With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Lost Trends – Victoria Vaults, York – Thursday 18th July 2019 July 23, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 5:53 pm
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This gig marked my first ever visit to the famous Victoria Vaults (a.k.a. Vicci Vaults) in York. It would also be the fifth time that I have had the chance to experience the mighty Lost Trends, one of Yorks finest bands, playing live. But before I tell you about Lost Trends there is the not so small matter of the two rather spiffing support acts. First on stage was Borderline, another local band who interestingly have no guitarist. But honestly, you really don’t notice that with the heavy, synth-laden, beautiful racket they make. At times I detected a synth, indie, Brit Pop style with shades of New Order and Dave Gahan. The highlight of their set for me was the delightfully titled “The Duchess Dies Tonight”. But that was a close run thing with “In A Vacuum”, which bled with the pumping heart of Heaven 17. But a Heaven 17 from a parallel universe where the never had a fractious split with the original Human League. Steve Gillies vocals occasionally hit a rich seam of Gary Numanesque style and delivery. The aforementioned lack of guitar was rendered invisible by the rhythm section that provided the power of more than just two people. James Brown on drums and bass player Tome Brown were totally in sync with each other throughout the set. Borderline are an excellent band that you really need to check out.

Borderline

Scarborough band the Feens graced the stage next and what an outfit they are, riding on the crest of some excellent airplay on BBC Six Music, BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio they hit the stage with a truckload of energy and great tunes. Think Talking Heads with Johnny Marr on guitar duties, yes Sam Dowling is that good! Freddie Schmuck one of the Feens dual lead vocalists has a feel of Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig about him. When the other dual lead singer, bass player Adam Lodge gets going it’s like being hit by a massive injection of Arcade Fire. The Feens are a highly talented and truly brilliant band that promises so much more. I believe this bunch can go all the way!

The Feens

At last, it was time for the mighty Lost Trends, easily one of York’s best bands from the last five years. It was probably George Clinton or Bootsy Collins who coined the phrase Funkateers, well I believe Lost Trends are true Funkateers, on top of that their outlook and attitude suggest Punkateers too. This is a rock band that thinks it’s a funk band, a funk band that thinks it’s an indie band, an indie band that thinks it’s a punk band. The truth is they are all of those genres, and more, combined into a musical package that will blow your socks off and blow your mind. Every song they have is a dance floor banger that would be perfectly at home pumping from the main stage of Reading/ Leeds. We were treated to some great cuts from their EP “Time” launched earlier this year and some old classics, including “DJ” which is a song about crap DJs. I have said this of Lost Trends before but their stuff would be amazing if featured on a dance remix album by the likes of the Chemical Brothers or Soulwax. As usual Pete Knaggs’ guitar never lets up as it shimmers across the magnificent sounds emanating from a rhythm section that would grace any top band. Rusty’s vocal performance was once again immense and full of power and passion. This band deserves to be huge and if you haven’t seen Lost Trends yet, then you had better rectify that very quickly, otherwise, I will have to come around and sort you out! I know where you live!

Lost Trends

Rusty off of Lost Trends

 

Public Service Announcement: All pictures, apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap android phone. All videos were sourced from YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like me to credit you or take it down please let me know.

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Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Podcast July 20, 2019


I have just uploaded another With Just A Hint Of Mayhem podcast. It outlines my views on the Apollo 11 moon landing from 50 years ago. How exciting that was to me and my thoughts on what has happened since, accompanied by a soundtrack of some of my favourite space, moon and Apollo tunes. Click here to check it out. I would love to hear your views too.

 

Hands Off Gretel – Fulford Arms, York – Wednesday 10th July 2019 July 18, 2019


Until now I had missed every opportunity to catch Hands Off Gretel play live, so I had high expectations of this show. Did the band meet my expectations? You’ll have to read on to find out as there were also three other bands on the bill, starting with Witch Of The East. This is the brainchild and solo project of the mightily talented Aeris Houlihan, her sound is heavier than heavy, as grungey as it can get and definitely turned up to 11. Aeris has a blonde version of Marc Bolan’s iconic early 70s hairstyle which allows me to blatantly paraphrase Mr. Bolan and say of Aeris, “She ain’t no square with her corkscrew hair”. Her guitar playing is exquisite and her vocals are really special. Her singing voice is great on the new album ‘Queen Of Insecurity’ but live it goes beyond great. On stage, Aeris was aided and abetted by a drummer that could fit with Motorhead or the Muppets, he was that good! I am not yet familiar with all of Witch Of The East‘s songs, but Aeris gave me a copy of the album so it won’t be long! (Thank you Aeris!). I believe the opening song was “Silence” and my favourite from the set was “When You Fuck Me” which for me was how I would imagine Peaches sounding if she was more metal than electro. Ms. Houlihan made a really stylish and effective crowd incursion towards the end of her set too. I am now a confirmed fan of Witch Of The East and I can hardly wait to see them live again!

