With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Two Car Family” – Apollo Junction October 14, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:07 pm
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In advance of their forthcoming sophomore album ‘All In’ next month those talented lads of Apollo Junction release a new single, their third in 2021, and it’s another thunderous banger of a tune. It has a thumping, infectious glam rock beat that Don Powell would be proud of and some mostly upbeat positive lyrics. It is song that made me smile and want to dance, especially the chorus which has a solid gold hook. I was lucky enough to hear them play it live recently and this song will be one of the first on their set list for many years. As a harbinger of the new album it suggests that the future for Apollo Junction will be very bright indeed. They have played some huge support slots (Kaiser Chiefs, Pigeon Detectives) this year and a great set at the Isle Of Wight Festival too. Will 2022 be the year the world picks up on this great Leeds band? I bloody hope so. Check the new tune out, it’s released tomorrow, 15th October and get your order in for the new album, just click here and you’re nearly there! Click here to listen to “Two Car Family” on Spotify!

You can still catch them live in 2021, if there are any tickets left;

20th November – Blue Sky Café, Bangor
26th November – Preston Ferret
27th November – Leeds Warehouse
4th December – Jimmys, Liverpool
5th December – Aatma, Manchester
23rd April 2022 – Leeds University

The link to the new tune will appear here over the weekend!

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Apollo Junction – Victoria Vaults, York – Wednesday 8th September 2021 September 17, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 1:31 pm
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This was one of the many Revive Live gigs sponsored by the National Lottery and the Music Venue Trust and it brought the fast rising and magnificent Apollo Junction back to a small intimate venue. But more of the Apollo Junction set later, there was also a rather interesting support slot from York band YouVee. They say that you realise you are getting old when policemen seem so young. But for me it’s when the bands you go and see look like they are barely out of short trousers. But put that youthful appearance aside, because YouVee are bloody good. Musically their first song was like Blur with an added Madchester vibe. Speaking of Blur, YouVee’s guitarist has the potential to be every bit as good as Graham Coxon. “Sunshine State” is an ace song that feels like an epic anthem in waiting. Meanwhile “Gunner” flies like an Arctic Monkeys take on heavy metal. How could you not like the languid, heavy, classy indie rock of “Broken Baby” which will be released as a single later this year. They closed with what was their first release on Spotify, “Ultra Violet” which is a fine slab of heavy indie dance, on which I determined a nifty Prodigy influence. I am looking forward to hearing much more from YouVee!

YouVee

Apollo Junction are definitely among my favourite current bands and these Leeds lads are getting bigger and I believe they will be huge someday. “Sometimes” from the soon to be released new album did everything it could to blow the roof off the venue, a real banger. The crowd were a bit subdued though, is that a post Covid thing? “Light Up The Sky” does exactly what it says on the tin and will prove to be another Apollo Junction epic when it appears on the new album. It has an authentic and truly awesome glam rock feel, especially the drums. Another new tune, “Two Car Family” is a sublime slice of post punk power pop which, rather appropriately, will sound majestic blasting out of your cars stereo. “Born For Now” is one of the bands finest, especially in a live environment. Lead singer Jamie roamed through the audience for most of the track and put on a great vocal performance in this awesome rabble rouser of a tune. Was that a bit of Underworld’s “Born Slippy” that snuck into the song? Current single “When We Grow Up” a great song, is enhanced hugely when played live. Click on the song title to check out the video, I am proud to say that I make a brief appearance in it too. In “This Could Be The Day” they have the perfect remedy for those post Covid blues. They closed the set with three classics, “Always Remember”, “Begin” and “Together”. Apollo Junction proved once again tonight that they are a feel good band that know how to make you feel better. I left the gig with a beaming smile which lasted for ages. If you don’t depart an Apollo Junction show without a smile then I suggest that you seek help!

Apollo Junction

Photos, apart from the gig poster were all taken using my cheap and tacky android phone from China! Videos were all found on YouTube

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“Darkness Falls (Stripped)” – Skylights April 28, 2021


As a boy I was a keen Leeds United supporter, but I was born and grew up in London, so how did that happen? Well this was in the late 60s when they were easily one of the best club sides that had ever existed. I have stuck with them ever since, although maybe not as passionately as back in the olden days. Like many supporters I was incredibly pleased to see the club return to the Premier League this season and even more pleased to see how well they have performed. But wait, this is a music site, why am I babbling on about Leeds United? Well for a few reasons, firstly two of my favourite current bands are huge Leeds United fans, that is Apollo Junction and Skylights. Both have featured here at With Just A Hint Of Mayhem quite a few times.

