With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

The Fabulous Fulford Arms – York, UK August 13, 2022

Filed under: Observation,Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:10 pm
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The Fantastic and Fabulous Fulford Arms is most definitely one of York’s first-class music venues. (Other music venues in York are, of course, available!) If you enjoy intimate, sweaty gigs in a 150-capacity venue you will love this place. Regular readers know that I go there a lot, in fact, I will be there later this evening for what I am sure will be another great gig. The staff are wonderful, welcoming, and fun. Steph and Chris know how to run a great venue. On your way in don’t forget to check out the legendary Zac’s Shack, manned by Heartsink’s heartthrob Zac Roughton. I am proud to say that With Just A Hint Of Mayhem now has a page of Fulford Arms gig reviews on the Fulford Arms web page. I have had some great times at gigs and reviewing gigs at the Fully Arms and many other venues, but to get my reviews posted in this way is something that I am immensely proud of. Check out the reviews here, but more importantly get yourself along to the Fully for a gig or two, you won’t regret it! Support your scene good people!

Check out one of my favourite bands, Avalanche Party playing the Fulford Arms six years ago, blimey they look young don’t they?
Sweet May rocking the Fulford Arms earlier in 2022

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“Wasteman” – Kate Nash August 12, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:56 pm
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Kate Nash really is a wonderful human being, I met her once when she had one of my favourite bands the Tuts, who are sadly no longer together. Kate struck me then as a human with integrity, empathy, and a stack of talent. Her new single, “Wasteman” proves that she still has all three. It is a song that is typically Kate Nash and I mean that in a good way, there aren’t many people like her. It is a rolling kind of tune that shares anger, finding oneself, and ultimately realisation and redemption. The realisation part of the lyric is sublime “Took me some time to see, You’re actually shady. You fucking take the piss. I must have been crazy”. The lyrics are simple, to the point, and bloody good. With a chorus hook as good as “I’m not about it, I’m on my own shit” this song should be a huge hit, and although it probably will be big, it won’t sadly, be played on mainstream radio. “Wasteman” hangs around in your head long after the first listen and the video, starring British icon Danny Dyer is rather ace. It also stars the obscenely talented Gaby Diaz and an appearance by Danny’s daughter Sunnie. Check out the video below and get this tune in your life! The world needs Kate Nash!

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“And 1 More…” The Kut August 11, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:50 pm
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Earlier today the Kut released an awesome video for the last track on their rather excellent album ‘GRIT‘ which was launched earlier this year. The tune is “And 1 More..” It is a melodic grungey punk track with hooks to die for and mesmeric riffs that won’t leave you alone. Joan Jett would be proud of this tune. I recommend playing it loud and doing the same with the album. The Kut‘s album made it to number one in the Official UK Rock chart, can we get this tune to the top of the singles chart, rock or otherwise? The colourful and potentially iconic video was directed by Mike Gripz at God’s Own Junkyard. I can’t wait to see the Kut live now!

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“Oxford English Dictionary” – Trunky Juno August 10, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 5:53 pm
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Just a couple of months back Durham’s Trunky Juno released a rather splendid new single “Oxford English Dictionary”, which incidentally is one of my favourite books. The single is for me a contender for single of the year 2022! The song drew me in from the opening line, “Mississippi is a pretty difficult word to spell”. Seriously how can that not hook you in? Musically I was reminded of Vampire Weekend, the Flaming Lips, and the Super Furry Animals. Maybe it was “Oxford Comma” that drew me to the Vampire weekend comparison. This song is the dictionary definition (see what I did there?) of dreamy, languid, chilled pop. I have listened to a few more of Trunky Juno‘s songs and they are all rather good.

Apparently, Trunky’s original aspiration was to be a Backstreet Boy, who knows, maybe that could still happen, but to be fair I don’t think he needs them. I hear that Trunky Juno is an avid admirer of all forms of creativity, and of music, he muses “I always wonder what it would be like to hear music without knowing anything about music, and that’s what I like about other art forms. I like that I know nothing about them and I can just appreciate them in a more abstract way without thinking about the gritty details.” Trunky Juno has great songs and is an artist that needs to be heard, so make sure you listen good people! Click here to find him on Spotify.

