With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Presents A Gig For SASH – The Crescent, York – Friday 3rd January 2020 January 7, 2020


This is not really a review in the truest sense, more of a little tale as to how, as With Just A Hint Of Mayhem, I promoted my first gig. The idea gelled quite a while ago, I had wanted to do something to celebrate my own 60th birthday (1st January 2019) and the tenth birthday of my With Just A Hint Of Mayhem blog (9th February 2019). But for various reasons I took a lot longer to get things moving so, in reality, I suppose the gig celebrates my 61st birthday (January 1st, 2020) and the blogs eleventh anniversary next month (9th February 2020). One decision I made early was that this first, and possibly only, gig would be for charity. Mostly because I felt that if it went belly up then people might be more forgiving. I chose SASH as it is a charity close to my heart for far more reasons than I have time to go into here. SASH is a youth homelessness charity that works across York, North and East Yorkshire. They provide invaluable help to young people aged 16-25 who are facing homelessness.

The Receivers – Picture-Copyright – Charlie Kirkpatrick

After that all I had to decide was which bands I wanted on the bill, easy peasy, right? Well not quite, one band I was keen to have play agreed to be there and then had to pull out for logistical reasons, sadly the band broke up towards the end of last year too. So that left three out of four to secure for the night. A year ago I said to Rusty, the singer from Lost Trends that I was planning a charity gig, with no prompting he said: “we’re in!” With a stern straight face, I replied: “I haven’t asked you yet!” But obviously Lost Trends then became the first band to be pencilled in. Would I be able to secure the next two bands? Well, that part wasn’t too difficult and from initial conversations, it was clear that the Receivers and My Wonderful Daze were very keen to help and to play at the Crescent on 3rd January. After some advice from people who know their stuff (thank you Joe Coates and Simon Pattinson) I dropped my original wish of four bands on the bill to three. So now all was set and I embarked on a social media campaign of promotion. I was concerned that upfront ticket sales were low, but everyone kept telling me that there would be plenty of walk-ins on the night. Thankfully all those people were right and we had I think something like 80 – 90 people there on the night.

My Wonderful Daze – Picture-Copyright – Charlie Kirkpatrick

The running order was decided by online vote after the Receivers chose to open the show (they have a number of headline gigs coming up). In a close-fought vote, Lost Trends pipped My Wonderful Daze to the headline spot. So it would be doors open at 7:30, the Receivers at 8, My Wonderful Daze at 9 and Lost Trends at 10. I wanted to be there for all the preparation so I arrived at the Crescent at 4pm, before any of the bands ready and waiting to witness the soundchecks. Even that was exciting for me and by then I was running on pure grade adrenaline. All three bands were on top form at soundcheck aided and abetted by ace soundman Stu Bellis. The team at the Crescent were superb and I learned a lot from them for next time (yes I am sure there will be more from me!). Suddenly it was time for the doors to open and I stood by the ticket table waiting for the punters to flood in! It was more of a trickle at first but a relentless trickle which continued at quite a pace for the next hour or so.

Lost Trends – Picture-Copyright – Charlie Kirkpatrick

Before the bands came on Matt Messias told the crowd about all the great work that SASH do to help prevent youth homelessness. Every band played like they were headliners which made it a blistering night of fabulous music. The Receivers played crowdpleasers like “Saturday” and showcased a couple of new songs. Guitarist Alex had some instrument issues towards the end of their set but improvised with some maniacal Bez dancing. Flowers a.k.a. Chloe the obscenely talented frontwoman of My Wonderful Daze had an awful cold but did not let that deter her or the band from pulling off an incendiary set. The crowd had been up for a party and were wearing their bopping shoes and dancing trousers and showing their best moves all night. That culminated in the whole room grooving to those famous indie dance punkateers Lost Trends. It was a great night of punk, funk, psych, indie, metal, glam, and ROCK. It was LOUD and I loved it. Everyone that I spoke to loved it too. All three bands looked to be having great fun on stage as well. The Receivers and My Wonderful Daze offered much of their merch sales to SASH. I know that Lost Trends would have done the same but they are currently “the band with no merch”! So thanks to all the paying punters (many of whom gave their change to the charity), merch sales, all the bands turning down a rider and a discount on the venue hire fee we raised more than £400 for SASH. That is beyond my wildest expectations and it will fund 21 safe nights sleep to young people facing homelessness in our community. I cannot thank you all enough for what you helped us achieve. With Just A Hint Of Mayhem will definitely be doing more gigs!

