With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Stuck” – Bull June 9, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:53 pm
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Bull have stormed back with a splendid new single, “Stuck”. It is perhaps their most danceable tune and frankly, it pushes the psychedelic switch up to 11. Everything about this song is great and the band is on fire. Vocal harmonies are every bit as good as the Beach Boys or the Byrds, the keyboard runs are reminiscent of Ray Manzarek of the Doors. The production is wonderfully over the top as the band plays a whole plethora of instruments and maybe even the kitchen sink! Get STUCK into Bull now!

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York Life Festival 2022 – Saturday 2nd April/ Sunday 3rd April – York City Centre April 11, 2022


On Saturday 2nd April and Sunday 3rd April, the first (and hopefully not the last) York Life Festival took place on Parliament Street in the centre of York. It was free for all residents and visitors and was organised by Make It York. Activities took place for up to ten hours each day and included music, poetry, theatre workshops, instrumental workshops, face painting, comedy, and dance. Sadly I only made it for the last part of the second day but I couldn’t let it go unnoticed by With Just A Hint Of Mayhem. I arrived just after the magnificent Hyde Family Jam finished their set on Sunday. The turnout was pretty big, despite the somewhat chilly temperature. It was nice to see all of York’s fabulous range of music venues getting some good promo with posters and handouts throughout the weekend; The Fulford Arms, the Crescent Community Venue, the Vaults, the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM), York Barbican and Forty Five Vinyl Cafe. The crowd contained a veritable who’s who of anyone who is involved in the York music scene. Firstly three of the key players behind this event were there, obviously, Simon Pattinson (Northern Radar), Chris Sherington (Fulford Arms), and Harkirit Boparai (The Crescent), and I bumped into all of them! As well as meeting many of the band members of the Sunday performers (Trueman and the Indoor League, Bull and the Howl and the Hum) I also ran into Pennine Suite (who had played the previous day), Chloe (Please Remain Calm), Zac (Heartsink and Fulford Arms ace doorman), Andy and Paula (PERCY), Nathan (rock photographer extraordinaire) and many others. The incredibly cold temperature meant that I didn’t take my usual copious notes, however here are my recollections of the three bands that I did see.

First for me were Trueman and the Indoor League. Fronted by the titular Sam Trueman this band gets better every time that I see them. They really put on a show in almost a revue-style akin to the E Street Band. Regular readers will know that I have referred to them as like a pound shop E Street Band, but that was meant as a compliment. With more of the blood, sweat, and tears they put into their performances and some lucky breaks I can see them playing arenas one day. Next up was another fine York band, Bull, who released their wonderful debut album ‘Discover Effortless Living’ last year. As well as selections from that first class platter the band treated us to a few new songs, one of which suggested that Bull have hidden talents as an ace party band! The headliners on Sunday were perhaps York’s greatest band, although there is plenty of competition. I am talking about the Howl and the Hum. They played an amazing set at the iconic Minster last year which is available on most streaming platforms and frankly it is a scale above awesome. Their set was out of this world with the whole band firing on all cylinders. The new tunes bode really well for the sophomore album when it materialises. The highlight for me though was perhaps one of the best songs ever written, “Hostages”. This festival definitely needs to be an annual event going forward, where do we sign up to make that happen? We need to know! Bring on York Life 2023!

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Mayhem’s – Top 20 Albums of 2021 December 1, 2021


I don’t often put together the best albums of the year list, but I do love a good list so here are my favourite albums of 2021. What were yours?

