With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘Coping Mechanism’ EP – Filthy Militia January 14, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:37 pm
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Filthy Militia was formed in North London in 2016, they are a five-piece ska-punk band. Their sound is rooted in more modern ska and 2-Tone and I hear echoes of Reel Big Fish and the Mighty Mighty Boss Tones among others. Their first EP ‘Innocent Until Proven Filthy’ was released back in February 2018. Following that they secured some ace support slots with Neville Staple, Lightyear, Captain Accident & The Disasters, and Call Me Malcolm to name just a few. The band stayed busy during the dark days of Covid, after a very successful Kickstarter campaign they hit Hidden Track Studios in Folkestone with producer Oz Craggs (Neck Deep, Call Me Malcolm, Millie Manders & The Shut Up) to record their new EP, ‘Coping Mechanism’. The EP is scheduled for release on Pookout Records on 4th February, it will be supported with what I am sure will be a cracking launch show at The Black Heart, Camden on Saturday
12th February 2022.

This EP really is a class affair in which Filthy Militia prove that they are more than just a ska-punk band. It kicks off with a magnificent song, “Another Day” that immediately smacks you in the face, in a good way, and doesn’t let up for its full three-plus minutes. After a couple of listens, I think perhaps “Differences” is my favourite track here and takes me back to those early No Doubt days. I particularly love the dub elements present on “Beatdown” which reminds me of those heady days when the Clash did their reggae thing so well. This band clearly has a wonderfully well-developed social conscience too and this is clear in the lyrics to most tracks, but for me particularly so in “The Land Of The Dead”. Perhaps the most Jamaican Reggae sound is on EP closer “Don’t You Look Back”, I love this track’s wistful, hopeful, summery feel. It makes me yearn for a cold can of Red Stripe in the sunshine. This is a fabulous EP that will get played a lot by me this year. Filthy Militia are yet another band on my must-see live list

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‘Bringing Down The House’ – Blues Attack January 11, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:42 pm
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Energetic and exciting funk/rock blues band Blues Attack released their impressive debut album, Bringing Down the House, back in November 2021. The 5 piece band from Istanbul takes us on a varied and powerful genre-spanning musical journey. Their sound is a kaleidoscope of smooth, melodic vocals; tight bass and drums; rhythmic guitar; Hammondesque keyboards, and a peppering of brass and soulful backing singers. The band is innovative and different from anyone I have heard before. Throughout the whole album, some of their diverse influences really stand out. Hints of Jack Bruce’s (Cream) soft and mellow vocal style, West Coast guitar work, and when they turn up the volume and rock, shades of Deep Purple fill the speakers. The band is made up of Sezen Köroğlu (keyboards), Tarkan Mumkule (guitars) and Batur Yurtsever (bass) who were already household names on the Istanbul live music circuit and had been playing together backing some of the top musicians and singers in Turkey. Prominent musicians in the Turkish blues scene, Güray Oskay (vocals, guitar, harmonica) and Hasan Ali Polat (drums) joined the other three in 2017 and the group was formed.

When the world shut down with Covid-19 restrictions in 2020, the band used that time to compose and record 10 original tracks featuring an eclectic collection of blues/rock to hip-shaking funk. They brought in the following guest musicians for the album: Serkan Emre Çiftçi (trumpet), Özgür Şengül (saxophone) Göksenin Tuncalı (backing vocals) Bengisu Öcal (backing vocals) Pelin Özülkü (backing vocals) Burak Ocakçı (harmonica). The opening track “Once and for All” delivers a steady bass line and solid uncomplicated drums with wah-wah tinged guitar riffs and breaks. With smooth and controlled vocals, Güray Oskay sings about taking back control of feelings after a relationship whilst the brass section and beautiful choppy Hammond organ alternates with the soulful backing singers. A clever nod to their Turkish roots is the use of quarter tones before the chorus, a pitch often heard in Eastern music. They are there but easy to miss. The clean guitar breaks sounding at times like Steely Dan or the Eagles, soulful and melodic, and tastefully done. One of the things so innovative about this band is the use of the keyboards, horns, and backing singers to create appealing and sophisticated musical layers.

