With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Ginger Wildheart vs. Leeds Festival August 26, 2022

Filed under: Observation — justwilliam1959 @ 6:21 am
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A week ago I published a post called “Avalanche Party vs. Leeds Festival”. This was in relation to Rage Against The Machine cancelling their European tour including Leeds and Reading Festivals. For me, this left the Friday night lineup a bit weak. In fact, the headliners that were playing in York for Friday (tonight) are far stronger. Avalanche Party at the Crescent, Ginger Wildheart at the Fulford Arms, and even a great Motorhead tribute act, Motorheadache at the York Vaults. I had planned to leave the Leeds Festival early today to go and see Avalanche Party but unfortunately, the band has had to pull out of the gig due to unforeseen circumstances, I hope the AP boys are all ok. So now it is down to the 1975 at Leeds or Ginger Wildheart in York. No contest at all, see you later Ginger!

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Avalanche Party vs. Leeds Festival August 19, 2022


I am sure you know that Rage Against The Machine have cancelled all their current European dates, including the Reading and Leeds Festivals. The bad press that their replacement as headliners, the 1975, are getting is a little OTT and unfair in my opinion. However, this change does present me with a dilemma. If Rage Against The Machine were still on the bill it would be no contest. But one of my most favourite bands, a band that I have seen more times than any other act, Avalanche Party will be playing a headline set at the Crescent in York on Friday 26th August, which is the night the 1975 will be headlining the Leeds Festival. I am not camping at the Festival site, so I will be driving home to York each night. Also, I don’t have a press pass, I am a paying punter, so therefore beholden to no one. My problem is do I drive back to York for the Avalanche Party experience? I have already bought my ticket, which was just a quid in advance, how good a deal is that? If I do drive back I will definitely miss Beabadoobee and possibly Pale Waves, two of the bands I mentioned in my Leeds Festival preview a few days ago. Weighing it all up I have decided to drive back to York to see Avalanche Party on Friday night. It won’t change my mind, but I would love to know what you would do. On the same night, Ginger Wildheart is playing the Fulford Arms in York. So in fact York has a better set of headline acts on the Friday than the Leeds Festival does. So apologies to Beabadoobee and Pale Waves but there ain’t no party like an Avalanche Party, right?

Here is what you could have had

Here is what you have
Here is what you want, and what you will get!

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The Fabulous Fulford Arms – York, UK August 13, 2022

Filed under: Observation,Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:10 pm
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The Fantastic and Fabulous Fulford Arms is most definitely one of York’s first-class music venues. (Other music venues in York are, of course, available!) If you enjoy intimate, sweaty gigs in a 150-capacity venue you will love this place. Regular readers know that I go there a lot, in fact, I will be there later this evening for what I am sure will be another great gig. The staff are wonderful, welcoming, and fun. Steph and Chris know how to run a great venue. On your way in don’t forget to check out the legendary Zac’s Shack, manned by Heartsink’s heartthrob Zac Roughton. I am proud to say that With Just A Hint Of Mayhem now has a page of Fulford Arms gig reviews on the Fulford Arms web page. I have had some great times at gigs and reviewing gigs at the Fully Arms and many other venues, but to get my reviews posted in this way is something that I am immensely proud of. Check out the reviews here, but more importantly get yourself along to the Fully for a gig or two, you won’t regret it! Support your scene good people!

Check out one of my favourite bands, Avalanche Party playing the Fulford Arms six years ago, blimey they look young don’t they?
Sweet May rocking the Fulford Arms earlier in 2022

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Space Oddities July 18, 2022


Space Oddities by Jeremy Good

The Alan Yentob/BBC documentary ‘Cracked Actor’ first aired on UK television in January 1975. It followed Bowie on tour across America. I was 14 years old, struggling with my feelings and trying to understand my place in this world. It was a Sunday.

