With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Part Of A Picture” – Sheratons May 30, 2019


The Sheratons are shaping up to be one of the finest bands in Leeds and maybe even the UK right now. The evidence is clearly there in their piledriving power in a live setting. The argument is firmly supported by the band’s most recent single “Part Of A Picture” release back in April. It is a melodic, indie rock tour de force that is rooted in rock history. There are tones of everyone from early Radiohead to the more spaced-out Byrds period. This song sounds like the product of a much more experienced band, but it isn’t, the Sheratons average age is still 19 or 20. Given the radio-play they are picking up with “Part Of A Picture” (BBC Introducing, Steve Lamacq, etc.) and the strength of previous releases, notably “These Kids” I reckon their first album will be a real winner.

The Sheratons with Kane Bulleyment’s astonishingly sharp and powerful vocal delivery, Finley Ryan’s knowledge and performance of great riffs and Emma Liu (drums) and Caty Labbett (bass) providing a Rolls Royce of an engine to power the song are definitely a force to be reckoned with. They should be very proud of this release! If you want to catch them live soon they are a part of the Futuresound Emerging Competition and will be appearing in one of the heats at the Wardrobe in Leeds on 20th June as a part of that (see below). You really need to be there! In the meantime click here to listen to “Part Of A Picture” on Spotify.

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“When I’m With You” – Yallows May 29, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:11 pm
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I recently reviewed an earlier release from Yallows, “Who Am I?”. Well, now they have a new tune out, called “When I’m With You” and it is a mountainous, melodic piece of grunge style rock with echoes of early Nirvana. Everything about this track hits the spot; the band is on peak form and the vocals are among the best rock vocals that I have heard in a while. Yallows are from Kanazawa, Japan and are living proof that rock music in the land of the rising sun is as healthy as it has ever been. If you haven’t done so already you really need to check this band out. Click here to find “When I’m With You” on SoundCloud.

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“Dance” – Alleyways


Leeds based York pop funsters Alleyways have a single out on Chalk Pit Records. The track is taken from the band’s new EP ‘Does It Matter?’ Click here to check out that collection on Spotify. It is called “Dance” and having listened to it I would personally take the title as an instruction, or perhaps an order. It is a pulsating pop song that will make you move, whether you want to or not. In the olden days this would be all over national radio, so put it all over your playlists, streams, video views and any other way you consume awesome tunes. It is accompanied by a very arty but tasteful video. It appears almost sepia-toned and occasionally had me thinking that maybe I needed 3D glasses to watch it. Dougie and the gang are on top form in the video, dressed in a kind of slightly smarter than smart casual way and really owning their dance moves. This song and the EP deserve to be seen and heard, so what are you waiting for? If you want to catch them live soon they are a part of the Futuresound Emerging Competition and will be appearing at the Wardrobe in Leeds on 4th July as a part of that (see below), get your arses down there people!

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Mayhem Virgins – The Everly Pregnant Brothers May 28, 2019


I love discovering great new bands or sometimes great bands that are new to me. Well, the wonderfully named Everly Pregnant Brothers are new to me and that is why they are the next act to feature in the Mayhem Virgins series.  They are about to celebrate their tenth, yes tenth, anniversary with a headline show at Fibbers in York on June 1st. Their brand of twisted Yorkshire parody and comedy is truly unique and bloody hilarious and I am so disappointed that I have only just discovered them. But the voyage of discovery through their back catalogue and YouTube videos has frankly put me in an even more positive mood than usual! A band that makes amusingly clever covers (obviously with comedic lyrics) of classics is the sort of thing that would appeal to me, but a band whose main instruments are ukeleles and a kazoo would normally not be my thing. But the Everly Pregnant brothers make that combination work, even for me.

