With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

John Murry – The Basement, City Screen, York – Wednesday 20th September 2017 September 22, 2017


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I chanced upon John Murry’s “Wrong Man” a few weeks back on a cover mounted CD probably from Uncut magazine. I listened to all the tracks but had “Wrong Man” on repeat for half of my journey home from Hull to York. Later I checked this very talented artist out on Spotify and absolutely devoured everything Spotify (other streaming services are available) had to offer from Mr Murry. So I was incredibly excited to find out that John Murry, courtesy of Please Please You (nice work Joe) would be playing a show in York. I booked my ticket immediately!

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I was doubly pleased when I found out that the support act was to be the marvelous Boss Caine. Daniel Lucas (Boss Caine Main Man) played an acoustic set consisting mainly of songs from his upcoming album, which now looks likely to get a release in November. Based on hearing a clutch of songs from that album I really believe that it will be something special. Daniel asked us to imagine the brass and string arrangements that would be applied to the songs in the studio. Frankly I could imagine all of that, but these songs are so damned good they work really well in an acoustic format too. For most of the set counter point vocals and harmonies were handled by the exquisitely talented Amy Greene The acoustic duo set up was at times reminiscent of Paul Heaton and Jacquie Abbott, but with a Boss Caine twist. These songs are classy story songs and who doesn’t love a story song? Mr Lucas is a great storyteller via the medium of his songs. Check out Boss Caine, you will not be disappointed.

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As for John Murry, wow what can I say? Well back in the early 70s Jon Landau having witnessed Bruce Springsteen playing live said something along the lines of “I have seen the future of rock ‘n’ roll and its name is Bruce Springsteen”. Well John Murry isn’t Springsteen but he is a damned genius. If you like Nick Cave, maybe even Tom Waits, rock with a dark side and an immensely dry wit you will love this guy. The band is a bunch of highly talented musicians and it is set up in quite an interesting way. One of the keyboard players switches to drums on some songs and on those numbers the drummer switches to bass guitar. So not just a multi talented group but also a group of multi instrumentalists too. Murry’s guitar playing channels a power source from a parallel dimension where David Lynch is President of the USA.

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When I first heard John Murry I had no idea of his nationality. In my head he sounded a little Celtic, maybe Scottish or Irish, but in fact he hails from Tupelo, Mississippi. Although he now lives in Ireland. I am not yet familiar with all his songs but the previously mentioned “Wrong Man” was stunning. I also loved the psyched version of Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks Of My Tears” that was woven into the opening song. “The Ballad Of The Pajama Kid” taken from his first album ‘The Graceless Age” has a haunting, ageless, grace (apologies for that hint of plagiarism on my part) that hangs around in your head like a long lost friend. I bought John Murry’s new album ‘A Short History Of Decay’ from the merch stand and I have played it six or seven times already. For me this is a contender for album of the year. I urge you to check out John Murry if you haven’t already, in fact I don’t urge you, I bloody well order you to find him and check him out live, on record or both.

 

 

Maryland – After Hours Radio September 15, 2017


Ann Arbor denizens After Hours Radio have a new single out. it is called “Maryland” and it is a really hot pick for me. The band formed at the University of Michigan back in 2014.”Maryland” has influences from many areas of rock history notably the 90s alternative scene and maybe some vocal similarities with the Strokes and at times Brian Molko off of Placebo. The opening synth sound has a throwback to the 1972 UK number oneSon Of My Father” by Chicory Tip. Sure there are a lot of influences but this is a very much original band and off the back of this one track I bloody love them! Click here to listen to the track on SoundCloud and then listen to another couple of tracks by this rather excellent band.

I would like to thank those funky little elves at Noisy Ghost PR for giving me the chance to get an early listen of this fabulous track.

 

Honestly, I’m Just Thinking – The Young Hearts September 14, 2017


There’s an EP coming from a band that is new to me from the wilds of Kent. They are called the Young Hearts and they sound like a Byrdsian kind of alt.rock with a dash of emo. The EP is called “Honestly, I’m Just Thinking” and it is out on Primordial Records on 29th September. EP opener “Bloom” is an emotional clarion call full of soul, angst and real life. The playing and the vocal harmonies strive to achieve perfection and frankly come pretty damned close to it. In the lyrics to “Medicine” Craig Lawrence sings that he is ‘always on the outside looking in’, well I think this band is destined to be on the inside in a big way.

