With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2020 Part 2 April 4, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:35 pm
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We are still catching up with reviews during this COVID-19 downtime. So here is our second 2020 singles round-up. These five tracks feature another eclectic mix of bands from as far afield as Newcastle, Brighton, Mexico, and Los Angeles. All of these acts are new to With Just A Hint Of Mayhem too. Enjoy!

Swine Tax – Browsing

“Browsing” – Swine Tax

21st Century punk at its best, a song full of open wound anger and vitriol. If the Sex Pistols came into being a couple of years ago they might have sounded like this. Their lyrics are sharp and their passion is strong, these boys from Newcastle could go the distance!

“Hsieh Su-Wei” – Mercvrial

A hypnotic dream gaze track from Mexico. It is about the Taiwanese tennis player Hsieh Su-Wei who apparently has a wonderfully unorthodox but successful style of play. It is quite a chilled song that would sit neatly among the early R.E.M. canon of tunes. This is going on my summer playlist!

“More Than I Can Give” – Sapien Trace

Another exciting band from Newcastle. With this single Sapien Trace pay homage to some of the best electro-synth, there has ever been. Imagine the Prodigy, 80s Human League and maybe Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley on vocal duties. All underpinned by an almost Italian House piano motif. This is an intriguingly great track that leaves me wanting more of Sapien Trace.

“Farewell Fareworse” – Something Leather

An eerie heavy psych workout from Brighton band Something Leather. The keyboards, in fact, the whole instrumentation, could soundtrack a modern take on a Hammer Horror film. The vocals are exceptionally good and sound at times like Cerys Matthews on psychedelic steroids. After this one song, I am a fan!

“Hate To Love” – Stonestreet

If you like modern R & B you will love this soulful, chilled tune from Stonestreet. Is it a love song? Maybe, but probably in the context of the occasional sparkle in a toxic relationship. The song is dedicated to Stonestreeet’s childhood friend Ann Emory who is no longer with as she struggled so hard with growing up queer in an unaccepting environment. It saddens me that the world still has more than its fair share of bigots. But I bloody love this tune and I am sure that Ann Emory would have been proud of Stonestreet’s stand for her!

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“Mannerism” – Cat Ryan

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:27 pm
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Cat Ryan is an up and coming trio fronted by their multi-instrumentalist lead singer Mary Anne. This track “Mannerism” is a very pleasant lilting melody led off by some wonderful jangling guitar work that has a touch of the Smiths about it. Billed as an Art Rock/Modern Shoegaze band they will appeal to those of you who are into the mighty Wolf Alice. Tom Robinson has said nice things about them on his show and on this evidence Cat Ryan absolutely has what it takes to go places. More, please!

Written by Paul Bamlett 🙂

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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2020 Part 1 April 3, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 3:20 pm
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We are just catching up with reviews during this COVID-19 downtime. So here is the first 2020 singles round-up. Look for the next one very soon. These five tracks feature an eclectic mix of bands, one of which we have featured before. Enjoy!

Spanish Love Songs

“Kick” – Spanish Love Songs

A wonderful slice of power pop with great punk undertones. Speaking of Undertones I can hear a similar tonal quality in Dylan Slocum’s voice to that of Feargal Sharkey. This LA-based five-piece has influences from the likes of Blink 182, but they are also very much their own band. From this song alone I am now a fan!

“In Your Eyes” – Walking On Mountains

Deep, dark, emotional rock from one of Sheffield’s finest current generation of bands. Powerfully soaring vocals from Davy Jones and a heartfelt counterpoint voice. The riffs are huge and the softer moments ooze feeling too. This is definitely a band to keep an eye on!

“Deranged” – Sex Cells

Reminiscent of early Human League and a wonderfully bonkers percussion-heavy synth track. The bass line drives right through your body and realigns your heart rate to its incessant beat. I challenge you to listen to this and not move your body, you will fail! I love this tune!

