With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Eugene Gorgeous – Fulford Arms, York – Wednesday 28th November 2018 November 30, 2018


Sometimes I really need to psych myself up to go out to a gig on a week night, especially a Wednesday. But a gig hosted by Joe Coates (Please Please You) and Simon Pattinson (Northern Radar) ought to make it worth it and frankly it was well worth it! It was also great to catch up with the top bloke that is Dan Lucas, head honcho of the wonderful Boss Caine. First up was a sneaky set from one of York’s best bands, Skylights. A good opportunity for a final live show before their showcase headliner at the Brudenell in Leeds the following day (a review of that show will be heading your way very soon!). Often bands on first play like they are a support band, but Skylights blew that one away. They smashed into this like they were headliners. They were magnificent from the opening bar of “Life Line” to the loud feedback driven end to “Reverb”. Obviously “YRA” was amazing, but tonight “Britannia” stole the show for me. This was a  band totally ready to bring the house down at the Brudenell at their next gig.

Next up it was Liverpool’s the Mysterines. I must confess that I was not sure of that name, but once they start that becomes irrelevant. The noise they create is some of the best rock music that you will ever hear. The pace never slows down and “I Just Love To Hate You” is possibly one of my new favourite songs. Lia Mysterine’s voice has the passion of Patti Smith, the punk attitude of Joan Jett and the cheeky glam tone of Suzi Quatro. With a drummer channelling the spirit of Keith Moon and the Muppets Animal, alongside a bass player that provides a deep thudding underlay the Mysterines are destined to go far.

The headliners tonight, Eugene Gorgeous, should be the subject of some work by the world famous Pete Frame of Rock Family Trees fame. The singer’s brother is a part of Bull and tonight the drummer was Harry from Black Lagoons and the collective has representation from other bands too. The simplest way to describe them would be eclectic, but even that doesn’t do them justice. For me they have a lot of prime Lou Reed period Velvet Underground about them but then they put that aside with an incredible cover of Aretha’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” in which they don’t change the gender, which makes it work even better. This is the first time that I have seen them in more than two years and the VU came up in my description of them back then. I said “imagine if you will the Velvet Underground meeting the Jesus and Mary Chain at a dive bar in Twin Peaks.” well I believe that description still stands .Vocalist Paddy Beer is like the EverReady bunny fuelled by energy drinks and milk! If you love music then you cannot dislike this mightily talented bunch. I don’t think any of them are actually called Eugene but they sure as hell make the most gorgeous noise! If you haven’t caught up with Eugene Gorgeous yet then I suggest that you get yourself acquainted with them immediately!

Public Service Announcement: – All photographs (except the Eugene Gorgeous name tag) were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.

 

Mayhem Virgins – Pop Noir November 27, 2018

Filed under: Mayhem Virgins — justwilliam1959 @ 4:03 pm
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This is the second in a series of posts about artists that are completely new to the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Blog. Just because we have only just heard of them doesn’t mean they are new to you. But whether they are or not we would love to hear your thoughts. The series is called Mayhem Virgins. Incidentally With Just A Hint Of Mayhem is now available on FaceBook and Twitter.

This time it is the turn of the delightfully chilled Pop Noir who we discovered via the Twitter-verse. Pop Noir were formed in Los Angeles in 2004 by the then 16 year old British born twins Joe and Luke McGarry. they are the offspring of cartoonist and illustrator Steve McGarry who has designed record sleeves for iconic acts such as Joy Division and John Cooper Clarke. So not only have they been steeped in music history they have also inherited the artistic streak from their father as both Luke and Joe are designers and illustrators themselves. They released their debut single “DIY” in 2009 and they have released many songs since then. Their latest single, “White Jazz” is available now and has a rather wonderful video filmed in Tokyo. It is a sublime slice of epic electro chill out with an infectious feel good vibe. The band have a really chilled out electro sound which for me is reminiscent of the Beloved and the Groove Corporation. Have you heard of Pop Noir before or not? Either way we would love to hear what you think of them!

