With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

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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Mayhem’s – Top 20 Albums of 2021 December 1, 2021


I don’t often put together the best albums of the year list, but I do love a good list so here are my favourite albums of 2021. What were yours?

  1. ‘Delilah Bon’ – Delilah Bon – An absolutely sublime, sassy debut from Lauren Tate’s magnificent, impassioned alter ego. This has been my album of the year since I first heard it
  2. ‘Shout Out! To Freedom…’ – Nightmares On Wax The perfect late night chill album that you can listen to anytime
  3. ‘Blue Weekend’ – Wolf AliceAn album that proves Wolf Alice continue to grow and are becoming an iconic British band
  4. ‘All In’ – Apollo JunctionThese Leeds lads smash that difficult sophomore album myth out of the park with a total belter
  5. ‘The Myth of the Happily Ever After’ – Biffy Clyro – Biffy are for me perhaps the best band on the planet right now, yet another great release proves it
  6. ‘Happier Than Ever’ – Billie EilishA fantastically accomplished album from a talent that will be around for a lifetime
  7. ‘The Yearbook’ – Baby QueenNot many bands care as much about their fans as Baby Queen, but they are so much more than caring, they really are a stunning band
  8. ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’ – Lana Del Rey – Probably Lana Del Ray’s best album so far, I loved this after one spin
  9. ‘The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows’ – Damon Albarn – Uber polymath Mr Albarn proves once again how wide ranging his abundant talent stretches
  10. ‘Discover Effortless Living’ – BullA fine debut album with echoes of the best of 60s rock from one of York’s greatest bands
  11. ‘Carnage’ – Nick Cave and Warren EllisIt’s Cave and Ellis, what more does one need to say, a truly awesome collection.
  12. ‘Not Your Muse’ – CelesteJazzy, modern R&B, fabulous tunes and most of all a voice that encapsulates so many beautiful emotions
  13. ‘She Walks In Beauty’ – Marianne Faithful and Warren EllisThis has been essential late night listening for me, it is soothing, mindful and close to perfect
  14. ‘We Live Here’ – Bob VylanAn incredibly powerful political album from a band that has got this far without the backing of a huge corporation
  15. ‘21st Century Love Songs’ – Wildhearts The Wildhearts are back baby, with one of their best albums
  16. ‘Amazing Things’ – Don Broco – An album that captures everything that is great with current rock and is showcased by an underlying pop sensibility
  17. ‘The Crippling Space Between’ – Carol Hodge – Another flawless album from the supremely talented wonderful human being known as Carol Hodge
  18. ‘Passions’ – Thirst Dom White steps up from the drum stool to release a beautiful album that is grandly cinematic in its scope
  19. ‘Who Am I’ – Pale WavesIs there anyone that doesn’t love Pale Waves, this set establishes them as one of Blighty’s best bands
  20. ‘We’re All Alone In This Together’ – DaveSharp, passionate, caring, honest and with a large side order of vitriol, Dave tells it like it is expertly

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“I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we’ve passed the audition” May 11, 2021


Other than the Beatles I really hadn’t thought about how many bands have played exclusive gigs on rooftops. But there are quite a few, here is a top ten, but I am not brave enough to rank them, so they are in chronological order. The list includes 4 British acts, 4 US artists, 1 Brazilian and an Irish band. Five of the rooftops, were in the US, four in the UK and one in Brazil. Sadly I never witnessed any of these rooftop shows firsthand, but I have been lucky enough to see six of these acts play live 🙂

1955 Elvis Presley – Porky’s Rooftop, Newport, Arkansas, USA – did the King kick it all off?

1967 Roberto Carlos – Copam Building, São Paulo, Brazil – not the footballer with the same name, this fella was known as the King of Latin Music

1968 Jefferson Airplane – The Schuyler Hotel, Manhattan, NYC, USA – way before they converted to a Starship, they laid the foundations for the city they built on rock ‘n’ roll

1969 – Beatles – Apple Building, Saville Row, London, UK – the last live show the Fab Four ever played. The title of this post is a John Lennon quote from that gig.

1987 U2 – Apple Studios, Los Angeles, USA – part of the ‘Rattle And Hum’ shenanigans I think

2010 Bon Jovi – O2 Arena, London, UK – Jon, Richie and the boys stepped onto the roof of the venue they were playing a residency at

2011 Kasabian – Skylight West, NYC, USA – the Leicester lads play a set to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, or maybe the 40th anniversary of Mulberry, or maybe both!

2012 Madness – Buckingham Palace, London, UK – the Nutty Boys played for Her Maj on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee – Brian May also played the rooftop. Hardly the Pistols riverboat trip back in ’77, but I suppose it’ll do.

