With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Leeds Festival 2016 Day 2 – Saturday 27th August August 31, 2016


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Waiting for Frank Turner

There was absolutely no way that I was going to miss todays opener, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. This will be, I think, the eighth time I have seen Mr Turner and he has always been better than great. So my car share with rock photographer extraordinaire, John Hayhurst got us there in plenty of time. I was lined up near the front of the Main Stage by 11:30 with Frank not due to start until 12:00. Frank and the Sleeping Souls hit the stage running and never stopped for close to an hour. It was yet another truly awesome set from Mr Turner. We were served up loads of hits and a mental, passionate and highly energetic band with a very ‘up for it’ Frank Turner. Myself and the rest of the audience were truly ‘up for it’ as well. Frank got the crowd to separate and form what at a thrash metal gig would be a wall of death. However he set it up as a wall of hugs, that was just one of many great moments along with Frank continuing to sing while crowd surfing. This was an absolute stormer of a start to the day and the smile remained on my face for the rest of the day in spite of the weather. In fact we later learned that Frank was so full on that he had to be taken to hospital with a suspected broken foot!

Next it was the Jack Rocks Stage where I caught Blinders from Doncaster. They play swampy, punky, psyched-out blues rock. What a brilliant noise! After that brief sojourn it was back to the Main Stage for the second Frank of the day; Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. I have seen Frank Carter a couple of times in the past when he was fronting Gallows, but until today I had never seen the Rattlesnakes. This was an epic punk performance and it was also Frank’s first time on the Main Stage at Leeds/ Reading too. He had the crowd create a huge circle pit and then he proceeded to sing from the centre of it, that takes balls! Mr Carter’s crowd surfing was among the best artist crowd surfing I have ever seen. As for “I Hate You”, well that is just a totally knock-out song.

My first visit of the day to the NME/ Radio 1 tent was for Hinds all the way from Spain. They have some similarities with perhaps, Haim. Their songs are fabulous, bouncy, earworms of pop tunes in a kind of happy, smiley indie style. It is great to see an all girl band performing here though. There is certainly not enough female representation on the stages at this festival. Is that due to the general lack of imagination and forethought in the music industry? I reckon it probably is.

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My first visit to the comedy in the Alternative Stage tent was for the highly intelligent and highly talented Shappi Khorsandi, She was hilarious on topics as diverse and wide-ranging as religion, racism, sexism and porn addiction. She was followed by Sarah Pascoe who was very funny indeed, especially her spiel on pubic hair.

Eat Fast from Newcastle were next on the BBC Introducing Stage. They captivated those of us in the crowd with their Geordie indie pop harmonies. Great songs from a great band. In my quest to get around most stages today I found myself in the Pit next for Citizen. They are an American band that use the quiet- loud style of the Pixies and Nirvana really well with vocals going from a soft croon to a throat shredding scream. The band clearly have a very strong UK fan base given the audience reaction and participation. Many fans proved their love of the band by crowd surfing (I counted maybe ten) into the arms of those unsung heroes of festivals, the security team.

Eat Fast

I stayed in the Pit for the next band, Dinosaur Pile Up. Not only is that a great name, they are an excellent band too. They are a band that has been with us nearly ten years and they will be around for a very long while. I’m not even sure that an extinction level event motherfucker of an asteroid that rear ended our little planet would finish off Dinosaur Pile Up. Next I trudged through the ankle-deep mud to the Festival Republic Stage for Lewis Del Mar (incidentally there is no one called Lewis in this band). But whatever the band members are called they certainly sound good. It is a dubby, trip hop sound with the exuberance and upbeatness of say Vampire Weekend. This is a really tight New York band and at times they made me think of a 21st Century Shuggie Otis.

I was back at the Jack Rocks stage at 6 o’clock for a recommendation from my good friend and top rock photographer John Hayhurst. The band is one that John had seen at the Kendal Calling Festival earlier this year. Their name is Cabbage, they are anarchic, chaotic, funny and very talented. They pretty much defy being put into a genre. However think of the bastard sons of a threesome between the Stooges, Half Man Half Biscuit and Goldie Looking Chain. Cabbage are an exceptional British band that has to be seen to be believed. Their Dinner Lady song is an absolute scream.