Many teenagers go through a period of feeling they don’t fit in, but for some of us, that sense of being an outsider, always on the periphery, is particularly acute and lingers on. It is more than just a phase. Bowie was the first rock star to eloquently recognise this. “One isn’t totally what one is conditioned to think one is. There are many facets of the personality, which a lot of us have trouble finding,” he told Yentob, as he languished effeminately on a couch, with his legs folded up under him like a gazelle. This was my Top of The Pops “Starman” moment. David Bowie spoke to me. Those few words were like gold. A promise of what could be, and I knew exactly what the girl with the glitter on her face was saying in the documentary when she said, “I’m just the space cadet, he’s the commander!

And the beautiful spaced-out blonde youth who voiced my feelings of ‘otherliness’ when he said, “He’s from his own universe.

What universe is that?” asked Yentob, as the boy sat in the lotus position on the pavement, holding court.

The Bowie universe.”

Are you into the Bowie universe?

He’s the centre – I was drawn to it.

How were you drawn to it?

I’m from Phoenix – and I just – came.

That moment. That was how I felt. I was drawn to something and here I was.

Eighteen months later I was dressed like Thomas Newton, the character Bowie played in ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth‘ and being interviewed myself by Allan Jones for Melody Maker, outside Wembley Arena. Bowie had arrived in London at the start of that hot summer in his latest incarnation as the Thin White Duke, and I was one of the ‘Space Oddities’ who had landed there to see him, as the article headlined in the following weeks’ paper.

You might think that the ‘Bowie’ effect would have worn thin over the ensuing years, but, as witnessed by the success of the V&A Bowie Is exhibition, at the outpouring of emotion upon his death, and the legions of fans at the Bowie Convention in Liverpool this year, anything Bowie did or was involved in throughout his life was always an event and a signpost to the future.

Jeremy in Thomas Jerome Newton mode

I tracked down two of the original ‘Space Oddities’ interviewed by Jones at the Wembley concert in ’76. I was interested to know how their lives had panned out and what effect Bowie had on them throughout.

Billy Nevins, at the time dressed as a hybrid concoction of something out of A Clockwork Orange crossed with Ziggy, epitomised Bowie’s mantra of self-expression and experimentation.

Jones’ impression of Billy was of a “hoodlum space punk; a wild mutation of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, make-up smeared and grotesque, an old fox fur stole draped in nonchalant contempt about his shoulders”.

I’m devoted to David Bowie,” Billy told Jones. “If it wasn’t for him, I’d be like everyone else, sat at home watching telly.

When we spoke he still remembered the thrill of the tube ride from Rayners Lane to Wembley that day, the odd looks, the whispers of attention; ‘What 15-year-old wouldn’t have enjoyed it,’ he told me. ‘I was just waking up to a world of possibilities.

Do you recognise that kid from back then, I asked?

Well, for one thing, I wasn’t a “hoodlum space punk”. In fact, I was a quiet kind of kid. Though I did buy an industrial sized indelible magic-marker and scrawl Future Legend in its entirety over a prominent public wall. It was bright red and very artistic. It took me two hours to do at two in the morning – how thoughtless of me! The irony is that I went on to become a calligrapher, photographer, and graphic designer. Of course, David Bowie was the gateway for me then, opening doors to so many thoughts and fantasies. I feel self-conscious now, looking back, but he really was my first living hero.

Had Billy’s adoration subdued over the years?

Mellowed towards Bowie and his music? In a word – no. It would be like turning my back on an old and trusted friend – it would hurt.’

The most important thing in Billy’s eyes, was always the music. ‘His songs could make me laugh or cry. There’s lots of humour, but so much pain also. “Starman” was the hook, then I was forever on that Bowie highway, always listening, always watching his change of styles – the emperor’s new clothes – every year or so; wasn’t it fun? He looked cool, he sounded cool. He was everything a rock icon should be. Didn’t we all want to be a rock star like David Bowie? Damn it, I wanted to be Ziggy!’

Billy was right, what 14 or 15-year-old doesn’t want to be someone other than themselves? I took to writing angst lyrics to Bowie’s songs and played out the traumas of my teenage life in my bedroom in front of an imaginary audience with a backdrop of the ‘Station to Station‘ show in my mind. I would flick the light-switch on at the moment Bowie sang; ‘The return of the Thin White Duke ...’ to the adoring screams of my own make-believe fans and homage to the brilliant white lighting Bowie adopted for that show.   

