With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Unrealities” – Dying Habit February 20, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 1:42 pm
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Dying Habit are a hidden gem of a band from Bangor in North Wales. They are very new to me but they have been around since 2014. On the strength of their current single “Unrealities” they have the talent to go on to much bigger things. Vocalist Nathan Jones has a unique style which perfectly suits the emotion and passion bared in the song. Guitarist Alan Hart sounds very much on the top of his game mixing softer sweeping tones with some much harder riffs. the rhythm section of bassist Steve Allen and drummer Mark Jones complete a band that really seem to have their shit together. Dying Habit are very much an easy habit to get into. Like some of their influences; Therapy? and the Smashing Pumpkins they tackle many of the issues that  face society today, notably mental health. “Unrealities” I believe is about controlling your inner demons and not letting them impact on others. Dying Habit are a powerful band with an even more powerful message, trust me you NEED this band in your life!

 

“Dissident” – Black Lakes February 19, 2019


Black Lakes are a very, very heavy band hailing from South Wales and South West England. If you like your riffs heavy and your rock hard this band is definitely for you. Their new single “Dissident” envelopes you in a magnificent cocoon of sublime melodic metal music with a menacing undertone. Vocalist Will S Preston is among the best rock vocalists that I have heard in recent years. The Panzer like sonic attack of guitarists Scott Bradshaw and James Rowlands climbs through your skull to bounce round in your brain for hours after listening. Meanwhile Lee Harris and Dafydd Fuller drive the tune so hard that their instruments might have been forged in Mordor.

“Dissident” originally saw the light of day last year as part of a powerful three track EP ‘The Divide’ along with the title track, “The Divide” and “Ghosts (Of Our Memories)”. The latter is much softer and, excuse the pun, almost haunting in the way the voices wash over you. Black Lakes write some great tunes, but they are more than just a typical metal band, their music has passion and emotion in abundance. I understand that these tracks were produced by Romesh Dodangoda  who has worked with Bring Me The Horizon, Motorhead and Bullet for my Valentine to name just a few. Trust me it just takes one listen and you will be hooked. I need to see this band live and I want to hear much more from them. Black Lakes prove that British Rock is very much alive and kicking!

 

“Time” EP – Lost Trends February 18, 2019


Those cheeky Lost Trends chappies are back after a bit of a sabbatical. They were definitely missed, but oh boy are they back with a bang in the shape of their new EP “Time”. Click here to check it out on Spotify. It features four exciting slabs of dance infused rock; “Time”, “Everything”, “Things You Could Be” and “Stay The Same”. Back in those heady days of the late 80s and early 90s when Clubs were king and illegal raves were prolific these tracks would have been mammoth hits and probably each the subject of a 12 inch single with extended dance remixes by the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Underworld, the Chemical Brothers and Andrew Weatherall to name just a few! The title track is for me the finest tune from a great selection. It has a powerful funk vibe and uses uplifting jangly guitars to the max. I would challenge even the most sedentary of people not to dance to this, you will fail! In a parallel universe this would be hogging the airwaves and it should be in this universe too. Rusty’s vocals are on top form in “Everything” which makes me think of what Radiohead or Muse might sound like if they went full on disco. There is no let up on the wonderful sonic attack from a band totally on top of their game. “Things You Could Be” reminds me of the best U2 remixes with some guitar work that I believe the Edge would be proud of. “Stay The Same” rounds this EP off perfectly and these tracks showcase a band that I reckon are now fully equipped to take on a Festival set. Can we at least get them on the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading/ Leeds? They have the ability to bring the house down. It is so good to have Lost Trends back!

 

“Take Me Somewhere” – Skylights


Those Skylights boys sneaked out another song last month. It is called “Take Me Somewhere” and it is a driving little number that showcases some excellent riffing from guitar dynamo Turnbull overlaid on to the finely tuned and powerful engine of the rhythm section where Jonny Scarisbrick on bass and Drummer Myles Soley give it real welly to add some superb rock ‘n’ roll horsepower. The song is completed by some pedal to the metal soaring vocals from Rob Scarisbrick. These boys are firing on all cylinders and this song will drive its anthemic way into your head and parallel park there along with some of Skylights other great songs. I have heard a rough mix of another Skylights song recently and that is another humdinger, which makes me look forward to a début album whenever that might be. If you like your Indie Rock with a sharp punky attitude then you need this band in your life. They play a sell out gig this Friday, 22nd February at the 380 capacity Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen in Leeds. I’ll be there, will you?