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It was at this point that the heavens opened and it rained for a couple of hours on an already muddy field. I put out a call for Ark builders on Facebook, but sadly no one responded. It was at this point while walking from the Jack Rocks stage to the NME/ Radio 1 stage that I decided that I needed an ice cream. so I bought myself a Magnum classic. Nothing particularly interesting about that, until three young lads saw me and claimed that an old bloke eating an ice cream whilst ankle-deep in mud in the pouring rain was the most rock n roll thing that they had ever seen. I can only assume that they were on drugs of some kind 🙂 Anyway I made it to the NME/ Radio 1 stage in time for Crystal Castles. They did not disappoint with a high-powered show featuring bombastic noisy dance sounds done in that very unique Crystal Castles style. It was an incredible show, the lights deserve a mention too, they were stunning

I was not going to miss the next band on the NME/ Radio 1 stage, the magnificent Twenty One Pilots from Ohio. It was a truly splendiferous set from the duo. Brilliant songs and amazing stage presence. How the hell do two people make so much marvellous noise? We were treated to a brief cover of “Jump Around”, acrobatics, drumming while crowd surfing, just crowd surfing and a giant hamster ball.These guys need the Main Stage as a next step for them at Leeds/ Reading. I feel very confident that they will headline this festival one day too.

I was in the Festival Republic tent next for the final song from Pulled Apart By Horses. I have seen them before and they are a band that really know how to flex their well toned rock muscles. Disclosure closed proceedings on the Main Stage. Yes Disclosure, on the Main Stage. Seriously? They’re very good but mot that good. It is not much more than a DJ show after all. I know that they supposed ly co-headlined with Foals. But that co-headlining thing is bollocks, right? In my opinion Foals should have closed the evening. I left Disclosure’s set early because I was a bit bored. But that is my opinion and clearly dance music is becoming more and more popular at this festival.

As my festival car share buddy John Hayhurst was there to take his usual selection of excellent photographs we agreed to meet up at the end of the evening at the BBC Introducing Stage. Incidentally if you do need to meet up with your friends at the end of the day that is the place to be as it is usually empty. Anyway we duly met and as we were waiting for Laura, one of John’s photographer colleagues we were accosted by two blonde 18 year old festival goers, one of them was called Freya and she kept insisting that she had a real thing for older men (John and I are both in our fifties). She kept on insisting that we went back to their tent for some ‘fun’. Personally I reckon she must have been on some pretty strong drugs or that we were being lined up for some kind of sting or robbery. Anyway we eventually persuaded Freya and her friend to head off and enjoy the rest of the night without us. I reckon we dodged a big bullet there!

 

Reading Festival 2014 – 22nd to 24th August August 25, 2014


Usually you get three review posts from me for each day of the festival. But this year I am taking the lazy route. I will just be doing a single review of the whole shebang. Also it will be somewhat different from usual, this is born out of necessity as I just immersed myself in the music and the vibe and didn’t really bother to take notes. What follows is a departure from the norm for me and a bit of fun too. There is a list of the acts I saw and next to each there will be marks out of ten and one word to reflect my memory of that set. Some of these words may be obvious and others will be cryptic, if you want to know more about them please feel free to ask in the comments.

 

Day 1 – Friday 22nd August
Crossfaith 7/10 pretty
Red Fang 7/10 dervish
Rufus 8/10 nuts
Shambles In A Husk 6/10 shouty
Phil Nichol (comedian) 9/10 Eskimo
Deaf Havana 6/10 hair
Fat White Family 7/10 hype
Jimmy Eat World 8/10 veterans
Enter Shikari 9/10 banging
Vampire Weekend 9/10 headliners?
Jamie T 9/10 surprise
Bipolar Sunshine 7/10 happy
Metronomy 9/10 synchronised
Queens Of The Stone Age 9/10 party

 

Day 2 Saturday 23rd August

Jeff Leach (Comedian) 8/10 Ben

Marmozets 9/10 Heavy

Royal Blood 9/10 Bass

Peace 8/10 Magnificent

Hives 9/10 Entertainer

Foster The People 8/10 Kicks

Imagine Dragons 10/10 Thanks

Jake Bugg 9/10 Cool

Arctic Monkeys 10/10 Rocking

 

Day 3 Sunday 24th August

Glenn Wool (Comedian) 7/10 Canuck

Romesh Ranganathan (Comedian) 9/10 Brown

Billie Marten 8/10 Joni

Young Guns 9/10 Tunes

Papa Roach 8/10 Coby

Clean Bandit 7/10 Disco

Breach 7/10 Rave

Maverick Sabre 8/10 Soul

Schoolboy Q 3/10 Unauthentic

Kooks 10/10 Funky

Horrors 9/10 Pyramid

The 1975 10/10 Sophie

Disclosure 8/10 Fractals

 

To sign off I have a message for the festival organisers. It’s great that you switched the screens on the Main Stage to portrait view from their original landscape setting. However you need to fix the tech so that we can actually see interesting stuff on them. There were far too many shots of a singers ear, a guitarists arse or just a drum kit with no drummer in the picture. Also please move the fun fair back out of the main arena, it really doesn’t need to be there. All that aside this was one of the most enjoyable Reading Festivals that myself and my good friend Nick Horslen have been to. We have been attending them together for around 13 years and I went to my first in 1975. I’d love to hear what you folks thought of Reading and Leeds this year. Who do you think will headline next year? How about Iron Maiden or AC/ DC? I reckon Muse will headline. I’d like to see PIL on the bill too.