The band formed in Sheffield after a drunken dare by Pete Mckee and Richard Bailey in 2009. The success of the dare prompted the
pair to draught in a bunch of disparate chaps who had three things in common, the love of beer, ukuleles and having a laugh. Pete Mckee stated in a recent interview that “We weren’t supposed to last ten days! We originally got together for a one-off gig and the buggers insisted
we carry on…”  Frontman Shaun Doane added, “I can honestly say I didn’t think any further than the first two shows we ever did, it was already fun and I hoped it would continue but I was quite prepared to do those two shows at Art in the Gardens and then go back to my musical retirement home!” Well, I for one am eternally grateful that this lot never returned to that musical retirement home. Bring on the next ten years, please. Take a listen now to some ace and rib-splitting covers from many serious artists including some of Sheffield’s finest such as the Human League and Pulp. My current favourites are “No Oven, No Pie” and “Chav World”. Click here to check them out on Spotify.

Public service announcement: all the pictures and videos were sourced via Google and YouTube. If any of them are yours and you would like a credit or want them removed please let me know.

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‘Outsider’ – The Yalla Yallas May 27, 2019


Some people might want to put Leeds band the Yalla Yallas simply into the punk genre, well that might be true in part, but they are so much more than that. The Yalla Yallas are in a zone akin to the Clash after their 1977 debut album and they have developed their sound immensely since their first album, 2009’s ‘Act Of Defiance’. The Yalla Yallas sound draws on some great influences; punk, good time rock ‘n’ roll, blues, gospel, and Iggy Pop to name just a few. The band is about to drop ‘Outsider’ their fourth album onto the world and the world needs to be ready. This is an eclectically brilliant collection of great songs. Fans of the band will already be aware of perhaps the punkiest track on the album, “Problems” which would fit in well on any UK 1970s punk collection, this was the first single. It was followed by “Somewhere, Anywhere” which is a rollicking romp which is reminiscent of the Levellers and perhaps the Wildhearts. Whatever it might remind you of, it will not leave your head. The fade out chorale style multi-layered vocals and classy guitar soloing form an earworm of the highest order.

Meanwhile “Walking In The Rain” shows the band can perform in an exquisite ballad style just as well as the harder stuff. If you like your music with a Rockabilly flavour with the emphasis more on the Rock than the Billy, then you will love “Murder, Baby”. On top of that, it moves into lounge jazz territory with some great ivory tinkling from guest star Sam ‘King Zepha’ Thornton. The forthcoming third single “Run” opens the album and it has everything you need from a great rock song; rifftastic screaming axe-wielding from Will Grinder, a rhythm section that knows exactly how to drive a song and a stunning vocal performance from ace frontman Rob Galloway. I would defy anyone to listen to these songs and not want to dance and sing along, “Borrowed Heart” epitomises that feeling, although I have learnt that dancing around the room with wired headphones is not the most sensible thing to do! Grinder’s guitar work is once again exemplary here and Lewis Pugh’s drumming, which is great throughout, excels beyond this on “Borrowed Heart”. Sam ‘King Zepha’ Thornton’s saxophone lends the song an E Street Band vibe.

The production from Grant Henderson seems to capture the essence of a band that is enjoying themselves so much they make it sound effortless. I haven’t seen a transcript of the lyrics, but “Another Day In Hell” I think is about spending time in a bad relationship, and so many of us have been there, right? Does the Devil have all the best tunes as the saying goes? Not necessarily, but “Devil” is a perhaps one that ole Satan might like. I would love to see the track used in an episode of Fox TV’s ‘Lucifer’. I can imagine it pumping out of the sound system in Lucifer Morningstar’s night club, Lux. I usually have to play an album three or four times to get a feel for it before I form an opinion. But with ‘Outsider’ I simply knew it was bloody good after just one spin!

Photos are from World Downfall Photography

 

An Interview with the Receivers May 23, 2019


Here is the second ever With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Podcast. This time it is an interview with one of York’s finest young bands, The Receivers. I hope you enjoy it. I would love to hear your comments!

Click here to find it on SoundCloud.