Public Service Announcement:  This blog post is not linked in any way to any company associated with Richard Branson’s Virgin empire or the sweater wearing tycoon personally!

 

Paul Draper – The Crescent, York – Wednesday 21st November 2018 November 23, 2018


Mansun’s ‘Attack Of The Grey Lantern’ has remained one of my favourite albums since its release back in 1997. I was also lucky enough to see Mansun twice at the Reading Festival back in 1996 and 1998.  So the prospect of seeing Mansun main man Paul Draper solo in my adopted home city, York was exciting. Made even more interesting having reviewed Draper’s solo album, ‘Spooky Action’ and the reissued ‘Attack Of The Grey Lantern’ earlier this year for those wonderful folk over at 3 Songs & Out. Mr Draper is currently winding up his first ever solo acoustic tour aided by the mega talented guitarist Ben Sink. But before I tell you about that dynamic duo I need to update you on the rather spiffing support act Flo Perlin and her band. If I had to put Flo into any genre I might opt for modern folk singer. However her voice is that of an angel and has some of the crispness and clarity of a young Karen Carpenter. She is also a skilled multi instrumentalist, this evening she showed her prowess on guitar, ukulele and keyboards. Her songs feel like they are written from the depths of her soul and seem to be very much about her life. I was really keen to meet her afterwards and buy her album, ‘Cocooned’, but sadly by the time I went to the merch stand later in the evening she had left. her parents were in the audience tonight and I am sure they are very proud of Flo. Rightly so too, this was a classy and heartfelt performance. In addition to Flo’s excellence I should also mention the supreme contribution of her band on beautiful harmonies, violin and understated but perfect percussion. You really should check her out.

Paul Draper and Ben Sink hit the stage at around 9:30 by which time what had looked like a relatively small audience had grown considerably. The balance was probably around 70% Mansun songs and the rest from Paul’s solo career. When you hear some of these songs played in such a raw form it shows you just how bloody brilliant they are. “Friends Make The Worst Enemies” and “Jealousy Is A Powerful Emotion” were highlights from Draper’s solo repertoire. From the Mansun years it was “Dark Mavis” and a song that is among my most favourite ever by anyone, “Wide Open Space”. It is so hard for me to recognise that the latter two songs are more than twenty years old. But I guess that just defines the word timeless! The complexity and emotion of his songs is immense. Draper’s vocals were spot on the whole night, even if he surprised himself by hitting some of the higher notes. Musical backing was Paul Draper with highly effective acoustic guitar playing and an almost ethereal electric guitar performance from Ben Sink. His gorgeous musical motifs swept in and out throughout each tune enhancing what you might have believed could not have been enhanced. His style was for me reminiscent of Bernard Butler in the early days of Suede. Mr Sink also plays guitar with the Anchoress among others. His prog like creativity is the perfect foil to Paul Draper’s wonderful delivery of his often incredibly deep lyrics. Paul handled one particular über fan very well addressing being heckled with a great sense of humour. This just made me ponder how difficult it can be for performers when they face their “number one fan” (to quote Stephen King). Listening and watching tonight’s performance made me realise what a very special songwriter Paul Draper is and I do not believe he gets the recognition that he deserves. But now with a masterpiece of a solo album and a better back catalogue than may of his Brit Pop peers maybe he will.

Public Service Announcement: – All photographs (except the gig flyer) were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.

 

“I’m a man without conviction, I’m a man who doesn’t know” November 19, 2018

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 12:06 am
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Do you remember the video for Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon”? You know the one, where the thief experiences karma after being found out and made to walk the plank? Well I thought that it was filmed on the Mississippi in the USA given the costumes and the paddle steamer. But it wasn’t, It was actually filmed on and around the man-made Desborough Island on the River Thames near Sunbury in Surrey in dear old Blighty! Apparently the shoot was anything but smooth sailing. The weather was generally overcast, some of the extras got lost, the paddle steamer broke down and the actor who played the pickpocket had lied on his application. It was only discovered that he couldn’t swim after he was made to walk the plank! Still the song did give Culture Club one of their biggest and most remembered hits, so it wasn’t all bad! If you were one of the extras on that shoot, especially the pickpocket I would love to interview you for this blog!

