With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

The WJAHOM Interview Podcast – Alice Simmons July 9, 2021

Filed under: Podcast — justwilliam1959 @ 11:12 pm
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A short while ago I had the pleasure of interviewing the supremely talented singer songwriter Alice Simmons, who in my opinion has a great future ahead of her! Alice talks about her musical influences, songwriting, ambient folk, driving a taxi and collecting bus tickets!

Click here listen to the interview, I certainly had a lot of fun doing it and I hope that Alice enjoyed it too. My dog Ziggy crashed the interview and really enjoyed meeting Alice 🙂

If you want to listen to any of the other interviews in this podcast series steer your mouse over here and click!

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The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – June 2021 June 25, 2021


Back in January I discovered a site call Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I am supposedly 91% more obscure than other users, I’ll take that! It also lists my most obscure artists, which are currently

Woke Up Dead

Alice Simmons

Promethium

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

Avalanche Party

It really shows me that I do have eclectic taste. But the thing I love most about it is that roughly every month it tells you who your top artists are for that period based on your Spotify listening habits. So I simply had to start publishing a monthly With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Top 20. I’ll kick off with June. Scroll down to the bottom and you will see all the rest of this years charts! No surprise that David Bowie has been top three times but five other artists have held the top spot too; The Avalanches, Millie Manders and the ShutUp, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Saint Agnes and this month it is the supremely talented Delilah Bon!

Mayhem’s Top 20 Artists on Spotify (June 15th 2021)

1 Delilah Bon
2 Penfriend
3 David Bowie
4 Beatles
5 Simon & Garfunkel
6 Norah Jones
7 Beck
8 Carole King
9 Wolf Alice
10 Twenty One Pilots
11 Kate Bush
12 Babii
13 Liz Phair
14 Avalanche Party
15 Sam Cooke
16 James Brown
17 The Howl and the Hum
18 Biig Piig
19 Children Of Zeus
20 Lachlan

 03 January 202127 January 202118 February 202112 March 202104 April 202126 April 202120 May 2021
1AvalanchesMillie Manders & The Shut UpDavid BowieBob Marley & The WailersSaint AgnesDavid BowieDavid Bowie
2CarpentersBeatlesRadioheadPentastoneEstereElton JohnApollo Junction
3London Symphony OrchestraYusuf/ Cat StevensMink DevillePale WavesBeatlesBeatlesAmy Winehouse
4Los Angeles PhilharmonicPink FloydCall Me MalcolmArchitectsCarole KingBilly JoelRumer
5Jones GirlsEaglesTemptationsPaul WellerSheryl CrowCarole KingRag N Bone Man
6Taylor SwiftEvie SandsDenise SherwoodDavid BowieNormandieSnutsElivis Presley
7Jean CarnRumerCelesteDusty SpringfieldBobby WomackMeatLoafStevie Wonder
8Steely DanJackson BrowneMarvin GayeKate BushCaptain SkaBullBetty Wright
9Norman ConnorsDavid BowieWeezerBiffy ClyroFrank ZappaDr Buzzard’s Original Savannah BandKristina Train
10George MichaelBobbie GentryAmy WinehouseBunny WailerArctic MonkeysShowaddywaddyBilly Joel 
11Sing Sing RabbitHarry StylesPale WavesU-RoyMillie JacksonKid Creole & The CoconutsPaul Weller
12David BowieJoni MitchellIsley BrothersKaty J PearsonJoni MitchellLinda RonstadtFour Tops
13Paul McCartneyDusty SpringfieldStevie WonderAvalanchesBob DylanShaNaNaSam Cooke
14WhamKLFDiana Ross & The SupremesBring Me The HorizonTender CentralBeach BoysEnter Shikari
15New OrderArctic MonkeysMartha Reeves & The VandellasSweetNick CaveDolly PartonMeatLoaf
16Elton JohnJim CroceDenise JohnsonT RexGary NumanElvis PresleyCarly Simon
17Elvis PresleyEminemEstereStackridgeDr Buzzard’s Original Savannah BandSupremesLadysmith Black Mambazo
18Bing CrosbyPaul SimonGAYLIPSNick CaveBohannnonQueenLift
19Stevie WonderJazmine SullivanSweetNot Now NormanKid Creole & The CoconutsCreedence Clearwater RevivalHoly Fuck
20Uriah HeepWingsT RexThin LizzyAmerican West OrchestraT RexJohnny Nash

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Alice Simmons and Zak Ford – Songs Under Skies – National Centre For Early Music (NCEM), York – Tuesday 15th June 2021 June 22, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:36 pm
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This was show 4 of 5 of the second series of Songs Under Skies (the last was September 2020) in the grounds of the iconic York venue the National Centre For Early Music (NCEM). Tonight it was the turn of some musical talent that help showcase just what a wonderful hotbed of music York actually is. First to take the tiny stage was Zak Ford who has featured on this blog before as a solo artist and also as vocalist for This House Is Haunted. This was apparently his first gig in two years thanks to Covid. His first song, which I think was called “Use A Light” was very Jeff Buckleyesque in style and delivery. On his next song he unleashed some sublime guitar work which was reminiscent of Jonny Greenwood in one of his more mellow moments. I love “Healing Place”, it is a yearning, proto ballad with an underlying happy vibe. One of my favourite Zak Ford songs is “My Body” and tonight’s rendition maintained the songs haunting beauty. Zak did Bon Iver proud with a sublime cover of “Hey Ma”. Like many musicians Zak has continued to write and he played us a lovely tune called “Hopes And Fears” which he wrote in a very positive frame of mind during the first lockdown last year. I am looking forward to seeing Zak play live again, either solo or as a part of This House Is Haunted.