  1. ‘Delilah Bon’ – Delilah Bon – An absolutely sublime, sassy debut from Lauren Tate’s magnificent, impassioned alter ego. This has been my album of the year since I first heard it
  2. ‘Shout Out! To Freedom…’ – Nightmares On Wax The perfect late night chill album that you can listen to anytime
  3. ‘Blue Weekend’ – Wolf AliceAn album that proves Wolf Alice continue to grow and are becoming an iconic British band
  4. ‘All In’ – Apollo JunctionThese Leeds lads smash that difficult sophomore album myth out of the park with a total belter
  5. ‘The Myth of the Happily Ever After’ – Biffy Clyro – Biffy are for me perhaps the best band on the planet right now, yet another great release proves it
  6. ‘Happier Than Ever’ – Billie EilishA fantastically accomplished album from a talent that will be around for a lifetime
  7. ‘The Yearbook’ – Baby QueenNot many bands care as much about their fans as Baby Queen, but they are so much more than caring, they really are a stunning band
  8. ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’ – Lana Del Rey – Probably Lana Del Ray’s best album so far, I loved this after one spin
  9. ‘The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows’ – Damon Albarn – Uber polymath Mr Albarn proves once again how wide ranging his abundant talent stretches
  10. ‘Discover Effortless Living’ – BullA fine debut album with echoes of the best of 60s rock from one of York’s greatest bands
  11. ‘Carnage’ – Nick Cave and Warren EllisIt’s Cave and Ellis, what more does one need to say, a truly awesome collection.
  12. ‘Not Your Muse’ – CelesteJazzy, modern R&B, fabulous tunes and most of all a voice that encapsulates so many beautiful emotions
  13. ‘She Walks In Beauty’ – Marianne Faithful and Warren EllisThis has been essential late night listening for me, it is soothing, mindful and close to perfect
  14. ‘We Live Here’ – Bob VylanAn incredibly powerful political album from a band that has got this far without the backing of a huge corporation
  15. ‘21st Century Love Songs’ – Wildhearts The Wildhearts are back baby, with one of their best albums
  16. ‘Amazing Things’ – Don Broco – An album that captures everything that is great with current rock and is showcased by an underlying pop sensibility
  17. ‘The Crippling Space Between’ – Carol Hodge – Another flawless album from the supremely talented wonderful human being known as Carol Hodge
  18. ‘Passions’ – Thirst Dom White steps up from the drum stool to release a beautiful album that is grandly cinematic in its scope
  19. ‘Who Am I’ – Pale WavesIs there anyone that doesn’t love Pale Waves, this set establishes them as one of Blighty’s best bands
  20. ‘We’re All Alone In This Together’ – DaveSharp, passionate, caring, honest and with a large side order of vitriol, Dave tells it like it is expertly

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A Slow Education – Day 2 – The Crescent, York – Saturday 23rd October 2021 November 7, 2021


Three bands down after Day 1 just seven to go on Day 2 of the rather marvellous A Slow Education mini Festival at one of York’s finest venues, the Crescent. Perspex took to the stage first and it is always good to have such a lively band to kick off proceedings at the start of what looked like a great day of music. Perspex have a tank full of energy and probably a whole bunch of jerry cans full of the stuff too. At their peak, they sound like prime time Clash with vocal phrasings like Steve Harley. Who doesn’t love Perspex? I was lucky enough to review Cowgirl’s eponymously titled first album a couple of months back so I was looking forward to hearing some of the new songs played live and they did not disappoint. If Carlsberg made garage rock it would probably sound like Cowgirl. This band is an MC5 for the 21st Century. The Lounge Society were next and lounge is not something they do. This is psyched up, punchy, funky rock with a hard edge, definitely not music for a relaxing night in your lounge. It is music made to make you move around maniacally while balancing like a crazed high wire walker on that fine line between genius and madness. Bands are definitely looking so much younger to old farts like me these days, but lead singer Cameron Davey belies those youthful looks with just the right measure of rock-star swagger and menace. The Lounge Society are truly a band for our age.

Cowgirl
Bull

If you like your rock sharp, funky and angular a la Talking Heads then I have no doubt that you will love the majestic Treeboy & Arc. There are some heartfelt punky vocals across some outstanding tunes that tell of real life. Bass player James Kay is bloody good and must be close to the bass skills of Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. This is funk-punk for music maniacs. This band is not afraid to show off their skyscraping, jacked-up riffs that underpin some colossal, towering tunes. Next on stage were the band that I have seen more than any other in 2021, but thanks to these bastard Covid days that is only three times. I am talking about one of York’s mightiest bands, Bull. This was another stunning set from a band that is great on record and truly awesome in the live environment. The new songs take their sublime harmonies to another level, definitely to Beach Boys proportions. Not sure why, but I have a strange vision of Bull recording and acapella cover of They Might Be Giants’ “Birdhouse In Your Soul”. Also how about a Monkees style TV show featuring scenes from Bull mansions where the ban get into all kinds of surreal adventures and psychedelic japes. That needs to be made, right? Billy Nomates might genuinely have no mates and no band on stage with her but she has balls. To take to the stage with just a laptop and stun the crowd into a trancey submission so easily takes supreme skill and she has that in abundance. Her beats are huge and so is her social conscience. Vocally she scores 11/10 for me, I am now most definitely a Billy Nomates fan. Headliners Warmduscher was highly recommended to me and I had listened to a lot of their stuff before this show. The name “Warmduscher” is German and the term literally means ‘hot showerer’, which implies the idea of someone unwilling to step out of their comfort zone or do things that make them feel uncomfortable. It stems from a German myth that taking a cold shower is considered masculine. So is this a band unwilling to step out of their comfort zone, I don’t think so. This is a great bunch of musicians from Fat White Family and Paranoid London. Their post-punk sound is enhanced by some great tunes but I felt their performance was lacklustre and lacked sparkle on the night. Maybe it was the ridiculously long soundcheck or the heavy reliance on vocal effects pedals by vocalist Clams Baker Jr. Mate you have a good voice stop messing with all the effects stuff. The jury is out for me on Warmduscher, so I hope I caught them on an off night, but I need to see them again to confirm.