Today it is the turn, once again of Skylights who recently shared a stark and beautiful stripped down version of their recent single “Darkness Falls”. Leeds Manager Marcelo Bielsa is a big fan of the track and he has written to the boys too tell them. He also appears in the video, well his picture at least! The song works really well in this unplugged style take. Rob Scarisbrick’s vocals ooze with soul and emotion and the gorgeous noise that guitar maestro Turnbull Smith makes with a simple acoustic guitar is incredible. This for me is the mark of a great song in that it works well in many guises from full production to sparse and stripped back. While we are waiting for the Skylights debut album can we have a Stripped EP please?

Click here or below to check out the video of the track on Twitter, currently the only place you can find it.


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“Light Up The Sky” -Apollo Junction April 5, 2021


The Saturn V rocket which launched all the Apollo missions in the 60s and 70s generated 7.6 million pounds (34.5 million newtons) of thrust at launch and it could launch about 130 tons (118,000 kilograms) into Earth orbit. That is heavy and now a band that shares part of their name with those Moon missions is about to release their heaviest single yet! I am talking about the new tune from one of Leeds finest bands, Apollo Junction who unleash their new song “Light Up The Sky” on the world this coming Friday, 9th April. It is a full on glam stomper with funky metal overtones, however they still maintain their signature electro sound within it too. On the evidence of this and all the singles released since their 2019 debut album ‘Mystery’ they will certainly overcome that “difficult second album” conundrum. Album number two, will, I suspect be even better than the first. “Light Up The Sky” has almost immediately become my favourite Apollo Junction tune!

The band describe “Light Up The Sky” as “an anthem about the need for togetherness in darker times. It’s the song
that we have aimed to write since the day we formed Apollo Junction and is a great representation of the big sound of our second album”
. Well I agree that it is anthemic and not just a big sound, but a monumentally huge sound. As we slowly move out of the dark cloud of Covid there are an increasing number of chances to see the boys play live in 2021, including Carfest North and Carfest South, Bingley Weekender, Isle Of Wight Festival and supporting the Kaiser Chiefs at the Halifax Piece Hall to name just a few. If this band is not stratospherically successful in the next few years I might have to eat my hat! Get them in your life now! When the single is issued later this week I will add a few links for you to get it into your ears! Click here to check out some of their other great tunes on Spotify!

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“Borderlines” – Apollo Junction September 11, 2020


Just like their football heroes Leeds United, Apollo Junction are now in the premier league, the music premier league. After last years great album, ‘Mystery’ each new release just gets better and better. “Borderlines” is fast paced rocker with an 80s U2 vibe that makes you want to move. It is underpinned by a real glam rock drum sound and there is a sublime guitar solo from Matt Wilson which is absolutely to die for. It is accompanied by an atmospheric monochrome video featuring the band and a dancer. Something tells me that after this years previous two singles “Forever” and “Sometimes” and now “Borderlines” the new album will be epic!

Click here to listen to yet another classy tune from Apollo Junction! The video is out tomorrow, I will edit this post to add the link soon!

UPDATE, just a tad late from me, but you can now find the amazing “Borderlines” video below!

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“Sometimes” – Apollo Junction June 18, 2020


Those talented lads of Apollo Junction are about to brighten our musical worlds once again with their new single “Sometimes”. It really is a cracking new song. Sonically it has a feel of U2 and speaking to the band last week they told me they were aiming for a kind of U2 meets New Order vibe, well they have nailed that vibe totally. The lyrics also seem quite deep and personal, but ultimately very positive. The song has a chorus that would compete well with any of the best tunes from the Killers. It has rock, pop and banging hooks. After “Forever” and now this it seems clear that the next Apollo Junction album will be bloody brilliant. No pressure lads!

A long wait, but almost certainly worth it!

I love the video produced and directed by Matthew Walsh and starring Millie Gaston who displays a huge range of emotions. It is so hard to be different with videos these days, but the emotional simplicity in this one grabbed me immediately. Plus you get to see the lyrics too. These boys get better with each release.

