With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Songs Under Skies – No. 6 – Elkyn and Fawn – NCEM, York – Thursday 17th September 2020 September 22, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:57 pm
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Thanks to this vile bastard Covid-19 I went to my last gig more than half a year ago on Saturday 14th March, now 187 days later I am finally got to another gig. It is the sixth and final in the Songs Under Skies series of acoustic shows in the grounds of York’s National Centre for Early Music (NCEM). I had planned to attend two earlier shows the previous week, but illness, not Covid-19 thankfully, put paid to that. These shows were masterminded by the NCEM, the Crescent and the Fulford Arms with support from the Music Venues Alliance. I would like to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone involved, of all the things I have missed during lock down and beyond, it is live music that I felt the most. It was also great to meet up with so many great people from York’s fabulous music scene. Thank you Zac, Chris, Harkirit, Mikey and Marc to name just a few!

There were two acts on each of the six nights. Gates opened at 6:30pm and the first act was on at 7pm with a 30 minute break at 7:30pm while the final act took the stage at 8pm for a 30 minute set. My evening was kicked off by the delightful Elkyn with their weird, wonderful and warm folky sounds. Set opener “Seventeen” was built on Simon and Garfunkel style harmonies, soft acoustic guitars and a harmonic drone in the background. Is it even possible to have a harmonious drone? I don’t know, but this bloody well was! All of Elkyn‘s songs were quite special, “Change” was underpinned by a more harmonic almost orchestral drone. It is a new song that had never been played live before, it is a truly gorgeous melancolic chill out tune. They played the lead single from their new EP ‘Beech’ it is called “Yue” (I think). This sublime song, which rippled with raw emotion, was probably my favourite Elkyn performance. There was an extended guitar tuning session, which the band should have introduced as a strange avant garde classical guitar movement, we would have been impressed. After this we arrived at “Stupid World” which was overshadowed by the noise from the bottle bank next door being emptied. But Elkyn did not let that get them down, they are real troupers, and, wait for it, they didn’t bottle it! Lyrically the song is very powerful, with lines like “where can I go from here, I can’t flee from that” which for some reason made me think of the hardships so many of us have endured in the past six months. Check out Elkyn on Spotify by clicking here, you will not regret it.

In a rather nice twist of fate the second and final act tonight were Ilana and Crispin better known as Fawn. Why was that a nice twist of fate, well Fawn were on the bill at my last gig on March 14th. That was at the Fulford Arms where they were supporting Julia Bardo. Kitty VR was also on the bill that same night and she made her own Songs Under Skies appearance the previous week. Ilana’s vocals throughout were exquisite and very Joni Mitchellesque on the first song. “I Know Nothing” is a song all about making dumb decisions in your youth. Ilana’s voice carried a supreme range of emotion on this song, the same breadth and depth that a young Linda Rondstadt could do so well. In the middle of the set headless guitarist Crispin (he was a little tall for the small stage) left Ilana alone for a stunning, immensely beautiful song about uncertain times, a perfect theme for 2020. Her yearning vocal and deep lyrics took the evening to a real peak. “Romans, Vikings And Knights” is a song that Ilana wrote about her then home city, York. This was many years ago when she worked at the Fulford Arms. Crispin provided some spot on slide guitar on this track. Another song was an ode to another former hometown of Ilana’s, “Sleeping Giant” tells of a mountain near her old home town in the US. The story of this particular peak is that it is in fact a giant taking a very long sleep. The legend says that if the giant wakes up the world will end. But as Ilana pointed out despite the apocalyptic feel of 2020, the giant is still asleep. Click here to get some Fawn in your life, you know it makes sense!

All photographs were taken by the hugely talented Marc McGarraghy of Yellow Mustang Photography

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“Borderlines” – Apollo Junction September 11, 2020


Just like their football heroes Leeds United, Apollo Junction are now in the premier league, the music premier league. After last years great album, ‘Mystery’ each new release just gets better and better. “Borderlines” is fast paced rocker with an 80s U2 vibe that makes you want to move. It is underpinned by a real glam rock drum sound and there is a sublime guitar solo from Matt Wilson which is absolutely to die for. It is accompanied by an atmospheric monochrome video featuring the band and a dancer. Something tells me that after this years previous two singles “Forever” and “Sometimes” and now “Borderlines” the new album will be epic!

Click here to listen to yet another classy tune from Apollo Junction! The video is out tomorrow, I will edit this post to add the link soon!

UPDATE, just a tad late from me, but you can now find the amazing “Borderlines” video below!

