With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Live At Leeds – Saturday 5th May 2018 May 8, 2018


I had the delightful experience of reviewing this years Live At Leeds as a part of the Modern Record team with ace photographer Laura Toomer. How the hell did we get to see so many acts? You can read my review and take a look at some of Laura’s excellent pictures by clicking here. But don’t just leave it at that, stick around and take a look at some of the other funky stuff on the Modern Record site. Finally a very large thank you to the Modern Record family for lining this up.

 

Northern Radar – 10 New Tracks March 2018 April 8, 2018


Click here to read my take on Northern Radar’s 10 new tracks from a few days back. Thank you to Rockin’ Mr P at Northern Radar for giving me the chance to say my piece on these fine tunes! I have added videos for a few of the ten just to tickle and tantalise your ear buds.

 

Avalanche Party – Fulford Arms, York – Saturday 30th December 2017 December 31, 2017


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What could be more fitting for my last gig of 2017 than an evening in the presence of one of the finest British bands of their generation Avalanche Party. They get better every time I see them, so did they improve yet again? Well you will have to read on to discover that. This show was the 100th that has been put together by those lovely folk at Behind The White Door and in addition to Avalanche Party they booked some proper humdingers.

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It all kicked off with one of the best young bands in York, the Black Lagoons. This is the third time that I have seen them and so far they have never failed to impress me. The fashion influence on some of the band is very rockabilly style. But this is not who they are musically. There is a tiny bit of that genre, there is a hint of prog and there is definitely a psych vibe going on. Can I narrow that down to maybe Psychabilly? But labelling bands is ultimately futile isn’t it? Unless that label is along the lines of good or bad and the Black Lagoons are bloody good. Link Wray would be proud of the lead guitarist and the rhythm section is akin to the Who’s powerful engine room of Moon and Entwistle. I think the band could interact with the audience a bit more, but that is easily fixed. If you get the chance to see them, then take it!

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The audience gets a Nosebleed!

Next up were Nosebleed from Leeds who gave us a full on punky garage onslaught. This trio may well have taken their stage wear style from the Hives and they are just as entertaining. They milked their audience invasion opportunities really well and their sound came across like Steve Jones in his Sex Pistols days multi tracking. Stand too close to the speakers with this lot and you might well get a Nosebleed. They are a well oiled and rehearsed band that seemed to enjoy every moment of their time on stage (or in the audience)!

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The Snakerattlers are Naomi and Dan who are also the funky, punky people who run Behind The White Door. A hard rocking duo with a boy and girl in the line up might often be compared with the White Stripes, but don’t. They are so very different. Their fast paced punk styled songs smack you in the face until you submit to their Snakerattler charms. I would love to know how Naomi got so much noise from just two drums and a cymbal. Dan’s guitar skills are well honed and powerful. I must confess that I didn’t really like their first tune but the rest of their set was stunning. They have a new album coming out in 2018 and I can hardly wait to hear it. Feel free to send me a copy for review guys! 🙂

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So now for the headliners, Avalanche Party were they better than the last time I saw them, well of course they were. This is now the seventh time that I have seem them live. In fact there are only two acts that I have seen more often; David Bowie (10 times) and Frank Turner (11 times). The band kicked off with a barnstorming “I’m So Wet” and never let up until they blew the roof off with an explosive and bombastic “Solid Gold” to close their set. Other highlights were “Let’s Get Together” and a new song, “Heaven’s Creatures” given its first ever live outing. Jordan Bell is now without doubt a seasoned crowd surfer and this along with his invading the crowd with mic stand guitar just adds to the showmanship that this band have developed over the past few years. The Yorkshire Post named Avalanche Party’s set at the Kazoopa Festival in Leeds as their gig of the year and no wonder. The show tonight was full on pomp, spectacle and exactly what great rock n roll should be. If you haven’t seen this band yet then why not? I order you to see them in 2018 and if you don’t then I will need a note from your parents telling me why!