Treeboy & Arc

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Bull – The Crescent, York – Friday 24th September 2021 September 27, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:03 pm
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A sell out gig at the Crescent in York? Yes I kid you not, the first sell out I have been to since before Covid and it feels damned good to be back to proper gigs. This was a delayed album launch tour from local heroes Bull who released their fabulous debut album ‘Discover Effortless Living’. But before the main attraction there were a couple of support bands that I need to tell you about. First it was the wonderfully named Fat Spatula. They put on an intense and powerful performance and they are clearly a tight band. But what are Fat Spatula actually like? Well the recipe for me was a few ounces of Talking Heads from David Byrne’s oversized jacket peak, a couple of fried Devo stock cubes. a hugely rich Modern Lovers sauce all served with the funkiest condiments you could imagine. I guess it was all mixed nicely using a fat spatula, right? Anyway, I like this band a lot and I will definitely be queueing up for second helpings sometime in the future.

Next it was the turn of a Hull band who are clearly not particularly enamoured by vowels, they are called bdrmm. They are a kind proggy shoegazey style but with extra added industrial sound and drone at times. Maybe there was even a bit of a Cure influence in there too. I think bdrmm are clearly accomplished musicians and they also feel like the sort of band I might listen to while smoking a fat one! I particularly liked the drums, although the drums on one track were very reminiscent of Toni Basil’s “Mickey” (thank you for pointing that out Eddie P).

Finally it was time for the main attraction, Bull. They are a 21st century Byrds with a distinctly heavier psych vibe than Roger McGuinn’s gang. Bull are a band that really know what they are doing and they do it supremely well. This was a local crowd for them and we were captivated by every note. Someone that I spoke to before the show described Bull as ramshackle, I disagree, I would say intense and informal, while never hiding their sense of fun. If this band do not become huge then the matrix or the multiverse (pick your cinematic universe) is broken. They were joined by an awesome brass section towards the end of the set which included singer Tom Beer on trombone. Get out and see this band and buy or stream their debut album, you need Bull in your life!

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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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“I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we’ve passed the audition” May 11, 2021


Other than the Beatles I really hadn’t thought about how many bands have played exclusive gigs on rooftops. But there are quite a few, here is a top ten, but I am not brave enough to rank them, so they are in chronological order. The list includes 4 British acts, 4 US artists, 1 Brazilian and an Irish band. Five of the rooftops, were in the US, four in the UK and one in Brazil. Sadly I never witnessed any of these rooftop shows firsthand, but I have been lucky enough to see six of these acts play live 🙂

1955 Elvis Presley – Porky’s Rooftop, Newport, Arkansas, USA – did the King kick it all off?

1967 Roberto Carlos – Copam Building, São Paulo, Brazil – not the footballer with the same name, this fella was known as the King of Latin Music

1968 Jefferson Airplane – The Schuyler Hotel, Manhattan, NYC, USA – way before they converted to a Starship, they laid the foundations for the city they built on rock ‘n’ roll

1969 – Beatles – Apple Building, Saville Row, London, UK – the last live show the Fab Four ever played. The title of this post is a John Lennon quote from that gig.

1987 U2 – Apple Studios, Los Angeles, USA – part of the ‘Rattle And Hum’ shenanigans I think

2010 Bon Jovi – O2 Arena, London, UK – Jon, Richie and the boys stepped onto the roof of the venue they were playing a residency at

2011 Kasabian – Skylight West, NYC, USA – the Leicester lads play a set to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, or maybe the 40th anniversary of Mulberry, or maybe both!