“Ghost” – Moodbay

Manchester duo released another classy single, “Ghost” earlier this year. Wonderful 21st Century R & B with a magnificently chilled, jazzy feel. Anna’s vocals are sultry and soulful. This track would work well on a chill-out soundtrack but also as a decent dance tune. I have reviewed Moodbay before and they just get better and better!

“Your Band” – Leather Party

At times it feels like this is just bass and vocals, but there is a dark underbelly of fucked-up Adam and the Ants style drums. That is possibly the heaviest deepest bass sound I have heard in a while. They come over like a cross between the Velvet Underground and the Jesus And Mary Chain with extra added weirdness. This is a great track but way too short.

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“Seaside Donkey” – PERCY March 31, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:10 pm
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The new album from York’s finest post-punkers PERCY, ‘Seaside Donkeys’ will be out in May, well COVID-19 permitting. Anyway, if you feel that you can’t wait that long for another PERCY fix they will be issuing a single from the album this Friday, 3rd April. It is called “Seaside Donkey” and will be bundled in this release with “Love Song”. I can picture massive singalongs occurring when “Seaside Donkey” gets played live, I will certainly be shouting my lungs out next time I see this excellent band live. The song has a slightly more acoustic feel than what we have come to expect from PERCY but put simply it is a great song! It even features a laconic violin motif which gives it the feel of being a drinking song, although perhaps a little bit of a maudlin drink, at least for me. “Love Song” is a complete contrast and rocks in a very John Lydon PiL vibe with a Julian Cope feel at times in the vocals, a song built for a heaving mosh pit! As a taster for the album these two tracks will almost certainly make you want to own it when it is issued, it will even be available on vinyl! If you want some music to ease yourself through this incredibly mad world then try PERCY!

If you want to be among the first to own the album click here now! While you’re waiting take a listen to a couple of tracks from their last album.

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“Murder Most Foul” – Bob Dylan March 30, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 1:02 pm
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Our writer Tom Ray has been released from the Mayhem Mansions cellar and wants to share his thoughts on Bob Dylan’s new opus. Read it to find out what Tom thought of it and let us have your thoughts on “Murder Most Foul”.  Dylan’s lyrics for the song have also been copied below, I hope that you don’t mind Mr Zimmerman.

It seems that Bob Dylan has had things on his mind for a long time. Things keeping him awake for the last 57 years. Murder Most Foul, his first original release in 8 years, is one of the most significant pieces of art of the 21st century. Its title comes from Shakespeare. Its lyrics are a complex, labyrinthine monologue that takes us through some of the most significant events of the 20th century, starting with the death of US President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Its trip through myriad cultural references is fragmented and broken. The Beatles releasing I Want To Hold Your Hand, released just six days after Kennedy’s assassination in the UK and a couple of months later in the US, on Boxing Day. Jim Crow America. Woodstock. DJ Wolfman Jack. Robert Johnson’s crossroad rendezvous with the Devil. Golden age Hollywood. All of the deepest scars in the American psyche are written large here in glorious technicolour. The assassination itself. Zapruder’s grainy home-movie of the grim event, ‘the most important 26 seconds of film in history’. Strip club owner Jack Ruby, who murdered the assassination suspect Lee Harvey Oswald in police custody. Vietnam. Marilyn Monroe. Even the civil war. It references multitudes of musicians, some of Dylan’s contemporaries, some more recent and some of Dylan’s heroes. We’re talking the Aforementioned Robert Johnson. The Who. Etta James. Billy Joel. Elvis. Sun RA. Plenty of material for the Dylanologists to get their teeth stuck into.

Murder Most Foul is a quasi-religious piece of art. Dylan is a priest giving communion. It’s an act of remembrance. A mournful dirge. We are his loyal flock, listening in for instruction and guidance. Listening for comfort and reassurance. Instead, we are met with 17 minutes of bleak beauty. It is a minimal composition of piano, violin, and some light percussion. It has very little sense of melody and a chanted, droning quality. Trapper Schoep, a millennial musician who has recently collaborated with Dylan, describes it as ‘” The Irishman” of songs’ and ‘a commentary on a major cultural event that’s happening now by referencing a major cultural event of the past’.