Public Service Announcement – all the pictures, apart from the gig poster, were taken by my mobile phone (hence the poor quality!). The videos are all found via YouTube.

 

 

“I’m So Wet” – Avalanche Party May 27, 2017


Regular readers will have seen me write often about Avalanche Party. Well here’s a bit more while this talented band are strutting their stuff and pumping out their rocking tunes all across Europe at the moment. Very successfully too by all accounts! One song that they will be playing at a gig near you soon will be “I’m So Wet”. It is a mighty powerful slab of soft to loud noise with a total psych crescendo as it heads to it’s end. It has melody, it has great lyrics it has a band that know their stuff and it will grab you by the short and curlies until it is over. Jordan’s vocal is immaculate and Kane’s drumming evokes the spirit of John Bonham.

You will be physically and mentally drained by the time the song has finished, but in a really good way. Personally I reckon that it is their greatest song to date and it deserves your attention. Download it, stream it on Spotify (other streaming services are available), click here to check it out on Soundcloud, but whatever you do listen to it. I will be very, very disappointed if you don’t

 

Avalanche Party, Black Lagoons, Unqualified Nurse Band, Moriacana – Fulford Arms, York, Thursday 2nd March 2017 March 3, 2017


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This was another fantastic line up and a great night presented by Behind The White Door at one of York‘s best gig venues. Yes another power packed show at the Fulford Arms. It was remarkably a free entry gig, but like others I did contribute to the band collection and bought some merch too. It was also great to catch up with good friends and gig veterans Mike Harrison and Simon Pattinson. Anyway it was one of the north east’s if the UK’s finest bands Avalanche Party that brought me out on a damp March night. In fact this was the sixth time I have seen them. But more of them later. The show kicked off with Moriacana who in my experience are possibly one of the loudest two piece bands I have ever seen. But this very talented drummer and guitarist/ vocalist aren’t just all about loudness. The noise that they make is grungy heaven. I am sure that this York band will be compared with the likes of ..And The Hangnails, Royal Blood and other similarly set up two pieces, however while that is all well and good it should be noted that Moriacana also bring their own uniqueness to the party.

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Next up was the rather interestingly named Unqualified Nurse Band all the way from Derby. They can do punk, they can do heavy, they can do grunge, they can do quiet loud quiet (Ă  la Pixies) and they can even do some slowed down more intimate moments. Actually is there much that they can’t do? I don’t know, they certainly gave us a pulsing and thrilling set which was mildly reminiscent of the magnificent Biffy Clyro. I bought their EP and I have been playing it in the car today. Definitely a band to watch out for. The third band to take the stage were one of York’s finest young bands, the Black Lagoons. I have seen them once before just over a year ago and they were damned good then. Are they still damned good? Actually no they’re not ………… they are even better than damned good! they play a fuzzy, swampy and at times proggy take on garage rock. They do it with style and stage presence. The drummer sounds like a young John Bonham and I can only imagine that the Black Lagoons will continue to grow. Being local they also brought along quite a sizeable fan base. It was a shame that some of them left before the headliners.

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Actually if you’re a fan of the Black Lagoons then I am sure that you do or will love the head honchos from tonight’s gig. Yes it was a triumphant return to York for the mighty, majestic and magnificent machine that is Avalanche Party. Jordan Bell stalks the stage like Jim Morrison with a mastery of that menacing, hypnotic stare. His vocals ooze classy and classic rock be it psychedelic, punk or anything in between. The bedrock of the band is the awesome rhythm section of Joe Bell and his thunderous bass and Kane Waterfield who pounds his kit to death every set. Overlay that with the sublime and psychy lead guitar of Jared Thorpe and let’s not forget some excellent sweeping keyboard sounds from Glen Adkins. It was yet another stunning set from a great band who I first saw back in August 2014. My favourite songs of the night were “Money” and “Let’s Get Together”. With an appearance at Leeds and Reading festivals last year I feel sure that Avalanche Party have the potential to really make it big. If you haven’t seen Avalanche Party yet then where the bloody hell have you been? Get out from under that stone and seek them out, you will not be disappointed!