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Is Delilah Bon The Devil, Just A Bad Ass Bitch Or Simply The Greatest Rock Rap Alter Ego In History? September 8, 2020


There have been plenty of alter egos in rock history, some good, some bad. Bowie gave us plenty including Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke. David Johansen gave the world Buster Poindexter. Marshall Mathers became Eminem who in turn became Slim Shady. Beyonce became something stronger as Sasha Fierce. Prince briefly became Camille, an artist of uncertain gender. Even Hank Williams tried the separate identity thing as Luke The Drifter, a character he used to sing his much more political tunes. Nicki Minaj (more of her later) has a whole tribe of alter egos, including fast talking British gay man Roman Zolanski. Well move over every one of you, because now there is a new alter ego on the block!

Let me introduce you to Delilah Bon, the secret identity (well not so secret really) of Hands Off Gretel’s Lauren Tate. In the ‘about’ section on her Spotify profile she says, “HEY WORLD!!! I’m Delilah.. I’m 23. I RAP, SCREAM & SING LIKE AN ANGRY PRINCE-LESS PRINCESS! I’d say my music is BRAT – PUNK influenced Hip Hop which I completely made up because I don’t fit in a box. oh.. I also PRODUCE/ WRITE ALL MY OWN MUSIC… I do EVERYTHING myself – like seriously, I’m a busy bitch”.

She also explains how Delilah Bon came to be born. “From the fiery pits of girl rage within me I gave birth to ‘Delilah Bon’ after speaking out about sexual harassment of women at my live shows with my grunge band ‘Hands Off Gretel’. I was met with resistance online, guys telling me girls were ‘asking for it’ with girls flooding my dm’s explaining they’d been sexually assaulted or felt unsafe at music shows. I had all this rage in me and nowhere to place it. So I had all these words coming outta me, I had this beat playing and I just started rapping which is TOTALLY random for me as until this year I’ve never even attempted it! I just KNEW I wanted to create something that MYSELF and my girls could DANCE TO, something we could just feel empowered and BOSS BTCH listening to, something that would allow me to merge all elements of myself into something completely new.”

I saw Delilah/ Lauren fronting the magnificent Hands Off Gretel just over a year ago at the Fulford Arms in York. That was, I recall, close to the peak of the venomous attacks on her by the press and so called fans for simply standing up for what is right. She wrote an open letter to the guys that come to her shows, click here to read it. I have been going to gigs for just shy of 50 years now and it is so depressing that girls are still being harassed and assaulted at gigs. That has never been ok! I still believe that most blokes at gigs and festivals are not like that, but while some are we need to do everything we can to eradicate them. This is why I totally support the stand of Delilah Bon. OK I know I’m not “one of her girls”, I’m an old bloke for god’s sake, but that doesn’t mean I am not totally with her on this crusade. Particularly when the music she has produced under this new guise is so staggeringly good.

There have been four Delilah Bon singles so far this year. Each one very different, while sharing a common theme of just being fabulous tracks. Has she shaken up a few misogynists on the way? I certainly hope so! If you like rap, rock, grunge, punk, pop there is something here for you. Hell if you just like great music there is plenty here for you. It all kicked off with the Prodigyesque “Devil” accompanied by a captivating video based around a computer game where Lauren’s conscience or devil and angel on her shoulders are battling. Next up it was “Bad Attitude” which struck me as Rage Against The Machine having switched to a bad ass bitch on vocal duties. The video for this one has Delilah in a jail cell with the anger turned up to 11. “Homework”, the third single, should serve as a warning to any men who think they can get the better of this woman, don’t even try it. This is one full on independent woman. The video features Delilah in the kitchen with some strange, amusing and, perhaps scary for some, food ideas. The current single is “Chop Dicks” and for me it is her finest yet. Delilah raps like she was born to do it. As well as the anger, there is humour and a tank full of sass. The lyrics are a perfect encapsulation of the hypocrisy and double standards of misogynistic men who have a myopic world view that only lets them see women as sex objects. It contrasts that view with how they might think if it was their mother, sister or daughter being objectified.

I think Delilah Bon live will be an exceptional show, let’s hope that happens in 2021. In the meantime enjoy the videos and also check out the Delilah Bon cover of Nicki Minaj’s (I told you she would get another mention) “Chun Li”. Click here for Delilah Bon’s Spotify page. I am a fan of Hands Off Gretel, I am a fan of Lauren Tate and I am absolutely a fan of Delilah Bon! Hail the alter ego, the world needed a new alter ego to emerge and Delilah Bon is perfect for these strange fucked up days!

I “borrowed” all the pictures after finding them on line. If you are the photographer and you would like a credit and a link to your site, or for me to remove them, let me know.

