With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Reading Festival 2011 – Day 3 – Sunday 28th August August 29, 2011

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:20 pm
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First up today were Dananananaykroyd; they’re wild and they’re from Scotland and it is hard not to like them. next we saw the Original Rude Boys on the BBC Introducing Stage. Three Irish lads who were here because they were messing around at home a few months back and wrote a song which they recorded and put on YouTube and it took off from there. they’re acoustic with some great Irish rapping. They played a great cover of Gnarls Barkley‘s “Crazy”.  Back to the NME/ Radio 1 stage next. So tell me a fat bald beardy bloke and a band that looks like students? Sounds fucked up? Well it is Fucked Up and they are fucking amazing! Does he ever get on stage?

The BBC Introducing stage set by Funeral Party was ok and Taking Back Sunday brightened up the rain from the Main Stage. Frank Turner was very possibly the best act of the day for me! Massive sing along opportunities. the Little Comets were good when I saw them at Fibbers in York a while back but now they’re great! Appropriately for a Sunday I saw Chapel Club next. What are they like? Well fuck genres these guys are just fucking good! Enter Shikari were truly earthshaking once again! Friendly Fires are like Enter  also from St Albans and very, very funky.

Panic At The Disco; a great set from the boys and as they in the US these guys rock! Death From Above 1979 loud powerful and your Gran probably won’t like them. But as far as I know I’m not your Gran and I like them! It appears by the miracle of sunlight streaming through a gap in the tent stage that 7:30 on Sunday will from now on always be the festival solstice! Why? well I had an illuminated bald head, but not just illuminated, it was like a light Mohican. (There may well be a film from Mr H of that very episode soon).

The Streets; Mike Skinner a true street poet genius. Dry your eyes indeed mate for this is the last ever Streets show. Big respect to Mr Skinner for a superb send off! Caught a couple of songs from Flogging Molly, still Irish, still have a punk attitude and frankly bloody good! 2manydjs OMFG now that is what I call DJing! Definitely worth missing Muse for! (Although I hear they were bloody good once again) Would I have enjoyed that more with some E and a glow stick? I doubt it. Now let me finish with something that Mike Skinner said; “Reading you look like you’ve been rocking for days”. Well we have and we will again next year!

 

Reading Festival 2011 – Day 2 – Saturday 27th August August 28, 2011


Hello again people and here is the dispatch from the muddy fields of the Reading festival after day 2. Firstly I have to mention a rather funny comment I made on the way to the main arena today. Which strangely enough for me was said completely innocently. My feet were sticking in the mud quite a lot so I said; “If this mud gets any more sticky my boots will be sucked off”. It made Nick and me laugh and if you’re not laughing then maybe you had to be there or you have a much cleaner mind than ours. Or maybe you’re just too mature!

We only caught Funeral Party’s last song in the NME/ Radio 1 tent they sounded pretty good though. Yuck were in the NME/ Radio 1 tent next and were recommended by my friend John Hayhurst who is usually at the Leeds festival but unfortunately can’t make it this year. It was a bloody good tip as it happens! I would describe them as shoegazers with a young Bob Dylan lookalike as a singer. But a great band I will be downloading their album on Monday night. Oh and I almost forgot also the drummer looked like my old boss Bazza Hutton with added afro. Castrovalva were on the BBC Introducing stage, we didn’t see much of them but they definitely need to look at their audience more.

Next was our first visit to the Main Stage, where we spent most of the day eventually. Joined by a supporting cast of really nice and mad in a nice way people from all over the world; South Africa, Brazil and Brighton at least. It was hard to refuse the offer of a free beer from the South African blokes and even shhhhh…… whisper it; a small toke on one of their spliffs! The Pigeon Detectives were on for me they are  just bland identikit indie pop. Although Nick wouldn’t agree with that. In their favour they are very hardworking. Seasick Steve was next up on the Main Stage. What can I say? Well for starters he is a supreme talent with way more charisma and stage presence than Liam Gallagher even when sat down. Amazingly he was joined on stage for most of his set by none other than John Paul Jones off of Led Zeppelin. We saw a couple from Tribes who were pretty good. we then paid our daily visit to the comedy tent to see Michael Fabbri who was very filthy and very funny.

