With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

The Big Boss Caine Annual All Star Festive Fundraiser 2019 -The Fulford Arms, York – Friday 13th December 2019 December 22, 2019


The Big Boss Caine Annual All-Star Festive Fundraiser has traditionally been held at the now sadly demised Fibbers in York, but for 2019 and hopefully many years to come it has relocated to the rather fabulous Fulford Arms. A huge thank you to Dan Lucas for putting this on and to everyone at the Fulford Arms who worked tirelessly all night and of course to all the bands taking part. This is the first of these events that I have managed to get along to and I am so glad that I did. This year’s charity was Kitchen for Everyone, York. who provide an amazing service, feeding the homeless and vulnerable in York, and there was also a collection of food and clothing on the night for those in need locally, as part of We Shall Overcome. The total raised at the gig was £522 at handover though there I believe there will be more to add to that from poster sales and whatnot. There was also a Land Rover fully laden with clothes, sleeping bags, hats, gloves, socks, dried food, sanitary/bathroom products, and mucho love! Dan Lucas will be continuing to collect each week at Busk @ Dusk if you fancy getting down there on a Sunday night. The gig was the day after the damaging and disastrous UK General Election which gives Britain its most far-right government in history. I was feeling pretty low about that and I drank an awful lot of wine that night. So before I tell you about the show can I just say sorry to anyone that I might have bored the pants off/ annoyed/ never stopped talking to/ leaned on/ offended (delete as appropriate) and I really hope it wasn’t the latter!

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A massive shout and thanks to the extremely talented Kai West for producing such an incredible poster. I never got around to buying one of the limited edition copies on sale on the night, so if there are any left then I am still interested. Unfortunately the first of the six bands on the bill, French Exits, couldn’t make it. So the event was kicked off in great style by Percy. A York band that regular readers of With Just A Hint Of Mayhem will have noticed a few times before. They are a very left-field prog-punk combo. They are so different and ‘out there’ that they have the power to bring John Peel back to life; Percy would make an amazing collection of classic Peel sessions. The new songs that they showcased on the night are immense and bubble over with venom and anger, especially future classic tune in the making, “Will Of The People”. If you like Magazine, the Fall or even Half Man Half Biscuit you need to check Percy out. But comparisons aside Percy are very much original, so what the hell, check them out whoever you are a fan of they are well worth it! Also a big shout for Percy for being the first band of the evening to shout “Fuck The Tories”, they weren’t the last.

Cowgirl

Cowgirl, a great band that I saw for the first time back in January. If the Stooges had been fronted by Lou Reed and Jonathan Richman then Cowgirl would be the result. Their bluesy, riff-laden, psychedelic, feedback fuelled scuzzy garage rock is at times evocative of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Detroit Cobras. Bizarrely, maybe through some nicely utilised feedback, I was also taken back to 1974 and the first time that I ever heard David Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs’ album via a late-night end to end playthrough on John Peel’s show a week before it’s release. Listening to that in the dark on headphones scared the shit out of me. I believe that Cowgirl might have the same effect in a darkened room. Someone needs to give them the opportunity to soundtrack a British horror film along the lines of ‘Eden Lake’.

Snakerattlers

The Snakerattlers have had a great year; an exhilarating new album, ‘All Heads Will Roll’ and this was their 71st gig of the year. They are now a live force to be reckoned with, a truly amazing live band. Dan’s stage presence is spot on and how the fuck does Naomi make so much noise from such a small drum kit? Their towering psychobilly based sound is ecstatic and energising. The now expected crowd incursions from singer-guitarist Dan Gott are special, not just for his Dick Dalesque guitar work but for his expert gurning and an evil stare that would fit neatly into the British Horror film that I want Cowgirl to soundtrack. Stuck for a Christmas present for your Gran? Get here the Snakerattlers album, it will keep her alive for many more years!

Nosedivers

After more than 20 years one of York’s finest punk bands is back together. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am talking about the Nosedivers. They come on like the snotty young brothers of the Clash with the swagger and poise of the Ramones. Dan Lucas’ vocals are rich, deep and sharp and very different from his Boss Caine work. The Nosedivers energy is off the scale and their anger is channeled into some fiery political comment. Changing the chorus of one song rather cleverly and topically to “Fuck the Tories”. The mountainous riffs and piledriving songs are carved from a punk mountain, on the scale of Mount Olympus but built from pure punk vibes. We need this band to stick around a while longer and I hope that they do. But even if they don’t it was a major blast having them back even for a short while.