 

‘Extinction(s)’ – Unearth November 18, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:55 pm
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Click here to read my review of the new album, ‘Extinction(s)’ from US metal core band Unearth. A big thank you to those magnificent musicologists over at 3 Songs & Out for the opportunity!

 

Mayhem Virgins – September Sky November 17, 2018


This is the first in a series of posts about artists that are completely new to the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Blog. Just because we have only just heard of them doesn’t mean they are new to you. But whether they are or not we would love to hear your thoughts. The series will be called Mayhem Virgins (there is no link to any company associated with Richard Branson’s Virgin empire!). Incidentally With Just A Hint Of Mayhem is now available on FaceBook and Twitter.

The first act to feature in this new series are all the way from Indianapolis, Indiana in the USA and they are called September Sky. If you like your metal heavy and your rock hard then this band are for you. They have a collection of riffs that would challenge any other metal band. If you are a fan of Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica, Trivium and the like then you will certainly love September Sky. Their classy riff-laden, harmonic sonic assault called “Fallacy” gets into your head from first listen and the video for that song is pretty darned good too.  September Sky is; Scott Bernhardt – Vocals, Larry Craig – Guitar, Scott Rainey – Lead Guitar, Kevin Rickett – Bass
and Becket Weir – Drums. Their bio says that they have ‘made it a priority to write original tunes that empower and inspire its audience to conquer all that is life’. I reckon they are well on the way to achieving that! You can contact them on Facebook and Twitter

Are you a fan? Tell us what you think of September Sky!

 

‘Sleepers Wake’ – PERCY November 15, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:55 am
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The first track on the new PERCY album asks “Why Are You Still Here?” and many may ask that question of a band who have been around since 1996 with no major league success so far. Well having listened to ‘Sleepers Wake’ I feel I can answer that question. It is because they are fucking brilliant and they epitomise tenacity and perseverance. Andy Wiles the bands bass player and some time drummer (although not at the same time) said to me that PERCY were often referred to as the greatest band that you have never heard of. That phrase has a large element of truth in it and if you check this bunch out I am sure you will agree. The aforementioned track “Why Are You Still Here?” has what is in my opinion on of the best lyrical couplets of 2018; “with your massive gob and your wayward knob”. Does it get better than that? Maybe not but it sure as shit maintains a huge level of quality throughout. Post Punk might be one way to describe them and acolytes of the Fall might be another. However I see them as all of that plus so much more ingenious originality and they keep the flame of Mark E smith burning better than any other band.

The opening bars of “Alice Stone” are for me reminiscent of Elvis Costello’s Attractions on “Watching The Detectives”. The band is as cutting as the attractions and as funky and smart as the Blockheads. The organ playing is almost Doorsesque at times. Does anyone use the term Hep to denote something that is hip these days? well while for most of us Hep died in the sixties it is still very much in PERCY’s vocabulary as evidenced by the soft loud riff driven thrash of “Hep!”. The first few seconds of “Teutonic” feels like it will take a Krautrock direction but it goes somewhere completely different. It is a simple song but with the power and impact of Blur’s “Song 2”. There is also a Graham Coxon feel on “Enlightenment” too. The sonic journey on some of the songs on this album takes me back to those heady days of 1978 and the first incarnation of John Lydon’s Public Image Limited, most notably on “It Is Time” where some of Colin Howard’s vocals sound like a Dalek on speed, but in a good way.