My favourite track in the EP is probably “Smoke” well after the third listen it is anyway. It is a powerful wave of riffs and searing vocals that attack your senses and worm their way into your brain to remain there as indefinite squatters. Final song “October” will challenge many of their US contemporaries a real run for their money. The production from Ian Saddler is top notch throughout.  “Honestly, I’m Just Thinking” is the Young Hearts second EP following 2015’s “Everything We Left Behind”. I want to see this band play live and I am also looking forward to their first album which for me has the potential to be immense. They are touring the UK at the tail end of 2017 so if you get a chance catch them. Work and geography means that I will be unable to make any of these dates, but if you are lucky enough to attend feel free to tell me all about it! Can we have them booked for Reading and Leeds in 2018 please?

30 Sep – Manchester, Deadbolt Festival
04 Oct – Southampton, The Brook
05 Oct – Brighton, Sticky Mike’ Frog Bar
06 Oct – Coventry, Kasbah
07 Oct – Bridgwater, Cobblestones
08 Oct – London, Old Blue Last
28 Oct – Bournemouth, Blue Line Studios
09 Nov – Canterbury, The Ballroom
10 Nov – Luton, Harvey’s
11 Nov – Torquay, The Attic
12 Nov – Bristol, Crofters Rights
18 Nov – Ashford, The Attic

I would like to thank those delightful folks at Wall Of Sound PR for giving me a chance to give this EP an early listen.

 

“Do you gaze at your bald head and wish you had hair?” September 9, 2017

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 8:00 am
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Back in June 1972, Colonel Tom Parker the somewhat shady manager of Elvis Presley offered the press a chance to interview his charge for a small fee of just $120,000. No one took up the offer and frankly I’m not surprised.

 

Shining, Seep Away, Shrieking Violet – Fibbers, York – Thursday 7th September 2017 September 8, 2017


I had teased my colleagues and friends that I was going to see some Scandinavian death metal, but clearly that wasn’t quite the case, although Shining are a spectacularly good band. But more of them later. Let me start with the support acts. First on were Shrieking Violet. They certainly shriek well, very powerfully and in tune. But I suspect it was Violet’s night off. A damned good band though; head banging, ear exploding perfection!

Shrieking Violet

Seep away were next to take the Fibbers stage. Now that was a fucking performance. If you had walked in half way through Seep Away’s set there is no way that you would have imagined that they were the support band. They owned the sadly relatively small crowd tonight. Singer and ace front-man Jay Sillence spent most of his time in the audience. The band have some great songs of their own. Notably “Matchstick Man”. On top of that my view is that if you cover a song then you should make it different from the original. Well Seep Away’s cover of Minnie Riperton’s “Loving You” did just that. It was like one of Yorkshire’s finest hard-core punk, metal, thrash bands took the corpse of the song, ripped it apart and then put it back together in Dr Frankenstein’s laboratory. A truly bloody awesome band.

Seep Away

Shining, now it says on the metaphorical tin that these Norwegian’s are black-jazz pioneers who have created their own hybrid of jazz (with no boring jazz noodling) and extreme metal. Very much an industrial, metal band who know how to rock like demons. Their intro music was the sixties Zager and Evans classic “In The Year 2525”; who doesn’t love that song? Saxophone in a band as heavy as Shining doesn’t work on paper. But who cares about paper? This band takes jazz to a whole new plane. The played a few new songs tonight, set opener “Everything Dies” is a stunning tour-de-force which blasts you into surrender. Another new song, “Hole In The Sky” slowed the pace a little and showed shades of Ultravox and Biffy Clyro. “Animal ” was a tasty rock song too. Apparently Shining started out as more of a jazz band and this is writ clear in tunes like “Helter Skelter” taken from their 2010 album ‘Black Jazz’. It was a little challenging, but it was also brilliant and the work of musical alchemists. Apologies for the Scandinavian stereotypes but has York been invaded by hard rock Vikings? Did Asgard’s house band cross Bifrost the rainbow bridge to start rocking Midgard? It sure as hell felt like it. I left Fibbers feeling like my head and brain had been battered to a pulp by Mjolnir the mighty hammer wielded by Thor. Do not miss an opportunity to see this band they will, I am sure, blow you away.

Shining

 

“A startling glance at the future and past” September 7, 2017

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 12:15 pm
Tags: , ,

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Tom Waits has a song called “The Fall of Troy”, and a post-hardcore band called The Fall of Troy (not sure if they are named after the Tom Waits song) have a song called “Tom Waits.”

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“I heard the warning voice from friends and my relations” September 6, 2017

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 11:01 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

When Smokey Robinson wrote “Being With You” he had hoped that with Kim Carnes would record it. But he soon learned when he played it to George Tobin who had been Kim’s producer that the pair no longer worked together. So Smokey recorded the song himself. It got as far as number 2 in the US chart. Ironically it was kept off the number one spot by “Bette Davis Eyes”, sung by Kim Carnes.

 

 
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