With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“When I’m With You” – Yallows May 29, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:11 pm
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I recently reviewed an earlier release from Yallows, “Who Am I?”. Well, now they have a new tune out, called “When I’m With You” and it is a mountainous, melodic piece of grunge style rock with echoes of early Nirvana. Everything about this track hits the spot; the band is on peak form and the vocals are among the best rock vocals that I have heard in a while. Yallows are from Kanazawa, Japan and are living proof that rock music in the land of the rising sun is as healthy as it has ever been. If you haven’t done so already you really need to check this band out. Click here to find “When I’m With You” on SoundCloud.

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“Dance” – Alleyways


Leeds based York pop funsters Alleyways have a single out on Chalk Pit Records. The track is taken from the band’s new EP ‘Does It Matter?’ Click here to check out that collection on Spotify. It is called “Dance” and having listened to it I would personally take the title as an instruction, or perhaps an order. It is a pulsating pop song that will make you move, whether you want to or not. In the olden days this would be all over national radio, so put it all over your playlists, streams, video views and any other way you consume awesome tunes. It is accompanied by a very arty but tasteful video. It appears almost sepia-toned and occasionally had me thinking that maybe I needed 3D glasses to watch it. Dougie and the gang are on top form in the video, dressed in a kind of slightly smarter than smart casual way and really owning their dance moves. This song and the EP deserve to be seen and heard, so what are you waiting for? If you want to catch them live soon they are a part of the Futuresound Emerging Competition and will be appearing at the Wardrobe in Leeds on 4th July as a part of that (see below), get your arses down there people!

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Mayhem Virgins – The Everly Pregnant Brothers May 28, 2019


I love discovering great new bands or sometimes great bands that are new to me. Well, the wonderfully named Everly Pregnant Brothers are new to me and that is why they are the next act to feature in the Mayhem Virgins series.  They are about to celebrate their tenth, yes tenth, anniversary with a headline show at Fibbers in York on June 1st. Their brand of twisted Yorkshire parody and comedy is truly unique and bloody hilarious and I am so disappointed that I have only just discovered them. But the voyage of discovery through their back catalogue and YouTube videos has frankly put me in an even more positive mood than usual! A band that makes amusingly clever covers (obviously with comedic lyrics) of classics is the sort of thing that would appeal to me, but a band whose main instruments are ukeleles and a kazoo would normally not be my thing. But the Everly Pregnant brothers make that combination work, even for me.

The band formed in Sheffield after a drunken dare by Pete Mckee and Richard Bailey in 2009. The success of the dare prompted the
pair to draught in a bunch of disparate chaps who had three things in common, the love of beer, ukuleles and having a laugh. Pete Mckee stated in a recent interview that “We weren’t supposed to last ten days! We originally got together for a one-off gig and the buggers insisted
we carry on…”  Frontman Shaun Doane added, “I can honestly say I didn’t think any further than the first two shows we ever did, it was already fun and I hoped it would continue but I was quite prepared to do those two shows at Art in the Gardens and then go back to my musical retirement home!” Well, I for one am eternally grateful that this lot never returned to that musical retirement home. Bring on the next ten years, please. Take a listen now to some ace and rib-splitting covers from many serious artists including some of Sheffield’s finest such as the Human League and Pulp. My current favourites are “No Oven, No Pie” and “Chav World”. Click here to check them out on Spotify.

Public service announcement: all the pictures and videos were sourced via Google and YouTube. If any of them are yours and you would like a credit or want them removed please let me know.

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‘Outsider’ – The Yalla Yallas May 27, 2019


Some people might want to put Leeds band the Yalla Yallas simply into the punk genre, well that might be true in part, but they are so much more than that. The Yalla Yallas are in a zone akin to the Clash after their 1977 debut album and they have developed their sound immensely since their first album, 2009’s ‘Act Of Defiance’. The Yalla Yallas sound draws on some great influences; punk, good time rock ‘n’ roll, blues, gospel, and Iggy Pop to name just a few. The band is about to drop ‘Outsider’ their fourth album onto the world and the world needs to be ready. This is an eclectically brilliant collection of great songs. Fans of the band will already be aware of perhaps the punkiest track on the album, “Problems” which would fit in well on any UK 1970s punk collection, this was the first single. It was followed by “Somewhere, Anywhere” which is a rollicking romp which is reminiscent of the Levellers and perhaps the Wildhearts. Whatever it might remind you of, it will not leave your head. The fade out chorale style multi-layered vocals and classy guitar soloing form an earworm of the highest order.