2013 Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Dick’s Drive In, Seattle, USA – I so wish they had played on the roof of a “Thrift Shop”. This wasn’t their only rooftop gig that year, check out the video below.

2021 Bull – EMI Head Office, Kings Cross, London, UK – one of York’s finest showcased their debut album ‘Discover Effortless Living’ with a fab show which was streamed earlier tonight. A small roof for a band, a giant leap for bandkind! Terrible pun I know, but trust me, Bull really are destined for great things!

Given that it was 1955 and there was no social media there appears to be no footage of Elvis’ roof top gig. Bull’s marvellous set is not on YouTube yet, but click here and it might still be available on their Facebook page 🙂

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“This Is Sisterhood” – Solidarity Not Silence (feat. The Tuts, Petrol Girls, Kathleen Hanna, Colour Me Wednesday, Personal Best) May 4, 2021

Filed under: Observation,Rants,Review — justwilliam1959 @ 8:16 pm
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Regular readers will know that I love a protest song and I bloody love the best all girl band there has ever been, the Tuts. Well the Tuts are back, with some great friends as Solidarity Not Silence collaborating on a bright, angry, sharp and powerful song about their trials and tribulations since they took a stand for the abused. It has most certainly not been an easy ride and sadly it ain’t over yet! I have copied below the message from the Tuts social media. Kathleen Hanna’s involvement has helped greatly and even Rolling Stone have picked up the story. Please contribute to the cause and stand in solidarity with them and everyone else involved with this song and all the survivors of abuse. If you can’t afford much how about leaving the song on repeat overnight on Spotify? I’ll be doing that and I have also pre ordered the vinyl single! Let me make that bit easy for you, click here for the Spotify link. Very special thanks to the Tuts, Petrol Girls, Kathleen Hanna, Colour Me Wednesday and Personal Best . The scales of justice is weighing on the wrong side right now, let’s help swing it back!

Hello, we’ve been quiet for a while but TODAY we launch our brand NEW SONG ‘THIS IS SISTERHOOD’. We’ve formed a SUPERGROUP under the name SOLIDARITY NOT SILENCE ft The Tuts Petrol Girls Kathleen Hanna Colour Me Wednesday, Personal Best & loads of feminist musicians & choirs, who have provided us with the most powerful gang vocals. We would like to say thank you to everyone who’s featured on this track (you know who you are) and Alcopop Records for releasing it with us. Gingerdope for the video Tunnel Of Reverb & Patrick James Pearson for recording it. This song release is not only to raise funds and awareness for our case and survivors but it’s for the wider issues at hand. It’s for anyone who wasn’t believed, who spoke up and got shut down, for the fuckery caused by the CPS, for that person who is too scared to speak up, who has to live with the haunting trauma. We hope that this song is somewhere you can feel safe, believed and less alone. We hope the message reaches you and the people who need to hear it and helps them as much as it’s helped us. We’ve been fighting this for over 4 years and it’s taught us resilience but also how hard it is to get JUSTICE. We have so much admiration for survivors. FULL VIDEO: https://youtu.be/GDHNlUY2V24 NEW MERCH & VINYL: www.solidaritynotsilence.bandcamp.com Please share it, download it, donate and support each other. Love,The Tuts xxx


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Happy 12th Birthday to With Just A Hint Of Mayhem! February 9, 2021


I am proud to say that the With Just A Hint Of mayhem blog has now been around for twelve years, yes on February 9th back in 2009 is where it all started. In that time there have been more than 1,500 posts, nearly 1.7 million views and we now have over 2,500 followers. I can’t let this post go without a very special thank you to my great friend and wonderful human being Nick Horslen who suggested that I should start blogging all those years ago! After a very brief introductory post the first proper post was one about Bob Marley, click here to read that. I just read it again and despite expecting it to be a bit crap, I think I am quite proud of it. You have to start somewhere, right? The mention and the link to MySpace certainly dates it though. Given these awful times we are living in rather than suggest huge celebratory party songs in honour of WJAHOM’s 12th birthday I have chosen a couple of songs that always make me feel good which I hope will help you through these dark days. One of them is, in my opinion, the finest Bob Marley recording ever and the other is by my favourite vocalist of all time, Johnny Nash who we sadly lost this year! On top of that I have added a Bowie classic, well you knew I’d do that didn’t you. Stay safe people and thank you to everyone of you who has read, followed, commented, liked or dissed WJAHOM over the years. A huge thank you to all the bands and artists that have been a part of this journey. Here’s to the next 12 years, by which time I’ll be 74, so things might slow down by then, but who knows?

If only the Dame was still around to help celebrate the 12th Birthday of With Just A Hint Of Mayhem! Especially as the blog title was stolen from one of his lyrics!

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