With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘Persona’ – Lost In Kiev April 28, 2019


The phrase ‘Post-Rock’ was according to most sources first used by music critic Simon Reynolds in his review of Bark Psychosis’ album ‘Hex’, published in Mojo magazine in 1994.  He later expanded on that by saying he used the term to describe music “using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbre and textures rather than riffs and power chords”. Apparently an American music critic used the term to describe Tod Rundgren, although the context was not the same. In my experience perhaps 65daysofstatic or even Fuck Buttons might fit into the Post-Rock genre. I should point out that I am not an expert in the genre, however I was given the opportunity to review the new album from Parisian Post-Rock outfit Lost In Kiev and it really piqued my interest. Generally this style of  music is largely instrumental but uses samples of sound taken from TV and film. However Lost In Kiev take that to the next level by recording all their own spoken word samples.

The soundscapes throughout ‘Persona’ are immense and majestic and using your imagination you can immerse yourself into a skyscraping tale of the future and Artificial Intelligence. Sometimes I find purely instrumental bands, Lost In Kiev have no vocalist, can become a little samey and predictable. But Lost In Kiev step way beyond that with this record, the music is hypnotic, thunderously powerful and very different to almost anything that I have heard in the last couple of years. There are no classic guitar riffs, they are simply not needed. Although “Mindfiles” has what sounds like a synthesised metronomic guitar riff motif peppered throughout. The massed choir of synths and the at times almost tribal drumming overpower the listener and take you on an intricate journey. In their live sets the band accompany all their music with specially produced videos. I haven’t experienced them live yet but I need to now. This album is a stand alone masterpiece from a band at their peak even without the benefit of film.

If you knew nothing of Post-Rock you might classify this album as Prog and no doubt that cap might fit too. The tracks all clock in at less than six minutes each apart from “Thumos” and album closer “Mecasocialis”. After a couple of listens I think the aforementioned “Mindfiles” is my favourite track on this collection, although the competition is huge. Can an instrumental album ooze and pulse with emotional range? Well ‘Persona’ certainly does by evoking love and anger and every shade in between. The band’s guitarist Maxime Ingrand when talking about the album said “The main challenge with this record was how to write more direct and shorter post rock tracks with the same intensity as our previous, longer compositions, and finding the right balance between traditional post rock, the addition of synths and machines and the texts for the film“. Have they acheived that? Most definitely with the music and I suspect that they probably have with the film element too, although I am yet to see that personally. ‘Persona’ is out now on Pelagic Records. Click here to check it out on Spotify.

 

Miles – Single Launch – The Crescent, York – Friday 19th April 2019 April 27, 2019


This day was actually Good Friday, but when you’re lucky enough to attend a gig like this then I would suggest we rename it Great Friday. This was the third time I have seen Miles, but more of that later, because there were some rather spiffing support acts on the bill too. First to take the stage was Rosalind, tonight made up of amazingly talented York singer songwriter Ellie Milne and Nina on backing vox and harmonies. (I hear that Nina has an EP out now). The pair was aided and abetted by Josh (a.k.a. Wounded Bear) and Mikey (from Miles) on guitar and backing vocals. Ellie’s self-penned songs are built on a tsunami of soul baring emotions and “Call This A Love Song” is a stand out tune. I saw Rosalind for the first time just less than two weeks ago and I am sure I will be seeing her plenty of times in the future. Ellie performed a scorchingly brilliant cover of Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s “Big Fish”. But the closing song which deals with domestic violence was one of the most haunting tunes that I have heard in a long while.

The second support act of the evening was Wounded Bear (a.k.a. Josh). He has a rich, deep voice which enticingly draws you into his songs, most of which weave wonderful stories through their sometimes intricately clever lyrics. The music scene in York is incredibly close and supportive and embraces everyone, so Wounded Bear was the beneficiary of some heavenly counterpoint harmonies provided by Ellie and Nina who we heard as a part of the earlier Rosalind performance. Wounded Bear has a really classy EP out now entitled ‘A Calm Night For A Bullfight’. Currently my favourite song from that release is “Angela”, an emotionally charged and heartfelt love song. But for me Wounded Bear saved his best song to last, Adrian Gurvitz once said in song that he was “gonna write a classic”. Well with “Civil War” Wounded Bear has indeed written a classic tune. Musically and lyrically it has nothing missing, the song borders on perfect and needs to be heard.

Finally it was time for the headliner Miles, I think this is the second time that I have seen Miles and twice more in a previous incarnation as Epilogues. I believe main man Mikey sets out to create music that is epic in scope and could adapt well to score a foreign film of love and loss incredibly successfully. The first few, rather moody masterpieces, are performed by Mikey on his own in a style reminiscent of early period Jarvis Cocker. After that we were hit with the extended band including a well-drilled rhythm section. The drum fills were often like ethereal jazz noodles floating over a rainbow river. Mikey’s vocal talents are at times wondrous and evoke the softer side of Thom Yorke for me. This gig was to launch the new Miles single “16: My Delightful Inheritance” which is shaping up to be his best yet. I must apologise for being so tardy with this review that the album of the same now is now available on Daddy Issues Records and most major streaming sites. Click here or to check it out.

 

Public Service Announcement – all the pictures, apart from the gig poster, were taken using my cheap Chinese Android phone.

