With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘How To Be A Thousandaire’ – Catherine Adamson November 20, 2019


I am so very proud of my very talented wife Catherine, her book ‘How To Be A Thousandaire’ was published on 20th September this year and she is leading a book launch event for it tomorrow in York. It is the perfect book for you if you are a micro-business owner, are planning to become a micro-business owner or if you know a micro-business owner. The book details Catherine’s business journey and how she overcame adversity to build an incredibly resilient business. The book is available now from Amazon across the world. At only £14.99 in the UK, it is a great investment. Click here and order your copy now, and feel free to share this!

Yes this is a music blog so please enjoy a few book-related tunes while you place your order for ‘How To Be A Thousandaire’

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“Subroutine” – Stonerpop November 19, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:13 pm
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Following their earlier single “Night Terrors”  LA electronic duo Stonerpop are back with another excitingly compelling single taken from their forthcoming new album ‘American Dreams’ due out on January 1st, 2020. The new track is called “Subroutine” and it is accompanied by a retro-looking old skool style computer graphics video; like ‘Tron’ on LSD. The music is a masterful electronic symphonic soundscape with layered percussion and a booming bassy synth riff underpinning a magnificent tune sung deliciously by Maudie.

Stonerpop are Jimmie Maneuva and Maudie Michelle who hail from the Deep South and Pacific Northwest, respectively. They formed their eccentric eclectic ecstatic electronic duo in 2016. Look out for more of them, I have a feeling that 2020 could be a big year for Stonerpop! I promise you that there will definitely be more of them on this site in the future!

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Mayhem Virgins – Luna Velvet


It has been months since the last Mayhem Virgins post, so it’s about time for another, right? To refresh your memory the Mayhem Virgins series only covers artists that I have never mentioned or featured before. This time it is the turn of York-based folk-rock gems Luna Velvet.  Their sound is reminiscent of the Stone Poneys and early 70s US East Coast country-rock in general. Carrie Skipper’s vocals, particularly on “Amelia” the opening track on their 2018 album ‘Songs Of Love And Hate’ caused me to think of early Joni Mitchell. There is definitely a light jazz feel that underpins some of their songs, but mostly it is alt.country, soft rock, and emotional songs. I can imagine Kate Bush taking a shot at “Betrayed”. Luna Velvet are Don Jackson, Carrie Skipper, Stu Fletcher and Tom Sollitt. They clearly have a great deal of respect within the music industry given the stellar contributions on ‘Songs Of Love And Hurt’ and wonderful new single “Molly Lou”. Extraordinary talented fiddle player Steve Wickham from Dublin, although he now lives in Sligo (hometown of Westlife don’t you know!) features on the album and prominently on “Molly Lou”. Steve played fiddle on the U2 classic “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and has worked with Hothouse Flowers, Sinéad O’Connor, and World Party. He has also been a part of the Waterboys for many years. Multi-instrumentalist  Anthony “Anto” Thistlethwaite contributes to quite a few Luna Velvet songs. He was a founding member of the aforementioned Waterboys, along with Mike Scott. Thistlethwaite later tasted success with the Saw Doctors. Troy Donockley, another highly talented multi-instrumentalist and incredibly accomplished player of the Uilleann pipes contributed his skills to “Holding On” from the Luna Velvet album. Finally, bringing back the York connection, Fraser Smith, a one-time member of Shed Seven plays keyboards on the haunting ballad “Fall To Pieces”. Click here to check out Luna Velvet on Spotify, they are well worth a listen. Over here at the old Mayhem Tenement block, we can hardly wait for their next album!

 

All the pictures in this post were found via Google and the videos were sourced from YouTube. If any of them are yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove them please let me know.