Just when you think PERCY are into a full on post punk style groove they smash into you with a wild slice of psycho-billy workout called “Exploding Head” and frankly my head is on the verge of exploding with pure enjoyment at this point. Later on the band go full on menacing with “Juicy Fruit”. Album closer is possibly the most relaxed, melancholy track on this fabulous collection which evokes sixties experimentation of the likes of Syd Barrett. The musicianship on display here is stunning, from the driving force of Andy on bass and Jason on drums to Colin’s superb guitar and the supreme keyboard journeys and flourishes of Paula. This album deserves wide attention and I hope that it receives it. You can help that cause by clicking here and visiting this excellent ‘listen and buy’ site and deploying your credit card or PayPal account. It won’t cost you much, just have a few pints less on Saturday or go without lunch tomorrow, you know it makes sense

I am really looking forward to witnessing the PERCY phenomenon in a live setting soon. Check them out, you WILL NOT be disappointed! There are still plenty of opportunities to see them, so get your arses off of your seat and get out there;

Friday 24 November 2018 Sheffield TBC
Wednesday 05 December 2018 Wharf Chambers Leeds, UK
Wednesday 19 December 2018 Fulford Arms York, UK
Thurs 31st January 2019 York Fibbers
Sunday 03 February 2019 O’Riley’s Hull, UK
Friday 08 February 2019 Chameleon Arts Cafe Nottingham, UK
Saturday 09 February 2019 Head of Steam Newcastle, UK
Thursday 21 February 2019 Night & Day Café Manchester, UK
Saturday 6 April 2018 Fulford Arms (TBC) York, UK

 

 

‘None For One’ – Flat Earth November 13, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:51 pm
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A big thank you to those delicious fruit loops over at 3 Songs & Out for giving me the opportunity to hear the new album from Flat Earth. It is called ‘None For One’ and it is decidedly brill! Click here to read my review and feel free to stick around to sample more delights brought to you by 3 Songs & Out. While you are there wish the site a very happy birthday it has a third birthday this week!

 

Tom Hingley and the Karpets – Fibbers, York – Saturday 3rd November 2018 November 11, 2018


This night would mark my second opportunity to see the rather brilliant Skylights from York and also serve to remind me of just how old I am. Why the latter? Well I realised that the first time that I ever saw Tom Hingley was at the Reading Festival in 1990 when he was the lead singer of the Inspiral Carpets. They headlined that year and no doubt I also caught a glimpse, without knowing, of their guitar tech; a young Noel Gallagher. That is nearly 30 years ago! Anyway enough of all that reminiscing how about I tell you about this gig at the Crescent? Well first l I should apologise for missing the Feds who were first on the bill. The ticket said 8 p.m. and I got there just before that only to find that the Feds had hit the stage at 7:15. Oh well I will need to catch them another time. The second band on were Apollo Junction from Leeds and they are purveyors of fine, quality pop rock. The audience was not a bad size at this point but everyone was congregated around the two raised spaces leaving the main floor empty. However this did not deter Apollo Junction who had already suffered one setback as their keyboard player, Sam was too unwell to join them. Not only were they not deterred they were positively inspired with three of the band; Jamie, Matt and Ben coming on to the floor to continue their set. Drummer Jonathan was left on his tod on the stage. This is a band with a hell of a future. They are Gareth Bale’s favourite band don’t you know!

Apollo Junction

The immensely talented Skylights were up next to play what is possibly their last show in York for sometime as they will be operating out of Leeds going forward. So did they play like it was their last home town gig for a while? They sure as shit did, they totally owned the audience and shook Fibbers to its core. There is no slow build up with this band they hammer you into submission from the opening bars. They are able to do that for a number of reasons, first their songs are anthemic, memorable and sit in your head after the first listen. Secondly this is one of the tightest bands around. Myles and Jonny on bass and drums  are a powerhouse rhythm section with what seems like an innate ability to achieve perpetual motion. Meanwhile it is in the live setting that you really can appreciate what a latent talent Turnbull has as a guitarist. His riffing and soloing swirls over every song more akin to the contribution of Johnny Marr to the Smiths or Bernard Butler to Suede. Add to that the stylish and very British rock vocals and a stage presence that draws from Liam Gallagher (back in the days when Liam was great) from  front man Rob and you have a potent combination of potential greatness! “YRA” and “What You Are” were most definitely particular highlights for me.