The Wembley Arena concert was the first live Bowie gig Billy had seen. ‘It was incredible. I had a seat stage right and I could see across to stage left, where there was what can only be described as a small cubicle set-up behind the speakers in which Bowie sat on a stool, spinning his arms at close quarters like they were attached to the wheels of a steam locomotive, I guess he was working on brandy, Charlie and adrenalin, before coolly walking out on to the stage crooning … ‘Throwing darts in lover’s eyes’. It worked!’

Christopher Aslanian, dressed as the Thin White Duke with scraped back bleached blonde hair and a packet of Gitanes cigarettes pushed neatly into the pocket of his black waistcoat, told Jones in the Melody Maker interview, “I always wanted to be different. Bowie was different. I like to be noticed and to look a bit special.”

What people have to remember,’ Chris told me as we reminisced, ‘is that it was the first time Bowie had performed in the UK since the Hammersmith Odeon. We’d missed out on the Diamond Dogs tour, so this was an event akin to the coming of the Pope.’

Chris is a fan on a whole different level. He’d followed Bowie since the early 70’s when he first heard Changes, and at the time he dressed like Bowie full-time. ‘I travelled down to London in a beige Diamond Dogs suit with white, Mary-Jane shoes and my hair in a quiff. I bought the black and white Station to Station clothes with me in a Tesco carrier bag and got changed in a garage toilet. Standing around outside the gig, waiting to go in, I just felt cool, especially when I was photographed and interviewed, and even more so when I appeared on the same page in the paper as the man himself.

I didn’t see it as brave or courageous to dress like that, I’d been doing it for so long by then it was a part of who I was, and yes you could say it was an obsession to look as much like Bowie as possible, down to the smallest detail, to the extent that I had a pair of identical bracelets made.

But every time I went out my life was in danger. I was attacked many times, sometimes with knives. Abuse was hurled my way all the time, bricks thrown, but I wasn’t going to change for anyone. The only time I saw other blokes adopting Bowie’s style was when it was safe to do so in the mid-eighties, but I was living the lifestyle 24 hours a day. I had all the clothes, the Ziggy jumpsuits, the red wedge boots made by the same person who made the originals, costumes made by Natasha Korniloff, the creator of the Ashes to Ashes clown outfit, and even a dress made that was identical to the one worn by Bowie on the original cover of ‘The Man Who Sold the World’.

‘The defining Bowie moment for me was when I saw him on tour in the early 70’s. I was expecting to see this Garboesque character walk out on stage, instead he came on with bright red hair, quilted jumpsuit, boxing boots, white make up and a blue 12 string Gibson guitar, he said, “My name is David Bowie, and this is my music.” Brilliant! He looked absolutely fantastic and beautiful – the coolest man on the planet. I decided I wanted to look like that too.

I got to meet him backstage after that show and my sister asked him, “Where do you get your clothes?” There was a momentary silence before he answered, “the likes of Rod Stewart go to London, I get mine made!” I met him again in a hotel I worked in, during the Aladdin Sane tour. Facing the sack, I knocked on the door and he appeared in bib and braces and make-up, doing the Daily Express crossword. We talked about bracelets and hair styles.’

I asked Chris how Bowie had influenced his life since.

It wasn’t a cult then, very few people were as obsessive and certainly not where I lived, but yes, I studied mime with Etienne Decroux. Later I performed solo shows in the North-West, supporting rock bands. I learned the alto-sax after dabbling with the guitar and piano and went on to do a music degree. I am still hugely interested in art, literature, fashion and performance. Although my passion for Bowie has waned as I’ve got older, I will always love his music from the seventies. The thing I admired about him was that he never stuck to the same formula and would always produce something different from the previous release. I will always have an interest in anything ‘Bowie’.

Jeremy falls to earth in Wembley 1976

Billy didn’t carry on dressing like a space-aged hoodlum, nor Chris emulate every change of outfit or persona, nor I act-out my fantasies in imaginary shows, we all moved on. But what Bowie articulated, and this was virtually unheard of then, was that it was okay to feel and be different. He gave us the permission to explore ideas, new music, art, and to be open to all life’s possibilities.