Bull

The headliners and the perfect band to close this scintillating salmagundi of a gig was York’s very own Bull. If you know this band you will bloody love them. If you don’t know them yet then what are you waiting for, get on it now! They take the best of the Pixies, the Strokes, the heavier side of R.E.M, the retrospection of Elvis Costello and the pop-rock sensibility of Kurt Cobain and roll it into that unique Bull sound. Bull are supremely talented musicians and they owned the stage and deserved this prestigious headline slot. They are clearly on top of their game and I get the impression that they are still some way from reaching their peak. They are a band with the power to shred the shackles of King Kong. As someone once said, “this lot will just become awesomer and awesomer!” Get rid of the bullshit in your life with Bull!

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my 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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Float Tank #4 – The Arts Barge, York – Tuesday 6th August August 14, 2019


I was lucky enough to spend time in a flotation tank a few years ago and it was an incredible experience. For the uninitiated you float, for an hour in my case, in very salty warm water inside a pod with no light or sound. It is claimed that the relaxation you experience is better than hours of sleep. It sure felt like it and I will definitely do it again. But in the meantime, there was Float Tank #4 an experimental music session brought to us as a part of the Great Yorkshire Fringe 2019. The series started three years ago in the Railway Institute in York, this year Float Tank #4 (the following evening it would be #5) was held on the Arts Barge on the River Ouse at Tower Gardens near Skeldergate Bridge. It was a short show, just one hour, a similar length to the usual flotation tank experience. It began at 10 p.m. and ended at 11. So what exactly was it?

Well it was a very strange gig experience. Imagine, if you will, being at a gig in total darkness and only being able to hear the performers but not see them. Are you imagining that? Trust me the sensory experience goes way beyond what our little minds can imagine. The set began with Sam Griffiths of The Howl And The Hum playing a lounge-style piano take on Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark”, appropriately. Sam was visible for this as it was just background while we took our seats and the last vestiges of light were blocked out. Once we were truly plunged into darkness the fun began with a poem recited, presumably by the poet (apologies, I didn’t get her name). She was backed with some eerie sounds which were mostly keyboard-driven. After that, it was instrumental music which was guitar-based and might have included a number of tape loops. I believe that Kai West of Bull was responsible for much of this. It was a stunning psychedelic ambient drone and at times I was reminded of the sound bite and tape loop psych-out that was “Revolution No. 9” from the Beatles White Album. But however it was composed and performed it was a great sound that fitted the experience perfectly. Like many of us in the audience I completely lost track of time and a few times I tried to get my eyes accustomed to the dark, but it really was Eldritch black. If Float Tank returns next year then I will be first in line!

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Bull, Crybaby, The Sunset Radio & Glass Traps – City Screen Basement, York – Thursday 23rd November 2017 November 25, 2017

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:58 pm
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Four bands for under a tenner at the City Screen Basement in my adopted city of York. Stuff Black Friday this is indeed a bargain given the calibre of the bands on stage at this gig. First up were the Glass Traps and this lot would have fitted perfectly into the post punk environment of the late 70s/ early 80s. I can sense a bit of Tom Verlaine and Television along with a smattering of 60s style psych garage rawness. This young band is very tight and play like they have put in the time rehearsing. Their versatility is strong given that three of them are able to sing lead vocals. A very talented band from York! Click here to hear their excellent new song “No Tomorrow”

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The next band is not one that I had heard before, but I definitely will again, positive proof that York has a thriving music scene with some truly marvellous bands. The Sunset Radio produce excellent power pop and oh so much more. Personally I heard shades of the Jam and the Levellers at times with a nice slice of the Manic Street Preachers. In fact I reckon their lead vocalist could give James Dean Bradfield a good run for his money. They might not look like punks but they project a great punk style and attitude in their music. Introducing some powered up punk snippets of “La Bamba” and “Twist And Shout” into their final song (which I think was called “Burning Up”) was genius!