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Public Service Announcement – the Avalanche Party pictures were taken on my phone, all the other pictures and videos are courtesy of that wonderful t’interweb!

 

Leeds Festival 2016 Day 3 – Sunday 28th August September 1, 2016


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Going to hit Mud City – yaaaay! It was a later start than the previous two days, my old bones are suffering from walking through gallons of thick, cloggy mud, In fact part of me wanted to stay home today, but I really didn’t want to miss Avalanche Party. The good news is that I was able to blag my way into guest parking. So sometimes looking old, well-worn and grizzled is a good thing, right? As I walked onto the festival site plenty of kids were leaving saying that they couldn’t face another night camping in the mud. I can’t say I blame them.

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I went to the Main Stage first just after stopping off for some excellent festival food, a fish finger sandwich! British band Skindred were just about to come on stage as I arrived. You really have to admire a band that enters the stage to a kind of dance mix of the Imperial March from Star Wars. Skindred? Wow what can I say? This is a really hard-hitting Stupendous band. Think Rage Against The Machine, the Prodigy, Metal, dub, toasting and humour. This lot knows how to rock hard and how to entertain. The frontman is among the best that I have ever seen. Then of course there is the Newport Helicopter……..wait for it bitches! You really need to check this band out if you haven’t already. After that it was off to the BBC Introducing Stage for Tiny Giant. There is nothing tiny about their sound, it’s gigantic. Imagine a cross between Kate Bush and Lene Lovich fronting a powerful indie pop band. That is kind of what Tiny Giant seemed like to me.

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Now it was time for the big event of the day, Avalanche Party on the BBC Introducing Stage. This is a big deal from this superb north-east band (they played the same stage at Reading the previous day). Regular readers will know that I am a big fan of Avalanche Party and that I have seen them quite a few times. But one question I have is how can a band get better every time you see them? Well if they’re Avalanche Party they can and they do. This lot doesn’t play at being a rock band, they ARE a rock band!Punk, psych and everything in between is what they deliver. Front man Jordan Bell stalks the stage like he owns it (and in effect he does). He comes across as the bastard son of Jarvis Cocker and Jim Morrison with one of the most piercing stares in music today. Without doubt Avalanche Party smashed Leeds. If you were here and had never seen them before then you must be a fan now, otherwise I fear for your mental health and your taste! Festival organisers can we have them on one of the other stages next year please? I would also like to give a special shout out to some of the folks who travelled from Avalanche Party’s home town in a minibus, especially Debbie Hutchinson, Emma and Danjo. Lovely people and great fans of the band.

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Well that was really all I was at the festival for on Sunday, but I persevered a little longer in the mud. I turned up at the NME/ Radio 1 tent next for Netsky. This is yet another dance act (ok I am being somewhat curmudgeonly about dance acts at this festival, but it’s just my opinion folks). Netsky in my opinion is a dance act emanating from a lineage that stretches back to rave, the Prodigy, Pendulum and Chase & Status. Obviously talented and skilled, but for me, well it feels like I’ve heard it all before.

Back to the Main Stage again next for the supreme festival good time party band the Eagles Of Death Metal. I must confess that I had forgotten just how good this band are. Jesse Hughes is yet another magnificent front,am and there have been some brilliant ones today. As an extra bonus their cover of David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” was ace. In fact I forgot to mention Fall Out Boy’s little Bowie tribute in my day 1 post, that was a nice touch.

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Next it was Jack Garratt on the NME/ Radio 1 stage. Jack arrived via the BBC Introducing route a couple of years back (as did Everything Everything). There is a lot of what the BBC does that I really don’t like, but what they do with the BBC Introducing set up is simply first class. Jack is a fantastically talented singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist. The last time I saw him play he was very nervous, but now, with an excellent first album under his belt he oozes confidence. He is also clearly enjoying himself too. He smiled through the whole set like a kid let loose in a sweet shop. It really is hard not to like this guy.