Click here to listen to the song on Spotify and check out the excellent video below.

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“Forever” – Apollo Junction May 6, 2020


Those delightful and extremely talented chaps known collectively as Apollo Junction released a new single a couple of weeks ago. It is called “Forever” and it is the first single to be taken from their yet to be released second album. It is close to being a perfect lockdown anthem. It is upbeat, has a happy vibe, and a great singalong hook. I dare you to listen to it and not end up with a smile or singing along. If you do manage to frown and not sing along with this fabulous tune then you probably need to seek help. “Forever” is another leap forward for the band after the success of their first album ‘Mystery’ released at the end of last year.

The song evokes the best of 80s and 90s pop-rock and the kind of songs that many of the best British bands used tow write with ease in their prime; the Kinks, Small Faces, Oasis, Blur, and many more. I love the jangly indie guitars and a bass line that James Jamerson would have been proud of. The song is accompanied by a great video filmed by videographers Yorkshire Folk prior to lockdown. The film features drone footage of many Leeds’ landmarks such as Kirkstall Abbey, Roundhay Park, Headingley Stadium, and obviously, Elland Road. Put Apollo Junction on your list of gigs to see post lockdown, you will not regret it, you may even see me there! Jamie, Matt, Ben, Jonathan and Sam, I will see you on the other side of this!

The pictures were found via Google if one of them is yours and you would like it removed or would like a credit please let me know.

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Apollo Junction (Acoustic) – Vinyl Cafe, York – Friday 21st February 2020 March 2, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:59 pm
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Another intimate gig at the fabulous Vinyl Cafe in York, this time Leeds band Apollo Junction headlined with an acoustic set. But more about them later as there were also a couple of pretty decent support acts. First up was singer-songwriter Toby Burton. He has a rich, almost baritone voice. His songs are story songs, almost exclusively sad stories. Highlights for me were “The Middle” and “Shining”. He has a new single, “All Night Long” out this month. In fact compared to all the other songs in his set this was moderately happy at times. He was also amusingly self-deprecating about his merch, which was CDs. He said that they made good coasters. I felt that I heard shades of another vocalist in his delivery and tone, it took me a while to think of who, but I can sense some Martin Rossiter vibes within Toby’s voice. I would really like to see Toby playing with a full band, I think it will give his songs greater depth and strength.

Next on stage were a band playing only their fourth gig, spookily enough I was at the third gig just the night before. I am talking about Grapefruit Eyes, a band that I can now genuinely say that I have seen 50% of all their gigs so far! Regular readers will know that I am a fan of this band and their previous incarnation, Neon Salmon. The music is built using samples, drum machine sounds, guitar, bass and for this show softer drums. George’s voice gets better every time and sometimes pitches towards Thom Yorke at his finest. Grapefruit Eyes certainly appear a bit more experimental than Neon Salmon. They fuse prog, dance, chill-out, and rock into their musical melting pot and from that they cook up a sound like no other bands around at the moment. They can move from slightly left-field Pink Floyd style to pre-commercial George Benson (around the time of “Breezin'”) in a heartbeat. I can also sense a bit of Edwyn Collins and Orange Juice in their vibe too. This will definitely not be the last time I see Grapefruit Eyes!

Finally, it was time for Apollo Junction to strut their acoustic stuff. I have never seen a five-piece band play this venue, so I was a little concerned as to how they would all fit in, but in the end, they did fit, a looked a bit cosy at times though. Jamie has a great voice that contains passion, soul and power. They did a cracking cover of the Who’s “Substitute” with some moderate audience participation, stronger from those of us who were around when that single was originally released! We had some real full-throated crowd singalong with an epic take on “Always Remember” which included Jamie wandering into the crowd. The band aired some new songs and judging from how they sounded on the night “Are You Happy” and “Time Is Coming Around” show great promise for the next Apollo Junction album. I should also publicly apologise to the band for not getting around to reviewing their first album, ‘Mystery’ when it was released late last year. But let me state categorically that it really is a fucking awesome album that you need to check out! It is full of pulverising (in a good way) choruses and hooks, they take the best of the likes of New Order, Depeche Mode and ABC and make it their own The band’s “In Your Arms” currently soundtracks the BBC’s Football Focus show which is a proper achievement, not every band gets that kind of exposure. This was an amazing set by a truly talented band. Apollo Junction are heading upwards at speed and on the evidence of tonight, they will definitely be going much further!