Matt & Bill – Picture-Copyright – Charlie Kirkpatrick

As a postscript, there was an after-party of sorts at the Priory for shameless Karaoke. But while there were some true legends made into the early hours via Abba songs, Cyndi Lauper tunes and a couple of the Dame’s greatest hits, what went on at the Priory stays at the Priory. Although if you would like to pay me a fiver which I will give to SASH I will tell you as much as I can remember!

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by Charlie Kirkpatrick of Kirkpatrick Photography please do not share or use without permission. You can find Kirkpatrick Photography here and on Facebook. There are a few more excellent pictures from Charlie just below the following public service announcement, including some great crowd shots. I recognise quite a few of those punters! Incidentally, the gig poster was designed and made by me! 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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‘American Dreams’ – Stonerpop December 30, 2019


Earlier this year I had the pleasure of reviewing two great singles from a band that was very new to me, LA-based Stonerpop. Those singles were “Night Terrors” and “Subroutine” and they are both included on the groups new album ‘American Dreams’ which comes into the world on January 1st, 2020. It was recorded in Shreveport, in the Stonerpop studio. Stonerpop is Jimmie Maneuva and Maudie Michelle who hail from the Deep South and Pacific Northwest, respectively. They formed their existential, exciting, electronic duo in 2016. The album opens with a kind of instrumental preface, “Myoclonus”. I have to confess I had to pull out the dictionary when confronted with that title. Myoclonus refers to a quick, involuntary muscle jerk. Hiccups are a form of myoclonus, as are the sudden jerks, or “sleep starts,” you may feel just before falling asleep. These forms of myoclonus occur in healthy people and rarely present a problem. In a sense, that track sets the tone as it suddenly jerks you into this moody, mind-warping collection of elegant electro tunes.  Many of the tunes in this collection would work well as a part of a film soundtrack, the cinematic scope of “The Others” suggests a really arty French Science Fiction film. Whereas “Right Place, Wrong Time” would fit more into a David Lynch Twin Peaks style universe. That track also makes great use of some sampled speech, I have no idea where it was sourced from but it works well. If you like music to move you physically then check out “House Of Cards” even those of you that prefer to remain immobile will be tempted to tap your fingers or your feet. Me? I danced around the room like no one was watching while I was listening to it! I believe that this was also recently released as a single too.

Instrumental “Rapid Eye Movement” has a repetitive bass synth underlay that sounds like a heartbeat, maybe that of a sleeping person during REM sleep. I have experienced a flotation tank and I can imagine this piece being slowly faded in to wake the participant at the end of the session. In “Dilation” Stonerpop have created a majestic musical piece that as with those mentioned earlier would not be out of place on a film soundtrack. Like a more electro Mogwai. The longest track on the album is “Ice Cold Souls” in which Maudie’s beautiful and at times robotic vocal competes with birdsong as the song builds slowly to an ever more layered crescendo, before fading to an electronic drone with sparse, eerie piano. Apart from the two singles, and I will come to those later, my favourite track after a few spins of the album is “Destiny Gang”. Jimmie’s vocal sounds like Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley through a voice melding synthesiser. Definitely a track that would sound great in a dance remix. So how about the two singles? Well, Night Terrors” is a monumental electronic painting made with sound. It has eerie, hypnotic and booming percussion, droning synth sounds and a vocal so ethereal it feels not of this world. “Subroutine” is a masterful electronic symphonic soundscape with layered percussion and a booming bassy synth riff underpinning a magnificent tune sung deliciously by Maudie.

Stonerpop say this about the album; “10 tracks that take the listener through an ethereal journey about getting stuck in the cheese wheel. The album is about confidence and the lack thereof. It’s about impostors, both real and fake. It’s about failure and the illusion of victory. Stonerpop wants to encourage people to both relax and take action.” That is definitely a vibe that I can get into. The Album Release Party took place a couple of days ago in the form of a Masquerade Party at Sal’s Saloon in Monroe, LA. The party included giveaways, art, and the opportunity to hear the album before its release. Sadly being this side of the big pond I was unable to make it, maybe next time! If you haven’t checked out Stonerpop yet then you need to do it now! How about starting by getting yourself a copy of ‘American Dreams’?