More of a blues/rock feel follows with “In for the Kill”. Solid drumming and driving bass provide the rhythm for Oskay’s vocals about a dangerous woman who lures people into her lair. The track is laden with punchy guitar solos and a tight-knit brass section during the chorus. About halfway through the track, the layers are stripped back, and we experience a melodic sound of muted drums, bass, and funky keyboards. As the track draws to an end, the trumpet is given the wah-wah treatment. Reminding me of “Sivad” by Miles Davis, this unusual effect reinforces how creative Blues Attack are. “I Need Time” is one of the funkier tunes on the album, features a solid bass line, simple and powerful drums with syncopated guitar, and keyboard notes. The notable horn section blasts its way through this track, reaching a perfectly timed and placed crescendo during the chorus. The subtle saxophone together with the brass is reminiscent of Grand Funk Railroad. After another funky blues tune, “Long Gone”, comes the title track “Bringing Down the House”. The funkiest track of the album is fun to listen to, immediately danceable, and gets your toes tapping instantly. I can just imagine how this particular song goes down at a live gig. It perfectly combines a solid bass and drum rhythm with the much loved and tuneful brass/keyboard and backing vocals combo.

The next three tracks move away a little from this funk/rock blues concept, showcasing their talents in other genres. “Down a Winding Road” kicks off with jangly guitars and pop sounds. It’s melodic, uplifting, and soulful. Oskay’s vocals are clean, often sounding like the Lighthouse Family or that 80’s smooth and easy listening style. The pace slows right down with the next tune, “Little Isle”. Closing your eyes and listening to the sustained guitar sounds, delicate bass, and rimshots rather than a full-on snare drum, transports you to a tropical island where the lyrics tempt you to daydream. It’s slow blues with a sound not unlike Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”. “Country Joan” is an interesting next track. Its title suggests the band’s venture into country music and the beginning of it certainly gives you that impression. As the track builds the brass and sax section takes over and Oskay introduces a telephone mic effect to tell the story. The chorus reverts to a country style and a catchy chorus. The backing vocals sound like a steam train (or maybe that’s just me!) and the whole song makes me feel like I’m on a journey to the deep country, maybe somewhere like Texas. “Reaper On Wheels” is a blues/rock masterpiece. When Blues Attack really rock out and go for it, I hear Ian Gillan from Deep Purple when Oskay belts it out. It’s rocky, tuneful, and rhythmic. The album closes with “Trucker Blues”. A fitting end to this band’s debut album. An upbeat blues/rock piece that doesn’t fail to please. The harmonica makes an appearance towards the end together with some cleverly constructed guitar work. Blues Attack is a band to watch. This is their first album, and judging by the quality, innovation, and sheer energy, it won’t be their last. Maybe soon, after this gets back to some normality, they will tour internationally. I will be putting my name down to see them for sure.

Written by Juan Brooks

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“Where you been lately? There’s a new kid in town”

Filed under: Observation — justwilliam1959 @ 6:49 pm
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Indeed there is a new kid in town, his name is Juan Brooks and he is the newest addition to the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem family. Juan joins me (Bill), Paul Bamlett, and Tom Ray. Over the last year, we have been a little slow with reviews and we plan to change that this year. Paul is currently working on a couple, as am I. Meanwhile, Juan has just written his first ever review and he said “It was a biggie…a whole album. Nothing like getting stuck in is there?” Anyway, look out for that review coming your way very soon! Greetings from the new Fab Four, we are looking forward to interacting with you dear readers! Click here to find out more about us!

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Play It Again Mayhem – “Rockin’ Chair” – Gwen McCrae January 9, 2022

Filed under: Play It Again Mayhem — justwilliam1959 @ 4:17 pm
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This is the ninth song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began last year. Check out the earlier posts by clicking here (Betty Wright), here (Elton John), here (Roxy Music),  here (The O’Jays), here (John Miles), here (Steely Dan), here (Climax Blues Band) and here Little Jackie. Once I get to the tenth Play It Again post there will be a Spotify Playlist, so just one more to go! This is another great 70s track, this time by Gwen McCrae, it is titled “Rockin’ Chair”. Originally intended as a response song to her husband George McCrae’s smash hit “Rock Your Baby”. George provides backing vocals on “Rockin’ Chair” and I believe that is the Sunshine Band providing the music. The song was written by Clarence Reid (a.k.a. Blowfly) and Willie Clarke. “Rockin’ Chair” didn’t chart in the UK but made it to number ten in the US Billboard Chart and number one in the Billboard R & B chart. I used to own this on 7-inch vinyl. Gwen is now 78 and was still performing up until 2012 when she suffered a stroke while singing at a show in England.