Next up was My Wonderful Daze from York, their sound is deep, dark and almost menacing at times. Imagine what band might arise if Florence and the Machine had been kidnapped by DC’s Suicide Squad and the Joker injected them with a mix of a large dose of heavy metal and Kurt Cobain’s DNA. This was not just a simple rock music set it was also a real performance with the band using stage clothes, eccentric makeup and flowing movement to get their songs across. My Wonderful Daze owned the stage for the whole of their set and they captivated a largely spellbound audience. They also keep the punk ethos going by utilising some great stage names (well I am making an assumption that these aren’t their real names) like; Flowers, Eden, and Mr. Jack Sparkle.

As Sirens Fall were the only band without a female member, but they showed true solidarity with the other bands by wearing dresses, well some of the band at least. Singer Mikey Lord I believe will one day become a really iconic frontman. He is highly skilled at engaging the audience and bringing them into the fast lane currently occupied by As Sirens Fall. Mikey has something of Brian Molko about him with some Bowie thrown in for good measure, particularly his powerful on-stage presence. In their five years together the band have released two EPs, both produced by Romesh Dodangoda. Romesh has previously produced Bring Me The Horizon among many others. As Sirens Fall are heavy as hell served with a dash of goth and a shot of punk. They make My Chemical Romance look and sound like Westlife! I can state categorically that As Sirens Fall, have gone straight into my top five live bands! I came to this gig with my good friend Jari, who was here on a business trip from Finland. As Sirens Fall is his new favourite band!

Many bands reach the cusp of greatness but often never make it beyond that, never usually through things that they are able to control. I believe that Hands Off Gretel are about to take one small step for a band, but one giant leap for women in rock. This band has the passion, the skill, and the attitude to take it so much further. I am glad I got to see them at the Fulford Arms, a wonderfully intimate venue. They are surely destined to fill arenas next and who knows where after that. This show came just a few days after the singer and guitarist Lauren Tate’s open letter to the men who come to the band’s shows. It calls out all the misogynistic creeps who sexualise any female in a band or in the audience. What she says is spot on and finally, many more people are taking notice and are ready to do something about this. Ever since I went to my first gig in 1972 and my first festival in 1975 I have loved the camaraderie and care for others in most gig crowds, but sadly there are always exceptions. Lauren was right to call this out and let’s hope it flushes these arseholes out! If you haven’t read her letter yet, you really need to, click here to see it. The band showed great solidarity for this kind of movement. Lauren and Becky, the bass player sported expertly painted on facial hair. At times Becky’s rock god postures were reminiscent of Lemmy in his full-on Motorhead pomp and the added chest hair added to that picture. Guitarist Sean Bon sported a kind of scary red gimp mask, given the heat that night he must have sweated buckets! The band is currently promoting their sophomore album ‘I Want The World’ and most of that collections tracks got an airing tonight. Particular highlights for me were “S.A.S.S”, “Kiss Me Girl” and “Freaks Like Us”. Hands Off Gretel are like a well-oiled punk machine that hits you with grunge licks, heavy riffs, and classy tunes. Lauren’s vocals have been likened to Gwen Stefani before and I get that comparison, but I believe Lauren’s voice is far more at home on the harder, intense styles than Gwen’s might have been. This was a stunning, powerhouse of a performance, the venue was hotter than I had ever known it but the verve and excitement generated by this band drove the heat and energy to molten lava levels. Hands Off Gretel are a long way from their peak but their trajectory is steep and seems driven by the power of a Saturn V rocket. If you haven’t yet seen them, sort yourself out. You will not be disappointed! I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the bands in this review.

Witch Of The East – Pic was taken on my cheap Android phone

Public Service Announcement: All pictures, apart from the gig poster and the pic of Witch Of The East were taken by John Hayhurst of Snapagig (a.k.a this generations Mick Rock)! All videos were sourced from YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like me to credit you or take it down please let me know.

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‘Saccharin EP’ – Writer’s Rain July 5, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:36 pm
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I first heard Nina Sundstrom when she was on backing vocal duties for Rosalind and Wounded Bear at the Crescent in York back in April. I had a brief chat with this lovely lady that night and she told me that she had an EP coming out. Well, it has been out a while and I finally got around to reviewing it and I can state categorically that it was worth the wait. Nina goes by the wonderfully clever name Writer’s Rain and the EP is called “Saccharin”. She first came to York three years ago from Bristol to study for a degree in neuroscience, so clearly, her talents stretch beyond just her innate, natural musical ability. She has worked hard playing small open mic gigs in York and all that effort has paid off with such a strong first release. If you like singer-songwriters of the classic school, like Carole King and Joni Mitchell or more modern artists like Lisa Hannigan, Lucy Rose or Feist, then you really ought to give the ‘Saccharin EP’ a spin. It took one listen to convert me into a fan of Writer’s Rain.

