With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

An Interview With Von Kaiser June 12, 2019

Filed under: Interview,Podcast — justwilliam1959 @ 12:18 pm
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Here is the third With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Podcast. This time it is an interview with a very talented new band from Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA They are called Von Kaiser. Find out what they have to say about their local music scene, their influences and how they got their name. I hope you enjoy it. I would love to hear your comments!

Click here to find it on SoundCloud.

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‘Kind Heaven’ – Perry Farrell June 9, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:18 pm
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US music legend Perry Farrell releases his first album of new material for many years and his first solo record since 2001. The new album is called ‘Kind Heaven’ and it is out now on BMG. The whole collection is upbeat and if you are someone who thought music might be getting a little stale for you, then this is definitely the collection for you. It kicks off with “(red, white and blue) Cheerfulness” a full-blooded feel-good rocker oozing with great riffs and hooks. I assume that “Pirate Punk Politician” is a brilliantly incisive put down of President Agent Orange. With biting lyrics like “Split your country down the middle. Break her open, kill the kiddos” it is most definitely on the money. Farrell has his finger on the pop-rock pulse among many other genres with this release. He is not bound by genres and for me, this album is his most eclectic collection of music to date. The group of musicians here is collectively known as the Kind Heaven Orchestra and the record was co-produced by legendary producer Tony Visconti. There are featured contributions from Dhani Harrison, Elliot Easton (The Cars), and Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) among others. Farrell’s wife Etty provides some superb counterpoint and lead vocals.

It is not the same song as U2’s but on “One” the vocal sounds very Bono like. “More Than I Could Bear” has a sweeping majesty to it and a psychedelic middle feel which Jimmy Page and Robert Plant would be very envious of. Perry Farrell is 60, but on the evidence of this album, he is giving far younger contemporaries a run for their money. It is great to see that he is still so fired up by his music.  Just when you think you know where this set of songs is going you get hit by an unexpected broadside of electro-dance-pop like “Snakes Have Many Hips” and “Spend The Body”. The latter is the sort of song that Madonna used to be so good at until she somewhat disappeared up her own backside in the last seven or eight years. Many of these tunes are built for festivals, whether that is intentional from the man who created Lollapalooza, I don’t know. But there is an epic vibe to many of the tracks here that had me moving and singing along. I used the record as the soundtrack to my run this afternoon and it works so well in that context. There is an inherent spirituality present which is most strongly felt in album closer “Let’s Pray For This World”. If ‘Kind Heaven’ does not feature on everyone’s album of the year list later in 2019 then something is wrong. It is a great album that I have listened to on repeat for six or seven times already. My only negative point is that it clocks in at just over 30 minutes. But buy it, stream it, borrow it, hell just find any way that you can to listen to it! I hope to catch him live sometime soon, see you there!

Kind Heaven tracklisting:

  1. (red, white, and blue) Cheerfulness

  2. Pirate Punk Politician

  3. Snakes Have Many Hips

  4. Machine Girl

  5. One

  6. Where Have You Been All My Life

  7. More Than I Could Bear

  8. Spend The Body

  9. Let’s All Pray For This World

 

“Embers” – InFade June 2, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 6:22 pm
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Carl from InFade contacted me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing their new single “Embers”. I was always going to do it, but I moved it much closer to the top of the pile when he described their sound as ‘Tool meets Earth Wind and Fire!’ That description sold it to me, but the question is can the track live up to it? Well, I reckon it can. It is a mountainous slab of hard rock, with a funk feel in the bass and drums. “Embers” has a great melodic feel and builds slowly, with an undercurrent of menace, to a crescendo that might register in the Richter scale at times. I have always believed that Yorkshire’s current generation of bands is strong, now that I have heard InFade from Leeds I am even more committed in that belief.

This track also carries the kind of soft-loud alternation that the Pixies mastered and Kurt Cobain was a fan of. In some of the softer moments singer, Max has a slight nod towards Peter Gabriel’s vocals. I can also detect a Biffy Clyro influence and let’s face it that is no bad thing. The lyrics have inherent power and appear to be about lost love and the grieving that loss in painful aftermath. I have listened to some of their other stuff and after that, I am definitely a fan. Click here to check out some earlier InFade releases on SoundCloud. The dictionary definition of embers is a small piece of burning or glowing coal or wood in a dying fire’. This song is much bigger than a small piece of glowing coal and InFade is more inferno than dying fire. The new single is officially launched with a gig at the 360 Club in Leeds on 28th June. In a live environment “Embers” will take on an anthemic life of its own. Be there or be square!