I eventually found my place in the world through writing, but without Bowie, sat in the back of his Cadillac, driving across the desert, bopping to Aretha Franklin and musing, ‘There’s a fly floating around in my milk… a foreign body, I couldn’t help but soak it all up.’ – I’m not sure I would have ever found a way to get there.

In memory of Billy Nevins.

Jeremy writes under the name David Ledain and can be contacted via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @davidledain or via www.davidledain.com

Written by Jeremy Good

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The David Bowie World Fan Convention 2022 – Day 1 June 17, 2022


Day 1 of the David Bowie World Fan Convention was good. Nicholas Pegg, writer, actor, Dalek, Twitter star, and wonderful interviewer facilitated sessions with Gail Ann Dorsey, Woody Woodmansey, RobinClark, and Carlos Alomar. Gail Ann Dorsey is an all-around wonderful human being she was really open about how sometimes she felt worried that she wasn’t very good. I have seen her play live and she is supremely talented! Woody Woodmansey has absolutely hilarious and extremely honest. Carlos Alomar was interviewed with his wonderful wife Robin Clark, what a stunning voice she has! They both came across as great people. I even got to ask them a question: “I was lucky enough to see David Bowie play live quite a few times from 1976 to 2004 and in every show, it seemed like Bowie and everyone on stage with him were really enjoying themselves, so what was your funniest moment on stage with David?” It was quite a brilliant but long reply focussing on Bowie’s sense of humour and how he turned Robin and Carlos on to British humour, including Monty Python. I thanked them both and added “nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition”. I was so pleased when Robin guffawed and looked over at me and said “Touche”, my day was made!

The evening drinks reception for us VIP guests at the British Music Experience in the Cunard Building was great, I will definitely be coming back to spend more time there, probably early next year with my delightful wife Catherine a.k.a Catwoman! A big shout out to a new friend and Bowie fanatic Jeremy too. His suggestion that I should dress up as the Laughing Gnome for the Bowie Ball tomorrow night was brilliant, I just wish that I thought of that ages ago! You can find a rather delightful video of me and Jeremy dancing to Madonna’s “Vogue” at the BME on the Mayhem Twitter account, our performance will definitely scare Madonna! Day 2 is looking good too, John Cambridge, Kevin Cann, and more from Gail, Woody, Robin, and Carlos!

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The David Bowie World Fan Convention 2022 – Day -1 June 16, 2022

Filed under: Observation — justwilliam1959 @ 8:10 pm
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Hello constant readers and music lovers, I am now in the fantastic city of Liverpool with my wonderful wife Catherine (a.k.a. Catwoman) for the David Bowie World fan Convention 2022. Three days of immersion into the extraordinary life and work of Dame David. I will get the opportunity to interact with many people who worked with Mr. Bowie, including Woody Woodmansey, Gail Ann Dorsey, Carlos Alomar, and many others like Nicholas Pegg who wrote the marvellous ‘The Complete David Bowie’ Perhaps it is quite fitting that I am writing this on the 50th anniversary of the release of the iconic ‘Ziggy Stardust’ album too. Is there anything you would like me to ask any of the guests? Just message me if there is and I will do my best to get a response for you. We have VIP tickets so that means early entry to most things. We are also looking forward to Saturday night and the star-studded Bowie Ball, we will be making extra effort to look like strange ones, maybe I will even dye my beard, paint my nails, and put on some makeup. There will be pictures! I will not be dressing like any particular period Bowie, our theme will come from a classic Bowie lyric, but I promise you that what Catwoman and I turn up in will be colourful! I plan to post daily about this wonderful event. Are any of you going? If so give me a shout! Love on ya xxx Bill

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York Life Festival 2022 – Saturday 2nd April/ Sunday 3rd April – York City Centre April 11, 2022