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“Happiness Is Not A Destination” – Andrew Cantwell

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:09 pm
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Andrew Cantwell is a British singer/songwriter based in Wigan, Greater Manchester. He grew up in Renfrew near Glasgow, and like many of us older folk (although to be fair he is much younger than me) he worked to earn money for gig tickets and records. he always wanted a career in music and at one point this huge music fan ran the fan pages and website for GUN and the Dogs D’Amour and his hero Tyla. He has a wide range of musical influences and that is apparent from his work. He comes across as one hell of a positive person. After losing his wife to Sepsis in 2018, his son Dylan suggested he should enrol at The Music Projects in Wigan, which he did and after studying at TMP Music College in Wigan he graduated with overall distinction.

He has released a few singles during Covid lockdown and his newest hit the world back in October, it is called “Happiness Is Not A Destination” and it oozes with that aforementioned positivity. It is the kind of tune that uplifts your mood and makes you smile with that warm glow of happiness. For me, it is about focussing on the good things in life even if the bad stuff seems insurmountable. That happiness is simply a way of life is a great message to live by. The song was recorded at TMP College in Pemberton, Wigan with Andrew’s mentor and confidante John Kettle. John played electric/acoustic guitar/bass and also produced and engineered the song.

You need to check out more of Andrew’s songs, he is a truly great talent. As a bonus, the B-Side (younger readers should ask their Grandparents what this is) is a delightful cover of the Waterboys classic “The Whole Of The Moon”. Andrew makes the song his own by slowing it down and making it more melancholy. This rendition fits perfectly how I believe a cover version should be, somewhat removed from the original, maintaining a similar spirit, but definitely not a facsimile! Click here to check out more of Andrew’s songs and covers on Spotify.

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“But the Shadow Man is really you, look in his eyes and see your reflection” January 8, 2022

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 11:40 pm
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OK I know I am a tad late with this, but I don’t want to let January 8th pass by without a mention for the Dame on what would have been his 75th Birthday. After stunning comeback albums ‘The Next Day’ in 2013 and ‘Blackstar’ in 2016 who knows what he might have achieved had he lived? Would there have been more musicals after the success of ‘Lazarus’, the often spoken about Ziggy musical maybe? Would there have been more interesting collaborations? Would he have explored music genres that he had never explored before? Who knows, but to quote Mr. Bowie himself from his 50th Birthday Concert at Madison Square Gardens in New York back in 1997, “I don’t know where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring”. Rest In Peace David Robert Jones your music still resonates and always will!

If you fancy some Bowie tunes I have added a few videos to this post, I have also created a few Bowie playlists on Spotify, check them out!

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Goes Under The Covers With The Dame – Covers recorded or played live by Mr. Bowie

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Bowie Live – More Bowie live tracks that many of you will ever need

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Bowie Deep Cuts – The lesser played tracks from Dame Dave’s albums

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Mayhem Does Playlists Again – 2022 January 4, 2022

Filed under: Playlist — justwilliam1959 @ 12:24 am
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Here’s the Spotify Playlist I promised before Christmas. It includes the twelve tracks that I included in my Songs Of Hope 12 Days Of Christmas series plus some that you delightful readers recommended. I even added John Lennon’s “Imagine”, a song I really don’t like, as someone wanted it included! Like all my playlists it is recommended for shuffle play! Click here to give it a spin. Including the new one, you have fifteen to choose from!

Here are most of my other playlists. Feel free to follow them and share them!

If you want to suggest any tracks to be added to any of them just let me know!

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Does Britpop and other 90s Greats – OK, Britpop wasn’t really a genre was it? But the 90s did have some great tunes

Billy Does Glam & other early 70s pop – get your platforms on!

Billy’s Best Snotty Punk Tracks – who doesn’t love punk?

Billy’s Ranking Reggae Rockers – everybody loves reggae right?

Billy’s 70s Soul, Funk & Disco Selection – right back to my youth! Get on your flares and get dancin’

Billy’s 60s Soul Selection – I dare you not to enjoy and dance to this lot!

Billy’s Barbecue Belters – this started as a nice backdrop to a summer barbecue that has, thanks to some musical brain farts, grown to a whopping 470 songs that helped shape my life in some way! This will take you more than 31 hours to play all of it!

Johnny Nash – The Greatest Vocalist Ever – Does what it says on the tin, the late, great Johnny Nash was for me the greatest vocalist that ever lived.

Pure Cheesy Pop! – Who doesn’t love a bit of cheese with added guilty pleasures!