All photos provided by the artist.

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‘Black Mirror’ – G G Fearn

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 3:36 pm
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GG Fearn is a highly talented emerging artist from Carmarthen in Wales. Her first EP, ‘Black Mirror’ is out now and if you love the catchy, well-produced pop style, indie driven songs with a nod towards the dance world then you will love this. She has played gigs across the UK, including the Cavern in Liverpool. There are shades of Marina and the Diamonds in here and GG’s voice comes across at times like a British Stevie Nicks. The title track has a really impressive layered vocal chorus and a supremely infectious melody and hook that is taken into the stratosphere with a deep synth bass sound. The guitar licks are great 70s throwbacks. The production on “Teen Queen” really showcases the songs funky desires and if you fail to move your body to this you might well have flatlined! My favourite track on the EP at the moment is “Deal With Devil”, her voice has an Eastern tinge to it. I can imagine this song soundtracking a scene in American Horror Story or perhaps Lucifer.

In “Famous Last Words” GG sings that she wants to be remembered and to go down in history. On the evidence of this release, I believe that she has every chance of achieving that. I am definitely looking forward to her first album now! GG’s pen picture says “Her shebang of dark pop delight is original and fresh without the shackles of expectation” and having listened to this delightful EP three times now I have to agree. Her lyrics belie her youth with their confidence, darkness, and maturity. She sounds a little quirky at times, but I mean that in the positive. Kate Bush, one of my favourite singers, has always had a great take on quirkiness. GG began writing songs when she was quite you too, just like Kate Bush! GG is a truly original talent and I reckon she will be around a long, long while. I will be incredibly disappointed if you fail to check out this EP, do it now! Just click right here to listen on Spotify!

All photos provided by the artist.

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Everly Pregnant Brothers – Fibbers, York – Saturday 1st June 2019


It was just a few days ago that the Everly Pregnant Brothers from Sheffield appeared in our Mayhem Virgins series, which is exclusively for bands and singers that we have never featured before. But now, just a short time later they feature again, courtesy of one of a number of gigs they are performing in celebration of their tenth anniversary. The show, promoted by the Gig Cartel, was at Fibbers in York, a venue that will sadly be closing down later this year. So, how good were Big Shaun and the boys? Well, you will need to read on to find out what I thought of them because first there is a pretty decent support band to mention. Also from Sheffield, this mob is called Spit N Strings. They describe themselves as Hip Hop, Indie and Acoustic. To that, I would add folk, rock, and comedy. They are an incredibly entertaining band with overflowing energy, enthusiasm and humour. Tom, James, Dave, and Chris had me bouncing, laughing and smiling from the off. Often English rap and rappers just don’t work, but Spit N Strings pull it off with style! Particular highlights for me were “Radio Four” which is a rib-splitting diatribe about getting old, which most of the audience, including me, are. “Festival” is perhaps the best description of music festivals that there has ever been. Then there is the stone cold classic view of life in supermarkets like Morrisons late in the evening for yellow sticker shopping, “Feeding Time”. But my favourite was “Nobheads”, why? Well we are all a bit of a nobhead at times, aren’t we? The nearest comparison I can find for this band is probably Goldie Looking Chain, but I reckon Spit N Strings are much better and deserve a wider audience, check them out on Spotify by clicking here. Then go tell your mates about them.