Meanwhile “Walking In The Rain” shows the band can perform in an exquisite ballad style just as well as the harder stuff. If you like your music with a Rockabilly flavour with the emphasis more on the Rock than the Billy, then you will love “Murder, Baby”. On top of that, it moves into lounge jazz territory with some great ivory tinkling from guest star Sam ‘King Zepha’ Thornton. The forthcoming third single “Run” opens the album and it has everything you need from a great rock song; rifftastic screaming axe-wielding from Will Grinder, a rhythm section that knows exactly how to drive a song and a stunning vocal performance from ace frontman Rob Galloway. I would defy anyone to listen to these songs and not want to dance and sing along, “Borrowed Heart” epitomises that feeling, although I have learnt that dancing around the room with wired headphones is not the most sensible thing to do! Grinder’s guitar work is once again exemplary here and Lewis Pugh’s drumming, which is great throughout, excels beyond this on “Borrowed Heart”. Sam ‘King Zepha’ Thornton’s saxophone lends the song an E Street Band vibe.

The production from Grant Henderson seems to capture the essence of a band that is enjoying themselves so much they make it sound effortless. I haven’t seen a transcript of the lyrics, but “Another Day In Hell” I think is about spending time in a bad relationship, and so many of us have been there, right? Does the Devil have all the best tunes as the saying goes? Not necessarily, but “Devil” is a perhaps one that ole Satan might like. I would love to see the track used in an episode of Fox TV’s ‘Lucifer’. I can imagine it pumping out of the sound system in Lucifer Morningstar’s night club, Lux. I usually have to play an album three or four times to get a feel for it before I form an opinion. But with ‘Outsider’ I simply knew it was bloody good after just one spin!

Photos are from World Downfall Photography

 

An Interview with the Receivers May 23, 2019


Here is the second ever With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Podcast. This time it is an interview with one of York’s finest young bands, The Receivers. I hope you enjoy it. I would love to hear your comments!

Click here to find it on SoundCloud.

The Receivers

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The Specials – Barbican, York – Thursday 9th May 2019 May 12, 2019


This was the third time I had seen the Specials, once back in the early days and more recently at this same venue back in November 2016. That 2016 gig was marred by the poor sound quality and a relatively short set from the band. Was it better this time? Well yes, it was, but before I tell you about that you need to know about the spectacularly talented support band the Tuts. Regular readers will know that I am a big fan of this all-girl punk powerhouse of a band from the area of west London that I hail from. They have rather skillfully rechristened themselves a three-tone band for this tour. A support slot like this doesn’t come along too often and it is perfect for the Tuts. I have previously seen them supporting Kate Nash and the Selecter and this is now the seventh time I have seen them play live since February 2014. They simply get better and better every time and I believe that they are still some way from reaching their peak. Nadia, Bev, and Harriet played a rabble-rousing selection of songs from the Tuts debut album ‘Update Your Brain’. Particular highlights were “Always Hear The Same Shit”, “1982” and “Dump Your Boyfriend”. But the song that really set the crowd alight like a Molotov cocktail in a firework factory was “Tut Tut Tut”. Bear in mind that when the Tuts were announced as the support for this tour almost all the shows had sold out so the girls had to win the audience over. They didn’t just win them over they thrashed them into submission to a point where they had no choice but become fans. The energy generated by this band could power a small city. We were given a choice of cover versions and the crowd chose the Clash classic “Rudie Can’t Fail” rather than the Spice Girls “Wannabe”. Personally, I would have been happy with either but the Clash tune won by a landslide and I am sure that the ghost of Joe Strummer was filled with pride by the Tuts version. The Tuts merch stand looked to be doing great business later in the evening with, hopefully, legions of Specials fans now also into the Tuts. I do know that my mate Simon Hernaman purchased the Tuts album on CD. If you have not yet seen or listened to the Tuts you really need to sort your life out and do it. I reckon they are probably one of the best, if not the best, bands in the UK right now. I do know that Nad Tut disagrees with me on that, she told me that they see themselves as the best band in the world and frankly who am I to argue with that! Go Tuts!

Finally, it was the turn of the Specials to take to the stage, they were preceded by a wonderfully exuberant and tasteful DJ set by Saffiyah Khan. The band opened at full pelt with “Man At C & A” with Lynval firing up the crowd from the opening salvo, although to be fair we didn’t need much firing up. There were some inspired selections from their critically acclaimed album ‘Encore’, notably “Vote For Me”, the Valentines cover “Blam Blam Fever” and an impassioned “Ten Commandments” which featured Saffiyah Khan. But the highpoint of the newer material was for me the reworked Fun Boy Three tune “The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum” which is still, sadly as highly relevant now as it was when it was originally released back in 1981. The three remaining original members of the band, Lynval Golding, Horace Panter (a.k.a. Sir Horace Gentleman) and Terry Hall were on top form. Hall’s laconic dry humour was on display on pretty much every occasion he chose to speak to the crowd. Special mention must be given to one of the UK’s greatest guitar players, Steve Cradock who added some intense rock sounds to every song. What I have always loved about the Specials is how when they do a cover version it really does become one of their own, particularly in the live arena. The crowd were full on skanking for “A Message To You Rudy” (originally by Dany Livingstone), “Do The Dog” (originally by Rufus Thomas) and it would be an understatement to say that the crowd went apeshit (no pun intended) for a riotously uncontained romp through the Maytals “Monkey Man”. It is the originals from the early days, though, that hit the highest heights for me. “Do Nothing”, “Rat Race”, “Nite Klub”, “Friday Night, Saturday Morning”, “Gangsters” and “Too Much Too Young” still retain nuclear levels of ska punk power. A nineteen song set took us to the inevitable encore and what a treat that encore was. It kicked off with a reggae instrumental jam, I have no idea what the title was. This was followed by another classic that is still as pertinent today as it was nearly forty years ago, “Ghost Town”. This mercurial performance from the Specials was closed with a Skatalites cover “You’re Wondering Now” which also featured Saffiyah Khan. This was a fitting end to a truly great show which proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the Specials have still got it!

