With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Leeds Festival 2019 – Day 1 – Friday 23rd August August 30, 2019


I am really not sure how many times I have been to the Reading/ Leeds Festival over the years, but I know that I haven’t missed many since my first Reading Festival back in 1975. The last year that I missed completely was 2007. Even after all this time, it remains a festival that excites me. So on to day 1 of the 2019 Leeds Festival. It took me so long to actually get on site that I only caught the final song from Milk Teeth on the Main Stage. This band is without a doubt one of the best punk outfits in the UK right now. They currently have the mightily talented Em Foster from Nervus in their ranks. Having spoken to a number of punters in the crowd around me as Milk Teeth left the stage it appears that I missed an awesome set from a great band.

Talkboy

To console myself I wandered across to the BBC Introducing Stage for an excellent set from Leeds band Talkboy. I sensed a bit of Heart, Arcade Fire and alt.country and simply fabulous pop-rock tunes. It was clear to me that Talkboy were really enjoying themselves and that joy easily infected the early afternoon audience, all of whom were smiling at the end. I made a run back to the Main Stage for SWMRS and like with Milk Teeth earlier I only caught their final song, which I believe was “Lose Lose Lose”. It certainly left me wanting to hear more, oh well maybe next year! AE Mak was haunting on the Festival Republic Stage with a set and a show that was refreshingly different to almost anything that I have seen recently (Later in the weekend Poppy made me rethink that!). AE Mak is like a friendly android formed from parts of Bjork and Héloïse Adelaïde Letissier a.k.a. Christine, of Christine and the Queens fame. Mak’s often robotic style of dancing was unmissable in a truly expressive dance like nobody is watching moment. AE Mak is one hell of a pop-dance act.

The Faim

Aussie band the Faim drew me to the BBC Radio 1 Stage next. I had seen the Faim once before when they supported Lower Than Atlantis at Fibbers, York in May 2018. They were very good then, but in the 15 months since they have improved in the kind of leaps and bounds that only the Hulk would find easy. They are becoming a really tight and highly polished unit. There is DNA from the likes of INXS and U2 in their performance, attitude and stage presence. This band has the potential to become a great stadium band. I managed to lose more than an hour next after I noticed that I had been given a Friday wrist band rather than one for the weekend. This meant that I had to trek all the way back to the wristband exchange tent. While it took a bit of time to sort it out the team resolved it perfectly. I want to use this moment to give a big shout out to all the folks who work at the festival. Ticket staff, wristband issuers, Security, stage crew, litter pickers, medics, food and drink vendors, the Samaritans and anyone else I have missed. Without all of you, events like this could not happen. You might not consider yourself headliners but you are all bloody superstars. Thank you.

Enter Shikari

When I got back to the arena I headed straight for the Main Stage for the never anything but awesome Enter Shikari, a band that I have seen at Reading/ Leeds many times and even one small gig in Brooklyn recently too. They never disappoint and as usual, my favourite tune “Juggernaut” was immense. The crowd formed a couple of huge circle pits, although I didn’t spot many crowd surfers. Enter Shikari remains one of my favourite bands and I was excited to learn that this would not be the only time that I encountered them today. I returned to the Festival Republic Stage to catch the Himalayas, who despite what their exotic name suggests, actually come from Cardiff. They offer punky melodic rock that at times is cinematic in its scope. The dual vocal approach takes their sound to another level entirely. Great stage presence too and I must mention the guitarist who looks like he could be the ghost of Joey Ramone. The Main Stage hosted the long-awaited return of the Distillers who reformed last year after a 12-year hiatus. Leader and all-round Distillers head honcho Brody Dalle still has the edgy punk style and it was a stunning set from a much loved and much-missed band, I am so glad that they are back together. Their explosive 11 song set never let up for a moment. Particular highlights for me were “Die On A Rope” and “Coral Fang”. The Distillers had the crowd eating out of their sweaty punk hands.

