With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Leeds Festival 2021 – Day 3 – Sunday 29th August 2021 September 2, 2021


Well this is it my first festival in two years is nearly over. I hope that after the last 18 months or so where Covid has done so much damage that events like this are harbingers of good things to come. So loudly after me repeat FUCK COVID! First band of the final day for me was The Hara on Main Stage West. I found them a little punk formulaic at times, however they undeniably put on a good show, including some Les Dawson style gurning from the singer at times. Imagine Royal Blood with the addition of a stand alone vocalist and with the volume cranked up to a little beyond magnificently loud! Next I caught just a brief part of Weybridge rockers You Me At Six’s set on the Main Stage West. I saw storming run through’s of 2011’s “Bite My Tongue” and “What’s It Like” from their seventh album ‘Suckapunch’. Next a short hop to the Pit Stage for Dead Poet Society, who are a very tight band who seemed perfectly rehearsed. They gave us soulful, raw, passionate, grungy, metal rock music. They were one of the minority of non British bands playing at the festival, I think they are from California.

The Hara
You Me At Six

Next it was back to one of my favourite festival places, the BBC Introducing Stage for Police Car Collective. This band, for me, are completely original and trying to find influences was difficult if not impossible. The singer is obscenely talented as a vocalist and is a true crowd pleaser and showman in the Freddie Mercury mould. His guitar solo on the last song was truly epic in a Mick Ronson kind of way. Just after their set I posted the following statement “OK I know it’s a cliché, but I have seen the future of rock ‘n’ roll. It is called Police Car Collective at Leeds Festival earlier today”. On reflection I stand by that! Did you see them? Perhaps the best band name of the weekend was I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, who I saw on the Main Stage West. They play really funky pop rock and use some great voice sound samples throughout their classy tunes. I sense a little Arctic Monkeys and Vampire Weekend influence here. “Nobody Likes The Opening Band” is a great song in my opinion, possibly built for a festival like this too. This is another US band, from Utah. Finally, the drummer is definitely a Martin Freeman lookalike. Another contender for best band name were next, on Main Stage East, Beabadoobe, who were flying the flag for great female fronted bands. Whilst I loved their more upbeat tunes I thought “Coffee” was a beautiful, whimsical chill out moment. I love this band.

Police Car Collective
I Don’t Know How But They Found Me
Beabadoobe

Back to Main Stage West for some Becky Hill and she drew a huge crowd. This pop songstress is clearly gifted with a wonderful voice and she works the crowd really well. A very good performance but perhaps a little too pop for me, but to each their own, right? Bob Vylan were next on the Pit Stage and what a staggeringly great set. Probably the most political act of the weekend with statements like “Kill the Queen, well she killed Diana right?” This was an awesome performance from a band that has a tight grip on the beating heart of punk. Slowthai performed on Main Stage West and while I am a fan I thought his set was a little flat, had he perhaps over indulged the previous day? His outfit was a little different thought. Great T Shirt, black shorts, black socks and shiny black shoes. For a moment I thought perhaps his Mum had sent him out to break in some of his new school clothes! My first and only trip to the Alternative Stage this weekend was to see my favourite comedian, Katherine Ryan. As usual she covered some wide ranging and perhaps controversial subjects with superb skill and timing. Misogyny, breast feeding, Matt Hancock, Karens and much more. She cracks me up every time.

Becky Hill
Bob Vylan
Slowthai

The Wombats took to the Main Stage West next. To be honest I had never taken much notice of the Wombats, but this was a really good set. They have a great canon of songs. “Pink Lemonade” and “Let’s Dance To Joy Division” were highlights for me. But neither as wonderful as “Lemon To A Knife Fight” for which ardent fans brought their own lemons! I love it! Back to the BBC Introducing Stage for one of York’s finest bands who I have watched grow from small beginnings to signing to EMI and releasing their first album, ‘Discover Effortless Living’ earlier this year. They showcased that record well in this beautiful, but all too brief set. The whole band were on top form, the playing was immaculate and the ethereal and heavenly Byrdsian harmonies were simply gorgeous. Calva Louise have developed into a really ace band and their songs are powered by huge riffs and a rhythm that might have formed in the foothills of Mordor. A real show from a great band who were joined on stage by Blakeeleven for “Ephemeral”. The final band of the day and the weekend for me was Waterparks on the Pit Stage. They hail from Houston in Texas and released their fourth studio album earlier this year. They definitely come across as a band who enjoy themselves on stage. There is a pop punk element to their songs but also a wider ranging rock sound. I was bouncing throughout their whole set, despite have been here three days and my advanced years. As well as some great tunes they have some great song titles too. Notably “You’d Be Paranoid Too (If Everyone Was Out To Get You)” and “I Miss Having Sex But at Least I Don’t Wanna Die Anymore”. Check them out, I think you’ll love them. So after the mess that Covid made of the world we are finally crawling back to some kind of normal at last. It was great to be back at a festival and to close I would like to say a big thank you to all the unsung heroes of festivals; road crew, sound and light folks, security, marshals, first aiders, food and drink vendors, cleaners and anyone else I missed. THANK YOU!

