With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music reviews, gig reviews, fun trivia and extra added random stuff!

Mayhem Singles Round Up Part 1 2023 February 15, 2023


It has been way too long since our last singles round-up. So here is the first for 2023, it includes twelve songs that have been passed on to me or recommended during the previous few weeks and months, there are some really classy tracks here. This is quite a Yorkshire-centric list, but I have lived in Yorkshire since 2007, so why not? Let me know what you think of them! You will find a YouTube link to each song in the title and a link to the artists website or Spotify page if you click the artist name. You can also find the link to a Spotify playlist of all these songs by clicking here.

Chu Chi Face” – Madam Misfit

Feeling down? Feeling blue? I know exactly what you need to do! Just listen to “Chu Chi Face” by the frankly incomparable and obscenely talented Madam Misfit. This tune is a 21st Century (or 19th Century) take on the song originally featured in the 60s children’s classic film ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang‘. Madam Misfit does her Electro Swing Thing with it and takes it to another funderful dimension. Watch the video and if you are not smiling by the end of it get your face muscles looked at. The only gripe I have is the dunking of chocolate covered biscuits……why?

Rebound” – Millie Manders and the Shutup

A cracking single from a cracking band, this bigs up their pop-punk chops, a song that needs to be all over the radio!

Green Eyed Ocean Smile” – Honeytrap

This has the feel of a classy chilled 80s synth track with a real 21st Century vibe. For me, this is HoneyTrap’s finest song to date. It was released as a single last year and is now a part of their recently released EP, ‘Fenêtre Forming’

Glue Song” – Beabadoobee

Bea gives us a truly gorgeous love song, which will be perfect for chilling in the garden, the park, or at a festival this summer

The Cvlt Song” – Astrology For Men

This is a band that includes Luca from Vaquelin (more of them later) and it is a soft loud and frankly stupendous metal anthem in waiting.

Scottish Snow” – Pennine Suite

York’s Pennine Suite are back with yet another great single. The way Nick and Louise’s vocals intertwine make this song linger in your head for ages, and I do mean that in a good way. If Bananarama did perfect jangly indie songs, this would be one of them.

By The River” – Apollo Junction

I love bands that produce great music and seem to get better with every release. This bodes incredibly well for album number three from one of Leeds’s finest bands. Instrumentally the band is on fire and Jamie’s vocal pulls out all the stops. This has left me dreaming of the finest alternative 80s hits!

On My Own” – The Kut

Possibly the hookiest, catchiest rock song in ages. I love all the “whoa whoa” backing vocals. Expect to hear your postman whistling this tune! If you love this, and why wouldn’t you, check out the earlier release “Fun When You’re Winning

Social Cyanide” – Vaquelin

Those Vaquelin boys are back with a really bluesy slab of classic rock. It has some softer-sounding moments, but even they have razor-sharp edges. The riffage is ace and can I hear strings low down in the mix or is that treated guitar. Album number two will be something very special indeed!

Hazel Frustration” – Kindelan

This is the latest release from Kindelan, following hot on the heels of the rather splendid, “The Other Side”, these tracks will eventually form an EP. “Hazel Frustration” is a song of relationships and heartbreak, Kindelan styles it in a wonderfully softer modern R & B style. I have been a fan for quite a while and she continues to get better with each release.

Reset” – Wolforna

What a fabulous slice of heavy rock this is, filled with gargantuan riffs and softer moments that evoke the less hard side of Led Zeppelin. The vocals are outstanding.

Fatal Flaw” – Thrillhouse

This opens like a skilful take on peak New Order and moves on to draw on the likes of OMD and Eccho and the Bunnymen. A tremendously good pop scented rock track which is so joyful to listen to.

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Leeds Festival 2022 – A Preview August 14, 2022


I know that right now there is a lot of negativity towards the 1975 after they became last-minute replacements for Rage Against The Machine who have sadly cancelled all their remaining European date, including the Reading and Leeds Festivals. I am not a huge 1975 fan, but give them a break. If you only bought a day ticket to see Rage Against The Machine, go along anyway and check out some of the other great acts that will be taking to the numerous stages. As usual, there are a number of acts that I don’t want to miss and as per usual I am sure some of them will clash meaning that I will have to take the hard decision as to who to choose.

My must-see acts for Friday at Leeds (Sunday at Reading) are Pale Waves on Main Stage East (I am still not sure about that split main stage idea, it doesn’t work for me). Ashnikko and Dylan look good on the Radio 1 Dance Stage. Dylan was exceptionally good at Latitude a few weeks ago. But my headline choice for Friday is easy, Beabadoobee on the Festival Republic Stage.

On Saturday at Leeds (Friday at Reading), I will definitely not be missing Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes on the Main Stage East, the same place I will probably catch Dave’s headline set. I am still not sure about Megan Thee Stallion, but I might be tempted. Meg Ward will be banging on the Radio 1 Dance Stage and I don’t want to miss Cleopatrick, Kid Kapichi, and Fever 333 on the Festival Republic stage.

The Leeds Festival Sunday (Saturday at Reading) lineup looks fantastic. Arctic Monkeys, Wolf Alice, and Fontaines D.C. on the Main Stage East coupled with Bring Me The Horizon, Enter: Shikari and Poppy on Main Stage West. OK, I confess the twin main stages look like they will work on Sunday! On the Radio 1 Dance Stage, Police Car Collective will be very special. As will the Skinner Brothers on the Festival Republic Stage. Obviously across all three days, I will check out the BBC Introducing Stage regularly. I want to get a huge festival music fix once again. Who are you looking forward to most?

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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 – 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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