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’24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ – Avalanche Party November 17, 2019


I have just counted up how many times I have seen Avalanche Party and it currently stands at eleven times in five years (soon to be twelve). I was also lucky enough to see a kind of early incarnation of the band when they were still 3 Foot Ninja, that was back in 2009. Back then I could see they had some great potential and every gig and every release since it has become obvious to anyone who has encountered this magnificent band that they are truly on the cusp of greatness. I believe their debut album ’24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ will take them there. It has been a long while coming but damned well worth the wait. It was recorded at Young Thugs Studios in York last December. The dictionary definition of trephine is “a small circular saw with a centre pin mounted on a strong hollow metal shaft to which is attached a transverse handle: used in surgery to remove circular disks of bone from the skull”. This album starts drilling into your skull from opener “El Dorado” an atmospheric, mesmerising and at times menacing track that oozes confidence and greatness. For me, there is a strong influence from Nick Cave on this song and that is no bad thing. The sonic feel shows a band that is not afraid to use the space between notes to great effect too. “Bugzy” smacks into you like the Doors but as if they had come together in the height of early 70s glam rock. Jordan’s vocals are every bit as good as Jim Morrison at his peak and “Bugzy” will become a live favourite. This is a song born from the blues and makes me wonder if Avalanche Party have visited that famous crossroads at Highways 49 and 61 in Clarksdale, Mississippi favoured by blues legend Robert Johnson where he allegedly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for the return of his guitar. There have been four singles released from this record so far, including the third song in, “7”. This is a towering piece of funked-up punk or punked-up funk (delete as appropriate) Kane and Joe prove themselves to be one of the finest rhythm sections on the planet as they play like their lives depended on it.

My favourite track at the moment is “Howl” the current single. It is a very Bowieesque slab of prime heavy riff-laden early 70s rock with a gospel-style chorus. If you are not moved to dance to “Howl” then you might well be clinically dead! This is possibly the finest song that the band have released so far. It is also accompanied by a fabulous video which features a cameo appearance on tambourine from the multi-talented Charlie Swainston! The track which proves how great a band Avalanche Party is is the psychedelic rock circus that is “Milk And Sunlight Is A Heavy Dream”. Vocals, backing vocals, keys, bass, guitars, and drums all align perfectly and the chorus will not let you go. James Aparicio has captured the essence of what makes Avalanche Party such a great live band in his production. From the massed Panzer Tank Division sonic assault of “HA HA” to the deeply mellow buzz of “Hey Misdemeanour” the former Grinderman and Spiritualized producer does not put a foot or a fader wrong. I can already picture a crowd incursion from Jordan during “Playing Field Blues” using his rock star evil stare to hypnotise his audience into becoming Avalanche Party‘s helpless mosh puppets. It redefines heavy, scuzzy garage blues into something very 21st Century. I never thought that I would see myself finding a U2 influence from Avalanche Party, but “Every Last Drop” is the kind of song that Bono would kill to have written. I can see the lighters and lit up mobile phone screens waving in the air at festivals to accompany this gorgeous modern, dirty power ballad. Dark menace runs through the veins of “Cruel Madness” and draws you into a dark, descent of a dream to a world that might be populated by all your fears and phobias. The album closes with “Rebel Forever” which opens and is underpinned with a warped fairground organ riff which gives the tune a Cockney Rebel feel and in many ways sums up Avalanche Party. They are rebels and I hope they will remain rebellious forever!

The band have been touring constantly for a long while now, honing their craft and doing whatever they need to do in order to reach their destiny as the future of rock ‘n’ roll. They have graced festivals across the UK and Europe and completed a prestigious slot at SXSW. At the start of the current album tour, they headlined shows in Los Angeles and New York. This album has anger, fear, the evils of capitalism, love, death and what it is like to live in the world today. The exquisite artwork on the cover features close friend and major influence of the band, Dale Barclay, frontman from the Amazing Snakeheads/ And Yet It Moves. Barclay passed away so tragically young last year. Here is what the band themselves had to say about the LP; “This is our debut album, we haven’t touched the surface before, and this is a glimpse into our bigger picture, our chaotic process, our commitment to us. There’s 5 people in this band with an equal passion, 5 different reasons to create, 5 different people with 200+ ideas each, that’s 1000+ ideas, 1000s of reasons we have to create. We had to make this now… mainly because we want to make a second one.” Jordan Bell, Jared Thorpe, Kane Waterfield, Joe Bell and Glen Adkins you should be well proud of this release as I am sure you are’. This record is already a contender for best album of 2019 and it is not officially released until November 22nd on So Knee Records. I love it already and now I am looking forward to Avalanche Party‘s sophomore release!

