dropped at 4pm GMT today, 22nd September. The seven songs felt like long-time, long-lost friends on the first listen for me. Laura Jane describes them as “songs of late-night madness and loneliness, orphan songs that came wandering in looking to feed like insects”. I think I understand that too, there isn’t a theme musically and each tune could easily stand alone, but there might be a lyrical theme which to me evokes a positive anger and energy.

Opener “Three Of Hearts” is kind of dark lyrically but the music has an upbeat campfire acoustic vibe. After listening a few times “Lolo 13” is my current favourite in this collection, it has a hook that many songwriters would kill for. I particularly love the beautifully thought provoking couplet “Does the mirror have two sides? Are you waking up in your real life?”. I can imagine “Long Dark Night” igniting a venue if it was performed by a full band. But in the meantime it has a wonderfully intimate demo feel to it. “Electro Static Sweep” makes me think of the Velvet Underground had they formed in the last few years. I also think that Laura Jane’s voice on this track evokes Russell Mael and I would love to hear Sparks cover this tune. “Day Old Coffee” rocks like a bastard and is venomous in its attack, how full on was Laura Jane feeling when she penned the lyrics, notably “Day old coffee microwaved to boiling. Pour it on my eyeballs and boil my dumb shit brains out”. Are there many songs with a better title than “Smug Fuck Face”? I think not. I am sure this is about a soured relationship and trying to work out how it might be fixed, stressing very much the ‘might’! A broken relationship also seems to be the subject of “Yesterdays Pt. II” which closes this fabulous collection of tracks. I have been singing it in my had since the last note faded.

This is a stunningly good EP on which Laura Jane lays out her emotions with some, at times, brutally honest writing. The songs are often poignant and have great emotional depth. She covers self doubt, mental anguish and the road to redemption. This record stands up well alongside her best work with Against Me! and the Devouring Mothers. Laura Jane says of the release “I’ve learned that if you share your experience with good intentions that the universe will always surprise you with abundant return” and “Every song is an act of faith; you don’t necessarily know why you’re singing it other than you know you’ve got to sing it.” The EP was Half recorded at Grace’s TinyQuietStudio in Chicago and half recorded at Electric Eel in St. Louis, and mixed by her Devouring Mothers bandmate Marc Hudson. It feels like one of the best post Covid releases so far and you need it in your life. If you are not a Laura Jane Grace fan, you will be after listening to this! Click here for Laura Jane’s Spotify page.

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Apollo Junction – Victoria Vaults, York – Wednesday 8th September 2021 September 17, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 1:31 pm
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This was one of the many Revive Live gigs sponsored by the National Lottery and the Music Venue Trust and it brought the fast rising and magnificent Apollo Junction back to a small intimate venue. But more of the Apollo Junction set later, there was also a rather interesting support slot from York band YouVee. They say that you realise you are getting old when policemen seem so young. But for me it’s when the bands you go and see look like they are barely out of short trousers. But put that youthful appearance aside, because YouVee are bloody good. Musically their first song was like Blur with an added Madchester vibe. Speaking of Blur, YouVee’s guitarist has the potential to be every bit as good as Graham Coxon. “Sunshine State” is an ace song that feels like an epic anthem in waiting. Meanwhile “Gunner” flies like an Arctic Monkeys take on heavy metal. How could you not like the languid, heavy, classy indie rock of “Broken Baby” which will be released as a single later this year. They closed with what was their first release on Spotify, “Ultra Violet” which is a fine slab of heavy indie dance, on which I determined a nifty Prodigy influence. I am looking forward to hearing much more from YouVee!

YouVee

Apollo Junction are definitely among my favourite current bands and these Leeds lads are getting bigger and I believe they will be huge someday. “Sometimes” from the soon to be released new album did everything it could to blow the roof off the venue, a real banger. The crowd were a bit subdued though, is that a post Covid thing? “Light Up The Sky” does exactly what it says on the tin and will prove to be another Apollo Junction epic when it appears on the new album. It has an authentic and truly awesome glam rock feel, especially the drums. Another new tune, “Two Car Family” is a sublime slice of post punk power pop which, rather appropriately, will sound majestic blasting out of your cars stereo. “Born For Now” is one of the bands finest, especially in a live environment. Lead singer Jamie roamed through the audience for most of the track and put on a great vocal performance in this awesome rabble rouser of a tune. Was that a bit of Underworld’s “Born Slippy” that snuck into the song? Current single “When We Grow Up” a great song, is enhanced hugely when played live. Click on the song title to check out the video, I am proud to say that I make a brief appearance in it too. In “This Could Be The Day” they have the perfect remedy for those post Covid blues. They closed the set with three classics, “Always Remember”, “Begin” and “Together”. Apollo Junction proved once again tonight that they are a feel good band that know how to make you feel better. I left the gig with a beaming smile which lasted for ages. If you don’t depart an Apollo Junction show without a smile then I suggest that you seek help!