Weirdsville City Limits – some really weird tracks that formed the long list for a radio show that I did for Jorvik Radio last year

FACK TRUMP! – largely political and mostly protest songs. This one needs updating!

How about a few Bowie playlists? OK? Don’t mind if I do……

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Goes Under The Covers With The Dame – Covers recorded or played live by Mr. Bowie

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Bowie Live – More Bowie live tracks that many of you will ever need

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Bowie Deep Cuts – The lesser played tracks from Dame Dave’s albums

Probably my favourite mixtape/ playlist!

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The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – January 1st, 2022 January 2, 2022


Greetings to readers new and old, I hope that 2022 is a great one for you. But frankly it can’t be worse than 2020 and 2021 can it? Well my 2022 has started with me isolating with Covid, so who knows! 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 still remain 99% more obscure than other users in the UK. It also lists my most obscure artists, (the top two of which have been there since I began doing these posts) which currently are;

Woke Up Dead (Ever present excellent band)

Promethium (This metal bunch continue to fly the flag for great British rock)

The Dead Zoo (This fabulous band make another appearance at number 15 in this months top 20)

Catherine Anne Davies (a.k.a. The Anchoress. This entry is thanks to me spending some time with the sublime album she released with Bernard Butler, ‘In Memory Of My Feelings’)

The Suncharms (Two months in a row in the obscure gang and top of the last chart too, falling to number two this time out)

So who were the top artists for January 1st (which incidentally was also my birthday!) ? Check the full lists below, the Dame is back at the top after a lowly showing last time. Suncharms stick around at 2. Number 3 is the home of one of my favourite ever acts, the KLF. Meanwhile the Kunts, the marvellous punk Christmas chart Crusaders are at number 4, thanks to me looping their excellent attack on Boris Johnson in a campaign to get it to Christmas number one There are a few new (to me) artists in there, notably Kid Kapichi, Captain Accident and Ferocious Dog. Also, plenty of the usual classic acts, including Paul Weller, Frank Zappa, Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, Wings and Procol Harum. 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 (January 1st 2022)

1 David Bowie
2 Suncharms
3 KLF
4 The Kunts
5 Paul Weller
6 Emmylou Harris
7 Frank Zappa
8 Bruce Springsteen
9 Gregory Porter
10 Alicia Keys
11 Captain Accident
12 Cat Power
13 Ferocious Dog
14 Wings
15 The Dead Zoo
16 Apollo Junction
17 Procol Harum
18 Stanley Clarke
19 Kid Kapichi
20 Depeche Mode

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The Mayhem Christmas Message 2021 December 25, 2021

Filed under: Christmas Message — justwilliam1959 @ 5:45 pm
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I hope you are all doing well given what Covid has done and is still doing to us. I really hope that we will start to see the end of living on Plague Island in 2022. I would like to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has read, liked, or followed With Just A Hint Of Mayhem during 2021 and a big shout out to all of you who have been with us longer than that. I am especially grateful for the reviews that Paul and Tom have added to the site. Then of course the bands and artists that gave us some awesome Christmas messages this year. Personally, I have loved getting back to live gigs after so long, hopefully, this will only get better next year. We have been a little behind on reviews in 2021, we plan to do better next year. It just remains for me to say enjoy the rest of your Christmas and have a fabulous new year. You may have seen the Queen’s Christmas message, well this is mine!

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A Christmas Message From The Last Of The Fallen Angels December 24, 2021


This is our 11th and final Christmas message for 2021, well you still have my own Mayhem Message to come tomorrow. I would like to say a huge thank you to all the bands and artists that have given a Yuletide message, we will definitely be doing this again next year. So this final one is from a band that always produces quality music, it is the Last Of The Fallen Angels. Conrad McQueen the Fallen Angels main man gave me some info about what they have been up to in 2021 and what is on the horizon for 2022. They released an 8 song CD earlier this year called “Radio Babylon” which features Peter Hook, Rowetta, Brinsley Forde, Victoria Owsnett and many more. The CD is available for only £10 and all sales go to Musicians Against Homelessness supporting Crisis. Just click here and in no time at all you will own this fine collection! As for 2022 apparently the Last Of The Fallen Angels will have some cracking new tunes for us, now that is definitely something to look forward to! Oh and if you think the Christmas message looks familiar, it is, it is last years message, which was so good we are using it again! Watch carefully and you will see an appearance from Taylor of Not Now Norman, who also provided one of our earlier Christmas messages.

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