With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Black Rainbow” – Wah Wah Club February 17, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 8:56 pm
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Who said Milton Keynes was dull and nothing exciting ever happened there? Well, quite a few people but right now those people would be so very wrong. The rather exciting Wah Wah Club come from the city of concrete cows and they are a spectacularly talented band who deserve obscene levels of success. They have a new single out now it is the title track from their new EP of the same name. The soundscape of “Black Rainbow” conjures up what might have happened had Marc Bolan lived and gone on to record with My Chemical Romance. Wah Wah Club are a compelling powerful bunch who know the value of emotional vocals and riffs that could create a mountain range.

Dan Buckland on Guitar and Vocals, Marc Laskey on Guitar and Backing Vox, Drummer Tommy Carr and Lee Smith on bass guitar and more backing vox have the potential to be one of the best breakout bands of 2020. “Black Rainbow” is a dark complex and emotional powerhouse of a twisted rock love song accompanied by an absolutely stunning and at times bizarre video. But Wah Wah Club have so much more to offer, the EP is already vying to be among my favourite releases of 2020 and it isn’t even the end of February yet. Of the other tracks on the EP, “Heist” came out as a single last year and “Ballad Of A Bully” epitomises everything that is great about the heavier side of British rock in the 21st Century. Meanwhile, just when you think that things could not get any better the EP closes with “Seatbelt Constrictor” a festival of screaming guitars and deep dark riffs that might have been constructed by Lucifer’s minions in the very depths of hell. The production throughout is sharp and captures a band that seems to know just how good they are and maybe how great they could become! I need to see these boys live very soon. Get Wah Wah Club into your life now, that is an order!

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“Enemies” – Skylights February 10, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 8:27 pm
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One of York’s finest bands, Skylights have a new single out, it’s called “Enemies” and personally, I think it is their best yet. So many things are looking up for Skylights at the moment. A hometown headline gig later this month, lots of airplay at their football temple Elland Road, a spin on Soccer AM, a support slot for Shed Seven at the Halifax Piece Hall in June and now on the bill at this years Kendal Calling Festival. As the lyric of “Enemies” says “dream those dreams don’t let ’em die”. These boys are living the dream and they damned well deserve this success, they work bloody hard.

“Enemies” is a mass sonic assault which grabs your brain and spins it around in your skull until you submit to its indie-rock power. Rob’s vocals are reminiscent of Ian Brown at his peak. Turnbull takes his guitar on a psychedelic riff-fest that means the power of this tune never ends. Meanwhile holding the rudder are Jonny and Myles, a rhythm section that it would be hard to better. It is all accompanied by a moody black and white video with clips of the band taken at The Wardrobe in Leeds. When it arrives the first Skylights album will be a fucking classic!

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“Milestones” – Joe Leo KAYA

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 8:27 pm
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York-based singer-songwriter Joe Leo began writing his soulful emotional songs in his early teens. He has always seen the songwriting process as somewhat therapeutic. His new single “Milestones” has a great soft rock feel and an excellent pop hook. It makes me think of George Michael had he taken a less dance and funk-driven direction and rocked out more. I can also sense a Moody Blues influence in the tune too. “Milestones” is overflowing with soulful, yearning vocals and the musicianship is first class. Joe has networked with many highly talented musicians since relocating to Yorkshire after the break up of his former band Mighty Dreams. Joe is a solo artist but he has also created KAYA band containing a collective of musicians he collaborates with, which he describes as “like a carousel of the best musicians around York” On the evidence of “Milestones” Joe is definitely one to watch!

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Cowgirl (Fulford Arms 6th Birthday gig) – Fulford Arms, York – Friday 10th January 2020 February 2, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 5:33 pm
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The Fulford Arms is such a great venue and it really feels like it has been here for a long, long time. But remarkably this show was in celebration of the Fulford Arms’ sixth birthday and it was a pleasure to be a part of it. It was a proper bargain too, five acts for £5. First up was Miles with an excellent solo set using a £30 guitar and a free phone app as his only backing apart from his wonderfully ethereal vocals. New song “Well” was very classy and “The Gap”, which Miles admitted he dropped earlier into the set than usual, was epic. But the highlight for me was “Aspirin” I really love that tune. Thank you, Miles, for a wonderfully chilled kick-off to the party!