 

 

Reading Festival 2014 – The Preview August 18, 2014


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Here we are again, time for my annual pilgrimage to the Reading Festival with my good friend Nick Horslen. Collectively we are the Zimmer Twins a.k.a Bald Guy and Silver Dude. So what is on the agenda for us this year? well there are plenty of bands that we have seen many times before, particularly on the Main Stage. Friday on that stage looks very appealing, particularly Deaf Havana, Jimmy Eat World, Enter Shikari and Vampire Weekend all of whom we have seen before but entertaining none the less. There is a joint headline thing going on that day with Paramore and Queens Of The Stone Age. I’m not too sure about the joint headline thing but both are very good bands who I have seen quite a few times. Friday on the NME/ Radio 1 Stage has a couple of acts that I’d like to see. Notably Warpaint, Metronomy and Gerard Way.I really don’t want to miss Aluna George on the Radio 1 Dance Stage either. I can see some big clashes cropping up for us that afternoon! As for the Lock Up Stage I really want to see Brody Dalle. I am never going to be able to see everyone I want to on that day. Some tough choices need to be faced clearly. I haven’t even considered any of the other stages yet either! As usual I would appreciate any recommendations from you folks reading this, especially if it makes our hard choices a bit easier.

Saturday’s Main Stage line up also looks good and once again it features many acts that I have seen before; including Pulled Apart By Horses, The Hives, Foster The People, Imagine Dragons, Jake Bugg and the Arctic Monkeys. But I have to see DZ Deathrays on the Radio 1 Stage first thing on Saturday. I saw them at the Woolpack in York a couple of weeks back and they were awesome. Also on that stage on my to see list are Royal Blood, Cage The Elephant, Die Antwoord, Chvrches and Bombay Bicycle Club. Then maybe Architects on the Pit stage. Band Of Skulls and We Are Scientists on the Festival Republic Stage. I also want to pay a visit to the Alternative Stage for some comedy. Does anyone have the ability to clone me so that I can attend every stage? Please send me the details, what do you need? A DNA sample, blood, sweat, tears, a stool sample? just let me know because as you are all well aware; you’re never alone with a clone!

Sunday’s closing night on the Main stage is good, but at the moment I prefer the other days. Although missing Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Blink 182 would be disappointing. However Disclosure headline the NME/ Radio 1 Stage that night and I don’t want to miss them either. On that same stage on Sunday I also fancy Clean Bandit, the Horrors and the 1975. Blimey this doesn’t get any easier does it? Then of course there is the Klaxons on the Radio 1 Dance Stage. The Lock Up stage is headlined by the magnificent Gogol Bordello with support from the Frankly (Turner) un-missable Mongol Horde.

OK clearly I will enjoy loads of acts but I will also be disappointed at having to miss so many. I await your recommendations dear reader, along with your plans for cloning me. The Zimmer Twins will see you there!

If you squint you can just about spot the Zimmer Twins in that crowd!

If you squint you can just about spot the Zimmer Twins in that crowd!

 

 

Brit Awards 2014 – Wednesday February 19th 2014 February 19, 2014


brits 2014The Brits has kicked off well with a storming “R U Mine” from those Sheffield scallywags the Arctic Monkeys. Will it all go downhill from here? Let’s find out shall we? Well at least James Corden was finally on fire for the first time hosting this show. Well the sleeve of his jacket was to set up a lame joke about the Arctic Monkey‘s pyrotechnics. Thankfully this will be his last Brits. The British Female Brit award was presented the shortest man in music Prince Rogers Nelson accompanied by his new band. Corden interrupted for a selfie with the purple one. Ellie Goulding won it and given the nominees deservedly so in my opinion. She was somewhat awed by meeting Prince too.

Katy Perry was next on stage and she went a bit Stargate Cleopatra on us. She sang “Dark Horse” from her new album ‘Prism’. I presume it’s not a George Harrison tribute. Kylie and Pharrell Williams presented the International Male solo Artist award after more inane and unfunny shite from Corden. It was won by Bruno Mars; personally I expected it to go to Justin Timberlake although I would have voted for Eminem.