The Distillers

Remaining at the Main Stage I witnessed girls-only crowd surfing and a girls-only mosh circle. What could this mean? Well, obviously that festival favourites and all-round great band the magnificent Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes were performing. Frank and his erstwhile musical partner Deano both ventured into the crowd for some surfing. Frank, as usual, gave a big shout out to all the support staff and rightly so. The band opened with an extended and stunning romp through “Tyrant Lizard King”. Every song was a highlight, particularly “Devil Inside Me” and a fiery take on “I Hate You” which Frank dedicated to Boris Johnson. That dedication received a massive cheer from the crowd and rightly so. I was pleased to see so many ‘Fuck Boris’ (and variants with a similar sentiment) T-Shirts and badges on display throughout the weekend too. Back to the BBC Radio 1 Stage next for Georgia-based rapper Gunna. I am a fan of quality rap music like Jay Z and Eminem, but Gunna? Seriously? When did rap become so bland, predictable, derivative and frankly, shite? Tupac and Biggie will be crying in their graves at this travesty. Gunna, better than Vanilla Ice, but only just! Next, I needed something to pick me up and make me feel positive again, so it was off to the Festival Republic Stage for Bakar. He draws on a huge range of British influences; the Specials (and maybe Two Tone in general), Mike Skinner of the Streets, Grime and classic R & B. This dude is a bloody good performer, so good that he has even walked the catwalk at a Louis Vuitton show. He is picking up lots of airplay right now and on this performance that is well deserved.

Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes

My first visit to the Pit/ Lock Up Stage this weekend was for another set from St Albans finest, Enter Shikari. Rou and the boys delivered an even more blistering set than the earlier one on the Main Stage. The flame throwers and confetti cannons were spectacular as was Rou’s climbing the rigging antics. This ten-song set was full of bangers and highlights. “Live Outside” which also featured in their earlier appearance on the Main Stage was special. They performed “Tribalism” live for possibly the first time ever. But for me “Take My Country Back” blew the roof off. I believe I would miss anyone at a Festival if Enter Shikari were playing. I understand that they played three sets at Reading so the southern crowd were even luckier than us in the north. Finally, it was time for the Foo Fighters as Main Stage headliners. I have always felt that this festival was built around Reading which means that in Leeds we get the Reading final day on Friday. But I will go and experience the Foo Fighters on any day. The big rumour of the day was that we would be ‘Rick Rolled’ and Dave would bring out Rick Astley to do “Never Gonna Give You Up” with the band. However, that didn’t materialise, although Reading got that on Sunday. we were treated to Dave Grohl duetting with his daughter Violet Grohl on “My Hero”, now these things can often be a little crass, but in my opinion, Violet has a great voice. Foo Fighters opened the show with a soaring stomp through “The Pretender” and most of the bands biggest songs were given a great airing; “Times Like These”, “Monkey Wrench”, “Best Of You”, “This Is A Call” and a mountainous “Everlong” to close the show accompanied by some amazing fireworks. In between all that we had a rather impressive drum solo from Taylor Hawkins. While Taylor was doing a bit of a Freddie Mercury vocal work out, Dave spotted someone, who we later learned was called Ryan, in the crowd dressed as Freddie Mercury. So obviously they had the crowd pass him over their heads to the stage. Now Ryan couldn’t sing but his performance miming to Taylor Hawkins vocals on a great version of the Queen and David Bowie hit “Under Pressure” was great fun. The band also played a storming cover of AC/DC’s “Let There Be Rock”. In my opinion, if you end a festival day with the Foo Fighters you will always go home or back to your tent a happy bunny and I was certainly that! It set me up feeling great for Day 2, more of that to follow!

Mr Grohl and the band get buzzed by a real Foo Fighter!