Next, it was the turn of metal power trio Redfyrn. Imagine Kate Bush fronting a punk-influenced very heavy metal band with an added sprinkle of early PJ Harvey that is just one description of Redfyrn, but there are so many more. They are a band with great songs, none more so than “Silent Water”. This is a band that deserves to be heard. Their whole stage persona comes across as a little understated but they pack a hell of a punch, especially drummer Leo. This is definitely a band to keep an eye on.

Percy, another of York’s finest took the stage next and this would be the third time that I had seen them in just over a year. They have a new album coming out later this year and judging from the live takes on some of the new songs and the demo versions that I have heard it will be darned good. Their last album, ‘Sleeper’s Wake’ from 2018 was excellent, I reckon the new one will see them step up their game once again. If you like the Fall or anything Mark E Smith was involved with then you will love this lot, in fact, if you love your music with a punk attitude, a pinch of prog and at times political then you will adore Percy! The highlights for me, as expected, were the Brexit related tunes; “Unicorn” and “Will Of The People”. I can see the latter getting played a lot during 2020.

Probably one of my favourite current bands are My Wonderful Daze. Their appearance on the bill at the Fulford Arms on 10th January marked the fifth time that I had seen them in six months! They played at my first ever gig promotion at the Crescent just a week before this show. I was really pleased to see that vocalist Flowers a.k.a. Chloe’s voice was back to full strength after the cold and sore throat at the Crescent. Not that there was any dip in the quality in the previous weeks set mind you. The played some pounding versions of the tracks from their recent EP, ‘Guilty Party’. One of the many things that I love about this band is their overpowering energy, they don’t build to a crescendo, they start with one and keep it at that level for their whole set. Chloe showed great personality when dealing with tonight’s technical issues too; faulty microphone and a broken bass string! I don’t know when the first My Wonderful Daze album will appear, but I am so looking forward to it and to seeing them on stage plenty more times too!

Headliners were another rather excellent York band, Cowgirl, tonight was the third time that I have seen them and in fact the second time in just a few weeks. Their scuzzy, dirty and sometimes feedback-driven garage rock is reminiscent of the Jesus And Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and one of my favourite US bands, the Detroit Cobras. Many of their songs have an underlying electric blues feel, but one that is distorted with punk attitude and noise. I also see a young and more vibrant Velvet Underground in Cowgirl’ swagger and stage presence.  Small sweaty venues like the rather excellent Fulford Arms were made for bands like Cowgirl. Check them out now, that is an order!

 

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap Chinese android phone. The videos were all found on YouTube if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know. 

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“Starting Over” – Heartsink

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:43 pm
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York band Heartsink have a new single out today. It is called “Starting Over” and it is a pop-punk powerhouse of a tune. It takes the best elements of classic US pop-punk and filters it through a very British vibe. It is an earworm with a classy rhythm section making the rock engine purr and some very powerful riffage. Jake’s vocals are yearning, powerful and spot on! The production on this tune from Ben Stuart Brown is first class.

Heartsink are twin brothers Zac and Jake Roughton on drums respectively. The pair are aided and abetted in their long term plan to dominate the pop-punk world by  Kiel Hodgson on Guitar and bassist/ vocalist Bryn Portas. The boys have been around a while as a band and on the evidence of this track alone, Heartsink are a pretty well oiled and slick machine. A few more anthemic tunes like this and festivals will be falling over themselves to get them on their line ups. You can catch them tomorrow supporting Roam at the Basement in York, I might be there myself!

Check out the tune via YouTube below and click here to find it on Spotify!

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