With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘Counting Pennies In The Afterlife’ – Colour Me Wednesday May 17, 2018


The sophomore album from the exquisitely fabulous Colour Me Wednesday is released today on Dovetown Records. It has the best album title that I have seen in years, ‘Counting Pennies In The Afterlife’ and on first listen I can say without a single shadow of a doubt that it is a pop masterpiece. Their first album ‘I Thought It Was Morning’ from 2013 was very, very good but for me this one tops it. I believe it has a really summery feel to it and at times is evocative of the finest late 60s US west coast rock. But at its core it remains, as you would expect from Colour Me Wednesday, a truly British album. If you were looking for a dud track here you wouldn’t find it.

Album opener “Sunriser” kicks off the whole collection with sonic energy and harmonies to die for. The harmonies on this LP surely have their roots in some of the finest Motown and Phil Spector harmonies. I would also argue that some of the jangly indie guitar riffs are almost Byrdsian in their construct. The production is crystal clear throughout and there is sometimes a real incongruity between the depth (and sometimes darkness) of the lyric and the happy vibe of the music. That contradiction, most notable on “Sad Bride”,  is something that the Smiths were masters at, well Colour Me Wednesday are just as skilled with that as Morrissey and Marr were. Are Colour Me Wednesday a punk band? Maybe not in sound but in attitude, approach, boldness, appetite, belief and passion they are 100% punk.

Like their label mates the Tuts this band is political, but not just fashionable pin badge political, they understand life and what it is like to be human and that is writ large in their words. Their songs tell their stories with intelligence, integrity and a soulfulness that is unmatched by many of their contemporaries. One particular lyric, from “Exposure” made me think deeply, “you get one life and you can do more than just survive”. Surely a mantra for living in the 21st century. After two spins so far my favourite songs are “Tinfoil”, “Boyfriend’s Car” and “Edge Of Everything” but that is highly likely to change each listen, largely because every one of the eleven tracks is an indie pop masterstroke. The post song little girl spoken/ sung interlude at the end of “Not My Turf” is bizarre, weird, menacing, disturbing and wonderful. That has to be an adult voice treated by production wizardry right? Jen, Harriet, Jaca and Laura have put together a record that is clearly a contender for album of the year. Is it also the best album ever? Some people believe it might be!

 

 

The Tuts – Wharf Chambers, Leeds – Wednesday 21st September 2016 September 23, 2016


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I believe this is the fifth time that I have seen the magnificent Tuts play live since that first time supporting Kate Nash back in April 2013. They get so much better every time, but enough about them for a moment because this show at the delightful Wharf Chambers venue in Leeds also boasted a couple of excellent support acts. First on stage where Milk Crimes, a brilliantly gifted band who I first encountered when they supported Colour Me Wednesday at the Fulford Arms in York earlier this year. They are part Bis, part Buzzcocks and part Pixies. But the overwhelming majority of their parts are pure and original Milk Crimes. A great band with some great tunes and frankly any band with a song entitled “Hail Satan” is alright with me!

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Crywank were next as they brought their bottled madness to Leeds. What kind of genre are they? Who knows? Who cares? The answer to both of those questions is probably no and it really doesn’t matter for Crywank are a stunningly eclectic and talented combo. They are so out there and just utterly fucking brilliant. Actually I might even describe them as Zappa-esque. Drums and an acoustic guitar with songs that are either nonsense lyrics or wonderful vignettes of everyday life. They made an offer that I don’t recall ever hearing from another band; give us some weed an we’ll give you an album. Now that is a good deal, but where the hell did I put my stash?

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Now it was time for the main event, the Tuts who were by now close to half way through a headline UK tour in support of their stunning first album ‘Update Your Brain’. That album is getting some great reviews; 9 out of 10 from Vive Le Rock Magazine, click here for my review of the album. They opened with the rousing put down of sexism in the music industry “Tut Tut Tut”. The first single from the album, “Let Go Of The Past” had the capacity crowd leaping and bouncing all the way through. The song that has become something of a Tuts standard, “Dump Your Boyfriend” rocked Wharf Chambers to its foundations helped along by a crowd that seemed to know the words to all the songs. As Nad Tut remarked later in the set this was a really special moment, having the crowd singing back to you and I most certainly agree.