Madness or should that be Mudness (thanks for that one Nick) were next on the Main Stage. When I first read that they were on the bill some months ago I wondered whether they would be able to really pull it off. Well I am happy to report that they did in bucketloads. This was probably the best ever loved up party vibe I have ever seen in 20 odd years of going to this festival at Reading. It even included a mosh conga. Jimmy Eat World were next; they were very good but who could have followed Madness? The National were an excellent chilled out close to the afternoon session and a good precursor to Pulp. If the members of the Doors were born in the 80’s they may have sounded like the National and I will have to download some of their stuff soon too.

Pulp, who were sharing top billing at the Festival with the Strokes were next on the Main Stage; from the simply stated laser phrase show at the start to the brilliant and perfect closer “Common People” they were truly fucking awesome. Jarvis Cocker is a certified genius who has immense stage craft and worked the audience to perfection. Richard Hawley was also on stage with them.  The Strokes closed the day and as expected were very, very good, but for me not quite as good as Pulp. Jarvis joined them for a great version of the Cars’ “Just What I Needed”. So sadly only one day to go now but it looks like a good one!

 

Reading Festival 2011 – Day 1 – Friday 26th August August 27, 2011


So here we are again then, the first day of the Reading Festival. I’m here with my good friend Nick Horslen and I am aiming to post a review of each day for you. Obviously I expect some comment as I doubt that you’ll agree with everything I say. Incidentally some of the opinions in the blog were suggested by Nick. I just wanted to make sure I gave him equal credit!

The Bronze Medal were first up for us on BBC Introducing Stage, they sounded ok, but personally I don’t see them scaling great heights. The Blackout were next up on the Main Stage, with a magnificent backdrop that said ‘Fuck The Blackout’. Personally I’d rather not as I didn’t find them that attractive! But they were pretty good and pretty heavy. Bizarrrely they dedicated what they called their heaviest song to all the sluts in the audience, so I guess we didn’t qualify for that. Miles Kane was in the NME/ Radio 1 tent. He is like an animated Liam Gallagher with a guitar. He was also very bloody good. New Found Glory were on the Main Stage, I thought that they were accomplished but perhaps not as good as they were. However they did a great cover of Sixpence None The Richer‘s “kiss Me”.

We then caught a part of Hugh Lennon‘s act on the Alternative Stage, he is a rather amusing hypnotist. After that we opted for Dry The River on the Festival Republic stage, definitely a good band. They have a  bit of Biffy Clyro with added violin. Pity they couldn’t dry the skies though! It was pissing down again by then and parts of the ground were covered in mud with the consistency of melted chocolate. We then saw Cerebal Ballzy, we were initially attracted by such a brilliant name. What were they like? Ballsy (or perhaps I should say ballzy) punk from Brooklyn! Al Pitcher kept us out of the rain and not only that he was a brilliant comedian. He was followed by Dead Cat Bounce, we felt that their name was better than their act!

Foster The People gave us electro pop via Tom Tom Club and  Talking Heads. An immense band, definitely best of the day for me. I will be downloading their album when I’m home on Monday. The crowd went absolutely mental for them!! The  Antlers came next and their singer gave us soundcheck yodel! Their sound is a kind of tripped out psychadelic space vibe. The Deftones were on the Main Stage, they were heavy and reliable and did what it says on the tin.

Anna Calvi, hmmmm, what can I say, definitely a little strange. Percussive blues,  operatic type vocal and unintelligable lyrics. The Offspring were excellent value for money and still pretty fly for white guys! They have aged well and are still pretty good but definitely not pretty. Noah and the Whale completely rocked the NME/ Radio stage. An incredible build up using an orchestral version of Bohemian Rhapsody; who’d have thought that we’d be singing that song at Reading this year? They truly are  a great fucking band a bit like Vampire Weekend with more orchestration and less African style guitars. We hung around for the White Lies and it was worth the wait. These guys used to come to Reading as teenagers and clearly they’ve learnt a lot! Bloody good band. Then it was the much anticipated Beady Eye, which frankly is really Oasis without Noel isn’t it? They were like an Oasis tribute band playing songs they had written in an Oasis style. Liam’s voice is clearly not what it was either and his stage presence is way past it’s sell by date. We headed for the exit and glimpsed My Chemical Romance who seemed to have quite a small crowd for a Main Stage headline act. Anyway time to sign off for now and get ready for day two!