 

“Stop your messing with me” April 17, 2019

Filed under: Book,Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 5:45 pm
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Francis Rossi off of Status Quo has a new memoir out called ‘I Talk Too Much’. I haven’t read it yet but I am definitely tempted after a ’10 Things We’ve Learned About Status Quo’ in a recent article in Planet Rock magazine. I won’t list all ten, I will leave you to discover most of them yourselves. But one particular point really appealed to me and my warped sense of humour. Before they chose Status Quo as the name of their band the boys considered calling themselves The Muhammad Ali’s, simply so that they could use the slogan; “They’re The Greatest!”

I hate to say it, but I do think Status Quo was a better choice. What do you think?

 

Noggy – “Weighed Down” Single Launch – Micklegate Social, York – Monday 8th April 2019 April 15, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 3:50 pm
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Until this show I never realised that the Micklegate Social was a gig venue. I remember the basement there being a rather musty extra seating area for the upstairs bar/ coffee bar. But now it seems transformed into a fabulous, intimate small venue that is perfect for showcasing local upcoming talent. Tonight was the launch of “Weighed Down” a new single from York singer songwriter Noggy. But before his set we were entertained by three more mightily talented artists. The first of those was Rosalind, who replaced Edna Sulemanjovic who unfortunately couldn’t be here. She played some perfectly chilled ballads that made me recall New York’s Janis Ian around the time of “At Seventeen” which was a massive US hit in 1975. Rosalind’s songs and her singing showcase some immense emotional depth. She also played a stunning take on a Benjamin Francis Leftwich song. I definitely want to hear more from her and if you read on you may well see her mentioned again in this post.

Next up was another York artist, Alex Golisti who I last saw when he supported Hooray For The Riff Raff at the Crescent in York back in August 2017. He was good then and is even better now. Alex opened with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”. It is always a brave move to cover a Robert Zimmerman song and Alex with his rich, bassy voice really pulled it off. His between song banter has a chance of becoming legendary and if his music career doesn’t take off, although it should, then he could easily develop a career in stand up comedy. His acoustic guitar picking skills are reminiscent of early US deep south country blues artists. In a previous review I had likened Mr Golisti’s vocal style to George Ezra and that still stands. I also reckon that if George Ezra has the archetypal angel on devil on his shoulders that determine his moral guidance then Alex should apply for the devil role. He would smash it and however you read that I do mean it as a compliment.

The abundantly skilled and talented York singer songwriter Laura Kindelan followed and regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of Laura and her music. I caught up with her briefly before her set. She is currently studying music at the Leeds College of Music and now has a band, although they weren’t playing with her this evening. She continues to work on new material and I for one am looking forward to hearing that when she feels it is ready for us. This is the fourth time that I have seen Laura play live since first seeing her supporting Billie Martin back in July 2017. Laura opened her set with a haunting rendition of “Take Your Time” which shows how she uses not just the music but the space between the notes better than many artists can. She revealed in her introduction to another of her songs, “Fingertips” she revealed that it wasn’t in fact a love song written from experience, but ‘shock horror’ it was written for an assignment. Was I disappointed at this revelation? No of course not because however the song was born it is still a fine, classy tune. Laura was supported by Luca Vitale, a cello maestro, for the last couple of songs. Her Arctic Monkeys cover, “Do I Wanna Know”, was incredible, she really gave the song her own spin. I truly believe that if you cover a well-known tune, make it different and this was very definitely Laura Kindelan and not Alex Turner. Laura closed her set with “Spiders” which is indelibly stamped with great emotion, deep feeling and a real darkness. For me this song really showcases Laura’s great talent and I still believe that she has the style and presence to be the kind of force that Jeff Buckley was before he left the world nearly 22 years ago.

Finally it was time for tonights headliner, Noggy. He opened with a cover of the Gregory Alan Isakov’s haunting song “The Universe”. This was a highlight for me, Noggy’s performance turned the emotion in the tune up to 11. Apparently his own composition, “Hologram” was the first song that gave him the confidence to perform his music beyond the confines of his bedroom. That is no surprise as this track has the makings of a classic about it. I, like I am sure many of you, are supremely pleased that Noggy did make the leap from performing tunes in his bedroom to bringing them to us in the wider world. Noggy was joined by show opener Rosalind for some fine vocal harmonies an a couple of songs before ending his set and the evening with his new single “Weighed Down”. Whatever style of music you love, and my taste is wildly eclectic, you surely cannot fail to grasp the beauty of this ethereal, emotional and frankly 100% beautiful ballad. I noticed on-line that Noggy is often described as folk or indie folk (I had no idea that the indie folk sub genre even existed), but I think he is much more than either. “Weighed Down” is in simple terms a great piece of music which you need to have in your life. Click here to check it out on Spotify.

 

Public Service Announcement – all the pictures, apart from the gig poster, were taken using my cheap Chinese Android phone. The videos were found on YouTube. If any of the videos are yours and you would like me to credit you or remove them please let me know.

 

The With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Podcast Volume 1 April 8, 2019

Filed under: Podcast — justwilliam1959 @ 12:39 pm
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It has taken me a while, but I have now completed the first With Just A Hint Of Mayhem podcast! It is, I hope, an informative piece on ‘Diamond Dogs’ which is my favourite Bowie album. The editing on the podcast is not perfect, it is a bit clunky and there are some small gaps, but it is my first attempt. Take a listen and let me know what you think! I have an idea for content for the next couple of Podcasts, but if there is a specific topic you would like me to cover I would be happy to consider it!

Click here, to listen to the podcast on SoundCloud.

 

 
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