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The Tuts remain a DIY band and let’s face it it’s hard to get more ‘punk’ than that. They have no label and no manager, although briefly last year they did have a manager. He didn’t last long as his glory days were so far in the past that all his ‘key’ music contacts were probably dead by 1982 and that is kind of what the magnificent “1982” is all about. The band gave us a choice of cover songs; the Clash‘s “Rudie Can’t Fail” or the Spice GirlsWannabe“. It was a landslide win for “Wannabe” and I must confess it got my vote too. Nad Tut, Hat Tut and Bev Tut evoke the spirit of girl power far more strongly than Scary and the gang. On top of that their powerful version of the Spice Girls first hit is loud and great fun. There was the now obligatory foray into the audience from Nadia and Harriet which the crowd lapped up. They played a rollicking version of my current favourite Tuts song, “Give Us Something Worth Voting For” too. But in what seemed like a fleeting moment their set ended with the fabulous “Back Up”. The Tuts are a band that for me are really on the cusp of major success and I hope they get there. They have talent, intelligence, principles and they know how to win an audience. There are still a few opportunities left to see them on this tour and if you can’t make it to any of those dates then get off your arse and start updating your brain by buying their album.

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Me and the magnificent Tuts

Now for one of those pesky public service announcements. All the photos in this post were taken on my cheap little mobile phone camera. Meanwhile the videos are all courtesy of YouTube.

 

Colour Me Wednesday – Fulford Arms, York – Sunday 3rd April 2016 April 13, 2016


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Clearly I have been a bit tardy in writing and posting this review. However that is by no means a reflection of the quality on show that night. All in all it was a tremendous gig with some support that was often different, challenging and thought-provoking (in a good way) and very talented. All of this was capped by a stunning and magnificent set from the mighty Colour Me Wednesday. But more of them later. Before I begin the review I would like to say a massive thank you to Henry Raby who was the main man and organiser behind this excellent evening of entertainment.

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First up was a duo of angry poets Jaz Millar and Luca Fallon, well to be more reasonable poets who gave wonderful voice to their anger in their cyphers and rhymes. I particularly enjoyed the piece on why feminists are angry and the poem about punk and how it was failing to live up to its original ethos and credentials.

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Junk were the first band to take the stage. How the bloody hell can two people make so much incredible noise? Let me tell you Junk would enhance any stage that they took to. Festival organisers if you’re reading this stop farting around get off your backside and book this wonderful band.

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Almost like a classy restaurants use of the mouse bouche we were treated to an ear resting moment as another poet took the stage. Hannah Davies is her name and she presents her wonderful poetry with passion and aplomb. The poem about how small boys keep so much crap in their pockets not only took me way, way back to my childhood but also made it abundantly clear how much wonderful mother love Hannah has for her son. Hannah you need to have you work published in book form!

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What the hell is a Milk Crime? It sounds rather Orwellian doesn’t it? But that would be moloko. Anyway Milk Crimes are an excellent punk band who certainly appear to live by their punk ways and they also know their punk roots and history, which was well evidenced by their excellent Buzzcocks cover. I would definitely pay to see Milk Crimes again.

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Finally it is the turn, all the way from south of Watford (Uxbridge to be precise) of the stunning, punky, poetic, smart, lyrical and with political and world views that many people could learn from, Ladies, Gentlemen, Humans, Aliens and anyone else I bring you COLOUR ME WEDNESDAY! Any band that despises the Tories as much as I do is definitely more than fine in my book (or indeed my blog). They played a short set which showcased some tracks from their new EP and some classic songs from their increasing repertoire. As usual there was some great between song banter covering everything from the type of herbal tea that Jen drinks to the desperate need for both a poo and a wee that lead to the Colour Me Wednesday Mobile (a.k.a the van) having to stop at Yorkshire’s equivalent of the town in the film ‘Deliverance’ en-route to the gig. They closed the show with a storming run through of my favourite Colour Me Wednesday song, “Purge Your Inner Tory”. Just to finish things off for the evening I was able to listen to the incredibly well put together four track EP in the car on the way home. DIY is in this band’s blood as every copy of the EP has been lovingly hand packaged by the band and their team at DoveTown. If you haven’t seen or heard Colour Me Wednesday yet then I suggest you get out from under the rock you’ve been living under and acquaint yourself with them. I will be at three festivals this year; Apollo (York), Latitude and Leeds, will someone please book this band for one of those!

