With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Sunflower Thieves and Epilogues – Songs Under Skies – National Centre For Early Music (NCEM), York – Wednesday 16th June 2021 July 5, 2021


This was the final show of 5 of the second series of Songs Under Skies (the last was September 2020) in the grounds of the iconic and frankly gorgeous York venue the National Centre For Early Music (NCEM). Tonight we had even more local talent proving once again that York and Yorkshire bloody rock it! Before it all started though, I had the opportunity for a long chat with the supremely talented Laura Kindelan. I am definitely looking to more music from her! (No pressure Laura!) First up was Epilogues a.k.a. Mikey who regular readers will have spotted on these pages before. By his own admission Mikey writes many sad songs, but he does fill them with truly stupendous lyrics. His second song of the evening was “Sixteen” from his new EP released a few months back, yes it was a sad song, but truly beautiful too. “The Gap” was absolute epic Epilogues, even with what Mikey referred to as a nightmare chord. I loved “Two Weeks” which I believe is about a broken relationship. Mikey gave us some idiosyncratic ad libs while tuning his guitar, including the line “and the crowd went mild”. I may have to borrow that in the future. My favourite song from this set was a new one, “I’m Just Glad That You Stayed”.

Next up were an act that I had not seen or heard before, Sunflower Thieves. They are purveyors of perfectly matched voices and heavenly harmonies. They kicked off their set with the sublime “Don’t mind The Weather” which was released as a single this year. It is the perfect song for a beautiful, balmy summer evening. They played a couple of new songs, apologies if I got the titles wrong. “34 Days” and “Going Out With You”. The latter has an early 70s US West Coast coffee bar vibe. It would have fitted perfectly in an acoustic afternoon session at the Troubadour in Los Angeles back in the day. I adore “Hide And Seek” which is about being carefree and being nostalgic for childhood. It evoked many wonderful carefree and youthful memories for me. They played a tune that they wrote with the multi talented Sam Griffiths of the Howl And The Hum, but I missed the title, but it was probably my favourite of the whole night. I also really love “Heavyweight” a song about social anxiety, which I suppose couldn’t be more topical right now. I definitely want to hear more from the Sunflower Thieves and I am sure that I will!

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Miles – Single Launch – The Crescent, York – Friday 19th April 2019 April 27, 2019


This day was actually Good Friday, but when you’re lucky enough to attend a gig like this then I would suggest we rename it Great Friday. This was the third time I have seen Miles, but more of that later, because there were some rather spiffing support acts on the bill too. First to take the stage was Rosalind, tonight made up of amazingly talented York singer songwriter Ellie Milne and Nina on backing vox and harmonies. (I hear that Nina has an EP out now). The pair was aided and abetted by Josh (a.k.a. Wounded Bear) and Mikey (from Miles) on guitar and backing vocals. Ellie’s self-penned songs are built on a tsunami of soul baring emotions and “Call This A Love Song” is a stand out tune. I saw Rosalind for the first time just less than two weeks ago and I am sure I will be seeing her plenty of times in the future. Ellie performed a scorchingly brilliant cover of Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s “Big Fish”. But the closing song which deals with domestic violence was one of the most haunting tunes that I have heard in a long while.

The second support act of the evening was Wounded Bear (a.k.a. Josh). He has a rich, deep voice which enticingly draws you into his songs, most of which weave wonderful stories through their sometimes intricately clever lyrics. The music scene in York is incredibly close and supportive and embraces everyone, so Wounded Bear was the beneficiary of some heavenly counterpoint harmonies provided by Ellie and Nina who we heard as a part of the earlier Rosalind performance. Wounded Bear has a really classy EP out now entitled ‘A Calm Night For A Bullfight’. Currently my favourite song from that release is “Angela”, an emotionally charged and heartfelt love song. But for me Wounded Bear saved his best song to last, Adrian Gurvitz once said in song that he was “gonna write a classic”. Well with “Civil War” Wounded Bear has indeed written a classic tune. Musically and lyrically it has nothing missing, the song borders on perfect and needs to be heard.

