With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Imarhan – The Crescent, York – Sunday 11th August 2019 August 17, 2019


Imarhan are an Algerian Tuareg rock band formed in 2006 in Tamanrasset, Algeria. They are this generations Tinariwen. They released their first and self-titled album in 2016 followed up by ‘Temet’ in 2018. I was lucky enough to catch them on the UK leg of their tour at one of York’s best music venues, the Crescent. There was no support band, but we were warmed up for the show by an incredibly intuitive DJ whose set crossed Africa, the Middle East, and Jamaica. He played a cover version of Bob Marley’s “War” by a female vocalist which was stunning. (I need to find out who that singer was if you know please tell me – UPDATE – check the comment below from the DJ, Dave Atkin a.k.a. Drummie Dave, the song is by Neyssattou & Likkle Mai ).

I had listened to some of Imarhan‘s current album before the show, but I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but they were highly recommended by a few of my friends, thank you, Dan Lucas! There is a definite middle eastern vibe throughout their music, with an obvious African influence all of which is underpinned by some western rock music stylings. The lead singer and guitarist could probably play any Santana track just as well as Carlos himself. The bass player was among the funkiest that I have ever seen or heard, he sure knows how to get his desert groove on. If there is such an establishment then this guy will have graduated from the Larry Graham Academy of Bassology! Ask your Grand Parents about Mr. Graham kids. The drummer was incredibly talented but also looked like the most chilled dude that I have seen in years. Very special mention to the percussionist who played a range of instruments some of which I had never seen before. It was clear to me that Imarhan are at the top of their game and they were really enjoying themselves on that stage. The vast majority of the crowd, including me and my wonderful wife Catherine a.k.a Catwoman danced the night away. It has to be said that like many Brits I only speak English so I have no idea what Imarhan are singing about, but that really does not matter, this just proves once again that music really is a universal language that transcends the need for a common spoken language. Check out any of Imarhan’s albums and if you get a chance to see them play live take it!

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken on my cheap 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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Eugene Gorgeous – Fulford Arms, York – Wednesday 28th November 2018 November 30, 2018


Sometimes I really need to psych myself up to go out to a gig on a week night, especially a Wednesday. But a gig hosted by Joe Coates (Please Please You) and Simon Pattinson (Northern Radar) ought to make it worth it and frankly it was well worth it! It was also great to catch up with the top bloke that is Dan Lucas, head honcho of the wonderful Boss Caine. First up was a sneaky set from one of York’s best bands, Skylights. A good opportunity for a final live show before their showcase headliner at the Brudenell in Leeds the following day (a review of that show will be heading your way very soon!). Often bands on first play like they are a support band, but Skylights blew that one away. They smashed into this like they were headliners. They were magnificent from the opening bar of “Life Line” to the loud feedback driven end to “Reverb”. Obviously “YRA” was amazing, but tonight “Britannia” stole the show for me. This was a  band totally ready to bring the house down at the Brudenell at their next gig.

Next up it was Liverpool’s the Mysterines. I must confess that I was not sure of that name, but once they start that becomes irrelevant. The noise they create is some of the best rock music that you will ever hear. The pace never slows down and “I Just Love To Hate You” is possibly one of my new favourite songs. Lia Mysterine’s voice has the passion of Patti Smith, the punk attitude of Joan Jett and the cheeky glam tone of Suzi Quatro. With a drummer channelling the spirit of Keith Moon and the Muppets Animal, alongside a bass player that provides a deep thudding underlay the Mysterines are destined to go far.

The headliners tonight, Eugene Gorgeous, should be the subject of some work by the world famous Pete Frame of Rock Family Trees fame. The singer’s brother is a part of Bull and tonight the drummer was Harry from Black Lagoons and the collective has representation from other bands too. The simplest way to describe them would be eclectic, but even that doesn’t do them justice. For me they have a lot of prime Lou Reed period Velvet Underground about them but then they put that aside with an incredible cover of Aretha’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” in which they don’t change the gender, which makes it work even better. This is the first time that I have seen them in more than two years and the VU came up in my description of them back then. I said “imagine if you will the Velvet Underground meeting the Jesus and Mary Chain at a dive bar in Twin Peaks.” well I believe that description still stands .Vocalist Paddy Beer is like the EverReady bunny fuelled by energy drinks and milk! If you love music then you cannot dislike this mightily talented bunch. I don’t think any of them are actually called Eugene but they sure as hell make the most gorgeous noise! If you haven’t caught up with Eugene Gorgeous yet then I suggest that you get yourself acquainted with them immediately!