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And finally here is one of those pesky public service announcements. None of the pictures or videos in this post were taken or filmed by me. They were all obtained via Google and YouTubew

 

Apollo Festival York 2015 – Saturday 27th June 2015 July 2, 2015


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Sadly I missed the first Apollo Festival back in 2013 and then last year I had to leave early so I missed the headliner. However this year I was there for the day and what a bloody good day it was! With something like 50 acts across 5 stages I was never going to be able to see everyone but I did see a fair few acts. I was there with my wonderful wife Catherine ak.a. Catwoman and our great friends John and Caron who brought their daughter and our Odd Daughter (that’s another story) Amelia with them. Amelia proved beyond doubt that she is indeed a 5-year-old dancing dynamo of perpetual motion. Anyway enough of us, who did I see?

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First up it was 4 Pint Milk in the Rick Witter tent. They are from Huntington School and seemed all of 16 (apologies if you’re older than that lads!). But they rock like they’re much older. The part of their set that John and I saw was cover versions, but damned good cover versions. Jake Bugg’s “Green Man”, the Smiths’ “This Charming Man”, Stone Roses “I Am The Resurrection” and my particular favourite, “Brianstorm” originally done by the Arctic Monkeys. I hope these boys succeed, they play really well and they have an excellent dour and dry northern wit.

Back at the main stage I only caught Fat Spatula’s last song. On the evidence of that I thought they sounded pretty good and I wished I could have heard more of them. I should add that Catwoman didn’t like them at all. Next on the main stage was the winner of this years Ainsty’s Got Talent contest, Beth Bryers. She undoubtedly has a great operatic style voice which she used over a number of dancey beats including Bastille. I get the appeal to some, however for me Beth is an acquired taste that I unfortunately didn’t acquire.

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Rime Suspex though were something else, absolutely brilliant in my opinion. A relatively simple set up of a guitarist, singer and rapper. They were also accompanied by a number of samples I think. Imagine if South Africa’s Die Antwoord came from Blackburn and had better rhymes, well that is Rime Suspex in my view.My particular favourites from their set were “Money” and “Sick And Tired”. Given the lyrical content I almost certainly support their sentiments and politics. They didn’t hit the spot for my friend John, but he has never been a fan of white rappers. But I’ll work on him! Anyway I would definitely pay to see Rime Suspex again.

Our first visit to the Access Music stage brought us Matt Philpot. For me he was a pretty average singer songwriter singing 70s with a mostly laid back 70s vibe. The highlight of his set was a reggaefied arrangement of Aha’s “Take On Me” which I enjoyed. Next we saw the Rusty Pegs who are a bit alt. country and come across like a slightly more Nashville version of Fairground Attraction. I quite liked them.

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On our return to the main stage the Happy Daggers were on. I missed the first part of their set but what I did see showed me that these fellows  are funkin’ good and I want more! Rupert Stroud was on next, he and his band were very tight and well rehearsed. He is a rock influenced singer songwriter and he is bloody good. Imagine James Blunt with bigger balls, well that is Rupert Stroud.

After that it was a quick hop across to the Access Music stage for the magnificent Barcode Zebra. I saw them play at last year’s Apollo Festival and they were very good then. This year they were even better. Soul, funk, rock, jazz all in a musical blender supported by a really skilful band and an immensely powerful vocalist. I certainly hope to see more of them.

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Now it was time for the wonderful Crybabycry on the main stage. They had been caught in traffic on their way, but believe me it was worth the wait. I saw them earlier this year in a tiny venue during Live In Leeds. On their performance then and at the Apollo Festival I will stick my neck out and say that I believe that they are one of the finest bands in the UK at the moment. Along with my other favourite UK bands; Avalanche Party, Colour Me Wednesday and the Tuts. Powerful three-piece Crybabycry deserve to be on bigger stages and if you don’t like them then I suggest that you pop out and get your hearing examined. Can we have them at Reading and Leeds please?