Apollo Junction

Photos, apart from the gig poster were all taken using my cheap and tacky android phone from China! Videos were all found on YouTube

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‘Passions’ – Thirst September 7, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:41 pm
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Thirst is talented York musician Dom White who spent a number of years as the drummer for metal band the Family Ruin before returning to his home city to form This House Is Haunted, a rather ace alt.rock band. Dom is also the genial owner of the rather splendid FortyFive Vinyl Café in York. This is his first solo album and is an eclectic and enthralling collection of tunes. For me it has a feel of a British 1960s concept album, perhaps more the Zombies or the the Pretty Things rather than the Who. Opener “Memory Lane” initially has a really ambient feel to it before it builds into an understated power ballad for the 21st Century. If you like dreamy, dark (almost) power ballads you will love “Runaway”. That is the tune that stayed with me for quite a while beyond my first listen. First single “Afraid Of The Dark” had me imagining Henry Mancini collaborating with Ian Broudie, it has a real cinematic feel to it, as does much of the production on this collection. The “Afraid Of The Dark” video is well put together too, a collection of great clips from old horror films. I love the lyrics on the wonderfully piano led “Who I Am”. Dom’s voice is original and it is hard to find any obvious comparisons, but on “Foundling Wheel” it reminded me at times of David Bowie’s take on Bracht’s ‘Baal’ and the harmonies have their roots in classic British folk music.

Dom seems to have a knack for nailing the cinematic feel and scope in the instrumentation on this album, “Breather” really showcases as it is an instrumental would fit perfectly into the soundtrack of spooky French film, maybe alongside something by Mogwai. “Danse Macabre” has an almost nursery rhyme music box element in it’s main theme and I mean that in a good way and like the previous track is crying out to be used on a soundtrack for a noble dance of death scene. The deeper keyboard notes give a strong bass ambient feel to “Welcome Home”. After a few spins “All Of Them Witches”, the second single. is probably my favourite song on the album. The drum and percussion sound throughout has a languid glam rock feel, the sort of track that might have enhanced an album by maybe the Sweet in the mid 70s when they were trying to rid themselves of their manufactured pop band label. The overlaid vocals are superb. Album closer “Hand Of God” is the closest to a traditional rock song construct and like all great albums it enables a great crescendo finish. This first album from Thirst is a grower, give it a few listens and you will continue to go back to it, trust me!

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‘Cowgirl’ – Cowgirl September 3, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:24 am
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Cowgirl are a great live band and after a slew of one off releases over the past few years they have finally got their debut, eponymously titled, album together. This York band draw their influences from a number of places, but for me this album evokes many classic New York artists; Velvet Underground, Jonathan Richman and the Strokes. They recorded these tracks with Euan Hinshelwood at his Vacant TV Studio in London early last year. The album is out in physical form and on all major streaming platforms today via Safe Suburban Home Records.

Opener “Better With You” has a dirty Garage Rock feel with a neat power pop undertone. As with all the tracks the guitar work here is first class. “Something I Needed To Do” is laid back in a Neil Young and Crazy Horse kind of way and the bass drives it along perfectly. A slowed down power pop vibe and fuzzed up vocals are to the fore in “Time Moves Along” which for me has a real Velvet Underground feel to it. My favourite track on this record after quite a few listens is definitely “Is What It Is” which evokes the Strokes at their finest, the riffage and rhythm section on this tune is immaculate. There is a real sunny disposition to “Figure It Out”, well for the tune anyway. The lyrics are much darker and remind me of Jonathan Richman at his less whimsical moments. Cowgirl nail their garage rock credentials to the wall with the wonderful “Without You”. The album closes with “I Can’t Help It” and it has a feel of the rockier tracks produced by Lukas Nelson and the Promise Of The Real.

If I have one criticism it is that at just under 20 minutes in length this is more a mini album or long EP. But to be fair this is all killer no filler with every track having the potential to become a classic. I love this record and I think you will to check it out. Cowgirl are playing a number of dates to promote the release over the next few days (Check their social media for the dates and details), get yourself along to see them, you won’t be disappointed.

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