With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“One for the money” – a review of the new Avalanche Party single! March 30, 2015


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Regular readers of this blog will know by now that I am a big fan of one of Middlesbrough’s finest bands and indeed a great British band, hell just a great band anyway you look at them; I’m talking the magnificent Avalanche Party. Well the boys have a rather spiffing new single out called “Money”. It’s stunning video was launched earlier today. The film was produced by Jodie Canwell. I don’t know much about Jodie but I felt there were elements of David Lynch in her work on this video. It was all shot on the North Yorkshire Moors and when I say it’s weird I mean that as a big compliment. Can I be in the next video please?

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But not only is it a brilliant video the song is bloody good too. I hope there are vinyl copies of it available next time I see the boys (which hopefully will be on 23rd May at Fibbers in York). If this song is an indicator of future direction for this wonderful band then roll on more releases. EPs, singles an album anything will do me. The song was produced by Fred Purser who has worked with a wide range of artists including the Futureheads and Tom Jones. Have you downloaded “Money” yet? If not then why not? It’s bloody well free people! Click here and download it immediately! Anyway never mind “one for the money” I give this 9 out of 10. Why not 10 I hear you ask, well because I’m saving that for the Avalanche Party album! Jordan, Owen, Kane and Joe – keep on rocking! Sadly my wife Catherine (aka Catwoman) isn’t keen on the song…. but I’m working on her!

 

“And the RUC dog of repression is barking at your feet” March 29, 2015


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What was the first album on an independent record label to enter the UK top 20? If you had asked me to guess this I am pretty confident that I would have got it wrong. But according to a recent piece in Vive Le Rock magazine it was Stiff Little Fingers with their début albumInflammable Material‘. It reached number 14 in 1979. So now feel free to enjoy a few tracks from that classic album from one of Northern Ireland’s finest bands. Including an excellent cover version of Bob Marley’s “Johnny Was”

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“I thought it was the UK or just another country” March 28, 2015


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As many of you are aware there will be a General Election in the UK in May. Well for the first time that I was granted the legal right to vote in 1977 I really cannot find any politician or party that inspires me enough to put my ‘X’ next to their name on May 7th. What are the main options?

Tories a.k.a Conservatives – I despise this party and I think hell might freeze over before I voted for them and Cameron is an incredibly weak leader in my opinion

Liberal Democrats – like many former Labour supporters who switched to them in 2010 I feel betrayed after they joined forces with the Tories. I hope Nick Clegg loses his seat, his party is as good as over.

Labour – lacking in direction when they should be crushing the other main parties. Sorry but they chose the wrong Milliband brother to lead them.

UKIP – Farage and his cronies? Why would anyone vote for this bunch of racist, Daily Mail supporters with no more than one policy

Greens – My heart says possibly but my brain says no. From what I’ve seen I don’t believe that they have the ability to lead or to influence a minority government

BNP – Fuck off you racist scumbags!

Obviously I can’t vote for the nationalist parties of Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales as I am in England. I would have gone for the ‘None Of The Above’ movement but then I saw that they propose to actually stand candidates, that goes a lot against the grain for me. So all I hope is that the Monster Raving Looney Party are standing in my constituency or I may simply go along and spoil my ballot paper. The government do record and publish the number of spoiled ballots so perhaps that is the most effective protest that we have in this “democracy” of ours. What do you think and feel free to cast your vote in the poll.

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“Looking through the bent backed tulips to see how the other half live” March 27, 2015


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John Lennon was originally intending to give the name Glass Onion to a band that had been signed to the Beatles Apple record label. That didn’t happen and the band went on to become Badfinger. Oh well no matter….what! Oh and “Glass Onion” went on to become a song on the Beatles’ classic ‘White Album‘ from 1968. The song references at least five other Beatles songs too; “I Am The Walrus”, “Fool On The Hill“, “Fixing A Hole“, “Lady Madonna” and “Strawberry Fields Forever

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“I said can you give it back to me She said never in your wildest dreams” March 25, 2015


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Millions of fans are weeping across the globe at what could lead to the break up of one of the finest bands ever to grace the planet. Yes my friends I am sad to report that Zayn Malik is leaving One Direction!

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But am I really sad about this Wand Erection news? Fuck off of course I’m not. Clearly Zayn felt that his place in the band was threatened now that Jeremy Clarkson has no job. Could One Direction be the next step for Jezza Clarkson?

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“Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie”


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I reckon there are plenty of links between the Beatles and Pink Floyd. But here are a couple that I heard lately. The till (or cash register to my chums across the big pond) that you can hear on the Fab Four’s “Yellow Submarine” was the same one that the Floyd used on “Money” from ‘Dark Side Of The Moon‘.

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But my favourite relates to the drawing by a very young Julian Lennon that inspired the Beatles’ “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” is now owned by Pink Floyd’s guitar genius, Dave Gilmour!

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“I’m high on the chart, I’m a tip for the top” March 24, 2015


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Back in the olden days a.k.a when I was somewhat younger than I am now the UK chart rundown show was on a Sunday. This is where it has remained for years. However now that there will be a unified release date for all music (presumably from all the major labels at least) the UK Chart Show on BBC Radio 1 will shortly be moving to the Friday drive time slot; 4pm to 6pm.