Wombats
Bull
Calva Louise

All the pictures were taken using my cheap Chinese phone camera. The videos were found on YouTube. If it is yours and you would like me to take it down or give you a credit please let me know. Yes I do know the clip is from Reading, but there is not much film footage of Leeds online 🙂

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Leeds Festival 2021 – Day 2 – Saturday 28th August 2021 September 1, 2021


Nothing But Thieves
Punkband

Day 2 and already I am settling back into being at a festival, first up today it was Nothing But Thieves on Main Stage West. These Essex boys are damned good. Conor Mason’s vocals reminded me at times of Graham Bonnet, a young Ozzy Osbourne and maybe even Robert Palmer. This band turn up the passion levels to 11, Nothing But Thieves really mean it and I am definitely a fan. I had to see Punkband on the Lock Up Stage, largely because the name intrigued me. The band does what it says on the tine and hit us with some fine slices of old school punk style tunes, they are a little Sham 69-like at times, but I mean that in a good way. They handled the bass issue they encountered with aplomb and great improvisation. Brighton based Demob Happy were next on Main Stage East. They gave us some wonderfully stylish driving rock music channeled through classic British 70s blues rock. The three female backing singers added a depth that is often not found in harder rock music. The singer looked a bit like a young Frank Zappa, while the drummer could have been in Hanson! A quick jog over to Main Stage West net for a great Scottish band, the Snuts. They have a hard edged indie style and some anthemic tunes reminiscent of the Zutons or the Coral but with a harder and heavier edge. Great hooks and choruses too. A really good live band who I would definitely see again.

Inhaler
Bad Nerves
FFSYTHO

Back on the Main Stage East it was the turn of Inhaler, I am sure most of you have seen the hype that follows them given that front man Elijah Hewson is Bono’s son. Elijah is the spitting image of his Dad in my view. Am I allowed to say that Inhaler are influenced by U2? Well I believe that they are, but I guess that isn’t too surprising. They are a good band though and it will be interesting to see how they develop from here. A big shout out to the mightily talented guitarist Josh Jenkinson. Bad Nerves, more Essex boys were on next at the Lock Up Stage. This band does old school punk blended with classy power pop really well. The crowd was clearly made up of many hard core Bad Nerves fans who clearly love the band. A return to the BBC Introducing stage next for FFSYTHO?!, is described in the festival PR bumph as a pint-sized rapper, that much is true. But she is not just a run of the mill rapper she is bloody good. She has some sharp and tasty ciphers which she spits perfectly. She is a great ambassador for UK Hip Hop and Grime. She was backed with some finely selected beats and samples from DJ Mark Ski. Next it was a secret set in the Lock Up by Don Broco, my daughter Lauren’s favourite band. This was a short but full on performance from a band at the top of their game. They enticed the crowd with older songs and some newer stuff from their forthcoming album, which based on this show could be their best yet. “Gumshield” whipped the crowd into a moshing frenzy. Don Broco are clearly a force of nature live. Rob Damiani has a great voice and was he trying to bring back the mullet? I paid my first visit to the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage next for Mimi Webb from Canterbury. Her music is dance oriented with elements of pop, trance and soul. She has a stunning voice. I returned to the Main Stage West for Sea Girls. If Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed a stadium/ festival band it would probably give us Sea Girls and I do mean that in a most complimentary way. The have anthems not songs and it feels like those anthems are designed to drift stylishly across a muddy or dusty festival field and be sung back to them by an enraptured crowd.