It’s fitting then, that Dylan released this piece at midnight on March 27th, 2020, as we transition from the post-war age of boom and bust, terror and drugs, rock and roll, peace and prosperity, hate and war, starvation and austerity and into the unknown future of the post-pandemic age laid out before us. He wrote on Twitter that it was ‘recorded a while back’ and something that fans ‘might find interesting’. ‘Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you’. Despite my atheism, I echo his sentiments.

Written by Tom Ray

Murder Most Foul is available to stream or buy from all the usual suspects. Spotify, YouTube etc.

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Bob Dylan – ‘Murder Most Foul’ lyrics:

Twas a dark day in Dallas, November ’63
A day that will live on in infamy
President Kennedy was a-ridin’ high
Good day to be livin’ and a good day to die
Being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb
He said, “Wait a minute, boys, you know who I am?”
“Of course we do. We know who you are.”
Then they blew off his head while he was still in the car
Shot down like a dog in broad daylight
Was a matter of timing and the timing was right
You got unpaid debts; we’ve come to collect
We’re gonna kill you with hatred; without any respect
We’ll mock you and shock you and we’ll put it in your face
We’ve already got someone here to take your place

The day they blew out the brains of the king
Thousands were watching; no one saw a thing
It happened so quickly, so quick, by surprise
Right there in front of everyone’s eyes
Greatest magic trick ever under the sun
Perfectly executed, skillfully done
Wolfman, oh wolfman, oh wolfman howl
Rub-a-dub-dub, it’s a murder most foul

Hush, little children. You’ll understand
The Beatles are comin’; they’re gonna hold your hand
Slide down the banister, go get your coat
Ferry ‘cross the Mersey and go for the throat
There’s three bums comin’ all dressed in rags
Pick up the pieces and lower the flags
I’m going to Woodstock; it’s the Aquarian Age
Then I’ll go to Altamont and sit near the stage
Put your head out the window; let the good times roll
There’s a party going on behind the Grassy Knoll

Stack up the bricks, pour the cement
Don’t say Dallas don’t love you, Mr. President
Put your foot in the tank and step on the gas
Try to make it to the triple underpass
Blackface singer, whiteface clown
Better not show your faces after the sun goes down
Up in the red light district, they’ve got cop on the beat
Living in a nightmare on Elm Street

When you’re down in Deep Ellum, put your money in your shoe
Don’t ask what your country can do for you
Cash on the ballot, money to burn
Dealey Plaza, make left-hand turn
I’m going down to the crossroads; gonna flag a ride
The place where faith, hope, and charity died
Shoot him while he runs, boy. Shoot him while you can
See if you can shoot the invisible man
Goodbye, Charlie. Goodbye, Uncle Sam
Frankly, Miss Scarlett, I don’t give a damn

What is the truth, and where did it go?
Ask Oswald and Ruby; they oughta know
“Shut your mouth,” said the wise old owl
Business is business, and it’s a murder most foul

Tommy, can you hear me? I’m the Acid Queen
I’m riding in a long, black limousine
Riding in the backseat next to my wife
Heading straight on in to the afterlife
I’m leaning to the left; got my head in her lap
Hold on, I’ve been led into some kind of a trap
Where we ask no quarter, and no quarter do we give
We’re right down the street from the street where you live
They mutilated his body, and they took out his brain
What more could they do? They piled on the pain
But his soul’s not there where it was supposed to be at
For the last fifty years they’ve been searchin’ for that

Freedom, oh freedom. Freedom cover me
I hate to tell you, mister, but only dead men are free
Send me some lovin’; tell me no lies
Throw the gun in the gutter and walk on by
Wake up, little Susie; let’s go for a drive
Cross the Trinity River; let’s keep hope alive
Turn the radio on; don’t touch the dials
Parkland hospital, only six more miles