All the pictures in this post were found via Google and the videos were sourced from YouTube. If any of them are yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove them please let me know.

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‘Angel In The Flames’ – Janus Stark November 12, 2019


Are we ready for the first album from Janus Stark since 1998? Does the world need a new album from Janus Stark in 2019? Well, I am ready for it and fuck yeah the world needs it! The new album hits us, November 15th, it is titled ‘Angel In The Flames’ on Time & Matter Records. Janus Stark are flag bearers for the best British punk and metal, their influences range from the Clash to the Ruts through to Motorhead, Nirvana and so much in between. Formed and fronted by insanely talented guitar hero Gizz Butt, the band broke up in 2002, but lucky for us they got back together last year. Gizz was formerly the live guitarist for the Prodigy, I saw him a few times in that role, which is one of the reasons I know he is such a great guitarist. Gizz has a great pedigree in UK music; he played with Steve Ignorant when he played the Crass catalogue live and he has played with the U.K. Subs. Charlie Harper of the Subs guests on the new album. The band takes their name from a British comic character from the late 60s. That Janus Stark was an escapologist in Victorian London who privately used his extraordinary abilities to battle against injustice. This Janus Stark use their musical abilities to raise their voices about modern-day injustice and wear their hearts on their sleeves about so many things that ail our world today.

Album opener “Crucify All The Leaders” sets the whole collection up perfectly with a clarion call to deal with our ‘so-called’ leaders. The line “Crucify all the leaders, in the end there’s a planet to defend, none of them could be our friend” sums up for me why we need to finish off the old guard of politicians and hope that something better and new rises up. This track could be one of the best songs the Foo Fighters ever recorded had it been one of Mr. Grohl’s. In fact, Dave Grohl once described Janus Stark as “a great melodic kick up the arse…”. The production on the album is close to sonic perfection and it is an album that is so much better with the volume cranked up to 11. Gizz’s guitar is hotter than fresh lava throughout, but the band is rocking hard in every department, especially the thundering drive of the rhythm section; Simon Martin (Bass) and Fozzy (drums). The aural assault of “Commodity Awakening” is breathtaking and the power resonates with you for a long while after the song ends. The song is about how business, treats people as commodities, which is so prevalent in our flawed society. After the first listen “Dead! Dead!” is one of my favourite songs on this collection. It felt like I had done a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson at the end. The lyrics are about the arrogance of so many world leaders who blindly follow a course of action even when that action is obviously dangerous and foolish to anyone with half a brain. The final coda summarises the chilling message perfectly; “This is all on you – everything’s on you”. I am an atheist so I have no religious beliefe, but I do believe that karma exists. I never have sought revenge on anyone and nor would I. But sometimes I have seen people who have wronged me suffer in a similar way to how they treated me. In “Karmageddon” my thoughts on the subject of karma appear to be laid out in song! Guitarist Richard Gombault says of “Some Stars Never Fade”; “Remember that great line from the ‘Wizard Of Oz? “Now I know that I’ve got a heart…because it’s breaking” and that is the crux of this tune. It is how we give ourselves to love even when we know it might one day break our hearts. Perhaps the most emotionally driven song here. The album closes with”A Traitor’s Call”, a song about betrayal, not just betrayal of one person by another, but betrayal of beliefs, morals and perhaps what the betrayer actually stood for at some point.