Don Broco
The Rills
Lady Ice

Clearly the Lock Up Stage was going to be one of my main haunts on Saturday, I was back there this time for Grace Mckagan, she started out with synth punk band the Pink Slips and is now establishing herself as a formidable solo artist. She gives the world dark, grungy, industrial garage rock. A bit like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club but if they had an ace female singer. I am now a committed Grace Mckagan fan, I think she could be huge before long. The BBC Intyroducing Stage gave us Lincoln’s the Rills next. They are a three piece with the energy and dynamism of the Jam in their early days. Imagine the Small Faces as a punk band with Marc Bolan writing their hooks and Steve Jones contributing their riffs, that is the Rills for me. Definitely a potentially great band and certainly one to watch out for. Lady Ice is on the rise after successfully appearing on the BBC show ‘The Rap Game UK’. Her delivery, style and energy is first class and supported by some great beats from DJ Tigie, and her MC was great too. It was a real shame it was such a small crowd because Lady Ice knows how to perform and that is exactly what she did. Mabel was next on Main Stage East, for me she has the pop nous of Madonna and Lady Gaga and the choreography and dance skills of Janet Jackson. She completes the package with a full on powerful and deeply soulful voice. A quick dash across to Main Stage West was definitely worth it to witness a storming set from Sam Fender. This is a man with a huge passion for life and for music. While it was that cracking tune “Hypersonic Missiles” that really got him noticed it is the poignant and deeply emotional “Dead Boys” that is my favourite. Like many other acts Sam claimed that this crowd was much better than Reading, but you would wouldn’t you. But to be fair he did kick off some huge mosh circles.

Sam Fender
Low Hummer
Catfish and the Bottlemen

Back to the Lock Up Stage once again this time for the immensely talented Yonaka. They have developed into a really special band. They are definitely the full metal packet now and Theresa’s vocals were stunning. This set was an awesome blitzkrieg of magnificent hard rock. Next for me it was Hull’s Low Hummer on the BBC Introducing Stage. If you put Talking Heads, Pulp and Ian Curtis in a music blender I believe the wonky rock smoothie that results would be the rather spiffing Low Hummer. A top set from a top band. Catfish and the Bottlemen were the first of Saturday’s joint headliners, on Main Stage West. Personally I think they peaked too soon with a great punked up cover of the Beatles “Helter Skelter”. They are an incredibly powerful live band and their already great songs are improved tenfold in the live environment. This is not a band I listen to very often, but I will always seek them out at a Festival. Stormzy closed the second day on the Main Stage East with something that might be a rock gig, a Grime set in a club, a modern take on gospel, a political rally. It was refreshingly different. He opened with the wonderful “Big Michael” and the crowd lapped him up. Stormzy is a man who wears his political opinions on his sleeve and is not afraid to air them. At one point encouraging the crowd to hold their “FUCK BORIS” placards and posters higher. Another hugely entertaining set from a man whose talent seems to continue to grow.

All the pictures were taken using my cheap Chinese phone camera. The video was found on YouTube. If it is yours and you would like me to take it down or give you a credit please let me know. Yes I do know the clip is from Reading, but there is not much film footage of Leeds online 🙂

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Leeds Festival 2021 – Day 1 – Friday 27th August 2021


Thanks to Covid this was my first festival in two years and it was great to be back. It was different in a number of ways, notably the two main stages (East and West) to accommodate dual headliners on each day. I am still not sure about this joint headline thing though, surely the final act is the actual real headliner, right? Another thing that felt very different was the sheer number of bands and singers making their Reading/ Leeds debut. This was probably driven by their being hardly any US or other overseas bands on the bill, again thanks to Covid. The fact that it was such a British-centric line up made it more interesting in my opinion though. What did you think, dear readers?

The Struts
Neck Deep
Sophie and the Giants

The first band I caught was Blondes on the Festival Republic Stage. I only caught their last few songs but they appear to be purveyors of quality synthy indie pop with some great guitar riffs too. My first visit to one of the twin Main Stages was the East one for the Struts from Derby. I bloody love this lot, they are bringing back Glam Rock in a wonderful way. A truly great performance. Next it was back to the Festival Republic Stage for the magnificent Sophie and the Giants. This was a real show and Sophie really knows how to play to the crowd. They have some great tunes which at times reminded me of Siouxse and the Banshees, Blondie and Toyah Wilcox. Over on the Main Stage West I caught Neck Deep, one of the UK’s finest pop punk bands. Their style is pop punk, but with a much harder edge. Vocally I felt an influence from Blink 182. Neck Deep are an incredibly powerful live band and they have some epic choruses that Panic At The Disco would kill for.