Finally it was time for headline band Tom Hingley and the Karpets. I have been an Inspiral Carpets fan for many years but while I have seen them with and without Tom I had never seen Tom on his own. Mr Hingley’s opening statement was a heartfelt plea or perhaps more like a strict order to “GET TO THE FUCKING FRONT” over the sounds of “Commercial Reign” from 1990, and it worked, everyone moved forward as one. I suspect that everyone in the crowd was glad that they did move as well because that is the place to experience something as marvellous as this. All of the greatest Inspiral Carpets songs were aired; “She Comes In The Fall”, “Dragging Me Down”, “Bitches Brew” and “I Want You”. That last one made me realise how much the world misses Mark E Smith who contributed vocals to the original release. The set would have been incomplete with what is for me the greatest song the Inspiral Carpets ever recorded, “Saturn V”. I gave myself a sore throat singing along to that. There was an excellent cover of “Tainted Love” which was interestingly preceded by a few bars of the Joan Jett/ Arrows hit “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll”. The evening was brought to an emotional close with the emotional roller coaster of “This Is How It Feels”. A quick special mention to bass player Ste Pearce who kindly topped up my plastic wine bottle from his bottle of white wine from the rider. Tom Hingley is a supremely talented performer who knows his audience so very well. I met him briefly at the merch stand after the show where he kindly signed the book and CD that I bought. Based on the show tonight and that brief meeting I reckon Mr Hingley is a top bloke!

Public Service Announcement: – All photographs were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.

 

 

 

The Blinders – The Crescent, York – Friday 2nd November 2018 November 9, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:40 pm
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Last Friday I had the honour and the pleasure of being at the fabulous York venue the Crescent for a headline gig by one of the best bands in Britain right now, the Blinders. But before I tell you about them let me spend a little time on the rather spiffing support bands. First up was York band Faux Pas. This lot are an absolute riot of energy, a bouquet of passion and posy of punk. They rip into your very being and leave you wanting more. Singer guitarist Ru Cowl wears a very big heart on his sleeve and has more balls than many singers by wearing a summer dress and the hand written ‘RUNT’ across his chest and laying down a passionate challenge to gender stereotypes. Their new single “Shame” was released last week and while it sounds good in its recorded form it becomes a towering behemoth of a song when played live.

 

Next to hit the stage were Brighton five piece White Room who look like they just dropped in from an early 80s Duran Duran video shoot via some kind of pop time travel gizmo. But this bunch are far more talented than Duran Duran in my opinion. For starters Jake Smallwood is a far better vocalist than Simon Le Bon. White Room plough grooves that are sharp enough to cut your ears as they enter your head. They have an immaculate sense of stage presence and how to play to an audience. White Room also have a new single out, entitled “Shoot” and back in the days when the charts really meant something it would be a key contender for number one.

Finally the time had arrived for perhaps the finest band in the UK right now. This was an electrifying set from this staggeringly good three piece from Doncaster. They are touring on the back of their magnificent debut album ‘Columbia’ which was released back in September. Vocalist and guitarist Thomas has a towering, menacing, piercing eyed stare stage persona which matches that of Blinders compadres Avalanche Party’s Jordan Bell. ‘Columbia’ is an incredible album and the songs when played live are moved from earth bound tunes to full on Norse God hymnals from Valhalla. I love a band that is well read and the Blinders are clearly fans of classic dystopian fiction by George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. “Brave New World” and “The Ballad Of Winston Smith” attest to that. Not every generation throws up a British band that could be called the band of their generation. In my opinion the Beatles were, as were the Sex Pistols, the Stone Roses and to some perhaps the Arctic Monkeys. I believe that this is what the Blinders are destined to become, the band of their generation. They have honesty, bravery, intelligence, extreme talent and on top of all that they play together like they were born to do it. Particular highlights from this pile driving set for me were “Hate Song”, “Brutus” and “L’Etat C’est Moi”. This is the second time I have been lucky enough to see the Blinders, I think there will be many, many more for me. I have a feeling that they will be around for a long while!

 

Public Service Announcement: – All photographs were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.

 

 
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