With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘You Are Someone Else’ – Fickle Friends March 16, 2018

Click here to read my review of the tasty new album from Fickle Friends. A mahoosive thank you to the modern record for giving me the opportunity to take it for a spin 🙂


‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ – CABBAGE March 13, 2018

Click here to take a look at my review of the new album from CABBAGE. I loved it so much I gave it five stars! I would also like to say a massive thank you to those rather wonderful folk at 3 Songs & Out for giving me the chance to hear the album before you lot do!


“There’s a city in my mind, come along and take that ride” March 12, 2018

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 9:14 pm
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This is probably old news to many of you, but I have only just discovered it. Around ten years ago former Talking Heads head honcho David Byrne designed a range of bicycle racks that were installed across New York. Mr Byrne is a very keen cyclist, once in a lifetime he can be found cycling on the road to nowhere!


‘Vita Boundary’ – Hercules Morse

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 3:07 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Click here to read my review of ‘Vita Boundary’, the towering new album from Hercules Morse. Also a very big thank you for those wonderful folk at 3 Songs & Out for giving me the opportunity to give it an early listen!



“I use the N.M.E. I use anarchy” – NME RIP March 11, 2018

It is time to pay a sad, but perhaps inevitable, farewell to a music magazine that has been a part of my life since I first became interested in music; the NME. I bought my first copy sometime in 1970 and I began buying it regularly in around 1972. I really only missed two or three copies per year and in the 1970s I avidly read it from cover to cover. I became a subscriber in 2010 and continued as one until shortly after it became a free publication in 2015. Is there room for a weekly print music magazine any more? probably not. Could the NME have become a monthly publication? I doubt it, the competition from Q, Mojo, Uncut, Vive Le Rock and others is pretty fierce.

The NME, or the New Musical Express as it was then known,  published the first ever UK singles chart in its first issue in November 1952. If you’re interested Al Martino was number one with “Here In My Heart”. I lived through some of the greatest British music journalism that there has ever been during its heyday; Charles Shaar Murray, Danny Baker, Nick Kent, Julie Burchill, Paul Morley, Andrew Collins and Tony Parsons to name but a few. Who can forget Danny Baker’s fabulous essays on Michael Jackson and his take on American male soul groups which if memory serves me well was called something like ‘In Praise Of Crimpeline Flares’. In the 60s the NME Poll winners shows included the likes of the Beatles and the Stones playing live. They were among the first to talk about and champion punk in the late 70s. This was a time when the paper became openly political and often published well written and venomous anti Thatcher articles, which I loved.

It came close to folding in the 1980s as it seemed to struggle to find its place in that musical era. But ultimately it survived and pulled through.By the 1990s the paper was very much a supporter of what came to us under the frankly ridiculous banner of BritPop. My favourite cover of this period recorded where the NME brought Brett Anderson and Suede and the Dame himself, David Bowie together. They also led the somewhat ridiculous battle of the bands between Oasis and Blur in 1995. Then of course there were the sometimes infamous Brat Awards as a left field alternative to the Brits. Even as recently as this week it has continued to publish some excellent pieces; Leonie Cooper’s column in support of International Women’s Day was bloody good. and take a look at the NME’s election coverage in 2017. I have seen many posts on-line recently since the announcement of the death of the NME many of them stating somewhat callously that the NME was no longer relevant and hadn’t been for many years. I disagree with this. NME was not the bands and not the music but it brought those bands and their music to our attention when everything wasn’t instantly available on-line. It gave a voice to protest when the ‘adult’ right wing press were not interested. I would argue that the need for that kind of protest and that kind of music reporting is still relevant, but it really doesn’t exist. There are many wonderful things about the age of the internet but compared to the days of paper publication it is often bland, corporate, washed out and washed up. We take our media in so many ways now and in the past the NME and some of its competitors were our vehicle for ‘sticking it to the man’. Now ‘the man’ is the industry, we lost the battle, ‘the man’ has largely taken over and we are happily drip fed Saturday night garbage like the X Factor and the Voice because they sell soulless, lifeless dross to the masses.

There are still bands out there that mean something and I am sure that all of you will be able to name at least one. In my opinion that includes the Tuts, Colour Me Wednesday and Avalanche Party. But ultimately the world has changed and that new world deems that the likes of the NME is no longer required. I disagree and I believe that there is a place for a publication that is passionate about new music, trends, fashion and politics. However it will almost certainly need to live on-line. Can nme.com deliver in those areas? Given the need for corporate advertising to survive, possibly not, so maybe now is time for a new underground movement. Who wants to join me at the vanguard of that? Or shall we just roll over and bow to ‘the man’? RIP NME.


The final NME Cover.


‘Loved By Trouble, Troubled By Love’ – Boss Caine March 10, 2018

It has been a long wait but finally we have a new album from the mighty Boss Caine. The album is called  ‘Loved By Trouble, Troubled By Love’, and oh boy has Boss Caine main man Dan Lucas shifted up the gears on this release. He has never released a dud album and this one takes the quality to a mountainous peak. The songwriting here is among the best you will find in the current generation of British musicians. If the previous albums built the foundations of the distinct and wonderful Boss Caine sound this album completes and finely decorates the first couple of floors.