On Saturday 2nd April and Sunday 3rd April, the first (and hopefully not the last) York Life Festival took place on Parliament Street in the centre of York. It was free for all residents and visitors and was organised by Make It York. Activities took place for up to ten hours each day and included music, poetry, theatre workshops, instrumental workshops, face painting, comedy, and dance. Sadly I only made it for the last part of the second day but I couldn’t let it go unnoticed by With Just A Hint Of Mayhem. I arrived just after the magnificent Hyde Family Jam finished their set on Sunday. The turnout was pretty big, despite the somewhat chilly temperature. It was nice to see all of York’s fabulous range of music venues getting some good promo with posters and handouts throughout the weekend; The Fulford Arms, the Crescent Community Venue, the Vaults, the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM), York Barbican and Forty Five Vinyl Cafe. The crowd contained a veritable who’s who of anyone who is involved in the York music scene. Firstly three of the key players behind this event were there, obviously, Simon Pattinson (Northern Radar), Chris Sherington (Fulford Arms), and Harkirit Boparai (The Crescent), and I bumped into all of them! As well as meeting many of the band members of the Sunday performers (Trueman and the Indoor League, Bull and the Howl and the Hum) I also ran into Pennine Suite (who had played the previous day), Chloe (Please Remain Calm), Zac (Heartsink and Fulford Arms ace doorman), Andy and Paula (PERCY), Nathan (rock photographer extraordinaire) and many others. The incredibly cold temperature meant that I didn’t take my usual copious notes, however here are my recollections of the three bands that I did see.

First for me were Trueman and the Indoor League. Fronted by the titular Sam Trueman this band gets better every time that I see them. They really put on a show in almost a revue-style akin to the E Street Band. Regular readers will know that I have referred to them as like a pound shop E Street Band, but that was meant as a compliment. With more of the blood, sweat, and tears they put into their performances and some lucky breaks I can see them playing arenas one day. Next up was another fine York band, Bull, who released their wonderful debut album ‘Discover Effortless Living’ last year. As well as selections from that first class platter the band treated us to a few new songs, one of which suggested that Bull have hidden talents as an ace party band! The headliners on Sunday were perhaps York’s greatest band, although there is plenty of competition. I am talking about the Howl and the Hum. They played an amazing set at the iconic Minster last year which is available on most streaming platforms and frankly it is a scale above awesome. Their set was out of this world with the whole band firing on all cylinders. The new tunes bode really well for the sophomore album when it materialises. The highlight for me though was perhaps one of the best songs ever written, “Hostages”. This festival definitely needs to be an annual event going forward, where do we sign up to make that happen? We need to know! Bring on York Life 2023!

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“Everything has changed. For in truth, it’s the beginning of an end” March 10, 2022

Filed under: Observation — justwilliam1959 @ 3:29 pm
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Regular readers know that I am a huge David Bowie fan, in fact, fellow Bowie fans will know that the blog title is taken from a 70s Bowie lyric. Mr. Bowie is easily my most listened to artist regardless of my mood. His music has helped me through so many periods of my life from extreme sadness to extreme happiness and everything in between. My “go-to” Bowie album in recent years has been ‘Heathen’ from 2002. When I first heard it in June 2002 I really believed that many of the songs were in response to the awful events of 9/11 around nine months before it was released. Bowie himself said categorically that this was not the case and I have a number of bootleg studio recordings that show quite a few of the songs on ‘Heathen‘ were initially tried out during the earlier ‘Toy’ sessions. This all proves that it almost certainly wasn’t written and recorded in response to 9/11.

Tribute in lights illuminates downtown in New York, NY on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. Photo by Jin Lee,9/11 Memorial

I am writing this small piece based on how what is happening in Ukraine right now is permeating so many of my thoughts and no doubt many of yours too. When I was feeling particularly low last week I put together a playlist of songs that spoke of word war 3, armageddon, or the apocalypse. Then I had a word with myself and said don’t be so fucking depressive about it. Music can make us feel better in so many cases. So I started listening to ‘Heathen’ again. In particular: “Sunday”, “Slip Away”, “5:15 The Angels Have Gone” and “Everyone Says ‘Hi'”. Both lyrically and for the mood of the music, these are the tracks that made me originally think the album was a response to 9/11. There are obvious New York references on “Slip Away” (“Drags his bones to see the Yankees play” and “Sailing over Coney Island“) and there is a positivity about coming to terms with loss in “Everyone Says ‘Hi'”. But the song that I have played most is “Sunday”, which opens the album, it has a sad and sombre feel to it and I believe the lyrics can be seen as very positive or very negative, maybe that would depend on your mood. There is also a feeling that this song might be written in terms of a human, or even an animal, coming to terms with a post-apocalyptic world. It also has some apparent religious references which do crop up from time to time in Bowie’s songs.