 

 

 

All the photos apart from the Festival Line Up 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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Worm EP Launch – The Inkwell, York – Saturday 6th June 2015 June 11, 2015

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 5:09 am
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Regular readers of this blog know that I will always be attracted by the lure of a free gig and last Saturday was no exception. Those lovely folk at The Inkwell in York (a fab independent vinyl records and books and tapes and stuff emporium) hosted the launch of local band Worm’s EP launch. The shop is rather small but it was rammed on Saturday, according to Facebook 39 people said they were there. I can honestly declare that I was one of those 39 alongside any non Facebook members that were in attendance. Can they really fit that many people in the Inkwell?

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Was it worth the visit? Fuck yeah! It was a great afternoon spent with an excellent band. Worm’s influences in my opinion are somewhat eclectic and range from Nirvana, Foo Fighters, jazz, acoustic Fleetwood Mac and everywhere in between. This is one hell of a talented band and I would certainly pay to see them again. I know this session was a free gig, but I did buy their EP which I must say is rather bloody spiffing and only cost three quid!

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It has been on rotation in the car this week and I am loving it. My favourite tracks (and there are six fine tunes on the EP people!) are “Choke”, “Breathe” and especially “Sort It Out”. This four piece York band are very talented and seem to have a great sense of fun and camaraderie. Great musicians, great stage presence and great songs. What more do you want? Socks as dampers for the microphones? Well they had that too! If you get the chance definitely go and see them and make sure that you buy the EP too!

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DZ Deathrays, Avalanche Party & … And The Hangnails – The Woolpack, York – Thursday 7th August 2014 August 8, 2014


Following yet another brilliant recommendation from my friend Simon Pattinson (and thanks for another great night out Mr P) I went to a fabulous gig at the Woolpack in York on Thursday night. I was drawn by the appearance of …. And The Hangnails who I had previously seen at the Apollo Festival in June. It was that excellent band that kicked proceedings off. This mighty, powerful, noisy, rock duo par excellence were brilliant. Despite a microphone problem in the first song and a broken guitar string later this band were on top form. If you’re a fan of the White Stripes, Black Keys, Strokes or Kings Of Leon I reckon you’ll love them. But don’t focus on the influences that I heard, … And The Hangnails are a very original band. I hear that they may be supporting another of my favourite bands later this year; the Tuts! I spoke with the band after the show and obviously I bought a copy of their new album ‘Rut’ which is bloody good. I have seen them twice so far this year I suggest that you make sure you see them at least once.

andthehangnailsNext up at this tiny but brilliant venue was Avalanche Party who I understand include a few former members of 3 Foot Ninja who I have seen, enjoyed immensely and reviewed in the past. But Avalanche Party are not 3 Foot Ninja they are very much Avalanche Party. This band have great stage presence and know how to work an audience. They are a really tight band who play incredibly well together. The singer has a bit of a starey-eyed Ian Curtis about him. Their own songs are very powerful in a live setting and I’m looking forward to get my hand on some of their recorded output. They also played a formidable cover of Nancy Sinatra‘s “These Boots Are Made For Walking“. As with all the best cover versions they made it their own.

??????????????????????The headline act for tonight was DZ Deathrays all the way from Brisbane in Australia. If I had to leave before their set I would have gone home very happy indeed having witnessed two stupendous bands with massive potential. However I didn’t need to go home and I witnessed a set from a band that even surpassed those of …. And The Hangnails and Avalanche Party. DZ Deathrays are explosive and powerful with a drummer that could give Dave Grohl a run for his money. They alternate between being a three-piece and a four-piece to great effect. I bought their album too and it is very, very impressive. They will be in the UK until October. If you have a chance to see them you really ought to take it. Personally I would pay to see any of tonight’s bands again. I would love to hear what you think of all of them.

dz deathrays

 

Reading Festival 2012 – Day 3 – Sunday 26th August August 27, 2012


So how did the last day of the festival arrive so quickly? Perhaps because two old rockers (that’s me and Mr Horslen) have had a fantastic jolly boys outing! Day 3 kicked off with the highly recommended (by Simon Pattinson) Deap Vally. They were fucking good; like an all girl White Stripes but with a much better drummer! We caught some of the Band Of Skulls set and they served up some pretty good blues rock. The Eagles Of Death Metal who on the previous occasions I had seen them were a superb party band. They were good this time but not as good as usual. I wonder whether the fact that the audience is now a bit further from the stage given the new safety barrier arrangement.