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Second on the bill were the the magnificent Crybaby. I saw them over a year ago at the Crescent in York. Click here for my review of that gig.Crybaby are yet another stunning band from York. I suspect that I may be guilty of overusing words like punk and punky in this review. But Crybaby are a punky, hard rocking bunch with a dash of the Killers about them. Some of their songs suggest to me what perhaps Oasis might have become had they taken a more heavy approach after their first two albums. A big shout to their drummer too, he is bloody ace. Has he been injected with some of John Bonham’s DNA?

crybaby

Finally it was time for the headliners another of York’s finest bands, the mighty riffmonsters that are Bull. A band that I last saw in 2015, click here for that review. This is a band that everyone needs in their life. At times they appear shambolic, but it is easy to see that they are in fact totally on top of their game. Their gargantuan Godzilla sized sound is built around some stunningly simple yet exquisite songs. Those tunes evoke everyone from the Ramones to Elvis Costello via Nick Lowe and the Pixies. They have moments of quietness that jump to frenzied sonic magnificence. Punk happened back in the 70s to allow the creation and generation of bands like Bull. To summarise, Bull are fucking brilliant!

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Images were ‘borrowed’ from each bands Facebook page and the videoes were found on Youtube.

 

 

La Petite Mort, Bull, Avalanche Party and Asio’s Eyes – The Duchess, York – Friday 31st July 2015 August 1, 2015


Yet another gig recommended by my good friend Simon Pattinson and yet another one that he has got absolutely spot on. I am sure that he might get it wrong one day, but he certainly didn’t this time. It was also good to catch up with Mike Harrison as well. Once again it was a bargain, no more than five quid for four bands. How good is that?

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First up were the magnificent Asio’s Eyes. Imagine Pink Floyd with a lot more punk and funk, perhaps joined by members of the original Parliament/ Funkadelic troupe, a couple of the Damned, add into this the Beatles at their most experimental, are you still with me? Good! Now all you need to do is add a massive dose of psychedelia. Stick all that in the blender, mix it with a few narcotics of some kind and you might well get Asio’s Eyes. Either way I have to say that this band is truly brilliant. It would be fair to say that I have never seen a more psychedelic band (perhaps until later into this gig at least!). I you have never seen them I suggest that you get off your arse and seek them out.

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Next up were a band that regular readers of this blog will be very familiar with, the majestic Avalanche Party. One day I will watch them play and walk away thinking that they were far better the last time I saw them. Today was most definitely not that day! How the fuck does a band manage to get so much better every time I see them? I don’t know the answer to that, you’d better ask the boys in Avalanche Party. They were ably assisted tonight by a very talented guitarist from tonight’s head-liners Le Petit Mort. The old classics like “Mountains” were there along with new classics like “Money”. They played a great new song (apologies guys but I didn’t catch the title) and Jordan made another of his excellent incursions into the audience. If you still haven’t seen the amazing Avalanche Party then you haven’t been listening to me. Listen now and get out and bloody see them. That is an order!

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Bull were on stage next and their membership includes two members of Worm, whose EP launch I saw at the Inkwell in Gillygate a few weeks back. Simon said that he thought that they sounded a little like the Strokes. He might be right but I saw much more than that. I think there are definitely elements of Frank Black and Bob Mould and even the more experimental R.E.M. tracks. A really exciting and punky band. I would definitely pay to see them again and I urge you to do the same. They are very tight with a really crisp sound and their musicianship is exemplary. Check them out now people!

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OK so up until this point Asio’s Eyes were probably the most psychedelic band that I had ever seen. But then came the amazingly bizarre La Petite Mort. When people describe a band or someone as being “out there” I don’t think that they truly grasp what they are saying. But trust me, if there is an “out there” thermometer then La Petite Mort would blow the mercury right out of the top of it. Even if I wanted to say something negative about this band (and I don’t) then I would have to lie. Their playing and their stage presence is something to behold. This is a band that would be perfect for closing the Festival Republic stage at Reading/ Leeds. Are you listening festival organisers. La Petite Mort pull out everything in putting on a show. Guitars, bass and drums obviously. But also saxophone and sitar. On top of that they were joined by members of Asio’s Eyes for a proper bonkers final couple of songs. They finally left the stage after the drums were kicked over and a guitar was hung from one of the lights. If you like your music psychedelic and your bands somewhat mad then La Petite Mort are right up your street. They are definitely on my street and frankly I would go and see them again tomorrow if the opportunity arose. Can I compare them to any other acts or can I slot them into a genre? Nope I don’t think I can. But I can say that they are easily among one of the best bands that I have ever seen!

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Finally it’s the public service announcements. None of the videos were filmed by me (all were available on YouTube) and all of the pictures were taken by me on my Nokia Lumia (can I have a new phone for the shout out please Nokia?). Also I had a chat with Tom, the bass player off of Asio’s Eyes and he is a top bloke. To the boys in Avalanche Party, sorry I didn’t get to spend a bit more time with you and where is my physical copy of the EP? 🙂

 

 
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