You got me dizzy, Miss Lizzy. You filled me with lead
That magic bullet of yours has gone to my head
I’m just a patsy like Patsy Cline
Never shot anyone from in front or behind
I’ve blood in my eye, got blood in my ear
I’m never gonna make it to the new frontier
Zapruder’s film I seen night before
Seen it 33 times, maybe more
It’s vile and deceitful. It’s cruel and it’s mean
Ugliest thing that you ever have seen
They killed him once and they killed him twice
Killed him like a human sacrifice

The day that they killed him, someone said to me, “Son
The age of the Antichrist has only begun.”
Air Force One coming in through the gate
Johnson sworn in at 2:38
Let me know when you decide to thrown in the towel
It is what it is, and it’s murder most foul

What’s new, pussycat? What’d I say?
I said the soul of a nation been torn away
And it’s beginning to go into a slow decay
And that it’s 36 hours past Judgment Day

Wolfman Jack, speaking in tongues
He’s going on and on at the top of his lungs
Play me a song, Mr. Wolfman Jack
Play it for me in my long Cadillac
Play me that ‘Only the Good Die Young’
Take me to the place Tom Dooley was hung
Play St. James Infirmary and the Court of King James
If you want to remember, you better write down the names
Play Etta James, too. Play ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’
Play it for the man with the telepathic mind
Play John Lee Hooker. Play ‘Scratch My Back’.
Play it for that strip club owner named Jack
Guitar Slim going down slow
Play it for me and for Marilyn Monroe

Play ‘Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’
Play it for the First Lady, she ain’t feeling any good
Play Don Henley, play Glenn Frey
Take it to the limit and let it go by
Play it for Karl Wirsum, too
Looking far, far away at Down Gallow Avenue
Play tragedy, play “Twilight Time”
Take me back to Tulsa to the scene of the crime
Play another one and “Another One Bites the Dust”
Play “The Old Rugged Cross” and “In God We Trust”
Ride the pink horse down the long, lonesome road
Stand there and wait for his head to explode
Play “Mystery Train” for Mr. Mystery
The man who fell down dead like a rootless tree
Play it for the Reverend; play it for the Pastor
Play it for the dog that got no master
Play Oscar Peterson. Play Stan Getz
Play “Blue Sky”; play Dickey Betts
Play Art Pepper, Thelonious Monk
Charlie Parker and all that junk
All that junk and “All That Jazz”
Play something for the Birdman of Alcatraz
Play Buster Keaton, play Harold Lloyd
Play Bugsy Siegel, play Pretty Boy Floyd
Play the numbers, play the odds
Play “Cry Me A River” for the Lord of the gods
Play number 9, play number 6
Play it for Lindsey and Stevie Nicks
Play Nat King Cole, play “Nature Boy”
Play “Down In The Boondocks” for Terry Malloy
Play “It Happened One Night” and “One Night of Sin”
There’s 12 Million souls that are listening in
Play “Merchant of Venice”, play “Merchants of Death”
Play “Stella by Starlight” for Lady Macbeth

Don’t worry, Mr. President. Help’s on the way
Your brothers are coming; there’ll be hell to pay
Brothers? What brothers? What’s this about hell?
Tell them, “We’re waiting. Keep coming.” We’ll get them as well

Love Field is where his plane touched down
But it never did get back up off the ground
Was a hard act to follow, second to none
They killed him on the altar of the rising sun
Play “Misty” for me and “That Old Devil Moon”
Play “Anything Goes” and “Memphis in June”
Play “Lonely At the Top” and “Lonely Are the Brave”
Play it for Houdini spinning around his grave
Play Jelly Roll Morton, play “Lucille”
Play “Deep In a Dream”, and play “Driving Wheel”
Play “Moonlight Sonata” in F-sharp
And “A Key to the Highway” for the king on the harp
Play “Marching Through Georgia” and “Dumbarton’s Drums”
Play darkness and death will come when it comes
Play “Love Me Or Leave Me” by the great Bud Powell
Play “The Blood-stained Banner”, play “Murder Most Foul”