Finally it was time for the headliner Miles, I think this is the second time that I have seen Miles and twice more in a previous incarnation as Epilogues. I believe main man Mikey sets out to create music that is epic in scope and could adapt well to score a foreign film of love and loss incredibly successfully. The first few, rather moody masterpieces, are performed by Mikey on his own in a style reminiscent of early period Jarvis Cocker. After that we were hit with the extended band including a well-drilled rhythm section. The drum fills were often like ethereal jazz noodles floating over a rainbow river. Mikey’s vocal talents are at times wondrous and evoke the softer side of Thom Yorke for me. This gig was to launch the new Miles single “16: My Delightful Inheritance” which is shaping up to be his best yet. I must apologise for being so tardy with this review that the album of the same now is now available on Daddy Issues Records and most major streaming sites. Click here or to check it out.

 

Public Service Announcement – all the pictures, apart from the gig poster, were taken using my cheap Chinese Android phone.

 

Miles – The Crescent, York – Thursday 18th October 2018 October 22, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:03 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Miles (ex Epilogues)

No excuse for not living the moment tonight, I forgot to take my mobile phone with me, but that means that there won’t be any shitty out of focus pictures from me! Anyway this gig was another great line up put together by the Magical Mr Coates at Please Please You. Headlined by Miles (ex Epilogues) the night also included three other acts. Excellent value for a fiver I reckon! First to hit the stage was Elk who gave us spaced out folk music backed by acoustic guitar and often by an almost hypnotic keyboard drone. The latter was provided by Mikey off of Miles. There was clearly a whole bundle of emotion in these songs although it sounded like the vocals were mixed a little too low in the quieter moments. The crashing, crescendo like harmonies on some tunes were truly epic. If there is ever another series of ‘True Detective’ some of these songs would fit perfectly.

Wounded Bear

Wounded Bear was second up. He has warm, rich, sublime vocals with a hint of sweetness. Perhaps the aural equivalent of Jack Daniels with honey. This troubadour tells intricate stories with his songs of love and loss. New song “Civil War” is shaping up to be something very special. Alexander Carson was the nights penultimate performer. He has almost angelic vocals on some truly ethereal songs, many of which deal with death. On paper that might sound like a depressing way to spend an evening, but trust me it is not! Alexander’s use of looping and layering his sounds is honed to perfection. On top of that he is one of the most accomplished keyboard players that I have seen in a while. There were some immense piano flourishes that ran the gamut from classical to jazz and back again. This guy is well worth checking out.

Alexander Carson

Finally it was time for Miles. I had seen main man Mikey in a previous acoustic guise as Epilogues. He has come a long way since then and he was good when I saw him as Epilogues, he is even better now and the more powerful sound of a band performance suits him well. Most of the tunes seem to have an ambition to be cinematic in scope and most achieve that ambition. The solo tunes seem to carry a great sadness in their ambient parts and this couples so naturally with the soul baring lyrics. “Me” is an absolute killer of a sad lament. While the emotion in “Two Weeks” was palpable to the point where Mikey was moved to shed real tears. Nigel the drummer took on a spoken interlude to thank everyone who supported and worked on the show. Nigel you are a fucking excellent drummer, but stick to that and not stand up comedy. If you love really open heart outpourings in song then Miles are a must for you. This band needs to be heard more widely. Make it happen!

Miles – ex Epilogues

Public Service announcement: All photos and videos lifted from FaceBook. If you are the photographer and you want to be credited or have the pictures/ video removed then please holler.

 

Billie Marten, Epilogues, Laura Kindelan – The Basement, City Screen, York – Tuesday 11th July 2017 July 12, 2017


This wonderful, intimate venue was home to a wonderful and intimate gig on Tuesday night courtesy of the talented Mr Simon Pattinson of Northern Radar. Mr P always puts together some excellent packages and I would like to congratulate him on his first sell out gig, may there be many more! Incidentally if you spot any gig promoted by Northern Radar give it a shot, Simon has never let me down in all the years I have known him.

Anyway tonight was a really chilled acoustic gathering kicked off by Laura Kindelan from York. For me Laura evokes what might have been had Jeff Buckley been female. This girl has so much soul in her voice and also a magnificently chilled and carefree style. She also has some great songs, “Sweet Tooth” is achingly, stunningly beautiful and I love it.