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Clutch – Leeds O2 Academy – Thursday 19th December 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:38 pm
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This gig review was written by Phil Marsland

I had so been looking forward to Clutch at the O2 Leeds. Tickets were bought months ago, for me and my oldest school mate (both now 53!) and a pre-Christmas spectacular was planned. Two days before I got flu. Disaster. Massive fever, delirium, and doom pending massive disappointment. But I don’t let folk down. I would do everything within my power to be dosed up and present. This was probably foolish, but we made it there. Walking in during the support Graveyard to face an absolute wall of bodies and heat. I now understood the depths of my foolishness. Standing with Deano at the bar, I asked for a coke. First gig sober. Graveyard may have been good NWOCRers, but my review can’t do them justice as I was adjusting to the heat and noise and trying to stay upright. The last 2 cold and flu tablets were taken to hopefully get me through. We sidled our way to 6 back from the stage, just left of centre, and as it turned out, within bumping distance of the mad mosh.

Clutch was on, roaring “Rats” as an opener. The crowd went wild. These guys are hard southern rockin’ masters with a huge chunk of storytelling and a slice of funk. Clutch were formed in 1991 in Maryland and are 12 albums in and a real crowd favourite. Next Summer they will complete a UK festival first by playing 3 different sets at Ramblin Man in Kent. Back to the show. Neil Fallon, on lead vocals, sometimes guitar and one-time cowbell, is a crowd master. A master storyteller, performer, and actor. A southern rockin’ latterday Shakespearean performer. Never better than on “Army Of Bono” or “In Walks Barbarella”. You may choose others, and indeed there were many Clutch classics missing from their short set. But they did cram in 15 in just over an hour, including “A Shogun Named Marcus” which lit the blue touch paper in the mosh! Their encore contained their number one Spotify streamed “Electric Worry”, and the Southern classic “Fortunate Son”. And that was that. Much anticipated and much appreciated and left me wanting more. Rock n roll adrenalin got me through the flu, at least for a few hours. Onwards into 2020 and their triple set in Kent, along with a little known band called Lynyrd Skynyrd.

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken Phil Marsland. 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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The Darkness – Barbican, York – Tuesday 17th December 2019 December 24, 2019


I hadn’t seen UK modern-day rock legends the Darkness for many years so I was really looking forward to a full show from them at the Barbican in York. I was there with my friend and work colleague Paul Kennedy. First on stage were Rews, the brainchild of Irish rocker Shauna Tohill. Rews are heavy but with a quirky pop edge and their energy appears to be limitless. This is the first time that I have seen Rews and I believe that anyone at this show who saw their electrifying support set will have walked away as a Rews fan, many were already Rews fans. I am definitely a fan of this band now.

So now it was the time for the Darkness. They played two sets, the first of which was a complete run-through of their new album ‘Easter is Cancelled’. This record, released earlier this year, is a towering return to form and some of the songs appear to be tailor-made for playing live, especially “Rock and Roll Deserves to Die”, “Heavy Metal Lover” and “Choke On It”. There is not a duff track on this record and that is even more apparent as the band tore up the stage with a stunning showcase of the new songs. Justin is on particularly good form during the show and his brother Dan’s guitar work is on a par with so many great British rock guitarists. The set closed with a solo acoustic “We Are The Guitar Men” from Justin Hawkins. It is a great song, but the softer style did give us all a moment to draw breath before the full-on sonic attack of the second set. It was opened by a thunderous romp through “One Way Ticket” from their second album. For me the best moments were hearing the songs from the first album again; “Growing On Me” and “Get Your Hands Off My Woman”. But they, probably as expected, saved the best until last with a tune that Justin introduced as their most famous song, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” which was greeted with such rapturous applause it might have registered on the Richter scale. Justin’s humour was well played, he even wore an “Aye Up” T-Shirt which seemed to please the predominantly Yorkshire crowd. The band actually played along to the “Yorkshire, Yorkshire” chant too. If anyone had told me that the Darkness might be a good choice to cover Radiohead I might have laughed. But their take on “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” was something special. They gave it a completely new lease of life and stamped their signature all over it. They also managed to include a few bars and lines of the Beatles “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. Is the world ready for a Darkness covers album? I think so. It was late December and there was always going to be an encore and I think most of us guessed that it would be “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)”. But what a stunning, singalong end to a night to remember. With the Darkness you don’t just get a gig, you get a show!