2012 Madness – Buckingham Palace, London, UK – the Nutty Boys played for Her Maj on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee – Brian May also played the rooftop. Hardly the Pistols riverboat trip back in ’77, but I suppose it’ll do.

2013 Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Dick’s Drive In, Seattle, USA – I so wish they had played on the roof of a “Thrift Shop”. This wasn’t their only rooftop gig that year, check out the video below.

2021 Bull – EMI Head Office, Kings Cross, London, UK – one of York’s finest showcased their debut album ‘Discover Effortless Living’ with a fab show which was streamed earlier tonight. A small roof for a band, a giant leap for bandkind! Terrible pun I know, but trust me, Bull really are destined for great things!

Given that it was 1955 and there was no social media there appears to be no footage of Elvis’ roof top gig. Bull’s marvellous set is not on YouTube yet, but click here and it might still be available on their Facebook page 🙂

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Jorvik Radio – 1st Birthday Bash – Online Stream – Saturday 7th November 2020 November 17, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:40 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jorvik Radio, probably the best community radio station in the UK, turned one year old this month and to celebrate they put together an online streamed mini festival on Saturday 7th November. It featured seven very different and very talented acts. Kicking off with the Serotones, a fantastic young band from York. This lot are the bastard children of the Stone Roses and possibly J. Mascis (off of Dinosaur Jr.) too. Yes I know the Shed Seven connection, but I am talking about how they sound. The guitarist has the talent to match John Squire and the vocals are definitely a tad better than Ian Brown’s. Was there a better choice to kick off Jorvik Radio’s first birthday bash? I don’t think so.

Next up were Scarborough’s rather excellent, the Feens, to describe them simply as an indie band would be doing the Feens a great disservice, they are so much more than that with wide ranging influences including Arcade Fire and maybe even Blur. The vocals are incredibly soulful and spot on. What should a band do when they have two stunning singers in their ranks? Use them both to great effect of course. A great performance on vocals from Freddie and Adam.

Bonnie and the Bailers ( although a bit short on Bailers for this gig) are new to me, but I have a hunch they will appear on this site a lot more. Bonnie’s vocals have a tremendous depth of emotion and passion. Without a full band and just guitars she proves just how powerful her voice is. Ably supported by Bull’s guitarist, more of them later, Bonnie powers through an excellent set. “Gravy” is simply weird, wonderful and frankly beautiful. In my opinion Bonnie has the potential to become a Janis Joplin for the 21st Century.

Everyone loves Tony Wright, right? well if you’re a fan of Terrorvision you definitely do. This was a brilliant acoustic set from Tony with support from another guitarist. Wright is now very much a Yorkshire music legend and he plays that role in a very unassuming fashion. The songs are very autobiographical and in the main full-on story songs. It is often said that the mark of a great song is how it sounds in a simple acoustic setting, if that is true then Tony Wright’s set was full of absolute classics. “Do You Love Me” is perhaps one of the finest love songs that I have heard in a long while. In contrast “Janine/ Jeanette” was a bloody hilarious singalong.

Hip Hop from York? Who knew? Keon, playing his first solo non-DJ show for quite a while absolutely smashed it. This bloke knows his stuff and has the great knack and immense talent for spitting perfect ciphers. Flying the flag high for British Hip Hop. Keon also had a wonderful choice of beats to back his linguistic eloquence, particularly Souls Of Mischief. I am most definitely a Keon fan now!

The penultimate act was Hello Operator a band that I have had the pleasure of seeing live quite a few times and they just get better and better every time. They are now a well established full-on rock band drawing their influences from across the whole lineage of British Rock; the Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Blur and many more. They have that classic rock sound that Oasis always threatened to achieve but never did. Their eponymous debut album is out now, check it out, you will not be disappointed.

Bull are another great York band that just get better and better each time I see them. There are not many bands like Bull, they are close to genre defying. An incredibly tight band, original, talented and purveyors of great vocals, heavenly harmonies and stupendous songs. If I had to describe them I would say maybe jangly 90s indie spliced with Velvet Underground, Teenage Fanclub, Blur, the Beach Boys and the Clash. They recently signed a record deal so we will have so much more to look forward to from them. OK until real gigs return this rather splendid online show was a strong substitute. A massive happy birthday to Jorvik Radio and may you have many more!

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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!

PERCY

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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