Spit N Strings

We were spoilt for choice for gigs in York on Saturday. Was it going to be Rod Stewart at the racecourse or the Everly Pregnant Brothers at Fibbers? Well, it was no contest for me, it was always going to be a win for the Everly Pregnant Brothers. On paper ukeleles, drums, double bass, kazoo and cleverly crafted comedy lyrics to classic songs shouldn’t work, but live and on record, it all comes together brilliantly. Big Shaun took to the stage with a newly minted purple mohawk cut and helped drive the band through a set that contained all their classics. It kicked off with “Pork Pie” ( possibly more familiar as Blur’s “Parklife”)and the humour, banter, singalongs and piss-taking never let up from there. I will never be able to listen to the Cure’s “Love Cats” again without laughing out loud after hearing the epic “Fat Twat” where the audience participation on the chorus was so much fun, “la la la lardy bastard” indeed. The same feeling goes for R.E.M’s “Losing My Religion” once you have heard the Brothers “Losing My Pigeon”. I reckon the reworked lyrics are better! “Big Lump Of Hash” almost had me choking on my pint. If you’re a Bowie fan the Everly Pregnant Brothers take on “Ziggy Stardust”, “Reggie Sprayed Me Car” will make you sing the new lyrics forever, I reckon the Dame, who had a great sense of humour, would have loved this take on one of his most iconic songs. Blur’s “Tender” is turned into a hilarious ode to cyclists and the perils of getting saddle sore. Big Shaun introduced a lady from the audience to take the female verse in “Dun’t Tha Want Me”. She got the “buffer in Mappin and Webb” part spot on, but fluffed the unchanged parts! I think her name was Karen and to quote Big Shaun “Karen, you had one job….” The next three songs are those that can never be left out of an Everly Pregnant Brothers set; “Hendo’s”, “No Oven, No Pie” and “Chip Pan”. These three had the audience including me almost taking the Fibbers roof off with our amazing (well that might be stretching it) singing. It took me ten years but I am so glad that I now have the Everly Pregnant Brothers in my life. A great band and this was an awesome show.

Everly Pregnant Brothers

As a soft southerner who has lived in the north for twelve years, I had to do my research on Hendo’s, for those of you not in the know it is Henderson’s Relish! I may have to replace my Worcester Sauce now!

Big Shaun

Public Service Announcement: All photos, apart from the gig poster were taken using my cheap android phone. The videos were sourced from YouTube. If any of the latter are yours and you would either like a credit or to have them removed please let me know.

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“Listen Up” – Moodbay June 1, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 3:47 pm
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Manchester’s Moodbay has a rather delightful new single making its way into the world on June 7th. It is called “Listen Up” and that is exactly what you need to do if you like chilled, trancey, dance vibes infused with some hot 21st Century R & B.  Alfie Cattell and Anna Stephens a.k.a Moodbay list a few artists on their FaceBook page that they like including David Bowie, Gorillaz, Radiohead, Massive Attack, The Weeknd among many others. I can see the influences from all of them being put into the Moodbay magic mixing bowl and then having a large scoop of pure Moodbay added to make such classy sounds. The pair met and formed the duo in 2017 having met at the BIMM music school in Manchester. They describe their sound as mood pop.

In its original form “Listen Up” is damned good, but the dance remix takes it to a level that surely has the ability to set the clubs on fire. Alfie’s production is crystal clear and powerful. The bass sound that underpins the song builds it from simple chill to epic dance.  The music may sound positive and upbeat but the lyrics convey anger and perhaps sadness. That kind of thing is difficult to pull off successfully, but this lot do it perfectly! You need this track in your life and we need more from Moodbay. They are planning to have an album out later this year and on the evidence of this release, I am looking forward to it immensely! Click here to check out a few older tunes from them on Spotify and “Listen Up when it arrives. I have also included a few tracks from YouTube to whet your appetite for the magnificent Moodbay!

 

All photos by Declan Cerffield.

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“Part Of A Picture” – Sheratons May 30, 2019


The Sheratons are shaping up to be one of the finest bands in Leeds and maybe even the UK right now. The evidence is clearly there in their piledriving power in a live setting. The argument is firmly supported by the band’s most recent single “Part Of A Picture” release back in April. It is a melodic, indie rock tour de force that is rooted in rock history. There are tones of everyone from early Radiohead to the more spaced-out Byrds period. This song sounds like the product of a much more experienced band, but it isn’t, the Sheratons average age is still 19 or 20. Given the radio-play they are picking up with “Part Of A Picture” (BBC Introducing, Steve Lamacq, etc.) and the strength of previous releases, notably “These Kids” I reckon their first album will be a real winner.

The Sheratons with Kane Bulleyment’s astonishingly sharp and powerful vocal delivery, Finley Ryan’s knowledge and performance of great riffs and Emma Liu (drums) and Caty Labbett (bass) providing a Rolls Royce of an engine to power the song are definitely a force to be reckoned with. They should be very proud of this release! If you want to catch them live soon they are a part of the Futuresound Emerging Competition and will be appearing in one of the heats at the Wardrobe in Leeds on 20th June as a part of that (see below). You really need to be there! In the meantime click here to listen to “Part Of A Picture” on Spotify.

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