Awesome covers band the Mothers followed Crybabycry onto the main stage and they rocked their socks off. I danced near the stage for their whole set which included storming versions of songs by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, songs from the Stax back catalogue among many others. They were fucking brilliant and I might try to book them for my 60th birthday party, although that isn’t until January 2019. After that I paid a final visit to the Access Music Stage where Catwoman and I saw Armonia. They played some really chilled and laid back acoustic songs including a wonderful cover of Lordes’ “Royals”

Classic 90s scouse indie pop band Space were next on the main stage and they were blooming amazing. I had forgotten how many great songs they have recorded. Favourites like “Neighbourhood” and “Female Of The Species” were there along with some new songs and stuff that I have never heard before. There wasn’t a duff song in their set. My favourite is one that I hadn’t heard before, the rather fabulous “Boy In A Body Bag” which is a bloody fantastic tune.

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Finally it was time for the head-liners the supremely talented Inspiral Carpets. I had seen them many years ago and they were always a band whose new release I would always check out. No other band of their generation rocks the Farsifa like these blokes do. The have some excellent songs in their canon including “Dragging Me Down”, “This Is How It Feels”, “Spitfire” and one of my all time favourite songs from any band or singer “Saturn Five”. Quite an appropriate song for the Apollo Festival don’t you think? The Inspiral Carpets used to refer to themselves as ‘cool as fuck’ and in my opinion they remain so. If you get a chance to see them you would be foolish not to.

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Finally let me say a big, big thank you to the organisers of the Apollo Festival especially Mr Apollo himself Stuart Kelly. Also a big shout out to my good friend Simon Pattinson who is on the organising team. Everything was brilliant folks, including the weather. If you change anything for next year then I suggest that you increase the food outlets and vary them a bit. Can I also offer to volunteer to help with organising Apollo 2016?

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This really is the final finally! If you haven’t done so already please click here to vote for the Apollo Festival in the Yorkshire Gig Guide Grass Roots Awards. I have!

Well given the weather it seemed somewhat appropriate :-)

Well given the weather it seemed somewhat appropriate 🙂

Public service announcement – none of the media contained in this post was filmed or photographed by me.

 

 

The Tuts – @ Leeds Ladyfest – Wharf Chambers, Leeds – Saturday 11th October 2014 October 13, 2014


ladyfest logoOn Saturday I had yet another opportunity to attend a live show from my favourite all-girl punk band the Tuts and obviously I wasn’t going to turn that down was I? The Tuts were the third and headlining act in the musical close to the Leeds Ladyfest. This festival exists to promote and celebrate women in the arts. The first part of the day included some very successful workshops I’m told. I was only there for the music and more of that later. The venue was the rather excellent Wharf Chambers in Leeds, this co-operative pub/ venue has the potential to become one of Leeds’ best small venues in my opinion. I understand that money raised from the event would be going to charity. One of the recipients will be Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL). This is an organisation that I know a bit about thanks to my friend Rachel Vernelle who is a passionate supporter. If you wish to contribute to SARSVL or indeed to help fund Wharf Chambers the links are above.

Anyway on to the music. The first band on were Demitaves. Three people, one acoustic guitar, some basic percussion and harmonies to die for. The well rehearsed vocals were reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young at their best. The band also had some excellently written and performed songs. The acoustic cover of Britney SpearsToxic” was a highlight. In my opinion if you cover a song you should make it different from the original and for this cover it was definitely mission accomplished. So would I go and see the Demitaves again? Of course I would and so should you if you get the chance!

Next up were Chambers a two-girl duo who told us that they had only been together for two months. If I heard that part correctly then they really were bloody good! A complete contrast to the close harmonies and largely a capella sound of the Demitaves it would be fair to say that Chambers rocked hard. Would it be a cliché to say that Chambers rocked the (Wharf) Chambers? It would? OK I won’t then. These women have a very heavy and very loud sound and are closer to heavy metal than any other genre for me. They only played three songs, but on the strength of that I would certainly check them out again given the chance.

WP_20141011_002Finally it was my chance to see those fabulous Tuts once again. This is the third or fourth time I have seen them and it would be very fair to say that they have got better every time. They have a great set of songs “Tut Tut Tut”, “Dump Your Boyfriend” and my current favourite “Worry Warrior” among many others. The Tuts are nothing like either of the other bands on the bill which for me makes for a brilliantly varied and interesting evening. It would have been nice to see more people there but it was a fabulous atmosphere and great show from Nad Tut, Bev Tut and Hat Tut. They even managed a crowd invasion at one point with Nadia and Harriet bringing their guitars and microphones onto the floor in among us punters. Jen Doveton off of Colour Me Wednesday also joined them on stage for one song.

