With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘You Are Someone Else’ – Fickle Friends March 16, 2018

Click here to read my review of the tasty new album from Fickle Friends. A mahoosive thank you to the modern record for giving me the opportunity to take it for a spin 🙂


‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ – CABBAGE March 13, 2018

Click here to take a look at my review of the new album from CABBAGE. I loved it so much I gave it five stars! I would also like to say a massive thank you to those rather wonderful folk at 3 Songs & Out for giving me the chance to hear the album before you lot do!


‘Vita Boundary’ – Hercules Morse March 12, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 3:07 pm
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Click here to read my review of ‘Vita Boundary’, the towering new album from Hercules Morse. Also a very big thank you for those wonderful folk at 3 Songs & Out for giving me the opportunity to give it an early listen!



‘Loved By Trouble, Troubled By Love’ – Boss Caine March 10, 2018

It has been a long wait but finally we have a new album from the mighty Boss Caine. The album is called  ‘Loved By Trouble, Troubled By Love’, and oh boy has Boss Caine main man Dan Lucas shifted up the gears on this release. He has never released a dud album and this one takes the quality to a mountainous peak. The songwriting here is among the best you will find in the current generation of British musicians. If the previous albums built the foundations of the distinct and wonderful Boss Caine sound this album completes and finely decorates the first couple of floors.

The lyrics here are beyond just sharp and clever they are stories woven into song. “Champagne” and “Evidence” open the record and draw you deep into Boss Caine World where you will neither want or need to leave before the album finishes. For me”Champagne” evokes the very best of Dr John’s finest deep south cuts. If you want an inspiring and heart-felt love song then look no further than “Star Crossed Lovers”. It totally encapsulates what it feels like to have that special someone in your life. Of all the albums I have reviewed over the years this is the first that my wife has really loved from the first play. While the style here has some of the best ingredients of alt.country, Americana and electric folk it is still a very British sound. This is most notable on the title track “Loved By Trouble, Troubled By Love” where Lucas shares vocals with Edwina Hayes.

The words on “Where Good Things Go To Die” seem to be a reflection on life and experience and maybe how you have found your way in your life. It certainly stirred up some sadly nostalgic feelings of my youth. If choosing my favourite track from the whole album was a life or death issue then I would definitely opt for “Lonesome Crow” which builds up slowly, adding layers of instrumentation and orchestration on its journey to a sanguine and deeply hopeful crescendo-like close. At times Dan Lucas’ bass-like gravelly vocals bring memories of Johnny Cash and on “Better Ways To Get Free” maybe even Tom Waits. In fact I can imagine an on-form Rod Stewart recording a brilliant version of this song. All the songs in this collection were written by Daniel Lucas apart from the jaunty and happy “Bright Young Star” which was written especially for Boss Caine by the Temperance Movement‘s Phil Campbell. Melancholy album closer “Smoking In My Backyard” is perhaps one of the finest songs ever written about smoking. I have never smoked, but I can picture myself smoking a fat one while chilling to this!

After a couple of listens this feels like a greatest hits package that is made up of entirely new songs. The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Isaac McInnis at his Crooked Room Studio just outside of York. The record was produced by Isaac McInnis, Bradley Blackwell, and Daniel Lucas. It is already available on-line and the physical copies will be available very soon. Click here to get your hands on a copy, I have ordered mine! So tell me; Do you like Americana? Do you like Dr John? Do you like great British music? You do? In that case you will bloody love the new Boss Caine album!


A Night To Remember – York Barbican – Saturday 3rd March

As the oft used recent phrase says ‘some heroes don’t wear capes’; Ian Donaghy a.k.a Big Ian is one of those heroes. He is the man behind the excellent musical variety gig ‘A Night To Remember’ in York. It has just entered its fifth year with an incredibly emotional and fun show last Saturday, 3rd March. OK so why is Ian a hero for putting on shows like this, because he does it to support some amazing local charities and since 2014 his initiative and passion have helped to raise more than £100,000 for some very worthy causes; St.Leonards Hospice, Dementia Projects in York, Bereaved Children Support York & Accessible Arts & Media. All the very talented roster of artists gave their time for free for yet another sell out show. I have no idea why Mr Donaghey is called Big Ian but it is certainly clear that he is a man with a really big heart.

Artists who gave some excellent cover versions on the night included Heather Findlay, Jess Steel, Chris Helme (off of the Seahorses), Graham Hodge, Boss Caine,  Beth McCarthy, Annie D, Kieran O’Malley, These Jaded Streets and the inimitable Las Vegas Ken. Backing them all was a superb band of musicians led by George Hall. Big Ian was a fabulous host on the night and he also gave us some top tunes himself. He had us all loudly singing along at the end of the evening to the Joe Cocker arrangement of “With A Little Help From My Friends“, but for me Ian knocked the ball out of the park with a stunningly soulful take on Rag ‘n’ Bone Man‘s “Human”. The night was kicked off with a rather amusing and very supportive video from Ricky Wilson off of the Kaiser Chiefs there was another brilliant video later from DIY SOS kingpin Nick Knowles. That one certainly had a number of the women around me swooning. But the best videos were from people who will benefit directly from the money raised; the Bereaved Children Support Group told us all about the impact made on their lives by the group’s founder Jo Cole. “I Just Love Maltesers” helped explain how we should treat people living with dementia, through what was an amusing and very emotional clip.