The Receivers

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The Specials – Barbican, York – Thursday 9th May 2019 May 12, 2019


This was the third time I had seen the Specials, once back in the early days and more recently at this same venue back in November 2016. That 2016 gig was marred by the poor sound quality and a relatively short set from the band. Was it better this time? Well yes, it was, but before I tell you about that you need to know about the spectacularly talented support band the Tuts. Regular readers will know that I am a big fan of this all-girl punk powerhouse of a band from the area of west London that I hail from. They have rather skillfully rechristened themselves a three-tone band for this tour. A support slot like this doesn’t come along too often and it is perfect for the Tuts. I have previously seen them supporting Kate Nash and the Selecter and this is now the seventh time I have seen them play live since February 2014. They simply get better and better every time and I believe that they are still some way from reaching their peak. Nadia, Bev, and Harriet played a rabble-rousing selection of songs from the Tuts debut album ‘Update Your Brain’. Particular highlights were “Always Hear The Same Shit”, “1982” and “Dump Your Boyfriend”. But the song that really set the crowd alight like a Molotov cocktail in a firework factory was “Tut Tut Tut”. Bear in mind that when the Tuts were announced as the support for this tour almost all the shows had sold out so the girls had to win the audience over. They didn’t just win them over they thrashed them into submission to a point where they had no choice but become fans. The energy generated by this band could power a small city. We were given a choice of cover versions and the crowd chose the Clash classic “Rudie Can’t Fail” rather than the Spice Girls “Wannabe”. Personally, I would have been happy with either but the Clash tune won by a landslide and I am sure that the ghost of Joe Strummer was filled with pride by the Tuts version. The Tuts merch stand looked to be doing great business later in the evening with, hopefully, legions of Specials fans now also into the Tuts. I do know that my mate Simon Hernaman purchased the Tuts album on CD. If you have not yet seen or listened to the Tuts you really need to sort your life out and do it. I reckon they are probably one of the best, if not the best, bands in the UK right now. I do know that Nad Tut disagrees with me on that, she told me that they see themselves as the best band in the world and frankly who am I to argue with that! Go Tuts!

Finally, it was the turn of the Specials to take to the stage, they were preceded by a wonderfully exuberant and tasteful DJ set by Saffiyah Khan. The band opened at full pelt with “Man At C & A” with Lynval firing up the crowd from the opening salvo, although to be fair we didn’t need much firing up. There were some inspired selections from their critically acclaimed album ‘Encore’, notably “Vote For Me”, the Valentines cover “Blam Blam Fever” and an impassioned “Ten Commandments” which featured Saffiyah Khan. But the highpoint of the newer material was for me the reworked Fun Boy Three tune “The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum” which is still, sadly as highly relevant now as it was when it was originally released back in 1981. The three remaining original members of the band, Lynval Golding, Horace Panter (a.k.a. Sir Horace Gentleman) and Terry Hall were on top form. Hall’s laconic dry humour was on display on pretty much every occasion he chose to speak to the crowd. Special mention must be given to one of the UK’s greatest guitar players, Steve Cradock who added some intense rock sounds to every song. What I have always loved about the Specials is how when they do a cover version it really does become one of their own, particularly in the live arena. The crowd were full on skanking for “A Message To You Rudy” (originally by Dany Livingstone), “Do The Dog” (originally by Rufus Thomas) and it would be an understatement to say that the crowd went apeshit (no pun intended) for a riotously uncontained romp through the Maytals “Monkey Man”. It is the originals from the early days, though, that hit the highest heights for me. “Do Nothing”, “Rat Race”, “Nite Klub”, “Friday Night, Saturday Morning”, “Gangsters” and “Too Much Too Young” still retain nuclear levels of ska punk power. A nineteen song set took us to the inevitable encore and what a treat that encore was. It kicked off with a reggae instrumental jam, I have no idea what the title was. This was followed by another classic that is still as pertinent today as it was nearly forty years ago, “Ghost Town”. This mercurial performance from the Specials was closed with a Skatalites cover “You’re Wondering Now” which also featured Saffiyah Khan. This was a fitting end to a truly great show which proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the Specials have still got it!

 

Public Service Announcement – all the pictures, apart from the tour poster, were taken on my cheap android phone. The videos were found on YouTube. If you would like to be credited or have them removed please let me know.

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