WP_20141011_006Their UK tour is over now, the last show was in Manchester on Sunday. However the big news is that they will be treading the boards in the UK again very soon, in the early part of 2015 in fact. If you’re a Tuts fan you’ll already know this, but the girls are supporting the legendary Selecter on their UK tour! Check below for the dates. This came about after Pauline Black saw the Tuts thunderstorm interrupted Glastonbury set in June this year. I will definitely be there at the Leeds Brudenell show in 2015. If you haven’t yet checked out the Tuts I want a letter from your parents explaining why!

10624659_10152724895140900_9000051786108769847_nFinally take a look at the latest video from the fabulous Tuts!

 

The Tuts – Wharf Chambers, Leeds – Thursday 27th March 2014 March 28, 2014


tuts - wharf chambersThe Tuts are headlining their own exclusive UK tour in some excellent and intimate venues. I had the opportunity to see them play live again last night. The last time I saw them they were supporting Kate Nash at Fibbers in York back in early 2013. Things have gone well for them since then. They have another EP out next month and an album next year. I can hardly wait! On top of that they met the great Billy Bragg at Glasto last year and he has bagged them a slot on the left field stage for this years Glasto. If you’re there in June DO NOT MISS THEM! THAT IS AN ORDER!

jesusandhisjudgementalfatherAnyway more of the Tuts later, because they also had some great support. Unfortunately I only caught the last song from Elopes but they did sound pretty feisty. Sorry folks I’ll blame the train for missing your set. The other support band won me over with their name before they had even played a note. They are called Jesus And His Judgemental Father. How good is that name? Often when seeing a band for the first time, especially if I’ve not heard them before, I look for influences. I did that with Jesus And His Judgemental Father (I just felt like repeating that excellent name! For me there were shades of the Beat, Blink 182, 80s metal, the Pogues and I could probably come up with more. But for every small trace of influences they show they have stacks more originality. Harriet from the Tuts said that they sounded like the type of band that might appear at the High School dance in an 80s or 90s teen horror flick. That works for me. They are a really tight and very together band with a fabulously talented guitarist. The drummer showed support for Pussy Riot with the bright red balaclava. Given the chance I will definitely pay to see this band again and I bought their album last night too. It’s bloody good!

tutsandjenIt was fantastic to see the Tuts headlining at last. They are well worth that top slot. Fun, funky, punky and different they are the Tuts and there is no one quite like them. Their cover of the Clash’sRudie Can’t Fail” would make Joe Strummer proud. They were even joined on stage by Jen Doveton, Harriet’s sister from Colour Me Wednesday for one song. Their own songs top tunes. I was still singing “Tut Tut Tut” in my head when I woke up this morning and “Dump Your Boyfriend” has probably been number one in the charts for weeks in a parallel universe where there is no shit like the X Factor on TV. These girls ooze talent and charisma and if they don’t make it to even bigger stages and audiences soon then there is no justice. Harriet, Bev and Nadia good luck with the rest of the tour, Glastonbury and York in October. I need more details about the latter obviously! If the Tuts are playing in a venue near you just get off your lazy arse and go and see them. You will not regret it!

They might look like angels but they rock like fuck when they're on stage!

They might look like angels but they rock like fuck when they’re on stage!

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“I Think I’ll Hide Behind My Tofu” November 11, 2013


tumblr_mntsbznriB1qdsmyio1_500The wonderfully talented Colour Me Wednesday have just released an excellent video on YouTube which for me has the potential to become a YouTube Awards nominee for 2014. So to all my regular readers let’s make it viral and share the hell out of it. We’re relying on you and just remember that I know where you live!

tumblr_mlaq1pg9941qdsmyio2_1280The video is in support of their new single “(I’m Not Coming To Your) BBQ” which is taken from their brilliant début album ‘I Thought It Was Morning’. If you haven’t bought it yet then you jolly well ought to. It’s easy to do, just click here. The video was made by Harriet from the band and I love it! But even without the video it’s a great song too. Festival organisers if you’re reading this please can you get this band on your 2014 line up? You will not regret it!

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