 

Public Service Announcement – all the pictures, apart from the tour poster, were taken on my cheap android phone. The videos were found on YouTube. If you would like to be credited or have them removed please let me know.

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Vinyl Eddie Records Label Launch Show – Fibbers, York – Sunday May 5th 2019 May 11, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:19 pm
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Tonight was the launch party for the brand new label started by what is probably York’s finest Record Shop Vinyl Eddie. No prizes for guessing that it will be call Vinyl Eddie Records. The first two releases are from two fabulous York bands; The Receivers  with the six track ‘There’s More To The World’ and Violet Contours with a self titled four track EP. I now own both of these records, so you might already have a view of what I think of my view on the two bands who were co-headliners for the Fibbers gig. But before I get to them there were another two support bands before the main events. First up were York trio Fear and Loathing who showed absolute fearlessness and no visible loathing. They have a really chilled jazzy, bluesy guitar sound with the kind of hooks that can be found in Nick Cave’s more commercial songs. On the slower parts to their tunes the vocals, for me, showed elements of the best of Scott Walker interpreting Jacques Brel. Some of their tunes have an underlying tone of menace and when they rock out Fear and Loathing are bloody funky indeed!

Fear & Loathing

The Vedettes were next and they are yet another talented band from York. These boys make a mesmerising, frenetic and frankly, stunningly gorgeous noise. When they get their funky groove on the sound reminds me of early Spandau Ballet, circa “To Cut A Long Story Short” and “Musclebound”, before they went soppy with the likes of the sugary, insipid “True”. Kell Chambers vocals come across like he is fronting a punk band that knows how to create dance-able anthems and let’s face it that is what the Vedettes are; punky, funky and slamming dance all rolled into one. Can the Vedettes be contained in one genre? Probably not, unless that genre was Manic Hyper Disco Punk from another galaxy! Check them out and see and hear for yourselves.

The Vedettes

Next it was time for the first of the two joint headliners, the Receivers. This is an incredibly talented band who get better every time you see them. They are a well honed and incredibly tight band who have a knack for writing some great tunes across a range of styles. “Saturday” is probably their most mainstream and accessible song and it has some immense pop hooks and style. Add to that the unavoidable urge forced upon you to sing along to the chorus. Then they vent their anger in possibly the best way since the heady days of UK punk in “That’s What They Told Me”. The songs from the new release are close to perfect; “Leave The Right Marks”, “Rimshot” and a supremely emotionally charged “Grand Central” proved that and there was a palpable sense of delight and excitement in the crowd throughout the band’s whole set. But even the old songs are something special, “A Thousand Times” is an anthemic banger that makes you want to move your body, for me it feels a little like the Stereophonics at their peak. Nick’s vocals were spot on in this set and Alex is developing into one of the best guitarists around, he also seems to possess more energy than the Duracell bunny. But underpinning the whole receivers sound is the Rolls Royce of rhythm sections from Louis on drums and Harry on bass. The Receivers are definitely one to watch and I am looking forward to seeing them live again soon!

The Receivers

Completing the line up and showcasing more of what is great about the York music scene were joint headliners Violet Contours. Just like the Receivers they have a fabulous record to promote. They have an effervescent, bright and happy sound that has the power to get even the most lethargic people on the floor. There are Vampire Weekend influences in their African style guitars and perhaps some Stone Roses although Ben Henderson’s vocals are probably better than Ian Brown’s in a live setting. Their brand of indie with jangly guitars and funky bass inspired by Orange Juice are a treat for the ears. The band are a solid and tight unit although they have only been around since 2016. One thing I really love about them is how much they seem to be enjoying themselves on stage. I am not properly familiar with all their song titles yet, (although “Pixar” and “Airstrike” are mint) but as I travelled home my head was full of Violet Contours rhythms, melodies and the sheer exuberance that oozes from their songs. Vinyl Eddie Records are off to a great start with initial releases from two of York’s finest bands; The Receivers and Violet Contours. If we don’t here a great deal more from both bands then I might have to eat my hat. Check them out!

Violet Contours

 

 

 

 
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