With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘Sinners’ EP – Gold Casio April 25, 2018


Following hot on the heels of their fine EP ‘Fever Dreams’ from last summer Gold Casio hit us with the next chapter in their world domination campaign, it is a six track EP entitled ‘Sinners’ on FreakOut Records and it is overflowing with class. Gold Casio are largely from Portland, Oregon although they have a Brooklyn contingent too. If you like sophisticated, soulful, electronic, dance and chill sounds then you will fall in love with this EP. Just when you think it is taking you back to the best 80s synth moments from the likes of the Human League the music rises up, grabs you by the throat to drag you back into the 21st Century.

Pic by Rob Woodcox

There are moments here when if you close your eyes you can picture this as a disco chill out album from the Scissor Sisters. The core membership of Gold Casio appears to be Ela Ra their sublime lead vocalist, Brock Vesuvius Cassian also a vocalist and skipper of synths, beats and keyboards, Julius Cassian (brother of Brock) provides vocals, more synths and keys along with guitar and bass and Saint Siris with even more vocals, more bass, more guitar and mucho more synths. They are aided and abetted by super drummers Benjamin Tyler and Connor Acott, ace percussionist Jeremiah Brunnhoelzl and finally Roberto Curtis who contributes electric wind instruments, saxophones and the flute. Their music is conceived written and produced by the band within a former church from the 19th Century.

“Street Magic” manages to stay funky in an electro disco anthem kind of way while wearing Steely Dan and Donna Summer influences with pride and passion. The vocal treatments and effects turn “Make You Mine” into something that is a sonic majestic masterpiece which evokes any number of dance acts that arose from the UK late 80s rave scene. The EP’s title track “Sinners” has Ela Ra putting on her finest Dolores O’Riordan vocals over a Kraftwerk-esque multilayered synth barrage. The most percussive track here is almost certainly “Dawn Awakening”, a song that will definitely make you move. “Lake Of Fire” has an incredibly sticky hook and is simply a gorgeous and delicious slice of superior pop music. Gold Casio play to the glitz and glamour of their sounds with a stunning visual look which takes Studio 54, Glam Rock, Sci Fi and the Rocky Horror show and makes something great out of it. I really, really want to see Gold Casio play live now.

 

 

Blackwaters – Artist of the Week On Northern Radar

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:23 pm
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Curator of fine music M.C. Rockin’ Simon P over at Northern Radar invited me to scribe an article for the Northern Radar Artist Of The Week feature. I most definitely drew the long straw with Blackwaters. Click here to read the article on the fabulous Northern Radar blog and when you’ve read it stick around and see what other delights await you!

 

“YRA 2018” – Skylights April 24, 2018


Too many bands and so little time! I just received a tip from an insider about a band called Skylights who hail from Yorkshire; York and Leeds to be precise. They have a spiffing little tune out right now and after a couple of listens I really love it. “YRA 2018” is the tune and the acronym describes Yorkshire’s Republican Army. As a former southerner who has lived in York for eleven years I would be happy to support the YRA!

Skylights are most definitely a 21st century band but they draw some great influence from the BritPop era, but the classy end of the so called movement. They have a swagger in their sound that evokes Oasis in their prime, a confidence in their playing that is reminiscent of Richard Ashcroft at his peak and Bobby Gillespie would be proud of this song. Skylights pull no punches with some sky reaching power riffs and epic melodies which build to a chorus that is hard to lose from your brain, not that I am trying to lose it though.

The band is Rob Scarisbrick on vocals, Turnbull Smith on guitar, Jonny Scarisbrick on bass and Myles Soley beating the drums.They have been picked up by a few local radio stations, including the fabulous YO1 and BBC Introducing. York’s own Rick Witter is a fan of this song. They are playing Fibbers on 18th August and there will be other gigs. I haven’t had the opportunity to see the band live yet, but if they can translate the power and energy of their recorded music on stage then I reckon their sets could become epic! Click here to check out “YRA 2018” on SoundCloud along with a couple of other excellent Skylights tunes.