After this I am afraid that I wimped out somewhat. I was knackered and mud fatigued. I decided to head on home to my beautiful wife Catwoman (a.k.a. Catherine). I had planned to stick around for Imagine Dragons and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers on the Main Stage so I ought to apologise to those two magnificent bands. Anyway having aqua-planed out of the car park just behind a car being towed out by a tractor it felt to me like I had made the right decision. So after all those Reading visits how was my first Leeds Festival? Well apart from the mud it was magnificent. I will be back here next year although it does leave me tinged with sadness to be finally saying goodbye to the Reading Festival, Leeds is every bit as good and in fact in many areas it is better. In particular that it is a more compact site and that the Main Stage is at the bottom of a slope which means even those of us who aren’t super tall can see quite well from a distance! I would love to hear your experiences of this years Reading and Leeds Festivals.

These boots were made for walking, walking in the mud!

 

 

Black Lagoons, Broken Skulls, Mall Rats & Blind Eye – The Crescent, York – Friday 22nd January 2016 January 23, 2016


I once again had the pleasure of attending a gig set up by the fabulous Northern Radar a.k.a Simon Pattinson. It was at the Crescent in York a new community venue that I have not been to before. As usual with Simon’s shows the quality was top-notch. I have been to many gigs arranged by Simon and so far there has not been a bad one. No pressure for next time then Simon! Tonight’s bill featured two bands that I have seen before and two that were new to me. Incidentally it was great to catch up with Jordan Bell off of Avalanche Party, Mike Harrison, Joe Alexander and obviously Mr Pattinson himself.

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The proceedings were kicked off by the majestic power trio known as Blind Eye who I have seen before, the boys were fresh from recording their EP at a studio in Manchester. They gave us a couple of new songs that in a few years I am sure will be seen as Blind Eye classics; “Stained Glass Windows” and “Vultures”. Along with some of their older songs they also performed one of their customary covers, this time it was a thunderous run through of the Beatles classic “Come Together”. They even managed to incorporate a few lines of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” into the song. This band is truly fucking awesome, their EP I am sure will be off the scale good.

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OK now I want you to imagine a band that is a cross between the Velvet Underground with all of Andy Warhol’s arty-farty stuff removed and then crossed with Nirvana. Can you picture that? Good now think of that band’s drummer being a reincarnated John Bonham (not because they look the same but that they share the same pounding power. Do you have the picture in your mind? Can you imagine the sound that such a band would make? Excellent because that band Ladies and Gentlemen is the Mall Rats. A brilliant band whose closing song “Plunge Pool” was one of the most moshtastic of the whole evening.

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The third act on tonight was another York band that I have seen before, the truly stupendous Broken Skulls. These two brothers come across like the Kings Of Leon genetically spliced with Royal Blood and then injected with a massive testosterone booster. How can two people make such a loud but beautiful noise? I really don’t know but they do. Maybe we need to ask them how they do it. Anyway it would be fair to say that they really owned the stage during their set.

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I have not had the pleasure of witnessing a show by the Black Lagoons before tonight so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Even more so when I cast my eyes on the band for the first time. The majority of them have probably never seen a razor. Not because they are hirsute with resplendent facial hair but because I don’t believe that some of them have started shaving yet. But don’t let that put you off, for whatever age they are, and frankly I don’t care, they are a stunning live act. What do they sound like? That is a difficult question to answer, but it is almost as though they have invented a new genre of music which I will call Prog Punk (or possibly Punk Prog). These lads can only get better in my opinion and they are very damned good already. I tried to imagine the Queens Of The Stone Age as a school band and that captured a degree of what the Black Lagoons are. On top of that they have a reborn Keith Moon on drums and the coolest, most serious faced bass player since John Entwistle. I recommend that you check out all of tonight’s bands. No wait I don’t recommend that you do it, I order you to do it!

Public Service announcement all the pictures were taken by me and the videos are courtesy of YouTube. However I couldn’t find a Mall Rats video, so if you can send me the link to one then feel free to do so 🙂

 

 

 
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