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap Chinese android phone. Except for the Grapefruit Eyes picture, that was taken by my wife Catherine on her 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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Tom Hingley and the Karpets – Fibbers, York – Saturday 3rd November 2018 November 11, 2018


This night would mark my second opportunity to see the rather brilliant Skylights from York and also serve to remind me of just how old I am. Why the latter? Well I realised that the first time that I ever saw Tom Hingley was at the Reading Festival in 1990 when he was the lead singer of the Inspiral Carpets. They headlined that year and no doubt I also caught a glimpse, without knowing, of their guitar tech; a young Noel Gallagher. That is nearly 30 years ago! Anyway enough of all that reminiscing how about I tell you about this gig at the Crescent? Well first l I should apologise for missing the Feds who were first on the bill. The ticket said 8 p.m. and I got there just before that only to find that the Feds had hit the stage at 7:15. Oh well I will need to catch them another time. The second band on were Apollo Junction from Leeds and they are purveyors of fine, quality pop rock. The audience was not a bad size at this point but everyone was congregated around the two raised spaces leaving the main floor empty. However this did not deter Apollo Junction who had already suffered one setback as their keyboard player, Sam was too unwell to join them. Not only were they not deterred they were positively inspired with three of the band; Jamie, Matt and Ben coming on to the floor to continue their set. Drummer Jonathan was left on his tod on the stage. This is a band with a hell of a future. They are Gareth Bale’s favourite band don’t you know!

Apollo Junction

The immensely talented Skylights were up next to play what is possibly their last show in York for sometime as they will be operating out of Leeds going forward. So did they play like it was their last home town gig for a while? They sure as shit did, they totally owned the audience and shook Fibbers to its core. There is no slow build up with this band they hammer you into submission from the opening bars. They are able to do that for a number of reasons, first their songs are anthemic, memorable and sit in your head after the first listen. Secondly this is one of the tightest bands around. Myles and Jonny on bass and drums  are a powerhouse rhythm section with what seems like an innate ability to achieve perpetual motion. Meanwhile it is in the live setting that you really can appreciate what a latent talent Turnbull has as a guitarist. His riffing and soloing swirls over every song more akin to the contribution of Johnny Marr to the Smiths or Bernard Butler to Suede. Add to that the stylish and very British rock vocals and a stage presence that draws from Liam Gallagher (back in the days when Liam was great) from  front man Rob and you have a potent combination of potential greatness! “YRA” and “What You Are” were most definitely particular highlights for me.

Finally it was time for headline band Tom Hingley and the Karpets. I have been an Inspiral Carpets fan for many years but while I have seen them with and without Tom I had never seen Tom on his own. Mr Hingley’s opening statement was a heartfelt plea or perhaps more like a strict order to “GET TO THE FUCKING FRONT” over the sounds of “Commercial Reign” from 1990, and it worked, everyone moved forward as one. I suspect that everyone in the crowd was glad that they did move as well because that is the place to experience something as marvellous as this. All of the greatest Inspiral Carpets songs were aired; “She Comes In The Fall”, “Dragging Me Down”, “Bitches Brew” and “I Want You”. That last one made me realise how much the world misses Mark E Smith who contributed vocals to the original release. The set would have been incomplete with what is for me the greatest song the Inspiral Carpets ever recorded, “Saturn V”. I gave myself a sore throat singing along to that. There was an excellent cover of “Tainted Love” which was interestingly preceded by a few bars of the Joan Jett/ Arrows hit “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll”. The evening was brought to an emotional close with the emotional roller coaster of “This Is How It Feels”. A quick special mention to bass player Ste Pearce who kindly topped up my plastic wine bottle from his bottle of white wine from the rider. Tom Hingley is a supremely talented performer who knows his audience so very well. I met him briefly at the merch stand after the show where he kindly signed the book and CD that I bought. Based on the show tonight and that brief meeting I reckon Mr Hingley is a top bloke!

Public Service Announcement: – All photographs were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.

 

 

 

 
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