 

Lost Trends – City Screen Basement, York – Saturday 21st April 2018 April 23, 2018


A headline show in York from the mighty Lost Trends, I mean you have to get yourself along to that don’t you, and I did. But before I tell you about one of York’s finest bands let me say a few words about the support bands. First up were Jerry who are very definitely a British band in the long genealogical line of the best British bands. They have a great sound in which I can hear the influence of The Fall, later period Blur, Pavement, Lou Reed and on occasions even Frank Zappa. Will this band go on to bigger and better things? Well I believe that Jerry can! Sorry about the terrible pun, but while I am on it how come so many bands these days have names that are so difficult to find in Google? (Other search engines are available). Is it because all the good names have been used?

Jerry

Talking of easy to find names next on stage were the Asphodels and oh boy are this bunch different. Imagine some Prog Rock opuses as played by a 90s grunge band. The rhythm section performed like a fuzzed out, punked up, psychedelic version of John Paul Jones and John Bonham off of Led Zeppelin. There were times that I was reminded of the best creations of Paul Draper and Mansun. I should add that their drummer is top draw and for me keeps the band in perfect sonic and rhythmic shape. I am looking forward to hearing more from the Asphodels.

Asphodels

Finally it was time for tonight’s main attraction, Lost Trends, I had met Rusty and Pete from the band earlier in the bar and they were properly up for this. Jerry and the Asphodels are two tough bands to follow but Lost Trends are highly skilled at upping the ante and they did it yet again with a stunning set. I have seen countless bands that give 100% in every performance but not many who go beyond that. Lost Trends are very much a 110% band. I have seen this band only twice before and I know that I will see them many more times in years to come. They have a new drummer who, it is fair to say, is a great fit. They play and perform with incredibly high energy levels with everything turned up to 11. By the end of the night everyone one of us punters were up on our feet frugging and chugging to some of the best dance/ rock hybrid songs out there. These boys know how to engage an audience and do it with buckets of style. They entertain a crowd in a way that many of their contemporaries can’t match. Lost Trends are scholars at intertwining tight, funky dance sounds with phenomenal, soaring rock vocals and punk attitude. In a parallel universe Lost Trends are playing stadiums supported by U2. get out and see them the next chance that you have, you will not be disappointed.

Lost Trends

Also it was great to catch up with my good friend, the stubbornest little bitch on the planet! You know who you are, stay strong!

 

‘Welcome To The Dead Club’ EP – Pretty Pistol April 20, 2018


Those rather lovely people at 3 Songs & Out gave me another review opportunity. This time for ‘Welcome To The Dead Club’, the brilliant new EP from Pretty Pistol. You know the drill, click here to read my review and while you are there stick around and check out some of the other delightful stuff on the 3 Songs & Out site.

 

Isaac Gracie – The Crescent, York – Monday 16th April 2018 April 17, 2018


Another school night, another gig at the fabulous Crescent in York. Tonight was another excellent show from Northern Radar this time headlined by Isaac Gracie. But before I give you my opinion of Mr Gracie how about a big hand for the most amazing support act Matt Maltese. He has an album coming out in June and after seeing him play live that is a very, very exciting prospect. He is like a lounge version of Rufus Wainwright who wears his politics on his sleeve in 72 point bold font. “As The World Caves In” is an incredible song and a very worthy single, a copy of which I bought on the night. Matt’s between song bonhomie and sardonic wit is wonderfully original. I think perhaps that “Guilty” was my favourite highlight, but there were many, so that might change if you ask me again. I would unreservedly pay to see Mr Maltese again.