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“Mr Prism” – Psychedelic Porn Crumpets and “Waiting” – The Rubberbandits September 7, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:06 pm
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You wait ages for a strange, weird, warped and maybe even disturbing video to come along and then two turn up at once. I am talking about the new singles and accompanying film clips from the Rubberbandits, for “Waiting” and the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets with “Mr Prism”. I personally hadn’t heard much from the Rubberbandits for a while, but who could forget “Horse Outside” from a few years ago, that was a classic. The Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are completely new to me and on the strength of the video, which I reckon some of you will find disturbing, I definitely want more of them. I would love to hear your thoughts on these strange but stunning films and the songs that they promote!

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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2020 Part 12 September 5, 2020


Here we are with our twelfth singles round-up of 2020. This one features six great tunes, which found their way into the world over the past few weeks. These six tracks feature another great selection of bands and singers from Pickering, North East UK (via London), Middlesbrough, Switzerland, York and Norwich. Only two of these acts are new to With Just A Hint Of Mayhem and they are Andrei Poliakov and Mammal Hands and I am sure that they will all feature again sometime in the future. Get onto this batch of top tunes now!

“Turn Me Down” – Hunter Gatherer

Pickering in North Yorkshire has produced top cricketers and even a top snooker player. But now Pickering can lay claim to producing an incredible rock band, Hunter Gatherer. The boys are back with another cracking single. Full of gargantuan riffs and fine metal melodies. This lot are still on my list to see live post COVID-19.

“Dance Through This” – Notorious Lightbulbs

Those classy popsters Notorious Lightbulbs are back with a slice of pop dance perfection that will not fail to get your feet and body moving to its hooks and beats. “Dance Through This” is a magnificent feel good anthem with a golden groove that will leave you with a smile on your face.

“Say Nothing” – Swears

Coming out of Middlesbrough like a rogue steam train on speed Swears are talented grungey rockers. “Say Nothing” is the 2nd single taken from their debut EP ‘Seersucker’. It is a magnificent rock song that deals with mental health issues. At times they remind me of one of my favourite bands, Avalanche Party. Get Swears on your playlist now!

“Declaration Of Love In The Moonlight” – Andrei Poliakov

This is probably not my usual listening fare, but having it playing while sitting down to read late at night is refreshingly relaxing. It splices classical piano with jazz motifs. The feel of it suggests night time in the same way that its companion piece “Declaration Of Love In The Sunshine” suggests a warm leisurely summer day. Music to chill to, get yourself a cold drink, a comfortable chair and take a listen.

“Make It” – Jacob Clayton

Jacob’s first release “Inside Our Minds” suggested he might fit into the folk genre. But “Make It” busts right out of those genre boundaries. It is a chilled, electro styled tune that showcases the depth of talent and potential that Jacob has. He definitely deserves to be heard.

“Chaser” – Mammal Hands

Do you like electro? Do you like jazz? Can you imagine a jazz electro fusion sound? You can? Then you have just imagined what Mammal Hands sound like. As well as jazz and electro I sense an element of prog in what they do too, this is a vanguard release from their album which is due this month. It is a single that bodes well for the album in my opinion.

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‘Tons Of Tins – Ten Ton Tinnies

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:05 pm
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First of all what a great band name. And it just gets better from there. “Part-Time Hillbilly” sets out the stall . Big power chords and riffs with big meaty vocals. “Down In The Country” continues the style with no punches pulled . A rip snortin’ full tilt country boogie. “A Song For The Bruce” is a slower ballad  with a touch of Lynyrd Skynyrd and a great vibe. “Throwdown” , and the boogie is back faster than ever . The drums provide a beat that makes you want to kick up the dust. Live I bet this one’s a monster!

“Tons Of Rain” tells the story of a flood in epic style. “Take Me To Town” has a touch of ZZ Top about it. “WHPH” has a riff worthy of those Aussie legends AC/DC and a rap feel like Aerosmith in collaboration with Run DMC. “Over Me” is a ballad with strong vocals which demonstrates the range of this band and “Here’s To Drinking” is a great song about …well… drinking! “Bad Gas” has a rap feel which this band do so well . There’s a lot of innuendo and more straight bawdy humour here which is a refreshing change. This bands songs are as catchy as anything and this album is a great night out in recorded form . In short they do exactly what it says on the Tinnie! Excellent . 