The songs feel simple in their construction and performance with some relatively understated instrumentation. The production is crisp and brings out the best in Nina’s voice which at times has the angelic clarity of Karen Carpenter. Her lyrics are far more mature than her age might suggest. The EP kicks off with “Interested” which I think is a put down of an overpowering, pushy, braggart of a man. The title track, “Saccharin” is, no pun intended, one of the sweetest songs here. I can also sense the young Joni Mitchell influence here in her tone and phrasing. Have you ever fell for someone because you simply both ‘clicked’? The third song on this collection “Click” is all about that and it is a beautiful tune and my wife loves it! The EP closes with “Nervous” which has a soft folky feel and is a song that wouldn’t be out of place in a Laura Marling collection and is reminiscent of Mary Hopkin at times. Click here to check out the ‘Saccharin EP’ on Spotify, if it doesn’t leave you feeling good then you need to get your head checked out!

 

 

 

InFade “Embers” Single Launch – 360 Club, The Lending Room, Leeds – Friday 28th June 2019 July 3, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:31 pm
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This was a night to celebrate the launch of “Embers” the new single from InFade, click here for my review of that tune from last month. But before I tell you more about InFade there were three other bands bringing their music to the 360 Club at the Lending Room in Leeds, which is possibly one of the coolest and most intimate venues in Yorkshire. First up were We Make Waves, this Leeds five-piece rocked as though they were auditioning to be Asgard’s house band. They passed that audition with style and a bass that was as thunderous as Thor’s mighty hammer, Mjolnir! Bass player Olli Rawcliffe even sported hair and beard close to that of the Thunder God. Amy Kennedy’s vocals backed by such a strong band made me think of what perhaps the Foo Fighters might sound like if they had a female singer. It is also so refreshing to see another female fronted band. Apparently, We Make Waves are in the middle of recording a couple of songs, with which they closed their set. The last of these, apologies I didn’t get the title, was truly epic! Click here to check them out on SoundCloud.

We Make Waves

Next up were Lords Of Power, also from Leeds. Now I don’t believe that they are actual Lords, but fuck do they have some power! It struck me that this might be what Black Sabbath could have sounded like if Paul Rodgers replaced Ozzy Osbourne as lead vocalist, Dave Sowden’s singing is that good! Lords Of Power appear to have been carved from the great oak of British rock lineage; Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Bad Company and many more. Sowden even introduced a really amusing Yorkshire Freddie Mercury crowd chant; “ayup, aaayyyyuup”. Every one of the three band members plays a vital part in giving them their almost off the scale power. It was a shame to hear that bass player, Dan Sugden was playing his last gig with the band. The “Computer Game Loading” was very engaging too. The high point of their set, for me, was “The Devil Wears Shoes” which would fit rather nicely into an episode of Netflix’s “Lucifer”. Click here to check the Lords Of Power out on SoundCloud.

Lords Of Power

The penultimate band tonight was CPSD an eclectic, engaging and highly talented three-piece.  If you like funk, punk, blues, electro, heavy metal, Prog Rock or even dubstep, these guys have it all. When they fire up their full sonic assault they don’t sound like a trio, they sound like a full orchestra. There is a sniff of Slaves and the WhiteStripes about them at times and I mean that in a good way. They sound great in recorded form but they take it to another level completely in the live setting. They smash their way into your brain with power that could split a planet in two, just like a rock version of Quake from “Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D”. Click here to check out one of their songs on SoundCloud, but also get yourself to one of their gigs. You will not regret it!

CPSD

After three immensely good bands could InFade raise the bar even further? Well, the answer to that question ladies, gentlemen, punks, goths, funkateers, and every other tribe is that yes they damned well can and they bloody well did! This was a mesmerising performance from a band that is fast shaping up to be one of Leeds finest. When I first met them they described themselves as some kind of a cross between Tool and Earth, Wind and Fire. That statement alone was enough to intrigue me and seeing them live proves that to be a true statement. They wear their funk hearts on their sleeves so proudly that their stage entry music was one of Nile Rodgers greatest songs; “Le Freak” by Chic. Interestingly Richard, the promoter for this gig does not announce the running order until late on, to ensure that the hardcore fan element for each band stick around longer. I never understood why people would come and see “their” band and then not bother to see the rest of the acts, but hey, to each their own right? It worked tonight as there was a pretty solid crowd throughout the night and for InFade. The boys hit the ground running with a punchy set that showcased their musical talents. Max’s vocals are emotional, soulful and show tones of an epic rock voice when belting out their anthemic tunes. Meanwhile, Carl and Jonny are a highly tuned Formula 1 engine that purrs loudly beneath some great tunes. The highlights for me were “Venom” and the aforementioned “Embers”. Like all the previous bands this evening InFade seemed to be having a lot of fun. Showcased brilliantly by Carl’s audience invasion towards the end of the set. This was a great night for all of those who took the stage, but I think InFade just about shaded it against some great competition. Click here to check out their stuff on Spotify and if you missed this gig they will be playing the 360 Club again on Friday 20th September!

InFade

Public Service Announcement: All pictures were taken by me! All videos were sourced from YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like me to credit you or take it down please let me know.

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