Meg Ward
Baby Queen

One of my favourite stages at this festival is the BBC Introducing Stage and my first visit there of the weekend was to see Meg Ward. She creates some banging dance tunes which had one of the biggest and liveliest crowds I have ever seen for a new artist at the BBC Introducing Stage. Meg was awesome as fuck and I doubt that anyone else on any stage enjoyed themselves as much as she did! Check her music out, you will not be disappointed. Back to the Festival Republic Stage I had the pleasure of catching a storming set from Belle Latham a.k.a Baby Queen. It is hard to believe that this was only their fifth gig, but it’s true! What are Baby Queen like? If Cyndi Lauper and Kate Nash adopted a daughter and raised her together I believe that daughter would become Baby Queen. Todays secret set was not so secret given that Jake Bugg tweeted about it the day before. The Festival Republic Stage was bursting at the seams as the crowd chanted “Jakey, Jakey, Jakey Bugg” before he appeared. I stayed for a couple of songs but despite the buz from the crowd it felt a little lacklustre. I am not convinced that his new material is as strong as his earlier stuff.

Wolf Alice

Blossoms were up next on Main Stage West and in a faux pas for music nerds they were introduced as “the” Blossoms. This band are beyond well established now and still maintain a fabulous pop sensibility in their songs. This was a great set from Stockport’s finest, Tom Ogden’s vocals really hit the spot. Wolf Alice owned the Main Stage East for the duration of their set. In my opinion they are rapidly developing into one of the best bands on the planet. Ellie, Joff, Theo and Joel played newer material from their excellent current album ‘Blue Weekend’ along with some earlier tunes. Every song was a winner and the crowd were eating out of Wolf Alice’s hands.

YUNGBLUD

Next up on Main Stage West was the inimitable YUNGBLUD. This bloke is special. Think Bowie, think Freddie Mercury, think Alice Cooper, think Gary Numan, think Rage Against The Machine, think Eddie Izzard and then add enough energy to close a black hole. That is YUNGBLUD for me. He tried to create the biggest circle pit of the day and from the cameras overhead it looked like he succeeded. He will definitely be headlining this festival before too long. Holly Humberstone from Grantham played a great set on the Festival Republic Stage. She has a tremendous voice and also comes across as a great human being. Her music is an outstanding dark blend of folk and electronica.

Biffy Clyro

Finally it was time for the first of the joint headliners, Biffy Clyro to rock the Main Stage West. They were a relatively late replacement for Queens Of The Stone Age and maybe that is why the crowd at times felt a little flat and subdued. However, I loved it, this was a stunning set from one of my favourite bands. Was Simon Neil wearing his Mum’s old maternity dress for the first few songs? The light show, projection screens and fireworks were devastatingly good, especially the laser cobweb effect. They drew on songs from across their vast canon of epic tunes. Particular highlights for me were “Biblical”, “Wolves Of Winter”, “Black Chandelier” and “Many Of Horror”. Regular readers will know that I am not a huge fan of the second headliner for Friday at Leeds, it was Liam Gallagher. I still believe that the first two Oasis albums are great, however I reckon they should have knocked it on the head after their defining Knebworth moment in 1996. In my opinion, while Noel Gallagher has produced some somewhat different new tunes, for me Liam has become not much more than an Oasis tribute act. Nearly 70% of the songs in his set were from his Oasis days with a handful from his post Beady Eye solo career. To be fair, “Wall Of Glass” is an ok song. Also to Liam’s credit he did dedicate “Live Forever” to the late, great Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. So overall a great day and wonderful to be back in festival land!

All the pictures were taken using my cheap Chinese phone camera. Videos were all found on YouTube and credited to Callum Wattie.