 

 

“Places” – Ross Andrew February 16, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 6:47 am
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Ross Andrew from Birmingham in the UK is a relatively new name on the UK music scene, he is certainly very new to us at With Just A Hint Of Mayhem. He released his 4th single, “Places” yesterday, 15th February. Click here to listen to it on Spotify and here to find it on Apple. It was written by Ross and he handles vocals and guitar with some delightful piano from Diana Stone. The track was Recorded, mixed and produced by Alex Vine of AVR Music and mastered by Zac Zikis at Zikis Mastering. If you like your pop and rock on the softer acoustic side then you will love “Places”. The obvious comparison might be the likes of Ed Sheeran, but I see something much more retro like Clifford T Ward, albeit with a 21st century polish and a dash of modern Americana. On the strength of this release I would definitely like to hear more from Ross. He has had a few great support slots in recent months; Esther Turner, Blue Nation and as an opening act for Canadian indie folk band The Once. He is also the lead guitarist of a Birmingham based pop/ rock band The Fauna. You can find more from Ross on SoundCloud. This is definitely a singer to watch out for!

The brilliant photograph is by photographer is Dominic Edward, you can find him at instagram.com/dominicedwardmusic

 

Holy Holy – Barbican, York – Friday 8th February 2019 February 10, 2019


I had wanted to see Holy Holy for a long while but I have never been in the same place at the same time. But this time I made it! For those of you who are unaware Holy Holy is a band with the backbone of two David Bowie stalwarts; Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey a former Spider From Mars and Tony Visconti who produced many of the Dame’s albums and contributed bass on ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ The vocalist is Glenn Gregory off of Heaven 17. Are they a Bowie tribute act? Not in the wonderfully theatrical sense that Absolute Bowie are I see Holy Holy more as a band that is keeping the legacy alive through people who were there and were a part of the whole Bowie phenomenon. But more of Holy Holy in a bit, there is the support act to consider first and this was a solo acoustic set by none other than John Bramwell off of I Am Kloot. This was apparently his first support gig in sixteen years since I Am Kloot supported Turin Brakes. His between song chat was hilarious, John is a true raconteur who speaks eloquently and intelligently. That eloquence and intelligence is a strong part of his lyrics too. This was the first night of the tour and John regaled us with the fact that he had forgotten his guitar stands and that he had left his merch in the car. He also explained why he always talks to the audience while tuning his guitar, at a gig some years ago while tuning he overheard a comment from the audience where someone said “I don’t like this new one!” Bramwell is a very talented singer songwriter who knows his audience and wins people over with wit and very classy songs. I reckon he had quite a few new fans after tonight.

In the past I was never a great fan of bands playing a whole album from start to finish at a gig, but I have grown to love it over the years. Tonight was a fabulous night with not just one Bowie album played in its entirety but two. First came ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ followed by ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars’. It takes a good band to do these two LPs justice and this is a great band. Along with Woodmansey on drums, Visconti on bass and Gregory on vocals there are two guitarists; James Stevenson and Paul Cuddeford. Berenice Scott on keyboards and the multi instrumental Jessica Lee Morgan on acoustic guitar, saxophone, percussion and vocals. Glenn Gregory as the singer in this band is an inspired choice, he doesn’t try to be Bowie but he handles all the songs powerfully and tastefully. He certainly knows his rock god shapes and poses too. Hearing these two albums again in this environment made me think how fresh, new and different they must have sounded to fans back in 1970 and 1972 respectively. The explosive power and sheer bombast of set opener “Width Of A Circle” should have given Sabbath and Led Zep a run for their money but ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ album never really took off until after Ziggy Stardust exploded into being. The band really showed their full on hard rock credentials during this epic track and it set the scene for a great night. As a part of this blogs recent 10th birthday celebrations I posted my top ten Bowie songs, I did say that it changes regularly and after this Holy Holy gig I really need to find a space for the magnificent “All The Madmen”. When I first bought the album on cassette back in 1972 that was always my favourite song. Tonight all those teenage memories were brought to the fore again with an immaculate run through of this classic treatise on insanity where the only sane people are those in the asylums. Glenn Gregory and the band were firing on all cylinders for the first album of the evening and the crowd were singing along with most songs. Especially the title track and the “oh by jingo” refrain from “After All”. Obviously the first part of the show ended with “The Superman” on which Gregory’s vocals reached a new peak.

