It has been months since the last Mayhem Virgins post, so it’s about time for another, right? To refresh your memory the Mayhem Virgins series only covers artists that I have never mentioned or featured before. This time it is the turn of York-based folk-rock gems Luna Velvet. Their sound is reminiscent of the Stone Poneys and early 70s US East Coast country-rock in general. Carrie Skipper’s vocals, particularly on “Amelia” the opening track on their 2018 album ‘Songs Of Love And Hate’ caused me to think of early Joni Mitchell. There is definitely a light jazz feel that underpins some of their songs, but mostly it is alt.country, soft rock, and emotional songs. I can imagine Kate Bush taking a shot at “Betrayed”. Luna Velvet are Don Jackson, Carrie Skipper, Stu Fletcher and Tom Sollitt. They clearly have a great deal of respect within the music industry given the stellar contributions on ‘Songs Of Love And Hurt’ and wonderful new single “Molly Lou”. Extraordinary talented fiddle player Steve Wickham from Dublin, although he now lives in Sligo (hometown of Westlife don’t you know!) features on the album and prominently on “Molly Lou”. Steve played fiddle on the U2 classic “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and has worked with Hothouse Flowers, Sinéad O’Connor, and World Party. He has also been a part of the Waterboys for many years. Multi-instrumentalist Anthony “Anto” Thistlethwaite contributes to quite a few Luna Velvet songs. He was a founding member of the aforementioned Waterboys, along with Mike Scott. Thistlethwaite later tasted success with the Saw Doctors. Troy Donockley, another highly talented multi-instrumentalist and incredibly accomplished player of the Uilleann pipes contributed his skills to “Holding On” from the Luna Velvet album. Finally, bringing back the York connection, Fraser Smith, a one-time member of Shed Seven plays keyboards on the haunting ballad “Fall To Pieces”. Click here to check out Luna Velvet on Spotify, they are well worth a listen. Over here at the old Mayhem Tenement block, we can hardly wait for their next album!
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