With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Crow Black Chicken – The Crescent, York – Monday 11th April 2022 April 18, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 6:31 pm
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Until this show, I had never seen Crow Black Chicken before, but I have seen both the support bands before. First up was Sweet May who I saw for the first time just over three weeks ago back in March. This is a power trio whose music comes screaming out of the bleeding, still-beating heart of 70s rock. Think Thin Lizzy, Free, Bad Company, and maybe even Rainbow. Will, Piers, and Al are supremely talented in their own right and they come to more than the sum of their parts as a sublime hard-rocking unit. I want to single out one of the band for a big shout out though. There are poor drummers, there are ok drummers, there are good drummers and every so often there is a great drummer. Step up from your drum stool and take a bow Al Perry, you really are a great drummer! Particular highlights of Sweet May‘s set for me were “Deep Space” and “Insane”. The latter had the power and passion to take the roof off the venue. Thankfully that didn’t actually happen and I am very pleased to say that the Crescent remains intact.

Sweet May

Next up it was Doghouse Derelicts, another band I was witnessing for just the second time, the first was just over four weeks ago. They sounded like early Doobie Brothers with Joe Walsh on guitar and some classy Eaglesesque harmonies at times. This really feels like a band at the top of their game, although I suspect they have a fair bit more in the tank too. “Wasted” and “Where I’m From” were early highlights in a great set. At one point the band introduced a rapper, Dandy, to join them on stage. Now on paper that combination really doesn’t sound like it would work at all. But on stage, it was a fucking masterstroke. Dandy enhanced a couple of already great tunes, particularly set closer “I Don’t Care”. Given that the crowd was quite sparse, well it was a Monday night, this was a banging, brilliant set from Doghouse Derelicts.

Doghouse Derelicts

Finally, it was time for the headliners Crow Black Chicken who gave us some ace fuzzed up, bluesy, swampy, funky, dirty US deep south rock. The band is in fact from the deep south …….. of Ireland! Think Lynyrd Skynyrd, Canned Heat, ZZ Top and Creedence Clearwater Revival with an undertow of Little Feat and that might give you a little of what Crow Black Chicken sounds like. Lead singer Christy O’Hanlon has a rough-edged, raspy, soulful voice that was made for blues-rock. His guitar work was incredible too. The band is a real live force of nature. Bassist Stephen McGrath gurns every note that he rips out of his bass guitar. He plays notes that many other bass players couldn’t. The way he partners seamlessly with drummer Gev Barrett in a rhythm section reminiscent of John Bonham and John Paul Jones is sublime. It really is hard to tell sometimes that Crow Black Chicken is not an authentic deep south US band, but that does not make them copyists. They really are a fine original band that knows how to rock. I loved the song about Oliver Cromwell and the tribute to Weather Report’s late great Jaco Pastorius. But my favourite of the whole evening was a tune about cults and in particular Jim Jones. Every song was a blinder though, Crow Black Chicken‘s set was definitely all killer, no filler! Check them out NOW people!

Crow Black Chicken

All pictures, except the gig poster, were taken by me using my very cheap Chinese Android phone. The videos were found on YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be removed please let me know.

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Fully Live Showcase #3 – Fulford Arms, York – Sunday 13th March 2022 March 17, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:12 pm
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This was the third Fully Live Showcase and I think the first that I have been able to make it to. It was originally scheduled to showcase four bands, but unfortunately New Age Vinyl had to pull out, hopefully, I will get to see them sometime soon. But that still left three bands on the bill, one of which I have seen before, so more of them later. A huge thank you to the Fully Arms team for pulling together such a great showcase! First on stage was Anthea Drive, a great band whose style brings some of the best 70s rock vibes into the 21st Century. Even before the arrival of new vocalist Michelle earlier this year Anthea Drive were very good but now they are stunningly good. Michelle took to the stage around three songs in after the lads had warmed up the crowd nicely. She adds an amazing new dimension and depth to the sound with her soaring voice and powerful stage presence. Michelle confided in me before she took to the stage that she was a little nervous, but that didn’t show at all, she and the band smashed it. The band is very tight and well-rehearsed and Michelle’s voice at times took me back to 70s rock a la Girlschool, Fanny, and even Suzi Quatro. Standouts for me were “Yes, I Want To Be A Ballerina” and the mountainous “Prisoner Of War”. I recommend you catch this band live as soon as you can, you will not be disappointed.

Anthea Drive

Next up was Doghouse Derelicts, I already liked them simply for the name. To be fair they were never going to be in the doghouse and they are most certainly not derelict. With at least three great singers in the band, their vocal harmonies were supremely well put together. At times I was reminded of Little Feat, Ronnie Lane, Free, and maybe the Eagles and I think that eclectic list of bands shows just how talented and versatile Doghouse Derelicts are. They know how to rock, they have soul and are simply a bloody brilliant rock band, I will definitely be looking out for more live shows from them. On top of that, they really seemed to be enjoying themselves too. Dave Budgen and Tim Hutton brought the band together some years ago while playing as part of the magnificent Dub Pistols. On stage, Tim Hutton was referred to as rock royalty and if you check out his cv that is probably true he has worked with so many music legends. Those legends include Afrika Bambaataa, Amy Winehouse, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Dub Pistols, Fela Kuti, Groove Armada, Lee Perry, Liam Howlett, Mike Skinner, Paul Oakenfold, Professor Green, and Tony Allen to name just a few!

Doghouse Derelicts

The last band on tonight was the rather wonderful City Snakes who I saw for the first time just last month, also at the Fulford Arms. If you could store the energy that these lads (and their hardcore fans) produce I reckon you could light up the city of York for a month. Are City Snakes the solution to the current energy crisis? Possibly! They have shades of the best of British punk and new wave in their sound from the Clash and the Undertones with an extra dollop of US class via the Strokes. They also have a similar approach and swagger to early Arctic Monkeys. I previously described them as having that dirty glam sound that the New York Dolls were so good at, and they have it in buckets! But don’t take the mention of all these bands to mean that I think these boys are copyists, they most definitely are a spectacularly good fuzzed up, punked-up garage band in their own right. The whole band was on form but I want to give a particular shout-out to the rhythm section, they were on fire to an erupting Vesuvius level tonight. City Snakes know how to rock and they know how to party, if seeing them live isn’t on your bucket list then there is something wrong with you! I should mention their fans too, who shorn of t-shirts and with snakes drawn on their backs moshed like their lives depended on it! I don’t want to reduce their street cred, but I met one of the band’s Dads tonight and he is a top bloke and obviously a huge City Snakes fan!

All the photos, apart from the gig poster, were taken using my cheap Chinese Android phone, hence the shady as shit quality! The videos were all found via YouTube. If any of the videos are yours and you would like me to credit you or remove them please let me know.

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