Now it was time for what many see as their favourite Bowie album, “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars” to give it its full title. Incidentally my favourite Bowie album is ‘Diamond Dogs’. Woody Woodmansey’s understated drum sound on “Five Years” still sends shivers down my spine coupled with lyrics of hopelessness in a world that is dying. I don’t believe that Glenn Gregory quite captured the sheer emotion in Bowie’s delivery on the record but he still did a great job. “Moonage Daydream” was probably the point where many of the crowd left their seats to dance, that song blew the house down and I reckon Mick Ronson would have been more than satisfied with the guitar skills on display. As expected no one stayed quiet for “Starman” especially the “la la la” part. Interestingly, and perhaps to give Glenn Gregory a well deserved break, Jessica Lee Morgan (who is Tony Visconti’s daughter) sang “Lady Stardust”, this woman is incredibly talented. Has there ever been an album with a better closing four tracks than this? “Hang On To Yourself”, “Ziggy Stardust”, “Suffragette City” and “Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide” tore the house down and put the roof into orbit. The only thing that could possibly have made that better would have been David Bowie actually being there. A spectacular band had just played two of Bowie’s finest albums, did they have anything left? Well yes they did, after a short break they were back for an encore. They kicked off their four song closing part with a wonderful surprise, not another hit from 1969 to 1973, but the beautiful and emotionally charged come back single from 2014, “Where Are We Now”. The band did not put a foot wrong and Glenn Gregory gave his finest vocal performance of the night, possibly not a dry eye in the house! This was followed by two classics from ‘Hunky Dory’, “Changes” and “Life On Mars”. The showed closed with the sing along sonic assault of “Rebel Rebel”. At the end Woody said a few words about being a part of this experience and being back in Yorkshire and then it was all over. It took me a while to come down from this high after getting home. I will definitely be seeing Holy Holy again!

Public Service Announcement: All photographs and videos were found on line. If any of them are yours and you would like a credit or for me to take them down please let me know.

 

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem is ten years old! Part 10b (The Singles) February 9, 2019


With Just A Hint Of Mayhem’s birthday celebrations are nearly over. Today is day 10 and it is February 9th which is the official 10th birthday…. WOO HOO, here’s to ten more years! Today you get two top tens in two separate posts this one is my top ten favourite singles and part 10a features my top 10 albums.

Regular readers will know that so far I have shared with you top ten most viewed posts on the blog since it began back in February 2009, the top ten countries that have given With Just A Hint Of Mayhem the most views, rock/ music related books, biographies and autobiographies, my top 10 Bowie songs, my 10 favourite bands of all time, my top ten favourite male artists, the ten greatest gigs that I have been to, my ten favourite music related films and yesterday my top ten favourite female artists.  (Click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here to view those again). So this is it for the 10th birthday celebrations but there is, I hope, much more to come from With Just A Hint Of Mayhem in the coming months and years, watch this space!

Don’t forget that you can also find us on Twitter  and FaceBook .

So here are my top ten favourite singles of all time, ask me next week and the list may change, although almost certainly not the number 1. I did deliberately ignore David Bowie for this list otherwise he might have occupied three or four places. If you are interested my favourite Bowie single at the moment is “Where Are We Now?”

1. No Woman No Cry (Live) – Bob Marley and the Wailers – In my opinion the greatest song and the greatest version. This will be my funeral song, unless of course I turn out to be immortal!
2. Strawberry Letter 23 – Brothers Johnson – The great Shuggie Otis wrote this but the Brothers Johnson made it their own.
3. I Want You Back – Jackson 5 – This is possibly one of the finest pop songs ever committed to vinyl. That opening piano flourish is magical.
4. White Man In The Hammersmith Palais – The Clash – For me this was the Clash’s finest hour both musically and lyrically.
5. Don’t Let Me Down – Beatles Amazing to think that this was just a B Side. It is my go to song to sing at volume when I am very drunk.
6. Do Anything You Wanna Do – Eddie And The Hot Rods – A truly inspirational song which still inspires me even in my advanced years!
7. God Save The Queen- Sex Pistols – Fear and conspiracy kept this from the number one spot in the Queens Silver Jubilee week in 1977. For me this should be the true UK national anthem.
8. Theme From A Summer Place – Percy Faith Orchestra – You might say that this is one of my guilty pleasures, well maybe, but it is a beautiful piece of music. It was also used to great effect in the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘Rose Red’.
9. Mack The Knife – Bobby Darin – I love story songs and this is easily one of the best. The law says that you have to tap your feet and click your fingers to this, right?
10. Into My Arms – Nick Cave – As love songs go this might be quite strange but it is undoubtedly beautiful too. This was also the first dance at my wedding to my wonderful wife Catwoman a.k.a Catherine.

 

 

 
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