The lyrics here are beyond just sharp and clever they are stories woven into song. “Champagne” and “Evidence” open the record and draw you deep into Boss Caine World where you will neither want or need to leave before the album finishes. For me”Champagne” evokes the very best of Dr John’s finest deep south cuts. If you want an inspiring and heart-felt love song then look no further than “Star Crossed Lovers”. It totally encapsulates what it feels like to have that special someone in your life. Of all the albums I have reviewed over the years this is the first that my wife has really loved from the first play. While the style here has some of the best ingredients of alt.country, Americana and electric folk it is still a very British sound. This is most notable on the title track “Loved By Trouble, Troubled By Love” where Lucas shares vocals with Edwina Hayes.

The words on “Where Good Things Go To Die” seem to be a reflection on life and experience and maybe how you have found your way in your life. It certainly stirred up some sadly nostalgic feelings of my youth. If choosing my favourite track from the whole album was a life or death issue then I would definitely opt for “Lonesome Crow” which builds up slowly, adding layers of instrumentation and orchestration on its journey to a sanguine and deeply hopeful crescendo-like close. At times Dan Lucas’ bass-like gravelly vocals bring memories of Johnny Cash and on “Better Ways To Get Free” maybe even Tom Waits. In fact I can imagine an on-form Rod Stewart recording a brilliant version of this song. All the songs in this collection were written by Daniel Lucas apart from the jaunty and happy “Bright Young Star” which was written especially for Boss Caine by the Temperance Movement‘s Phil Campbell. Melancholy album closer “Smoking In My Backyard” is perhaps one of the finest songs ever written about smoking. I have never smoked, but I can picture myself smoking a fat one while chilling to this!

After a couple of listens this feels like a greatest hits package that is made up of entirely new songs. The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Isaac McInnis at his Crooked Room Studio just outside of York. The record was produced by Isaac McInnis, Bradley Blackwell, and Daniel Lucas. It is already available on-line and the physical copies will be available very soon. Click here to get your hands on a copy, I have ordered mine! So tell me; Do you like Americana? Do you like Dr John? Do you like great British music? You do? In that case you will bloody love the new Boss Caine album!


A Night To Remember – York Barbican – Saturday 3rd March

As the oft used recent phrase says ‘some heroes don’t wear capes’; Ian Donaghy a.k.a Big Ian is one of those heroes. He is the man behind the excellent musical variety gig ‘A Night To Remember’ in York. It has just entered its fifth year with an incredibly emotional and fun show last Saturday, 3rd March. OK so why is Ian a hero for putting on shows like this, because he does it to support some amazing local charities and since 2014 his initiative and passion have helped to raise more than £100,000 for some very worthy causes; St.Leonards Hospice, Dementia Projects in York, Bereaved Children Support York & Accessible Arts & Media. All the very talented roster of artists gave their time for free for yet another sell out show. I have no idea why Mr Donaghey is called Big Ian but it is certainly clear that he is a man with a really big heart.

Artists who gave some excellent cover versions on the night included Heather Findlay, Jess Steel, Chris Helme (off of the Seahorses), Graham Hodge, Boss Caine,  Beth McCarthy, Annie D, Kieran O’Malley, These Jaded Streets and the inimitable Las Vegas Ken. Backing them all was a superb band of musicians led by George Hall. Big Ian was a fabulous host on the night and he also gave us some top tunes himself. He had us all loudly singing along at the end of the evening to the Joe Cocker arrangement of “With A Little Help From My Friends“, but for me Ian knocked the ball out of the park with a stunningly soulful take on Rag ‘n’ Bone Man‘s “Human”. The night was kicked off with a rather amusing and very supportive video from Ricky Wilson off of the Kaiser Chiefs there was another brilliant video later from DIY SOS kingpin Nick Knowles. That one certainly had a number of the women around me swooning. But the best videos were from people who will benefit directly from the money raised; the Bereaved Children Support Group told us all about the impact made on their lives by the group’s founder Jo Cole. “I Just Love Maltesers” helped explain how we should treat people living with dementia, through what was an amusing and very emotional clip.

Jess Steel put on her full Dusty Springfield vocals for a storming “Son Of A Preacher Man” and Ian’s daughter Annie showed her vocals could one day be a great match for her Dad’s with “This Is Me” from the current film ‘The Greatest Showman’. Boss Caine a.k.a. the very talented Dan Lucas interpreted two classic songs in a way that only he could. His “Tiny Dancer” was a great cover of a truly great song. Elton would have been very happy with that. Chris Helme was joined by Alan Leach off of Shed Seven on Drum’s for a chilled out sing along of “Que Sera Sera” and an electrifying “Never Tear Us Apart”, the INXS song. Chris Leach’s daughter was playing keyboards for them. We were also treated to a couple of songs from Archbishop Holgate’s School‘s production of ‘School Of Rock’. This had been postponed at the school by the snow, so Big Ian gave these lads and lasses a great opportunity to play to a massive crowd. Those kids took it well, I particularly enjoyed “Stick It To The Man”. Then of course how could Las Vegas Ken’s rendition of “My Old Man’s A Dustman” failed to have got you singing and dancing? I hurt my throat hollering that chorus. But my personal favourite highlight, and it was a close thing with so many excellent artists performing, was These Jaded Streets epic remodelling of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al”.

If you couldn’t make it on the night it is not too late to contribute to these fantastic causes, just click here and give whatever you can as Big Ian himself said on the night, don’t have that takeaway, give the pizza a miss and give a few quid here!



NME Cassettes ...... Redux

(Almost) all the tracks from the classic cassettes of the 1980s


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