 

Reading Festival 2011 – The Preview August 25, 2011

Filed under: Observation — justwilliam1959 @ 9:34 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

So here we are then just hours away from the kick off of the Reading and Leeds festivals which means you’ll shortly get to hear my opinions on all that I see this weekend. Well I suppose that to some degree does depend on exactly what I see; some things that go on at festival stay at festival. So perhaps I won’t mention scotch eggs! I reckon some of you could put 2 and 2 together about that and not many of you would reach an answer of 4. I will be at the Reading end of the festival, despite living very close to the Leeds site. Why would I do this I hear you ask? Well because
Reading for me is the original annual rock festival. Plus it is my annual meet up with my good friend Nick Horslen. A kind of Grumpy Old Men do the festival kind of vibe.

The headliners are My Chemical Romance, Pulp/ The Strokes (joint headliners) and Muse. Of that bunch I am mostly looking forward to Pulp. Muse will be playing the whole of their ‘Origin of Symmetry’ album. It’s the 10th anniversary year of the release of that one. I have seen Muse three times before and loved them every time. However I am a little torn this time as their set clashes with a headline set in one of the tents by 2 Many DJs. I love their mash-up mix tape efforts and I have always wanted to see them.

I always like to check out bands with interesting names that I have never heard of as well. So this year I shall definitely try to get to see She Keeps Bees.

If there is anyone you think I should check out feel free to let me know and if you’re going to be at Reading yourself come and say hello.
It’s adios for now while I go to the darkest recesses of the shed to try to find my steel toe-capped wellies!

 

“If you need me call me, no matter where you are. No matter how far, don’t worry baby” August 23, 2011


A double dose of sad news comes to us music lovers today with the deaths of songwriters Jerry Leiber and Nicholas Ashford.

That's Jerry on the right with Mike Stoller on the left? Who's that in the middle then? 😉

Jerry Leiber was the lyric writing half of a massively successful song writing partnership with Mike Stoller. They wrote a number of songs which were recorded by Elvis Presley; notably “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock”. It has been alleged that they never liked Presley’s version of “Hound Dog” and preferred the first recording of the song by Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton from 1953. They wrote one of my favourite songs, “Stand By Me” which was a massive hit for Ben E King and has also been covered by many other artists. They also had success with King’s old band the Drifters and the Coasters. Leiber died from a cardiopulmonary disorder aged 78, which by todays standards isn’t that old any more. RIP Jerry Leiber our thoughts go out to your family, friends and fans across the world.

Valerie Simpson with the sadly missed Nick Ashford

Nick Ashford forged a very successful career as a songwriter in partnership with his equally talented wife Valerie Simpson. The pair are probably most famous for the songs that they wrote for Motown, including the classics “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing”. They also crafted Diana Ross’s hit “Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” But they also had success away from Motown; Chaka Khan recorded their song “I’m Every Woman”, another of my favourites. They also had a hit in their own right with their song “Solid”. The couple also have a co writing credit on Amy Winehouse’s “Tears Dry On Their Own” which samples “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. Nick died from cancer aged just 70, the age my Dad was when he passed away. RIP Nick Ashford our thoughts go out to your family, friends and fans across the world.

I will try and counter that sad news with something a little happier. I really am disappointed that I am a little late with this, but four days ago on August 19th, my favourite singer* Johnny Nash turned 71. Happy belated birthday Mr Nash! I want to know when all his albums will get a proper CD release. I have about 12 of his albums on vinyl and only three on CD, not including hits packages. Texan born Johnny I believe now resides in Jamaica. I will now have to go and listen to my favourite Nash album ‘My Merry Go-Round’ in celebration.

*OK joint favourite with David Bowie then!

 

“Our thumping hearts hold the ravens in, and keep the tower from tumbling” August 21, 2011


As many of you know I have a real issue with the fact us English do not have our own passport nor our own national anthem. The other home nations; Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland may also have to have a British passport like us in England, but at least they have their own national anthem. What do we use? The bloody British national anthem, “God Save The Queen”. It’s like a damned funeral march and holds no inspiration whatsoever for me.

Regular readers will know that I have posted about this subject before, click here to read it. Anyway another blogger has gone somewhat further than me and has set up a UK government e-petition entitled ‘Make Kate Bush‘s “Oh England My Lionheart” the new English National Anthem’. That song was one of the choices on my original post. So I would like you to go to the petition site and sign it. Click here to do so. Unless of course you like the British national anthem? Surely you don’t do you? Anyway only 100, 000 signatures are needed before the government have to consider it, so what are you waiting for? You know what you need to do; England expects and all that.