“Everything has changed
For in truth, it’s the beginning of nothing
And nothing has changed
Everything has changed
For in truth, it’s the beginning of an end
And nothing has changed
And everything has changed”

The above, for me, can be heard as a positive and a negative. While the next part which closes the tune has some very dark and perhaps overtly religious connotations. Although equally, you might see it as a Pheonix rising from the ashes. I am spiritual but I follow no religion at all and I doubt that I ever will.

“In your fear
Of what we have become
Take to the fire
Now we must burn
All that we are
Rise together
Through these clouds
As on wings”

Meanwhile, the following couplet carries a real sense of hope and purpose, and I wanted to draw this to a close in a positive way:

“In your fear, seek only peace
In your fear, seek only love”

I am very much a positive person in the main and my glass is always at least half full. ‘Heathen’ is really helping me become even more hopeful in spite of the shit show our world has become. What music gets you through really bad points in life? Also I would love to hear from you if you have a completely different interpretation of this song. If you want to read a really in-depth take on ‘Sunday’ click here and check out Chris O’Leary’s rather excellent ‘Pushing Ahead Of The Dame’ blog.

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“Where you been lately? There’s a new kid in town” January 11, 2022

Filed under: Observation — justwilliam1959 @ 6:49 pm
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Indeed there is a new kid in town, his name is Juan Brooks and he is the newest addition to the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem family. Juan joins me (Bill), Paul Bamlett, and Tom Ray. Over the last year, we have been a little slow with reviews and we plan to change that this year. Paul is currently working on a couple, as am I. Meanwhile, Juan has just written his first ever review and he said “It was a biggie…a whole album. Nothing like getting stuck in is there?” Anyway, look out for that review coming your way very soon! Greetings from the new Fab Four, we are looking forward to interacting with you dear readers! Click here to find out more about us!

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The Race For The UK Christmas Numer 1 in 2021 December 23, 2021

Filed under: Christmas,News,Observation — justwilliam1959 @ 12:26 am
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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Before you read this I should warn you that if you are offended by profanities you might not enjoy it!

2021 is the 70th year of the UK Christmas Number one and up to now only three acts have managed three successive Christmas number ones; The Beatles, Spice Girls, and Ladbaby (a.k.a Mark Hoyle), the latter is vying for four in a row with “Sausage Rolls For Everyone” supported by Elton John and Ed Sheeran, the song is effectively a rework of Ed and Elton’s new Christmas tune, the current number one. It is also worth pointing out the Beatles took Yuletide number one on four occasions. The 2021 Official Christmas Number 1 will be announced on Friday, December 24 by Scott Mills live on BBC Radio 1’s The Official Chart Show. So you can download or stream up to midnight on 23rd and that will help your favourite move up the charts. Ed Sheeran and Elton John’s “Merry Christmas” might hang on to the top slot and everyone from Abba to Gary Barlow to Craig Revel Horwood to George Ezra are in the mix. But so are the Kunts with an updated version of “Boris Johnson Is A Fucking Cunt” from last year, the slight change is that it is now titled “Boris Johnson Is Still A Fucking Cunt”. (There are eleven versions of the Kunts track, don’t forget to download them all, you know you want to. I totally agree with the sentiment and personally, I would love to see the Kunts at number one, although I suspect that Ladbaby will win in the end. The saving grace for all of Ladbaby’s hits is that all the proceeds go to the Trussel Trust who supports a nationwide network of food banks in the UK. As I said earlier I really would love to see the Kunts top the chart, but if it has to be anyone else then at least the Ladbaby song is raising money for a great cause. Who is your tip for UK festive number one?

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