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Leeds Festival 2021 – A Stream Of Consciousness August 26, 2021


I have grown up with Reading Festival and some time after I moved to the frozen north I switched to the other part of this great festival, Leeds. I went to my first Reading in 1975, me and some mates bunked under the fence and in the limited time we had on the site (we had to catch the last train home) we saw Osibisa. We got in that way for three years in a row, I doubt that is even close to possible these days, but back then we felt like highwaymen or the last gang in town, proper rebels. In truth though, we were a bunch of teenage chancers who thought they knew everything. I was 16 at the time and I did know everything, then I got a bit older and realised quite easily that I really knew nothing and had so much to learn. Even at my advanced years (shhhh….. don’t tell anyone, but I’m 62) I still learn something every day. But one thing I learned back on the fateful night in 1975 is that I bloody love this festival and I still do. I haven’t missed many since 1975. The last year, apart from 2020 when it was Covid cancelled, that I didn’t attend was in 2007. I switched to Leeds in 2015 (I think) after my Reading Festival buddy decided he was too old for three days in a muddy field. I plan to keep going until I physically can’t or until I’m dead! My ashes can be scattered on the fields of Richfield Avenue and at Bramham Park. Anyway the reason for this confusing stream of consciousness is that after 18 months of suffering for everyone thanks to Covid, festivals are back and for the first time in two years I will be stood in a, hopefully not too, muddy field near Leeds watching some incredible bands and artists. Highlights for me will I am sure be those listed below. I hear there is an Oasis tribute act on the Main Stage on Friday too 😉

Biffy Clyro, Yungblud, Wolf Alice, The Hunna, Sophie and the Giants and Baby Queen (Friday)

Stormzy, Mabel, AJ Tracey, the Snuts, Catfish and the Bottlemen, MK, Sam Fender, Yonaka, Boston Manor and Dinosaur Pile-Up (Saturday)

Two Door Cinema Club, Beabadoobe, Disclosure, Slowthai, I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, You Me At Six, Bob Vylan, Bull and Police Car Collective (Sunday)

Who are you looking forward to? Who do you recommend that I haven’t mentioned?

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Mayhem Virgins – Velvet Insane August 18, 2021

Filed under: Mayhem Virgins — justwilliam1959 @ 5:32 pm
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Unlucky for all you triskaidekaphobics out there but this is the thirteenth Mayhem Virgins entry. This time it is the turn of Velvet Insane who have taken Glam Rock, dusted it off, wrung its neck and made it ready for the 21st Century. These Glam Glitterati are from Sweden and take the best of the Sweet, Bowie, Mott The Hoople and others and make a sound that, while still glam based, is uniquely their own. Their social media presence and bio on Spotify describe them as “a 3-piece gang of rockers that reinvented glam rock by mixing the pop harmonies of the 70’s with the heavy sound of today” They add that they “have been moving forwards since their debut album and now they’re ready to deliver a swaggering statement” and “In fact Velvet Insane’s star is shining so bright they might be the next thing to explode!” Having listened to their debut album, ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Glitter Suit’ a few times those statements are hard to disagree with. I think this bunch would be a brilliant support act on the next Darkness tour, so Justin and the boys, if you’re reading this please give them a shot!

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Play It Again Mayhem – “The World Must Revolve Around Me” – Little Jackie


This is the eighth song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began earlier this year. Check out the earlier posts by clicking here (Betty Wright), here (Elton John), here (Roxy Music)  here (The O’Jays), here (John Miles) here (Steely Dan) and here (Climax Blues Band). Once I get to the tenth Play It again post there will be a Spotify Playlist! This is the first Play It again Mayhem post so far that isn’t from the 60s or 70s, this one is from the noughties, 2008 to be precise. It is Little Jackie’s “The World Must Revolve Around Me”. It is taken from ‘The Stoop’ which, for me, is one of the finest modern R & B records by a country mile. Despite the name Little Jackie are in fact a duo consisting of of Imani Coppola and Adam Pallin. Both have worked on other musical projects since 2008, but personally I think the Little Jackie work will be hard to top. The duo took their name from the Lisa Lisa versus Cult Jam 1989 hit “Little Jackie Wants To Be A Star”. “The World Must Revolve Around Me” reached the top 30 in the UK and top 30 in Ireland, it remains one of my favourite songs from the noughties, I hope that you enjoy it too.