I first saw tonights second act, Epilogues back at this same venue in September last year when Mikey was supporting Jordan Mackampa. I liked him then and I still do. He said that he was nervous at the start of his set, but it really didn’t show. He has a great vocal range which is suggestive of both Thom Yorke in his softer moments and David Bowie circa 1969. The name Epilogues suggests closure but this fella has so much to offer that maybe he should become Prologues.

Billie Marten was the headliner tonight although she did say that she was blown away by the support. But whilst everyone tonight put in great performances for me Billie definitely shaded it. How many “Internet Sensations” (Billie came to prominence via her own YouTube channel as a young girl and then on a local YouTube channel called Ont’ Sofa) have true talent? I would wager that not many do, but Billie Marten has talent in spades. Her performance evokes a slight spirit of Joni Mitchell but she is also very much her own woman. “Cartoon People” belies the fact that Billie is only eighteen, it is a powerful song about Donald Trump and his daughter. It is a great song that would win over anyone in possession of a brain and a heart. This young lady will go far and she deserves to. She also shared some of her home baked cake with us and I can tell you that it was damned fine too.

 

Jordan Mackampa – City Screen Basement York – Tuesday 20th September 2016 September 20, 2016


jordan-mackampa

Here I am at yet another gig put on by my good friend Simon Pattinson. He has never let me down yet, will he keep his 100% record? Read the whole review to figure out the answer. (No pressure Mr P!). This was a gig that the delightful Catwoman (a.k.a. my beautiful wife Catherine) joined me for and unlike the Gary Numan debacle from a few years ago she really enjoyed it, as did I.

First up was a young man called Mikey who appeared under the name Epilogues. He is a singer songwriter with some really good songs and an excellent and savvy use of technology including playing through his phone some elements that he had recorded earlier. He had some problems with his G String and before you go all Carry On Films on me I mean on his guitar. He overcame that and a slight bit of nervousness with aplomb and played a great set. To me he came across as a more folk based and influenced multi instrumentalist along the lines of Jack Garratt. Mikey also possesses a great voice, this bloke has a lot of potential. Incidentally I need to apologise to Mikey as I didn’t get a picture of him for this post, sorry mate!

crispin

Crispin Halcrow

Crispin Halcrow was next up, I first saw him supporting Adams French back in January at this same venue. He was good then and he has also improved too. He has some beautiful songs some of which are easily on a par with Billy Joel‘s “So It Goes” which he covered tonight. One of Crispin’ s compositions “Say Goodbye” (at least that is what I think it was called) was a wonderfully sad song that also contained great beauty. Maybe I’m mad here, but I reckon Rod Stewart would make an excellent cover of that song. Crispin from Kendal remains reminiscent of the likes of Seth Lakeman for me. He is most definitely an artist with great potential.

Amy May Ellis

Amy May Ellis

The next act to take the stage was Amy May Ellis accompanied by her ukulele. She is a great talent with a haunting and siren like voice which weaves the words of her songs with a soaring grace. I reckon she would be one of the few artists that I have seen that could also do her whole set acapella with no detrimental effect. She readily admits to being no comedian, but here jokes (one about a polar bear and the other about snowmen) were pretty good. As for the swearing song, was it called “Existential Life Crisis”? That was brilliantly and wickedly funny. Amy is a prodigious talent and someone that I would definitely pay to see again.

jordan

Jordan Mackampa

Now it was time for the main man, Jordan Mackampa on what was the seventh show of his first UK headline tour. He is a proper and very talented showman. Imagine how John Legend might sound if he sang behind a guitar rather than a keyboard. Jordan plays and writes supremely soulful and emotional folk rock music. I also really enjoyed those woo woo backing vocals he had us in the audience performing too. Catwoman and I harmonised really well, at least I think that we did! “Colours” is an amazingly poignant song. It brought tears to my eyes and made me think of two people very close to me that are currently battling that evil bastard of a disease known as cancer. You both know who you are and I want you to know that I love you and I will always be there for you. Jordan has some immensely inspirational songs which really touch our simple human emotions. I can see myself listening to him a lot in future.

 

 

 

 
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