It would be somewhat of a cliché to say that I have seen the future of rock ‘n’ roll, let’s face it Jon Landau said that about Bruce Springsteen in 1974. However I have seen a very bright future for British music in the shape of Isaac Gracie. Twenty One year old Gracie is a former chorister with the Ealing Abbey Choir. He first came to the attention of the music industry after “Last Words” a song recorded on GarageBand in his bedroom was unleashed into the world in 2015. His songs are far more mature than his years and on top of that he comes across as wonderfully affable and self-deprecating on stage. For me he has all the finest qualities of a young Jeff Buckley. I had the privilege of seeing Buckley at the Reading Festival many, many years ago and Gracie has the same qualities in his songs, performance, raw talent, passion and demeanour. Check out his cover of Radiohead’s “No Surprises” and the Arctic Monkeys “Fluorescent Adolescent” on YouTube and see the ghost of Buckley made real. My wonderful wife Catherine a.k.a. Catwoman doesn’t come to many gigs with me, but she was blown away by this one.

His first album is a truly accomplished début “Terrified”, “Last Words”, “Reverie”, “Running On Empty” and “Silhouettes Of You” all feel like classic songs that have been with you your whole life and Isaac played all of them tonight. There was not a single dud song in his set, my particular highlights were “All In My Mind” and the haunting song of sadness that is “Darkness Of The Day”. “Was our love a work of art, before the painting fell apart”, is that not one of the best lyrical couplets ever written? It is almost 46 years since I attended my first gig and there have been hundreds since then, but this is without doubt one of the finest shows that I have ever seen. If Isaac Gracie does not become a world straddling star then there is something horribly wrong with this planet.

 

Kim Wilde – Barbican, York – Sunday 15th April 2018 April 16, 2018


Tonight I had the pleasure of seeing Kim Wilde perform live. It was the first time I had seen a this fabulous artist who let’s face it is a part of UK Pop’s aristocracy. Before I tell you what I thought of her show let me say a few words about the talented support act Lawrence Hill. He is an engaging performer who has some excellent songs of his own. He also played a George Ezra cover and a very smartly done cover of the 1993 Robin S chart smash “Show Me Love”. I think it is always tough for a support act on a tour like this with many of the audience only there to see the headliner. But he certainly had the vast majority of the audience with him. His looping skills are also a cut above many. Definitely a singer songwriter to look out for.

Cover art by Scarlett Wilde

Kim Wilde is touring off the back of ‘Here Come The Aliens’ her first album in nearly five years and her first UK top 30 album for more than 25 years. I have listened to the new album quite a few times before this show and what is so great is that Kim is not just treading the 80s revival circuit. ‘Here Come The Aliens’ is a classy pop album and as good if not better than much of her competition in the pop arena. I believe that Kim set the template back in 1981 for the more modern female pop singer, she was a massive success before Madonna, Kylie and the Spice Girls.

Photo by Catherine Adamson

She has an excellent band, including two drummers, her brother Ricky on guitar and her niece Scarlett Wilde (Ricky’s daughter) on backing vocal duties. Kim rightly described them as a great rock band, which is exactly what they are. I should also mention Kim’s stage costume which was stunning, apparently she cleaned it in the bath the day before! They played some choice cuts from the new record; “1969”, “Pop Don’t Stop” and “Yours ‘Til The End” were particular highlights for me and my wonderful wife Catherine a.k.a Catwoman. Kim also gave as a hard-hitting version of her cover of the Supremes “You Keep Me Hanging On” which really showcased just how good her band are. She played a softer take on one of the Gibb Brothers finest songs and previously a hit for Yvonne Elliman, “If I Can’t Have You”.

 

Obviously Kim was never going to do a show without many of her biggest hits and there were many “Cambodia”, “You Came”, “Chequered Love”, “View From A Bridge” and even her 1987 duet with Junior Giscombe “Another Step (Closer To You)” with Scarlett taking the Giscombe parts on with passion and soul. You can probably guess what the closing number was, it was indeed the magnificent “Kids In America“. Most of us in the audience had been on our feet dancing from quite early on, but “Kids In America” had almost everyone up and singing along. Kim comes across as a self-deprecating, caring and frankly lovely person. I have no doubt that I will be seeing Kim Wilde in concert again some day. If you haven’t then you really ought to, it was a great night out!

 

 

 
Lauren Abigail

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