I should also make a special mention of the album’s beautiful and thought-provoking artwork created by Gizz’s daughter Astrid with some collaboration with her Dad. The soldier who for me represents the everyman soldier of both World Wars and the thousands of other conflicts. The soldier’s skin might be black or white and it is difficult to discern gender. I understand that the butterfly represents something that changes with no choice, like the soldiers that went over the top from the trenches on to certain death. Even if I searched hard I would not find a bad song on this album, which for me is definitely one of 2019’s finest! While this record channels anger and aggression about the world today there are a number of songs that deal with mental health issues; notably “Last Exit To Change Your Mind” and “Murderers Rights Society”. Gizz has been refreshingly open about his struggles with mental health and he is a great supporter of his local ‘Stop Suicide’ campaign via the charity, MIND. Like all the classic punk albums from the past, (‘The Clash’ and ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ particularly) this one grabs you by the throat from the first note and doesn’t let you go until the end. If you like riffs that could split Everest in two and a band that has the power to cause earthquakes then this is the only album you want this year. ‘Angel In The Flames’ takes you on a rollercoaster ride through every emotion; into a dark powerful maelstrom of depression and back out into the beautiful world of hope. This ride justifies why the world needs this new album from Janus Stark. It should be force played to every single so-called world leader until they finally sit up and take notice of what is really happening to our planet and its inhabitants!

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Show Of Hands – Royal Hall, Harrogate – Thursday 31st October 2019 November 3, 2019


This was my first visit to the beautifully and tastefully renovated Royal Hall in Harrogate. It was also the second time that I have seen Show Of Hands live, but sadly the first since 2009! I promise I won’t leave it that long next time. My knowledge of folk and roots music is not vast but I do know a great band when I see one and Show Of Hands are undoubtedly a truly brilliant band. They are “not too folkie”, they are multi-talented musicians with an intelligent way with lyrics and their self deprecating humour and between-song banter is first class. The core band consists of Steve Knightley and Phil Beer and was formed in Devon more than thirty years ago. Folk singer and double bass virtuoso Miranda Sykes has been playing with Show Of Hands for more than fifteen years. In addition to that dynamic trio, they are now accompanied by an amazing and award-winning bodhrán player and percussionist for the current shows; Irishman Cormac Byrne.

There was no support act, rather inventively we were treated to a series of duo performances; Phil & Steve, Steve & Cormac, Miranda & Steve, Phil & Miranda, Cormac & Phil, and Miranda & Cormac! The sparseness of the music in these settings was beautiful. This is a group of musicians who really know how to use the space between the notes. Phil Beer’s guitar skills are extraordinary and he can move from straightforward folk to some rocking acoustic blues. Steve’s voice is close to perfect and his passion is evident in the way he sings. Some of the new songs, from their 2019 album, are a strong addition to an already magnificent set. Especially “Dreckley”, which is a Cornish word for later in the manner of mañana but not as urgent, and “Battlefield Dance Floor” which is about how soldiers used to party the night before a big battle. For me, the most beautiful song of the evening was the inspirational and empathetic “You’ll Get By”. That will be on my playlist the next time I get really down or depressed, it will provide a gorgeous spiritual lift. The cover of the late, great Leonard Cohen’s “First We Take Manhattan” was true to the Canadian raconteur and was among the most well-received of the evening. My favourite song on the night was probably “Santiago”. There were sing-alongs aplenty, the most rousing was probably the Show Of Hands classic “Cousin Jack”. All in all, this was a great musical evening and worked incredibly well even for a generally non-folkie like me. If you love good music you really need to check this band out if you haven’t done so already! There are still plenty of shows left on their Now We Are Four Tour 2019 (see the poster above), go and treat yourself!

All the photos were found via Google searches. The videos were all found on YouTube. If any of the pictures or videos are yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove them please let me know. 

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‘Jesus Is King’ – Kanye West

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:55 pm
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I loved Kanye West’s early albums, particularly ‘The College Dropout’ (2004) and ‘Late Registration’ (2005). He has just released his ninth album, ‘Jesus Is King’ which he says is ‘an expression of the gospel’. Well, the Trump-supporting member of the Kardashian clan has surpassed himself in terms of how low he has sunk with this album. I have listened to it so that you don’t have to. It is an awful, almost dictatorial view as to how we should live from a demented, probably delusional, Christian Fundamentalist nut job. If I believed that Kanye was joking then even the irony in this release would be hard to find. But I think he is serious. This makes Bob Dylan’s Christian output look almost satanic. It is truly a terrible, terrible album. Definitely the worst of 2019 for me! The singing of the gospel choir is one very small plus point. If you have listened to it what is your opinion?

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