With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Colour Me Wednesday, Onsind, No Ditching, Elly Kingdon @ Wharf Chambers Leeds – Wednesday 28th August 2013 August 29, 2013


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Last night finally had the pleasure of seeing a wonderful band from my old stomping ground of Uxbridge playing live. I have championed them before on this blog and their name is Colour Me Wednesday. More them later though as there were other acts on the bill too. This was the first time I had ever visited Wharf Chambers and I will definitely be back. It is a superb venue with a great stage area and a fab little bar. Not only that but it is the only place I have been where even drinking tea could be considered very rock ‘n’ roll!WP_20130828_001

First on stage was the delightful, quirky and very entertaining Elly Kingdon. The poster described her as ukulele folk from Stoke. That much is true but there was a spirit of punk too. Elly manages to effortlessly make songs about depression sound so happy and bouncy. That has to be therapeutic right? I suggest that you check this woman out on-line. She has talent and a ukulele! I loved Elly’s sign on the merchant table, it simply read ‘Elly Kingdon has no merch as she is not a sell out! What’s not to love about that?

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Next up we’re Durham’s excellent No Ditching. A fine all girl five piece who incredibly were playing only their third gig! If that set and their demo CD (of course I bought it) are anything to go by these girls can go much further. The poster described them as Pop Punk from Durham which is a fitting description. But I suspect they have more than just pop punk if allowed to play and grow in the coming months. If they are appearing in your town then get out and show your support.

Next I must make an apology. The poster for the gig showed Onsind as second on the bill. Actually that was a typo and in fact they were top of the bill. Unfortunately having been able to see Colour Me Wednesday earlier than I expected I opted to avoid the last train from Leeds back to York. This meant I missed the whole of Onsind’s set. However after a brief chat with Harriet Doveton I decided to buy Onsind’s CD album Anaesthesiology. I have played it three times today and it’s bloody good. Especially ‘Pokemon City Limits’ with it’s wonderful ‘never trust a Tory‘ chorus. So Onsind please accept my humble apology I won’t miss you again, I promise. By the way your album will be on in the car again tomorrow!

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So on to the band that brought me to this gig; Jen, Harriet, Sam and Carmela collectively known as Colour Me Wednesday. They certainly coloured this Wednesday with their perky, punky, poppy tunes. The poster described them as anarcho-pop from Uxbridge and that is certainly true. They played a great clutch of songs from their new album ‘I Thought It Was Morning’ most of which I’m sure you know because you’ve bought the album. What? You haven’t bought it yet? Why the hell not it’s a great album. Get off your bum and go and buy it now, and I do mean immediately! Just click here and do it! Anyway my favourites on the night were “You’re Not My Number One Bastard”, “Bitter Boys” and what in my opinion should be released as a single (again?) “Purge Your Inner Tory”. This song deserves to become a classic. I am so pleased that I finally got to see this band live and I hope to see them again soon. Drop everything, change all your plans, sell your granny, do whatever it takes to see them play.

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All the acts who appeared have a great deal of talent and in a parallel universe where shit like the X Factor doesn’t exist they may already have become very succesful let’s hope they can do it in this universe. It’s on nights like this I really miss John Peel he definitely would have played all of tonights artists!

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“In the year of the scavenger, the season of the bitch” November 13, 2012


According to the Mail OnLine (so let’s treat the information cautiously) dogs prefer classical music to heavy metal and they don’t seem to like those cheap relaxing music for your canine friend CDs either. I wonder if that has anything to do with the location of their sub woofer? Click here to read the full article.

Anyway I thought that I’d like to try a little experiment about how true this is. So here are a few dog related songs that I would like you to play to your mutt and tell me what reaction you get. Unfortunately I can’t do that as I only have cats.

 

“You made me feel alive, but something died I fear” October 1, 2012


Curses! Tin foiled again!