Julia Bardo – Fulford Arms, York – Saturday 14th March 2020

This post is very late largely because the whole COVID-19 somewhat dampened my enthusiasm for writing. This is now the last gig for me and all of us for weeks, maybe months. So I feel a need to document it. It was another great looking line up from Simon Pattinson head honcho of Northern Radar. First up were Fawn, a musically talented bunch and the pet project of Ilana Zsigmond, a transatlantic singer-songwriter who moved to the UK a few years ago. Her band featured Crispin Halcrow who has featured on this blog before as a solo performer. Ilana reminds me of Linda Ronstadt in her early, in which case are her band a fledgling Eagles? Who knows? Crispin is more Glen Frey than Joe Walsh in style, so maybe! Ilana’s between-song banter was intelligent, amusing and frankly spot on. Her song about York (apologies I missed the title) was close to sublime while “Skin” was truly stunning, a really beautiful song. For me, it encapsulates perfectly that journey of understanding who you are and getting to know and understand yourself. Lyrically it is faultless, with my favourite line being ““But I still build forts and I still skip stones and I still haven’t read every book that I own”. That sums me up to a degree, although I probably need to start building more forts!


Next up is the extraordinarily talented Kitty VR. I have seen her previously with a band and also solo acoustic, tonight was with a full band. In this environment, Kitty loses a little of her solo acoustic fragility. But that is more than compensated for by the deeper and more expansive sound that a band brings to her growing canon of great songs. “My Kind” is an open-hearted lament when performed solo acoustically. But here it felt like an amazing collaboration between Massive Attack, Portishead and the Cocteau Twins with Jimmy Page producing. this was not just a highlight of Kitty’s set for me, it was also the highlight of the night! Kitty, whether with band or solo retains that elusive Jeff Buckleyesque style that since Jeff’s sad demise I have only ever heard through Kitty and her supremely talented contemporary Laura Kindelan.

Kitty VR

This was the first time that I had come across Julia Bardo and I was pretty impressed. She has great songs with elements that sit on the softer side of Patti Smith and maybe a little Justine Frischmann (Elastica) and Louise Wener (Sleeper) seeping into Julia’s tonal quality. She has some soaring, heartfelt and soul pouring ballads in her powerful song repertoire. There is also a Stevie Nicks comparison which wasn’t apparent until Julia and her band launched into an awesome cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”.  But this was not just a carbon copy cover the song evolved into an extended guitar fade, jam, wigout that matched the Velvet Underground at their peak. Julia Bardo is well worth checking out if you like great music and classy tunes you will love her stuff! Interestingly given the focus on gender equality festival line ups all three of tonight’s acts were incredibly talented women. Festival organisers take note for 2021 (on the assumption that the 2020 festival season will be canned).

Julia Bardo

After the gig, I went for a few drinks with the aforementioned Simon Pattinson and Jared, Joe and Jordan from Avalanche Party who were punters at the show. That is another band that I am looking forward to seeing again once this virus is history. Given that was my final pub visit before close down I can think of far worse people to spend it with. Simon, Jared, Joe, and Jordan thanks for a great night and I look forward to meeting up again on the other side of all this!

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap Chinese android phone. The videos were all found on YouTube if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know. 

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Lockdown playlists! Stay indoors and get your party trousers on! March 21, 2020

Filed under: Observation — justwilliam1959 @ 11:01 pm
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Here are a few playlists that I have created on Spotify over the past few years. They might help you get through the lockdown and take your mind off these very strange days! Feel free to share them!

If you want to suggest ant tracks to be added then let me know!

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 461 songs that helped shape my life in some way!

FACK TRUMP! – largely political and mostly protest songs

SASH Gig 3rd January 2020 – this was the music played before and between all the bands at the first gig, I ever promoted back in January. Big thanks once again to Lost Trends, My Wonderful Daze, and the Receivers – all of whom feature on this playlist. Probably more of a brain dump from me is this one!

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