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“Do Clean / Do Dirrrty” – The Dead Zoo August 9, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 5:35 pm
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Tomorrow the Dead Zoo, one of my favourite current bands release their cracking new single “Do Clean / Do Dirrrty”. I am honoured to say that they have given me the opportunity to premiere the song a little early and share with you the lyric video. The actual video will be available soon and is just getting its finishing touches. As for the song, it is a punk mega blast full of anger, vitriol, and perhaps most importantly, hope. It is the sort of tune that could take the roof off a venue. Real 21st Century punk that smacks you right in the face and makes you listen. Here are some of the things the band had to say about the song. Singer and guitarist Kaoru says the song was driven by a conviction that “when trapped and lost, making a bold move to escape that reality regardless of the destination is sometimes necessary. In my case, the drive to move on emerges most strongly from my gender transition and is particularly relevant as trans people are currently being ‘monstered’ daily in an unprecedented attack by all sides of the establishment, society, and the mass media. The lawless mentality embraced by the lyric’s narrator fits well with that sense of being outside the bounds of a ‘normal’ world that seeks to cancel you and all those like you.” Joint lead vocalist Somrata, who also contributes a searing textural synth lead to counterpoint the buzzsawing guitars, says “that narrative is universal. The prevailing forces of populism and conservatism are those that are being fought by those they seek to keep under control. The song is all about that sense of finding our freedoms and enjoying that getaway drive in the process. It’s very Thelma and Louise.”

Spiderman has the Spiderverse, well this is the DeadZooverse!

This is a tour de force from a supremely talented band and takes their sound to a whole new level and hopefully a much wider audience. I once said that the Dead Zoo are destined for great things and on the evidence of “Do Clean / Do Dirrrty” that most definitely still holds true. I haven’t seen them live yet, but they are definitely on my “see live” bucket list. Look out for an interview with the Dead Zoo on these pages very soon. I also love that they have taken Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty” to another level with that statement extra ‘r’.

‘Do Clean / Do Dirrrty’ is released on all digital platforms on August 10th, 2022, backed with monstrous psych stomper ‘Siluett’. Get it and get on it tomorrow!

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“Cruel Twist Of Fate” – Thrillhouse August 8, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:16 pm
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When a band posts on Twitter “Our new tune is out on Friday. We ain’t got no money for PR, as usual. Soooo… anyone up for reviewing it? Means you get to hear it early! Scathing, brutal and unfair reviews very welcome” my interest is piqued. Thrillhouse did precisely this in respect of their new single last week. It is called “Cruel Twist Of Fate” and was launched in the wider world, I mean apart from those stuck-up privileged, snotty, superior, reviewers like me, who got it early, on Friday 5th August. I don’t like doing bad reviews, I’m not comfortable with it, but if I have to I will, and if someone invites a scathing, brutal, unfair review, what is an old bloke to do? Well, he needs to listen to the song first at least. I did just that, four times, albeit a bit late, considering it is now Monday. I had all my scathing, brutal, and unfair words ready and loaded into my sawn-off lexicon. Sorry to disappoint you though, I really didn’t need them! This is a great electro-pop track that also includes some fine more “organic” instruments, notably piano and electric guitar. If the Thompson Twins had a sweaty bout of illicit sex on the beach with Orchestral Manouvres In The Dark (OMD) with sand gathering in every available crease while Hall and Oates’s 1980s backing band were soundtracking them doing the two-backed beast, this fine song, “Cruel Twist Of Fate” would be the result some 9 months later. Thrillhouse refer to themselves as generic indie garbage and maybe there is a tiny element of generic and maybe even a pinch of indie, but garbage? Seriously, no way! I bloody love this single which is full of hooks and melodies to die for. I will spend the next few days acquainting myself with more of Thrillhouse‘s great tracks. I urge you to do the same. I am sorry Thrillhouse I so wanted to be scathing, brutal, and unfair, but you have made such a great song, I couldn’t! Click here to check out their fabulous collection of songs on Spotify!

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Play It Again Mayhem – “Why Can’t We Be Lovers” – Holland and Dozier August 7, 2022


This is the thirteenth song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began back in 2020. It might be the thirteenth entry, but it is lucky for one artist and for you because you get to hear another great tune. Check out the previous entries along with this new one in the Play It Again Mayhem Spotify Playlist, click here to take a listen! Once again this one goes back to the 70s, which remains my favourite era for music, 1972 in this case. In fact, 75% of the Play It Again Mayhem songs are from the 1970s so far. This is one of just a few recordings made by two-thirds of the classic Motown songwriting team of Holland Dozier Holland. The song features Lamont Dozier and, I think, both Brian and Eddie Holland. It is called “Why Can’t We Be Lovers” and was released as a single in 1972. It missed the US Billboard charts but made it to number 9 on the US R&B chart. In the UK it sadly only made it to number 29. It was issued on the writing teams Invictus label which also had big hits with Freda Payne and Chairmen Of The Board among others. It is probably one of my favourite love songs, although it is more a song of unrequited love.