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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The Big Boss Caine Annual All Star Festive Fundraiser 2019 -The Fulford Arms, York – Friday 13th December 2019 December 22, 2019


The Big Boss Caine Annual All-Star Festive Fundraiser has traditionally been held at the now sadly demised Fibbers in York, but for 2019 and hopefully many years to come it has relocated to the rather fabulous Fulford Arms. A huge thank you to Dan Lucas for putting this on and to everyone at the Fulford Arms who worked tirelessly all night and of course to all the bands taking part. This is the first of these events that I have managed to get along to and I am so glad that I did. This year’s charity was Kitchen for Everyone, York. who provide an amazing service, feeding the homeless and vulnerable in York, and there was also a collection of food and clothing on the night for those in need locally, as part of We Shall Overcome. The total raised at the gig was £522 at handover though there I believe there will be more to add to that from poster sales and whatnot. There was also a Land Rover fully laden with clothes, sleeping bags, hats, gloves, socks, dried food, sanitary/bathroom products, and mucho love! Dan Lucas will be continuing to collect each week at Busk @ Dusk if you fancy getting down there on a Sunday night. The gig was the day after the damaging and disastrous UK General Election which gives Britain its most far-right government in history. I was feeling pretty low about that and I drank an awful lot of wine that night. So before I tell you about the show can I just say sorry to anyone that I might have bored the pants off/ annoyed/ never stopped talking to/ leaned on/ offended (delete as appropriate) and I really hope it wasn’t the latter!

PERCY

A massive shout and thanks to the extremely talented Kai West for producing such an incredible poster. I never got around to buying one of the limited edition copies on sale on the night, so if there are any left then I am still interested. Unfortunately the first of the six bands on the bill, French Exits, couldn’t make it. So the event was kicked off in great style by Percy. A York band that regular readers of With Just A Hint Of Mayhem will have noticed a few times before. They are a very left-field prog-punk combo. They are so different and ‘out there’ that they have the power to bring John Peel back to life; Percy would make an amazing collection of classic Peel sessions. The new songs that they showcased on the night are immense and bubble over with venom and anger, especially future classic tune in the making, “Will Of The People”. If you like Magazine, the Fall or even Half Man Half Biscuit you need to check Percy out. But comparisons aside Percy are very much original, so what the hell, check them out whoever you are a fan of they are well worth it! Also a big shout for Percy for being the first band of the evening to shout “Fuck The Tories”, they weren’t the last.

Cowgirl

Cowgirl, a great band that I saw for the first time back in January. If the Stooges had been fronted by Lou Reed and Jonathan Richman then Cowgirl would be the result. Their bluesy, riff-laden, psychedelic, feedback fuelled scuzzy garage rock is at times evocative of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Detroit Cobras. Bizarrely, maybe through some nicely utilised feedback, I was also taken back to 1974 and the first time that I ever heard David Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs’ album via a late-night end to end playthrough on John Peel’s show a week before it’s release. Listening to that in the dark on headphones scared the shit out of me. I believe that Cowgirl might have the same effect in a darkened room. Someone needs to give them the opportunity to soundtrack a British horror film along the lines of ‘Eden Lake’.

Snakerattlers

The Snakerattlers have had a great year; an exhilarating new album, ‘All Heads Will Roll’ and this was their 71st gig of the year. They are now a live force to be reckoned with, a truly amazing live band. Dan’s stage presence is spot on and how the fuck does Naomi make so much noise from such a small drum kit? Their towering psychobilly based sound is ecstatic and energising. The now expected crowd incursions from singer-guitarist Dan Gott are special, not just for his Dick Dalesque guitar work but for his expert gurning and an evil stare that would fit neatly into the British Horror film that I want Cowgirl to soundtrack. Stuck for a Christmas present for your Gran? Get here the Snakerattlers album, it will keep her alive for many more years!