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The Sparks Brothers – Film August 13, 2021

Filed under: Film,Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:06 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Allegedly John Lennon once said that avant-garde was French for shit. Well maybe in some cases that might be true, although not in a Gallic linguistic way of course. I know of many exceptions, notably Sparks, I remember speaking to my cousin about them many years ago and she said they are a bit avant-garde, but she meant in the true sense of the phrase. Avant-garde describes “experimental or innovative art or design, or the group of people who make them and push the envelope in their field” and for me that sums up what Sparks are and have always been, true avant-garde and definitely not shit! Sparks, for me, are the kind of musicians that kind of disappear for a while and then when they make a return it is always worth checking out what they are doing. It is now 47 years since their first major hit, “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us”. Since their first in 1971 they have released 26 albums, and apart from, perhaps, 1997’s ‘Plagiarism’ there have been no duds and some absolute crackers. “Kimono My House’ (1974), ‘No. 1 in Heaven’ (1979) and ‘Lil’ Beethoven’ (2002) are my favourites, what are yours.

An act who have been around as long as Ron and Russell Mael deserve further exploration and investigation and Director Edgar Wright’s wonderful new documentary film does exactly that. I saw it at the cinema recently and I was totally captivated for the full 140 minutes. Along with some great historical TV and live concert footage what I really love about it is the ongoing interviewing and narration from the brothers Mael. On top of that there are great insights from fans from Steve Jones to Franz Ferdinand via Duran Duran and many more. I will go so far as to say this is one of the best music documentaries I have ever seen and I think most music fans will enjoy even if they don’t consider themselves Sparks fans. It is a really refreshingly honest film, at times brutally so which shows Ron and Russell as outstanding human beings and obviously magnificent and massive musical talents. Of all the “out there” and envelope pushing duos such as Soft Cell and the Pet Shop Boys, let’s be honest without Sparks they probably wouldn’t have happened in such a huge way! Get yourself to your local cinema and check this film out, you will not be disappointed!

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Heartsink – Fulford Arms, York – Sunday 8th August 2021 August 10, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:14 pm
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After such a long period deprived of gigs thanks to Covid this was my second in three days. I have listened a lot to Heartsink, but this was to be the first time that I saw them live, in the headline slot too. But more of them later, there were also three fine support acts. The evening kicked off with Friday Night Lights, to me they are pop punk with a much heavier and classic punk undercurrent. They have some great songs and the shared lead/ counterpoint vocals add real depth. My one small criticism is that they felt a little under rehearsed. But to be fair that is probably the case for many bands after the last 18 months we have lived through. I bought their CD, for a quid, now that is a bargain. On top of that the CD has some cracking tunes too.

Friday Night Lights

Next up were Covent, the name means Church or Monastery apparently. This lot are very heavy with an added dash of prog rock thrown into the mix. The lead singe has a brilliantly gruff vocal which conveys emotion really well. The drummer could give Animal (from the Muppets) and Keith Moon a run for their money. The break down on “Colour Drain” shows a softer, more soulful side to Covent. They also win the evenings best beard award which I award to the bass player in honour of the late, great Dusty Hill.

Covent

Shark Bait from Leeds were next and what a supremely tight band they are. Some amazing songs with a heavy take on kitchen sink dramas in the lyrics. “Drip”, about a leak in a crap house they shared in Doncaster, is a particularly good example of this. The front man/ lead vocalist is clearly also a great entertainer who really understands the crowd. The cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” was an inspired and exceptional choice of a cover. It was everything a cover version should be, very different and not just some bland boy band facsimile. The rhythm is an absolute powerhouse, the bass player even makes the full Lemmy pose when playing. How the fuck have I not come across this band before now?

Finally it was time for Heartsink, playing their first gig since March 2020. Badge this lot as just another pop punk band at your peril. Sure they have a lot of pop punk elements but they are so much broader and deeper than that. The acoustic tune was very special. This band has definitely not reached their peak but they are clearly on a very fast trajectory to get there. It is seeing bands like this, who are clearly having fun, which makes me realise how much I have missed gigs during these awful Covid times. All the bands on the bill tonight were very god and some were very tough acts to follow. But I reckon Heartsink smashed it, although Shark Bait were a very close second.