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“Far” – Pennine Suite August 6, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:43 pm
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Pennine Suite unleashed their latest single on the world a few weeks ago. It has a full, everything including the kitchen sink 21st Century Phil Spector wall of sound production, without the bells. I love the harmony vocals from Louise, it adds depth to the sound and complements Nick’s voice perfectly. The keys are very early 80s indie pop and at times the vocals reminded me of the Human League when they took a detour away from their trademark synth sound with tunes like “The Lebanon” from 1984. harry’s guitar performance here is top-notch. Meanwhile, Moses on bass coupled with the Malfoy metronome that is Louis creates a perfect beat that is mightier than the Hadron collider. This track makes me look forward to a Pennine Suite album even more!

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“ICU” – PERCY August 5, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 5:19 pm
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A few weeks ago west Yorkshire Superheroes PERCY released a cracking single, “ICU”, from their latest album ‘Monorail’. We reviewed that album a while back, click here to read what we thought. The new single comes with a dark, comedic, psychedelic, animated video which features the band in a kind of warped wooden tops cartoon form. It is a great song and the video is genuinely out of this world, in more ways than one! The video was created by Hot Frog Animations who also produced a great video to accompany my favourite PERCY song from 2020, “Will Of The People”. “ICU” is a finely honed, yet chaotic, slice of post-punk vitriol that could only have been made by a great British band, which is exactly what PERCY are. The band has been playing a few live dates to promote the album and they will be playing their first London gig in around twenty years on August 27th. They have a 4.30pm slot as part of the Camden Rocks fringe. It will be at the Fiddlers Elbow (1 Malden Rd, Greater, Chalk Farm, London NW5 3HS). Scoot on down to Camden/ Chalk Farm on that date, you won’t be disappointed. Sadly I can’t make it as I will be at the Leeds Festival, but I really do think that as many of you as possible need to be there. If you go, then tell PERCY that Bill from With Just A Hint Of Mayhem sent you! 😉

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Swimming With The Blowfish – Hootie, Healing, And One Hell Of A Ride – by Jim Sonefeld August 4, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:14 pm
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For me, the mark of a great biography is the depth of honesty on show. A tale where the writer is willing to expose not just their success but also their very low points and failures. This book (‘Swimming With The Blowfish – Hootie, Healing, And One Hell Of A Ride – A Story Of Redemption’) by Hootie and the Blowfish drummer Jim Sonefeld has all of that and more. When he recounts the passing of his mother the emotion is almost palpable. Jim, or Soni to his friends and family, was always more keen to develop a career in sports, most likely soccer than he was in music but like the best-laid plans that changed. It is clear that after Jim joined Hootie, he nor none of the band foresaw the incredible success the band would experience. The band formed in 1986 and Jim joined in 1989. It was their first album, the magnificent ‘Cracked Rear View’ that sent them on a meteoric rise into the stratosphere in 1994 and spawned 6 hit singles across 1994 and 1995. In a grunge-driven industry the album overcame many odds and went on to top the US album chart and the first three singles all made the US top ten. This proves that great music will always win out! Sonefeld documents that rise with eloquent prose and the voice of a music fan who at times finds it hard to believe his luck. But it was that huge, and frankly, well-deserved success, that sowed the seeds of his struggles with alcohol and substance abuse. The hard-partying and rock star lifestyle were hard to resist for Jim.

It was his addictions that really shaped the next part of Jim’s life for many years. It strained and broke relationships and friendships and was clearly a factor leading to the end of his first marriage. Jim is brutally honest in describing the kind of person that alcohol and substance abuse had turned him into. I have known some alcoholics during my life and it is an awful disease. Jim Sonefeld eventually fought and won his battle with his demons and turned a completely new leaf following joining a 12-step programme. Surprising even himself along that journey he discovered a faith in God and followed a full Christian path to redemption. He now records as a contemporary Christian artist. So in spite of all the ups and downs, music became, and remains his constant in life. I am an atheist, but I applaud anyone who can overcome addiction whether that involves putting your faith in a God or something else. Sonefeld is a part of Celebrate Recovery which is a faith-based group that continues to help those suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction. The book does end on a wonderfully positive note on a few points, Jim remarried and remains very happily married with an extended family of growing kids. But it also highlights the latest, and hopefully not final, chapter for Hootie and the Blowfish; the Group Therapy tour which hit 44 cities from 2018 to 2019. I believe it takes great courage and humility to write a book in which the author completely opens his heart and bares his soul, Jim Sonefeld I take my hat off to you! Anyone who enjoys a great autobiography and any fans of great music should give ‘Swimming With The Blowfish’ a try. It also features a great foreword written by Hootie singer and now a major country star, Darius Rucker. The book is out now, published by Omnibus Press.

Click here to check out Hootie and the Blowfish on Spotify and here to listen to Jim Sonefeld’s music on Spotify. Click here to buy the book on Amazon.co.uk and click here to buy the book on Amazon.com.

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