Jess Steel put on her full Dusty Springfield vocals for a storming “Son Of A Preacher Man” and Ian’s daughter Annie showed her vocals could one day be a great match for her Dad’s with “This Is Me” from the current film ‘The Greatest Showman’. Boss Caine a.k.a. the very talented Dan Lucas interpreted two classic songs in a way that only he could. His “Tiny Dancer” was a great cover of a truly great song. Elton would have been very happy with that. Chris Helme was joined by Alan Leach off of Shed Seven on Drum’s for a chilled out sing along of “Que Sera Sera” and an electrifying “Never Tear Us Apart”, the INXS song. Chris Leach’s daughter was playing keyboards for them. We were also treated to a couple of songs from Archbishop Holgate’s School‘s production of ‘School Of Rock’. This had been postponed at the school by the snow, so Big Ian gave these lads and lasses a great opportunity to play to a massive crowd. Those kids took it well, I particularly enjoyed “Stick It To The Man”. Then of course how could Las Vegas Ken’s rendition of “My Old Man’s A Dustman” failed to have got you singing and dancing? I hurt my throat hollering that chorus. But my personal favourite highlight, and it was a close thing with so many excellent artists performing, was These Jaded Streets epic remodelling of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al”.

If you couldn’t make it on the night it is not too late to contribute to these fantastic causes, just click here and give whatever you can as Big Ian himself said on the night, don’t have that takeaway, give the pizza a miss and give a few quid here!



Cape Cub – Fulford Arms, York Thursday 15th February 2018 February 19, 2018

York’s Fulford Arms is a quirky, eclectic, friendly and a bloody excellent venue. This show was another put together by Simon Pattinson of the rather fabulous Northern Radar. I have known Simon for quite a while now and up to now he has never let me down with any gig he has been involved with. But I guess there is always a first time. Will this be it? Well you had better read on to find out! First on stage was a young man with the clever stage name of Sundile. If you are a fan of chilled lo-fi sounds then Sundile is definitely the man for you. Whilst his Arctic Monkeys cover was good his own tunes are at times stunning. It was a shame that many people in the audience continued to talk among themselves during his set though, if that was you, then frankly you missed a good ‘un. I also felt that the sound was not at a great level for him, but I recommend checking him out.

Flooded, a York band were next, this is one powerhouse of a three-piece with what would seem to be a really eclectic taste in music. Not only are they purveyors of fine rock music with a nod to classic rock history from the 60s to now they also look like they are enjoying the hell out of what they do. I could hear the Small Faces, the Who, Oasis and Muse in there at times, but trust me this is a proper band, not a facsimile of others. The ‘About’ section on their FaceBook page says that they are ‘1 over-hyped drummer and 2 normal-ish boys from York’. Nathan Christy and Sam Curry are the two normal-ish boys, personally I reckon they veer more towards the ‘ish’ part of that. Both play bass, guitar and both of them sing too. Add the ‘over hyped’ drummer Max Mulrenan and you have a band that is a true force to be reckoned with. Mulrenan is a powerhouse of a drummer a slightly more in control Keith Moon. I will definitely be looking out for more shows by this lot!

Pura Vida are an immensely talented band with musicianship that is on a par with the best British bands. They are very hard to define from a genre perspective at times there are elements of indie blended with the softer side of prog and this seems to be underpinned by a punky attitude. Imagine, if you will, a band fronted by Johnny Marr and a less pompous Bono and backed by Echo and the Bunnymen with perhaps New Order and Joy Division producing. Can you hear that sound in your head? well that is the kind of sound that I heard. In Spanish Pura Vida means ‘pure life’ or ‘simple life’ and it is widely used in Costa Rica to describe a way of life. This band are pure rock and simply a great band. I will definitely be seeing them play live again sometime.

Headliner Cape Cub is the genius brainchild of Chad Male who hails from a small village, Marske-by-the-Sea, in north-east England. After forming Cape Cub in late 2014 his first big success came with “Swim” in 2015, he has been championed by Radio 1 and Radio X since then. He has also released some stunning music since his début. Including the staggeringly brilliant EPs from 2016; “Closer” and “6 a.m”. I am not yet too familiar with the songs but this was an awesome set, the band hit you with soft rolling sonic waves that mesmerize you as they build into small tsunamis of perfect sound. This is a band that to me sound like what Coldplay if Chris Martin’s boys were great and not just good. The sweep and depth of the songs and the emotion that they forge is incredible. The highest point of the set, and there were no low points,  for me was the new single “Come Around”. You still have a chance to catch the outstanding Cape Cub live on this tour; London – Thousand Island (22nd February), Sound – Liverpool (23rd February) and Newcastle Think Tank (24th February). If there are any tickets left for these shows then you need to buy, beg, steal, borrow or whatever other activities will get you one….. keep it legal though! Cape Cub are set to play an increasing role in British music in the coming years.




‘Everything Dies’ – Nervus February 16, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:56 am
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Click here to read my review of the new Nervus album ‘Everything Dies’.

A big thank you to those fabulous folk at 3 songs and out for giving me the opportunity to review this rather excellent album.



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