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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‘Kaliyuga’ – In Hearts Wake

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:21 pm
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In Hearts Wake are a fantastic heavy rock band from Australia with a very clear environmental conscience. They have organised carbon offset for all of their consumption creating this excellent album. This instantly draws our attention and commands respect. The album opens with striking sounds and complex and captivating riffing and rhythms. “Worldwide Suicide” features barking vocals and big heavy riffs . Drum and bass sounds feature, Slayer meets the Prodigy. “Hellbringer” has fast thrash riffs and interesting additional vocals. “Moving On” has a more dancey opening . This track has a more melodic and epic feel. Doomy vocals are still there but nicely balanced by a more melodic vocals.

“Timebomb has angry vocals and a great loping riff”. “Son Of A Witch” once again has a nice mix of angry vocals and a more melodic approach . “Crossroads” has a more melodic feel. “Husk” has a gentler intro which shows the multiple skills of this band. “Naga” is a brilliant instrumental intro to “Form Of Life” which has strong vocals. “Dystopia” is the strongest track here with a superb melancholic melody. “2033” is a heavy closer with a great mix of angry riffing and vocals and a more melodic approach . This is a winning combination!

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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“Belladonna” – Pick The Flowers

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:59 am
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Chloe Munt the electrifying lead singer and spectacular front woman of one of York’s finest bands, My Wonderful Daze has a new solo single out as Pick The Flowers. It is called “Belladonna” and just like her band it pretty much defies genre boxes. It has an electronic dance vibe with a kind of chilled lofi attitude. Belladonna is the name for one of the most poisonous plants on the planet, Deadly Nightshade and it is also Italian for beautiful lady. A single leaf off the plant is enough to kill a healthy adult due to the high concentrations of alkaloid toxins which cause havoc in the nervous system. The word itself is a a total contrast and it is this that Pick The Flower’s lyrics for “Belladonna” deal with. Particularly, I believe, the contradictions that exist in a relationship considering both the beauty and the toxicity that can exist in any relationship or tryst between two people. There is dark passion, frailty and venom in the lyrics. “Belladonna” is an absorbing tune the roots of which slide unnoticed into your temporal lobe and make a home there. So from the name of a killer plant comes a killer single. This song is the vanguard of something very special from Pick The Flowers, bring on the album!

Click here to listen on Spotify. Click here to buy on GooglePlay.

Click here to find on Napster. Click here to find on Apple Music.

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‘Letters From Spain’ – Victor Dahlberg September 3, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:19 pm
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This is a gentle easy on the ear album with some great melodic touches. “Give 2.0” opens with lovely piano and some nice harmonies to back up a soulful song. “Cry” has a more folk rock feel . There is a slight feel of Randy Newman in the vocals. “Found” has a country feel . The vocal itself has a touch of Stevie Wonder. On “Living Now” the horns add an additional dimension with a laid back feel and a beautifully controlled vocal. “You Know” features a reggae backbeat and once again the vocal is strong. This is not challenging music but that is its charm . A strong commercial feel and a great upbeat vibe which in these tough times is a very uplifting feeling.

Written by Paul Bamlett

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Record Store Day 2020 August 31, 2020


Well Covid-19 has just about fucked up everything this year hasn’t it. Record Store Day (RSD) 2020 was postponed from April to June and then when June was cancelled it was split into three ‘drops’: August 29th, September 26th and October 24th. The first of those was last Saturday and featured most of the big releases including David Bowie, Mansun, the Cure and Gene among many others. I had the honour of helping out in my fantastic local record shop, Vinyl Eddie’s on the day. My pay for that task was the sheer pleasure of doing it and the two Bowie releases!

The pandemic meant that it was a long way from a typical RSD, with only four customers allowed into the shop at any one time and persuading those customers to focus on just the RSD releases with no browsing options. I was outside managing the queue while Vinyl Eddie himself and his Dad, John made sure all the sales went without a hitch. We were also treated to a short set by ace local band the Receivers who had released their new single, “Only Human” the day before. Having expected an acoustic set I was more than pleasantly surprised to see them bring amps and the full band. They set up on the pavement with drummer Louis setting up his kit pretty much in the road! With a few plays of the new single, some other new tracks and some Receivers classics I am counting this as my first gig since March 14th. Sadly the video that I thought I had taken on my phone, didn’t work 😦

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who turned up and bought vinyl, to the Receivers for a great set, to Richard Saker the Guardian/ Observer photographer (check the Guardian RSD piece by clicking here, I was gutted my own picture didn’t make it) and most of all to Eddie and John Parkinson for giving me the opportunity to help them out on the day! While I am looking forward to RSD 2020 part 2 and part 3 I am hoping for big things and a degree of normality for RSD 2021. Long Live Vinyl and Keep The Faith!

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