If you’d like to check out Steve’s original post on the subject click here. The rest of his blog is pretty damned good too, frankly anyone who is a Kate Bush fan and a comic fan is someone I couldn’t fail to like. Here is Kate with said song. Listen and sign people, you know it makes sense!

 

YHR Radiowaves Gig 3 with Maven Fiction, Stone Ugly, IO and Deep State Collective – Fibbers in York Friday 19th August 2011 August 20, 2011


I took the opportunity to visit Fibbers in York on Friday night for an excellent gig organised as a benefit for York Hospital Radio by a young man who I think will go a long way and be very succesful in band management and music promotion. His name is Simon Pattinson, this is the third gig organised him that I have attended and frankly he has a great record in getting hold of some terrific bands and tonight was no exception. So when you hear him described as the new Harvey Goldsmith, remember where you read it first!

First band up was The Deep State Collective. They had to limit themselves to a relatively hastily arranged acoustic set after their guitarist had to pull out due to illness. I heard a whisper that the singer wasn’t feeling too good either. If the latter was true then this dude is a real trouper! Their set was pretty accomplished and they clearly have some good songs. Jules and Chris, I thought you did an excellent job, I really enjoyed your set. As for the litmus test, well I would definitely go and see this band again. Check them out if you get a chance!

Deep State Collective

I was joined at the gig by another friend of mine; big shout to another Simon and his lovely wife Marie. Hello Mr & Mrs Hernaman. They missed the first band but arrived in plenty of time for IO who were next on stage. This was apparently their first live gig, which is kind of hard to believe given how well they played. The singer is Ollie Webb formerly of Swimwear Juniors and the drummer is Sam Ford once of the band One Night Only. Sam is a truly wonderful drummer, like Keith Moon spliced genetically with Animal from the Muppets and I mean that in a really good way. The band was really tight and seemed bloody well rehearsed. The singer was also a rather spiffing percussionist too. Do they sound like anyone else? Possibly, Simon H reckoned he detected an element of Echo & the Bunnymen. We also agreed that they would be a great draw at Freshers week in any University town in the country. I hope these guys go on to bigger things and personally I believe they will.

IO

It was a tough choice but I think the next band just shaded it from the headliners as my favourite band of the night. They were a York based band known as Stone Ugly. This female fronted quartet know a lot about stagecraft, production values and image. They built their entrance up with a piece of the Willy Wonka movie (starring Gene Wilder) and some dry ice (or maybe a smoke machine). The whole band also had some fab red stripes running the length of their faces from hairline to chin along the line of their right eye. Pretty damned effective too. In a bizarre twist of fate I was actually drinking Red Stripe beer all night too! What did they sound like? Well for me there was a big helping of Prog Rock served up with a dollop or two of New Wave and Post Punk sounds. I loved their song “Can A Leopard Change It’s Spots” Jenna, the lead singer has a really versatile and powerful rock voice. Does she sound like anyone else? To me maybe Siouxse Sioux, Hazel O’Connor (thanks to Simon H for that one) and possibly Karen O off of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I reckon these guys would go down a storm at Reading and Leeds.

Stone Ugly

The headliners were Maven Fiction. Their mainman was the lead singer from the Shadracks when I saw them a while back. Maven Fiction’s sound is much less jangly indie pop and much more electronic with a possible heavy influence from Mike Skinner off of the Streets. Regular readers will know that I have long been a big fan of the Streets. The counter vocals from the female vocalist were a brilliant counterpane for the lead vocal of Mr Maven Fiction himself. That can’t be his real name can it? His Mum was also there and there was even a suggestion that she might do a Pans People, sadly she didn’t! Back to the music though, I really like this new direction and I rushed to buy the CD they were selling at the end. An E.P. for just £1, that’s a real bargain. It’s bloody good too, it’ll be on my iPod very soon. The band was joined briefly by Jenna off of Stone Ugly on tambourine.Mr Fiction also has some has some real balls; he finished his set by stepping out into the audience with just an acoustic guitar. He didn’t only sing bloody well but he even got us all singing along. They have a few gigs lined up in New York. Good luck with those shows guys and I’ll be back to see you again some time I’m sure.

Maven Fiction

All in all an excellent night, just a pity too many of you didn’t make it. You’d better be there next time, because we know where you live! 😉

Maven Fiction

 

 
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