Nosedivers

After more than 20 years one of York’s finest punk bands is back together. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am talking about the Nosedivers. They come on like the snotty young brothers of the Clash with the swagger and poise of the Ramones. Dan Lucas’ vocals are rich, deep and sharp and very different from his Boss Caine work. The Nosedivers energy is off the scale and their anger is channeled into some fiery political comment. Changing the chorus of one song rather cleverly and topically to “Fuck the Tories”. The mountainous riffs and piledriving songs are carved from a punk mountain, on the scale of Mount Olympus but built from pure punk vibes. We need this band to stick around a while longer and I hope that they do. But even if they don’t it was a major blast having them back even for a short while.

Bull

The headliners and the perfect band to close this scintillating salmagundi of a gig was York’s very own Bull. If you know this band you will bloody love them. If you don’t know them yet then what are you waiting for, get on it now! They take the best of the Pixies, the Strokes, the heavier side of R.E.M, the retrospection of Elvis Costello and the pop-rock sensibility of Kurt Cobain and roll it into that unique Bull sound. Bull are supremely talented musicians and they owned the stage and deserved this prestigious headline slot. They are clearly on top of their game and I get the impression that they are still some way from reaching their peak. They are a band with the power to shred the shackles of King Kong. As someone once said, “this lot will just become awesomer and awesomer!” Get rid of the bullshit in your life with Bull!

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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Dweezil Zappa – Leeds Town Hall – Tuesday 10th December 2019 December 19, 2019


I was not lucky enough to have seen the legend that was Frank Zappa play live, but I have now seen his son Dweezil play two of Frank’s greatest album’s live. The first time was for ‘Apostrophe’ back in 2011 and nearing the end of 2019 I am delighted to say that I saw Dweezil and his band perform the whole of Frank’s 1969 album ‘Hot Rats’. That album is perhaps the one that really established Frank Zappa as an iconic major talent. It was dedicated to Dweezil, who was only a few weeks old when the original album was released. It was a perfect reproduction of the record, although interestingly the band opened with “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow” from the aforementioned ‘Apostrophe’, that has always been one of my favourite Zappa songs. Then it was the business of ‘Hot Rats’ in its entirety, how groundbreaking must that album have sounded when it was released in 1969. It still sounds pretty fresh today with its “out there” jazz, prog, blues, weird mix. Every one of the six ‘Hot Rats’ tracks was superbly played, my personal highlights were “Peaches En Regalia”, “Willie The Pimp” (which originally featured a Captain Beefheart vocal) and “It Must Be A Camel”. The original album was just under 45 minutes in length, so obviously there was going to be more, and there was plenty more when the band returned to the stage after a short interval.

The second part of the show consisted of twenty or more tunes by my reckoning. Dweezil has put together a supremely talented and incredibly powerful band, which he referred to as his ‘Rockin’ Teenage Combo’. I don’t know the band members names but special mentions must go to the insanely talented saxophonist and a vocalist who seemed to be able to sing in any style he needed to, his Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson piece was something majestic to behold. There were many, many highlights in the second set, but for me “200 Motels/ Bogus Pomp”, “I’m A Beautiful Guy” and ” Who Needs The Peace Corps?” were real standouts. The band revived what in essence was an outtake in its original form, although clearly, it mutated into a few future Frank Zappa tunes. That track was magnificently titled “Twinkle Tits”. The magic word for tonight, chosen by the band from towns near to Leeds on a map in their tour bus was……. Scunthorpe. They tried, and succeeded, on many occasions to incorporate Scunthorpe into a song and even had the audience singing one of those Scunthorpe variations. Surprisingly, for me at least, was a barnstorming cover of the Knack’s 1979 US number-one single “My Sharona”. This was apparently a song that Frank Zappa liked to play. Some might say that this is just a tribute band, and in some ways, they would be correct, but believe me, Dweezil and his band are so much more than that. If you haven’t seen Dweezil plays his father’s songs live yet then take the first opportunity that you get! This was one of the best shows that I have seen this year!

As a footnote I was speaking to someone on the train on the way home who informed me that Dweezil is not his birth name, he was born Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa. It was also great to spend an evening with my good friend Andy Golborne and to catch up with another great mate, Adrian Caines.

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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