The Gaslight Anthem were next on the Main Stage. These guys definitely get better every time I see them, it must be something about the water in New Jersey because there is definitely at least an injection of Springsteen in their songs. Another comedy break came next and Stephen K Amos was bloody hilarious. His handling of hecklers was the best I have seen in a long while. Alberta Cross don’t sound like they’re from Alberta nor do they sound cross. But they do sound good.

The loudest band ever on the BBC Introducing stage has to be Marmozet. Are they Slipknot without the masks? I think I like them. Next it’s the Lock Up stage for Good Riddance, basically a bit derivative of many US punk bands and therefore not particularly original. Was that Johnny Cash playing guitar in the Mark Lanegan Band? Is Mark receiving messages from beyond the grave from Jim Morrison? We need to know! The Kaiser Chiefs were far better than I expected but I doubt that I’ll ever be a big fan of theirs. Every day I love you less and less; indeed. Everything is average nowadays; double indeed! The Black Keys rocked like motherfuckers; ’nuff said!

So just how good was the send off from Reading 2012? It was the Fucking Foo Fighters, that’s how good it was. Undoubtedly one of the best headline sets I have ever seen at Reading and I have been going since the late 70s. Sadly I haven’t been every year in that time, but I have only missed around two of the last twenty and Nick and me have headed to Reading together for around ten years now. The Foos played for two and a half hours and if the field had a roof on they surely would have blown it off. Dave Grohl is a talented genius and a true superstar. None of the rumoured special guest turned up but they weren’t needed. In the few hours before the Foos Nick and I both thought about toning it down or not going as often. But after the Foo Fighters we were completely fired up for Reading 2013. Bring it on!

 

Reading Festival 2012 – The Preview August 7, 2012


We are now just over two weeks away from the start of the 2012 Reading Festival. Since I moved north to York in 2007 this has become my annual pilgrimage back south where I meet up with my good friend and festival buddy extraordinaire Mr nick Horslen. Undoubtedly soon to qualify as the oldest rockers in a field in Reading (our combined age is definitely over one hundred!) we have attended the world’s number one rock festival for many years. Although I live nearer to the Leeds end of it I won’t be going there until I can only move by Zimmer frame as I have always seen Leeds as the snotty young brother of Reading.

I have mixed feelings about some of the headliners this year. The Foo Fighters are always awesome an I doubt that will change this year. The Cure, who headline the main stage on the Friday night haven’t played the Reading Festival since 1979 so I’d like to think they’ll have something special up their sleeves for this year. It’s Kasabian that really concern me, I find them a little predictable and almost Spinal Tapesque, like someone said today I’m going to invent a rock band. I may be convinced otherwise but for me they come across as Leaden Zeppelin, Slightly Dark Sabbath or Shallow Purple. I am sure that there are plenty of you out there that disagree with that opinion, so feel free to comment.

There are some great acts lower down the bill on the Main Stage that for me are ‘must see’ performers. Those are; Florence and the Machine, Paramore, Eagles Of Death Metal, Cancer Bats and the truly stupendous Enter Shikari. The Kaiser Chiefs are third on the Main Stage bill on the Sunday, which I find a bit surprising. They have been lacklustre at best lately in my opinion, what do you think?

I am disappointed that I will probably miss Justice in the NME/ Radio tent as they are on the same time as the Foo Fighters. But there are a number of other bands and artists that I want to see on the NME/ Radio 1 stage; notably the Horrors, the Joy Formidable, Hadouken, the Hives, At The Drive In (who are on at the same time as Kasabian) and most of all Graham Coxon.