The Official Charts Company have released details of the biggest selling CDs in the UK since the format was included in album sales. The list probably holds no real surprises, but clearly has a few disappointing entries in my opinion. The fact that James Blunt, Dido, Leona Lewis and David Gray are in the top 10 shows how bland the UK’s music tastes have become in my opinion. Is this a result of many people buying their CDs from large supermarkets these days? Who knows, but surely that plays a part. Anyway here is the top 10;

1- Gold Greatest Hits – Abba: 4m

2 – 21 – Adele: 3.5m

3 – What’s the Story Morning Glory – Oasis: 3.4m

4 – Back to Black – Amy Winehouse: 3.225m

5 – Back to Bedlam – James Blunt: 3.209m

6 – No Angel – Dido: 3.031m

7 – Come on Over – Shania Twain: 3.02m

8 – Spirit – Leona Lewis:2.95m

9 – Urban Hymns – The Verve: 2.9m

10 – White Ladder – David Gray 2.8m

There are clearly some classic albums in the list from Oasis, the Verve and Amy Winehouse. But the current top-selling UK CD is Abba Gold, probably soon to be overtaken by Adele’s ’21’. One thing that surprised me was that Dire Straits’ ‘Brothers In Arms’ , the first million selling CD was not in the top 10 or even the top 30. Dido has one more album in the list at number 11. Robbie Williams and Coldplay have three albums each in the top 30. The Beatles’ compilation ‘1’ is at number 12 and there is no entry for Queen in the top 30 either.

 

“I will slip into the groove and cut me off, you cut me off” October 19, 2011


Vinyl records are on the increase in the UK. Sales of vinyl albums this year have already reached 240,000 compared with 234,000 for the whole of last year. Whilst this is good news for many of us the treasured vinyl album format is unlikely to ever come near its 1975 peak when 91.6 million vinyl albums were sold. To be fair there were no MP3s or CDs, just vinyl, cassettes and a few 8-Tracks. To put that into perspective this years sales are just 0.26% of the total for 1975.

The top 5 vinyl albums sold in the UK this year so far are;

1) The King Of Limbs – Radiohead

2) 21 – Adele

3) Different Gear Still Speeding – Beady Eye

4) Suck It And See – Arctic Monkeys

5) Let England Shake – PJ Harvey

Strangely I do have all the top 5 in either electronic or CD format, but I have none of them in vinyl. Read the rest of the story and see the full top 10 by clicking here.Radiohead have also announced that they will be touring next year, although no details have been given yet. Will they be a surprise guest support act on the Stone Roses bill? Somehow I don’t think so! But joking aside I will certainly be trying to get tickets for Radiohead. It would become the fourth time I had seen them.

The best-selling UK album in 1975, depending upon your source, was either ‘The Best Of The Stylistics’ by, strangely enough, the Stylistics or ‘Elvis Presley’s 40 Greatest Hits’ unsurprisingly by Elvis Presley. However the best-selling album that wasn’t a greatest hits package was Rod Stewart’s ‘Atlantic Crossing’. I have focussed just on the albums released during that year. That Rod album featured my Dad’s favourite song of all time; “Sailing”. We played it at his funeral back in 2001 and it’s only recently that I have been able to listen to it without getting rather emotional. But whenever I hear it I always get a great picture in my head of my Dad singing along to it. So Dad if you are reading this (I like to keep my options open on the afterlife) then I hope your singing is more in tune now!

 

“Look at you, the record stops will you run, or flirt ’til it hurts?” January 19, 2011


Let me give you a bit of a rant warning before you read this post, just so you know! It would appear that HMV are now in some significant degree of financial trouble. Whilst I have a dislike of faceless corporate record/ music stores, HMV is effectively the last national left in the UK. Even their range has fallen considerably in the last couple of years as well. So along with the ongoing and sad demise of the independent record shop and HMV’s precarious position just where the hell will future generations buy their physical music? Downloading will continue its inexorable rise, both legally and illegally, but for physical purchases what are we left with? We’re left with just a handful of small chains (Fopp etc.) and fewer and fewer independent stores. Although I do believe that Fopp were rescued by HMV who still have a stake in them. That leaves the likes of WH Smith and the Grocers (Tesco, Asda etc.) who all seem to operate an ‘if it’s in the chart we’ll stock it policy’. So that pretty much takes away all key channels apart from the internet and downloads for new bands and artists.