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That’s progress I suppose and that also raises the chance that I might listen to it again. I have fond memories of chart shows in the distant past. Sitting next to the radio taping your favourite songs and hoping that the first generation Smashie and Nicey characters didn’t talk over the intro or the fadeout. But one of my favourite things was the official announcement of the new chart on Radio 1 when it was on a Tuesday lunchtime. I always made sure that I had my transistor radio with me so that me and my mates at Bishopshalt School in Hillingdon could find out whether David Cassidy and the Osmonds were still clogging up the UK charts (they were), whether Slade had gone straight in at the top (they had) or whether Bowie would get his first number one single (yes but not until 1975 with a reissue of “Space Oddity“). Johnnie Walker was the bloke who usually read out the new chart on Tuesdays and he has always been one of my favourite broadcasters. He spoke over a chart music bed of the excellent “Time Is Tight” from Booker T and the MGs. Enjoy that tune now along with my favourite song about the charts; Pete Wingfield‘s superb “Eighteen With A Bullet” and a favourite of mine by the magnificent Mael Brothers a.k.a Sparks.

 

Apollo Festival 2015 – The Preview March 22, 2015


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Last year I enjoyed a great day at a small local festival here in York. The Apollo Festival, you can read my review of last years event by clicking here. This year sees this wonderful family friendly music festival enter its third year. It was started in 2013 by Stuart Kelly and he has grown the show really well. Last year more than 3,000 people turned up which was close to doubling the amount of music fans that were there for the inaugural festival in 2013. If things go to plan you could be among 4,000 happy Apollo punters this year. I certainly will be as I have already purchased tickets for myself and the delightful Catwoman.

If you live in or near to York, or even further afield,  then you have no excuse for missing this event in June. Prices are very affordable at just over £15 each ticket. Significantly less than what you’d pay for a day ticket to one of the major festivals. But even keeping prices low hasn’t affected the quality of the acts playing. Last year was great and I also experienced a few bands that I had previously never seen or heard of. One of the highlights from last year for me was And The Hangnails. We also saw the Entertainment Company and we liked them so much that we have booked them for Catwoman’s ‘significant’ birthday party next year.

The line-up for this year has two excellent bands that for one reason or another I have never seen before despite being a fan. Those bands are the fabulous Space and the headliners are the superb  Inspiral Carpets. The ticket price is worth it for those two alone. One of the stages for 2015 will be curated by Rick Witter of Shed Seven, so I reckon that might be quite interesting. Other acts appearing are CryBabyCry, Happy Daggers, Hello Operator, Kimberly Kennedy, The Mothers, Rime Suspex, Rupert Stroud and Kid Conventional. I saw Hello Operator recently at the Basement in York City Screen and they are were excellent; a very loud, very powerful and explosive British rock band. I will be there along with my wonderful wife Catherine (a.k.a Catwoman) and hopefully a few of the friends that I have been promoting the festival to; John, Caron, Amelia, Shaun, Tracey you know who you are! Simon P, I know you’ll be there too and it looks like once again your music recommendations to me will be spot on! Finally I would like to say a big thank you to Stuart Kelly for starting this festival and building it to an even bigger level. Look out for my festival review at the end of June. Now get off your arse and get yourself a ticket! I will see you at the 2015 Apollo Festival at the York Sports Club, Shipton Road, York on Saturday 27th June. If you fail to turn up after all I have said then I will have to send the boys round!

 

“No guarantee the stimuli must be perceived the same” March 21, 2015


 

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You are probably all familiar with Nike’s famous advertising slogan, ‘Just Do It‘. Did you know that the inspiration came from the last words of murderer Gary Gilmore before he was executed in the 70s? Apparently advertising executive Dan Wieden coined Nike’s famous catchphrase after thinking of Gilmore’s last words as he faced the firing squad in 1977. Gilmore said simply, ‘Let’s Do It!’

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This also gives me an excuse to play the Adverts timeless punk classic “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes“. Some of you may be aware that I write more than one blog and just to introduce you to at least one other in my blog family this post will be simultaneously made in two of them; With Just A Hint Of Mayhem and With Just A Hint Of Learning, albeit with a different title in each. Fell free to visit the one that you haven’t visited before!

 

Paul Weller – York Barbican, Friday 20th March 2015


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Paul Weller is without doubt a legend and one of the coolest people in the music business. Even more so now that he has a slightly more normal haircut. Last night at the Barbican was the second time I had seen him perform as a solo artist. I had also seen him as a part of the Jam and as a part of the Style Council back in the olden days. Last night I was there with my good friend John Williams. We both really enjoyed the support band, the Sundowners from the Wirral. I would describe them as something like Fleetwood Mac in a psychedelic mood whilst on some really strong acid. Their lead guitarist is phenomenal. But they are well worth checking out in my opinion.

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As for Mr Weller, well what can I say that hasn’t been said many times before? Not a lot really but I think he is clearly one of the finest musicians of his generation. He and his band maintained a high level of energy throughout the show which was around two hours in total and included two encores. Interestingly he played no Style Council or Jam songs. But then he has such a wealth of solo songs it hardly matters at all. He played some new and relatively new songs; “Saturn’s Pattern” from his forthcoming new album and “Brand New Toy” which was an exclusive Record Store Day release from last year. The highlights for me were storming versions of “Peacock Suit”, “Uh Huh, Oh Yeh” and “From The Floorboards Up” and a really soulful playing of “You Do Something To Me” and “Broken Stones”. However the pinnacle for me came in the second encore when Weller and the band brought the house down with a superbly executed “Changing Man”. I am pleased to say that the sound at the Barbican has improved immensely since my last visit. Paul Weller has picked some great musicians to for this band. Especially Steve Cradock who is an incredibly talented guitarist.

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During the first couple of songs a fight broke out, that is something that I haven’t seen at a gig for a while. Weller remarked that this was ‘just like the old days!’ If I have one complaint it is the hundreds of phones and iPad style tablets that became a constant presence as punters filmed as much as they could. For all of those of you guilty of that I say put your electronic equipment down and watch the gig you morons! If you have never seen Paul Weller the I want to know why? I will definitely be seeing him again sometime!

And finally another one of those pesky public service announcements. None of the pictures or videos in this blog post were taken or filmed by me!

 

 
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