On the other stages I will do my best to watch Less Than Jake, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Azealia Banks and Grimes. But of course I can’t ignore the often excellent BBC Introducing stage where Nick and I often pick a band with the wackiest name to see, but we are also open to recommendations too! So I’m currently considering Wet Nuns, Fish Tank, Dingus Khan and Attention Thieves.

Nick and I often meet some really interesting people at the festival and last year was no exception. In fact last year we met a great bunch of people, mostly South African, but with a smattering of Brits. One of the South Africans was a hilarious bloke called Jason Steyn. (Jason if you’re reading this let me know if you’ll be there this year). They shared their booze, we shared our food and supplied me with a Prince Charles mask! if those guys are back again this year and indeed if you want to meet me and Nick we will be just to the left of the front of the lighting/ mixing tower as you face the main stage, although obviously not if we’re at one of the other stages. You can’t miss us, Nick is very tll and grey haired and his festival nickname is Silver Dude. I am somewhat shorter, slightly older and have hardly any hair, my festival nickname is Billy Baldust. (Actually I just made that one up, but there will be a prize for anyone who comes up with a better one!

Anyway that’s enough wittering on from me. I would love to hear your comments on this post or indeed on any of my posts. I would also love to meet you at Reading and would be more than happy to give you a name check on my posts from the festival! Whetehr I see you or not I hope you enjoy yourself!

 

“You’re not down with who I am, look at you now, you’re all in my hands tonight” March 10, 2012


A white parka? Seriously?

XFM listeners recently took part in a poll to name the greatest front man of all time. So many great blokes to choose from and they went for Liam Gallagher. Now don’t get me wrong Liam has been very good in the past, particularly in the early days of Oasis, but the greatest front man of all time? I don’t think so. The full top 20 was;

1. Liam Gallagher
2. Freddie Mercury
3. Dave Gahan
4. Dave Grohl
5. Matt Bellamy
6. Brandon Flowers
7. Morrissey
8. Jim Morrison
9. Kurt Cobain
10. Alex Turner
11. Paul Weller
12. Mick Jagger
13. Tom Meighan
14. Eddie Vedder
15. Joe Strummer
16. Ian Curtis
17. Caleb Followill
18. Ian Brown
19. Thom Yorke
20. Chris Martin

A white double-breasted jacket? Seriously?

I agree with many of these, but I am surprised Robert Plant and John Lydon didn’t make the cut. Who do you think should have been included? Click here to read the report on nme.com.

Liam wasn't very happy with his dental work

 

“Light you up, put you on top” December 18, 2010


RIP Don Van Vliet

A random selection of news is heading your way in this post. Starting with the sad news that Don Van Vliet also known as Captain Beefheart has died aged 69 from complications brought about by multiple sclerosis. Read the BBC report here. It would be fair to say that he wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s hard to deny his influence and innovation. It took me a while as a teenager but I did get into ‘Trout Mask Replica‘ indeed I now have a CD copy of the album. He was a contemporary of Frank Zappa and Zappa Plays Zappa played “Willie The Pimp” in his honour the night his death was announced.

Lady Gaga possibly not everyone's cup of tea either

At least we know what she did with Santa's beard 😉

I haven’t posted about Lady Gaga for a while so here goes with news on the Lady GG. She is set to appear in the new Muppets movie along with the likes of Dave Grohl off of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, Jack Black and Ricky Gervais. She has also been named MTV Woman Of The Year for the second year in a row. She also had an Ozzy Osbourne moment at her London O2 show the other night. A stuffed Santa toy was thrown on stage by a fan, she picked it up and made a comment about hating Christmas and then bit the toys head off! I don’t know about you but I love rock and pop stars to be real fruitloops like Lady Gaga. Read the Santa murder story here.

Gaga gets jiggy (ish) with Kanye?

 

 
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