Tinie Tempah and Fearne Cotton rocked up to present the British Breakthrough Act Award. It was well won by the rather excellent Bastille. I love the ‘Bad Blood’ album. Sadly Corden was back after that with a dreadful interview with One Direction which included some pathetic jokes about Justin Bieber in prison. Then we were subjected to Bruno Mars with “Treasure”. But to be fair I judged him too soon, that was a good performance. Really classy modern R & B.

Next up a welcome return from Lily Allen to present the award for Best British Group. Thank fuck it wasn’t won by Wand Erection. It went to a proper band instead. The marvellous Arctic Monkeys. The previously known winner of the newcomer award was the understated but talented Sam Smith.

Now we have the Global Success Award presented by Rosie double-barreled surname. Who the fuck is she? Was this Award manufactured for the ultimate manufactured band One Direction? Can’t we just sell them to the USA? Is Harry Styles having a wee the most controversial act of this years show? Sadly it probably is. The revolution doesn’t start here!

Beyonce live, now that was bloody good in my opinion. But was she lip syncing “XO”? The nest award was for best British single, presented by Katy Perry. Was she trying an English accent? Won by the fabulous Rudimental which thankfully beat Olly Murs and Wand Erection.

The first collaboration of this years show was Disclosure and Lorde with a really cool and funky take on Lorde’s “Royals”. Followed by a brilliant live rendition of “White Noise” with Aluna. The International Group award was presented by Cesc Fabregas (WTF?) and Nicole Scherzinger. The winners were Daft Punk. Could it really have been anyone else? The legend that is Nile Rodgers collected the award on their behalf.

Ellie Goulding was next to perform. She did “I Need Your Love” and “Burn”. I loved the massed percussion during “Burn”. I have really grown to like Ellie’s music. Noel Gallagher was there to present the best male solo artist award. Let’s hope he has a new album out soon. Fuck me Bowie’s only gone and won it! Kate Moss accepted it on Bowie’s behalf at his personal behest. A brilliant speech written by the Dame too. This has made my night!

Nick Grimshaw that bloke from Radio One who is moderately more talented than Chris Moyles stepped up to present the International Female solo artist award. Lorde was the winner and a bloody good choice too.  Bowie is a Lorde fan. Then we had yet another shite interview by Corden with Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams. The British Video award was voted for live on Twitter during the show and was presented by Jimmy Carr. Sadly it was won by Wand Erection with “Best Song Ever”, but it isn’t is it?

Rudimental and Bastille combined on stage to become Bastimental for the night. It certainly made up for a second 1D award for the night. Blimey just how sexy is Ella Eyre? Now we are onto the final award of the night, it’s the one that everyone wants. It’s best album and it was presented by Emilie Sande. It went to the Arctic Monkeys. It is a great album, but I was hoping for a second Brit of the night for David Robert Jones. But well done to Alex and the boys, although their acceptance speech was largely bollocks wasn’t it?

The show was closed by Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. What a barnstorming performance from two music masters. “Get Lucky”, “Good Times”, “Happy” the hits just kept coming. Overall I think this years show was an improvement on last year. Some marks out of ten from me; James Corden 1/10, Bowie winning a Brit 10/10 and for the overall show 5/10 could do better.

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“Lately I’ve been thinking if you wanna get tough, then let’s play rough” September 5, 2013


Disclosure_faces_2_RESIZED_credit_edwige_hambenBritish dance duo Disclosure chose their name by selecting a random word on a car insurance form. The band is made up of brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence who were born in 1991 and 1994 respectively. They come from a musical family. Their dad was in a covers band and their Mum sang on cruise ships and provided the vocal for a number of TV advert jingles. Most notably for ‘Shake ‘n’ Vac‘. So there is a tenuous link with Elvis Costello was the writer and voice for the R White’s Lemonade Secret Lemonade Drinker campaign.

Disclosure-Cover

The band’s debut album ‘Settle’ was released earlier this year and has so far spawned four UK top 20 singles, the biggest of which was “White Noise” a collaboration with the magnificent Alunageorge whiched reached number 2 earlier this year. The other singles from the album were “Latch” which features Sam Smith, “You And Me” which features Eliza Doolittle and “F For You” Sadly I missed Disclosure at the Reading Festival last month, but I did get to see Alunageorge perform “White Noise” live. If you haven’t done it already I reckon you ought to check out Disclosure’s album ‘Settle’ along with Alunageorge’s ‘Body Music’.

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