A couple of the major labels (Sony and Universal) are looking to spice up interest in the singles market by releasing singles on the same day that they begin airplay. Read about it by clicking here. This will certainly allow songs to rise up the charts, just like those hazy old days of my youth, rather than enter high and then crash and burn after a couple of weeks. This will clearly help downloads, but will it help sell the physical product? If the only place you can get that product is on-line (Play.com etc) then I don’t think it will.

Sadly I believe that we are truly heading for a time when digital music will outstrip every other form. Sure, vinyl is making a bit of a comeback, but it will never match the digital form with most of todays generation. OK you might think I’m a boring old fart and you are entitled to your opinion. But I am not advocating a wholesale return to vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks and CDs. What I am concerned about is the ongoing demise of the record shop. We cannot let the grocers take a stranglehold on our music, which is just so wrong on many levels. With Woolworths and Borders now dead and HMV potentially heading the same way we must support all the remaining small chains and independent record shops. So next time you are tempted to buy a CD on impulse in the supermarket resist the urge and find your nearest proper record shop. I know that you may pay a little more, but these people offer excellent service and they are a million times more knowledgeable about their ‘product’ than pretty much anyone on the supermarket checkout. But if you are a music aficionado who works on a supermarket checkout then please accept my apologies. So you know what to do, boycott music from large grocers and get it from a proper record shop, trust me it’s a better experience all round!

 

Wolf Gang – York City Screen Basement 16th November 2010 November 17, 2010


Having received the regular newsletter from Man Is Slapped recently I found that for the first time in ages I was able to attend one of his gigs. This would be the second time I have seen him at the York City Screen Basement, but more of him later. When I arrived I was greeted by the wonderful sound of Tom Waits playing over the house PA, including the fabulous “Hoist That Rag”. That just made me feel that this was set to be a good night and for once my instincts weren’t wrong, it was a great night.

First up were Detronik. Imagine a large serving of 80s Sheffield electro a la Human League and a couple of spoonfuls of the Stone Roses and Madchester at it’s 90s peak. Are you there? Well that’s how these guys made me feel. They were bloody good and if they were around in the 80s they would have cleaned up completely. I really loved their set, especially closing number “Death To The Disco”. Check out the band on MySpace and the original lineup on YouTube.

Man Is Slapped

Man Is Slapped was the second of three acts and this will be the third time I have seen him play. If you put down what he does on paper (or perhaps in a blog post) you would surely think that this shouldn’t work. But it does work and it works so very well. He played a few new songs from his new EP; Socially Inept which as a fan I obviously purchased. He also di his usual thing of sampling his own sound and vocals in order to provide backing for his songs. Is there anyone else about that can actually do this? Even if there are I doubt that they would be better than Mr Slapped. he even expanded his sound on a couple of songs by using a guitar. Perhaps the next EP will be ‘Man Is Slapped Goes Punk’? He also played a brief electro interlude advertising his web presence and CD for sale. He should be much, much bigger, make it so dear readers! Check him out on MySpace here and also on YouTube here.

Wolf Gang - but this is clearly not a lion and it's clearly not in a cage!

Finally it was the turn of the headliners, I must confess that until tonight I had never heard them and whilst Detronik and Man Is Slapped were excellent I think Wolf Gang surpassed them. They were truly stupendous and excellent band, especially the drummer. The vocalist was also very, very good. The blurb on the gig poster suggests that they go some way to mashing together Talking Heads and Empire Of The Sun. I wouldn’t disagree with this but I would also add that there was an element of early Simple Minds in there too, back in the days when Jim Kerr‘s boys were actually good. I would certainly pay to see this band again and if they’re playing near you it would be foolish and negligent of you to miss them. The next couple of weeks will see them play Glasgow, Sheffield, Brighton, Birmingham, Southampton, London, Bristol and Manchester. I hope they play at the Reading Festival next year. They finished their set with their new single “Lions In Cages” which is released on 22nd November, buy it and make them a happy band. Then they will then be just like me for I went home a happy man! Check them out on MySpace by clicking here and their own website by clicking here and then enjoy a couple more Wolf Gang videos below;

 

 
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