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Tommyrot – York Vaults – York – Friday 6th August 2021 August 9, 2021


This was my first proper non-seated gig for 18 months and it felt great, a little weird, but great nonetheless. First on stage were Where’s Slater? These guys formed while at York University and on their social media they say that they “could be defined as a band, we prefer ‘search party'”. Personally I reckon they are a good band, I have no evidence to say how good a search party they are though. Although I think they were missing two band members so maybe they aren’t ready to be a search party just yet. Anyway they played a barnstorming set the forefront of which was the great vocals from their singer who has a touch of Kurt Cobain spliced with a pinch of Jim Morrison. They did some great covers including Nirvana and Queens Of The Stone Age. But the highlight for me was their quirky and brilliant cover of XTC’s “Making Plans For Nigel”.

Where’s Slater?

Unfortunately YouVee were unable to make it so their last minute stand in was Leeds band Flat Moon. The hit the stage like they owned it. The drummer is one of the finest that I have heard in a long while. That added to booming and choppy bass and Billy Whizz funky guitar made a sound like Parliament/ Funkadelic fronted by Nile Rogers but with a deep rock vibe. Their cover of the James Brown classic “Sex Machine” was off the scale and through the stratosphere. I loved the way they had so much fun with it, even changing it briefly to a funky love song about a washing machine! One of their own compositions, “Demise” I think was late night jazz club in style, and my good mate Eddie Parkinson remarked that the band could do a great take on the theme tune to any Pink Panther remake. Their Hendrix cover was hard heavy and oozed funky blues. So if George Clinton had P-Funk I reckon Flat Moon have F-Punk with their funk sounds supported by a punk attitude. I am now a huge Flat Moon fan!

Flat Moon

Pleasure Centre from Sacrbados were next and at the start I thought they sounded a bit proggy, but I mean that in a good way. I think the band have great potential but I don’t think they are quite there yet, not for me at least. The guitarist and the drummer are extremely bloody good at what they do. I felt the vocals were mixed a little low down tonight, which was a shame as it felt like the singer had a good voice, which was more apparent standing near the stage. and I need to explore some of the bands recorded output to get a better feel for them. I mentioned Prog earlier but maybe they are a bit shoegazey too. A hard band to put into a specific genre box.

Pleasure Centre

Finally it was time for Tommyrot who formed while at the Access Creative College in York. I have reviewed a few of their singles before and everyone of them has been great. They are a truly eclectic band who looked like they were having great fun while they were on stage. I once described them as “Weird, wacky, wayward, waggish, witty, wonky, whimsical, wonderfully eclectic, stylistic nut jobs” and having finally seen them live I stand by every word of that. They transfer their recorded work to the live environment incredibly well. The highlight for me was my favourite Tommyrot song “Drugs”, even if you don’t do drugs you need to do that song and you need to become a Tommyrot fan!

Tommyrot
Drummer Rhys focussing really hard while hand writing the Tommyrot set lists!

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The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – August 2021 (and July 2021) August 8, 2021

Filed under: Mayhem Top 20 Chart — justwilliam1959 @ 11:30 pm
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In the first post in this series I told you that in January I discovered a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I am now supposedly 90% more obscure than other users, while I will take that it has dropped from 91% since June! It also lists my most obscure artists, which currently are

Woke Up Dead

Promethium

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

Penfriend

Stackridge

So who were the top artists for July (9th) and August (1st)? Check the full lists below, but I can reveal that the Eagles were top in July and no surprise, David Bowie was back on top in August. There are a few new artists in there but also plenty of classic acts. It would be fair to say that as I share this Spotify account with my wonderful wife Catherine (a.k.a. Catwoman) a few artists finished much higher than they might have done if they were only my choices 🙂 Notably Julia Fordham and Neil Diamond.

Mayhem’s Top 20 Artists on Spotify (July 9th 2021)

Eagles
Julia Fordham
Biffy Clyro
Paul Weller
Liz Phair
Neil Young
Little Feat
Avalanche Party
Jackson Browne
Sunflower Thieves
George Michael
Alice Simmons
Children Of Zeus
James Brown
Detroit Cobras
Billy Paul
Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes
O’Jays
Eels
Delilah Bon

Mayhem’s Top 20 Artists on Spotify (August 1st 2021)

David Bowie
Neil Diamond
Beatles
Linda Ronstadt
Paul Simon
Paul Weller
Curtis Mayfield
Durand Jones and the Indications
Marvin Gaye
Rod Stewart
David Essex
Sunflower Thieves
Temptations
Jackson Browne
Queen
Sex Pistols
Rolling Stones
Tavares
Stackridge
Dave

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