Next up is another artist who has been featured in these pages before, Alice Simmons. A very talented singer songwriter and performer who I believe has the talent and potential to go a long way. I spoke to Alice earlier in the evening and understandably she was nervous, as almost every artist probably is after a year or more of not being able to perform. But on stage there was not even a hint of nerves from Alice as she glided through a wonderful set with support from the guitar maestro known as Tim Downie. “Bridges” is a plaintive ballad over which Alice’s smoky vocal glides over the tune like a banished angel seeking a return to heaven. Next up was a stunning cover of James Brown’s “It’s Man’s Man’s World” which in the hands of a female vocalist transforms into a feminist anthem. Alice was on top form for this, she has a Winehouse sized talent. She readily admits that she writes mostly sad songs and maybe there is some truth in that, but when they have the depth and quality of the sublime, lilting ballad “State Of Mind” I don’t really mind at all. But for all the sad songs Alice is most definitely a happy person. Alice ran through a great cover of Paolo Nutini’s “Candy”, a song I must confess that I am not very familiar with, but she made it her own. Perhaps my favourite of Alice’s original songs is “Black Coffee”, it has depression, desolation and despair, proving again that she does write sad songs, but oh so very well. She closed her set with an inspired choice of cover, the 25 year old Blackstreet smash “No Diggity”. Alice performed the song like it was made for her, but the real star for this finale was the incredibly funky acoustic guitar sounds from Tim Downie. I recommend you explore both of tonights incredibly talented artists further, you will not be disappointed!

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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2020 Part 6 June 4, 2020


Into the sixth month of 2020 and here is our sixth singles round-up of the year so far and this one features six tunes, wait a minute that says 666 right? Quite appropriate for this year maybe. So to take your mind of this utterly shit year take a listen to these corkers, I love them and I think you will too.

These six tracks feature another eclectic mix of bands and singers from London, York, Essex, Wakefield, and Spennymoor. All of these acts are new to With Just A Hint Of Mayhem and I reckon they will all feature again sometime in the future. Get on them now!

Jamws

“Playing For Keeps”Jamws

“Playing For Keeps” is the first track to be released from South London’s multi-instrumentalist Jamws EP ‘Toronto’. It is a languid, leisurely funk work out which makes me think of George Michael fronting a 70s US funk band. It has a positively blissful vibe and if the quality of the EP is as good as this track, then I strongly advise you to get hold of it when it hits the world on 19th June! If you are feeling down the “Playing For Keeps” is the perfect tonic to pick you up.

“State Of Mind”Alice Simmons

Alice is a young singer-songwriter from my adopted city of York. “State Of Mind” is her new single and it has an ethereal, haunting melody that hooks into your psyche so easily. It has a really dark feel to it, almost Nick Caveesque, although Alice’s vocal has the feel of an angel struggling with the dark side of its conscience. At times I heard a trace of Tracy Thorn in Alice’s voice. This woman has a latent talent and I urge you to check her out. I am looking forward to more Alice Simmons tunes.

“Deep Sea Dreaming” – Ocean Flaws

Ocean Flaws from Essex have a great name, I love that ambiguous wordplay element to it. But they are more than just a name they are adept at producing perfect slices of electronica driven dance-pop which harks back to the best tunes involving Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode, Yazoo, and Erasure) but with vocals and dance vibes reminiscent of the Beloved. The Oscillate remix of this track would work incredibly well at the tail end of an all-night rave in a disused warehouse. If you are a fan of Apollo Junction then Ocean Flaws might be right up your street!

“Angelina” – Ascendo

A fine riff-laden slab of indie rock from these lads from Wakefield. The song has a feel of early Arctic Monkeys but with a dirtier, more grungey garage rock feel to it. I can imagine this song becoming a live anthem for them, roll on the day when we are allowed to have gigs again. Ascendo are now most definitely on my list of bands to see post-COVID-19.

“Deep Blue Sea” – Noise Noir

This is a rampaging riff-fest scuzzy, heavy, blues sound. Kelly Chard’s voice oozes with passionate power as she takes us through a treatise on living with depression. This is one majestical monolith of fucked up and fuzzed-out rock. Noise Noir deliver the goods better than many contemporaries. Coming off the back of last years “I Don’t Need You” this new song just proves that Noise Noir mean it…..Man!

“Time” – Conrad Ashton

Conrad is a singer-songwriter from Spennymoor in the northeast of England. “Time” runs at a frantic pace powered by a what sounds like a great band but is actually multi-instrumentalist Conrad playing everything! Conrad’s vocals emanate power mixed with an undercurrent of fragility and emotion. For me, there is a seventies vibe to this tune and Conrad’s voice has tonal qualities similar to Chris Norman of Smokie and perhaps a slightly softer take on Noddy Holder too. It is well worth checking out his 2015 album ‘One For The Road’ too. I hope the next one is every bit as good and if “Time” is a good taster it will be.

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