Public Service Announcement: – All photographs (except the Eugene Gorgeous name tag) were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.

 

Beans On Toast – The Crescent, York – Tuesday 8th May 2018 May 13, 2018


Having seen Beans On Toast a.k.a Jay McAllister at the Latitude Festival I knew that I would definitely take the opportunity to see him again. So as soon as I heard that he would be playing live in my adopted home city of York I was among the first in line for tickets. This gig at the Crescent was part way through a UK tour. The support for this tour is none other than Dan Lucas a.k.a Boss Caine, one of York’s finest musicians and songwriters. Boss Caine’s set was an understated masterpiece including songs new and old. He opened with “Ghosts and Drunks” an excellent new song, well new to me anyway. Perhaps my favourite was a little ditty about a friend with an addiction problem and how breakfast was with that person. It was called “Morphine And Marmalade” and it needs to be on the next Boss Caine album (are you listening Dan?). “Leaving Victoria” which Dan dedicated to Whispering Bob Harris is in my opinion one of Boss Caine’s finest tunes and it provokes so many emotions in me. While this was a Boss Caine solo acoustic set Dan was joined by a talented trumpeter for a rollicking romp through “Champagne” from his new album. This was a classic Boss Caine set that lined us all up nicely for Beans On Toast.

Beans On Toast has a habit/ tradition of releasing a new album every year on his birthday in December and this tour was to support the tenth anniversary of ‘Standing On A Chair’ his debut album from 2009. What? 2009? That’s not ten years I hear you say. Well Jay pointed out he miscalculated and hadn’t counted 2009 as year zero. But by the time he had realised everything had been booked. But 9th anniversaries are the new in thing aren’t they? As well as an incredible collection of amazing songs Jay provides some incredibly interesting between song stories. He opened with the delightful and very English “Afternoons In The Sunshine”. This was followed in quick succession by “Don’t Believe The Bullshit” and “Fuck The Smoking Ban”. Jay said that he had split the set into couplets of three songs but then he realised that couplet actually meant two not three. Self deprecation is a virtue and Beans On Toast has it in bundles. Incidentally he is now no longer in favour of fucking the smoking ban as he has given the nicotine up. He has a song about that too!

The song “Lizzie’s Cooking” (Lizzie is his partner) came about with an appearance on a German cooking TV show for which no one had told him that he was there to produce a meal from his recipe. Sticking with the culinary theme next up was “Eggs Benedict” which is in fact a song about sex with an older woman. He told a bloody hilarious story about a chant that began at a festival he had played, that chant was ‘get your dick out’. Jay tried that and almost dropped himself in it, but thankfully he lived to play another day and his tackle remained covered at all times! For me “M.D.M. Amazing” is one of my favourite Beans On Toast songs. Incredibly Jay revealed that some of the story in that song is bullshit. No way, surely  not! The magnificent Walker Sisters provided some excellent gymnastics to support the hilarious “Unlikely Gymnast”. “Nanny Mac” and “Major Oak” were poignant, beautiful and thought provoking. For “No Charlie” we were offered the chance to ‘make our own adventure’ and we chose for Jay to perform this brilliant slice of folky, acoustic reggae in a reggae voice. Bloody brilliant! I am a carnivore, but “The Chicken Song” does make you think how cruel meat processing is. Not many people have summed up the Royal Family in a song as well as Beans On Toast captures in “Harry In A Helicopter” about, yes you guessed it, Prince Harry. This was one of those wonderful gigs were I couldn’t stop smiling and singing for ages after leaving! My wonderful wife Catwoman a.k.a. Catherine absolutely loved the show as well! If you haven’t yet experienced a live set by Beans On Toast, you need to change that!

Obligatory public service announcement: all photographs were discovered via Google searches. If you are the photographer I am more than happy to credit them to you. All videos were found on YouTube.

 

 
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