With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Jorvik Radio – 1st Birthday Bash – Online Stream – Saturday 7th November 2020 November 17, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:40 pm
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Jorvik Radio, probably the best community radio station in the UK, turned one year old this month and to celebrate they put together an online streamed mini festival on Saturday 7th November. It featured seven very different and very talented acts. Kicking off with the Serotones, a fantastic young band from York. This lot are the bastard children of the Stone Roses and possibly J. Mascis (off of Dinosaur Jr.) too. Yes I know the Shed Seven connection, but I am talking about how they sound. The guitarist has the talent to match John Squire and the vocals are definitely a tad better than Ian Brown’s. Was there a better choice to kick off Jorvik Radio’s first birthday bash? I don’t think so.

Next up were Scarborough’s rather excellent, the Feens, to describe them simply as an indie band would be doing the Feens a great disservice, they are so much more than that with wide ranging influences including Arcade Fire and maybe even Blur. The vocals are incredibly soulful and spot on. What should a band do when they have two stunning singers in their ranks? Use them both to great effect of course. A great performance on vocals from Freddie and Adam.

Bonnie and the Bailers ( although a bit short on Bailers for this gig) are new to me, but I have a hunch they will appear on this site a lot more. Bonnie’s vocals have a tremendous depth of emotion and passion. Without a full band and just guitars she proves just how powerful her voice is. Ably supported by Bull’s guitarist, more of them later, Bonnie powers through an excellent set. “Gravy” is simply weird, wonderful and frankly beautiful. In my opinion Bonnie has the potential to become a Janis Joplin for the 21st Century.

Everyone loves Tony Wright, right? well if you’re a fan of Terrorvision you definitely do. This was a brilliant acoustic set from Tony with support from another guitarist. Wright is now very much a Yorkshire music legend and he plays that role in a very unassuming fashion. The songs are very autobiographical and in the main full-on story songs. It is often said that the mark of a great song is how it sounds in a simple acoustic setting, if that is true then Tony Wright’s set was full of absolute classics. “Do You Love Me” is perhaps one of the finest love songs that I have heard in a long while. In contrast “Janine/ Jeanette” was a bloody hilarious singalong.

Hip Hop from York? Who knew? Keon, playing his first solo non-DJ show for quite a while absolutely smashed it. This bloke knows his stuff and has the great knack and immense talent for spitting perfect ciphers. Flying the flag high for British Hip Hop. Keon also had a wonderful choice of beats to back his linguistic eloquence, particularly Souls Of Mischief. I am most definitely a Keon fan now!

The penultimate act was Hello Operator a band that I have had the pleasure of seeing live quite a few times and they just get better and better every time. They are now a well established full-on rock band drawing their influences from across the whole lineage of British Rock; the Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Blur and many more. They have that classic rock sound that Oasis always threatened to achieve but never did. Their eponymous debut album is out now, check it out, you will not be disappointed.

Bull are another great York band that just get better and better each time I see them. There are not many bands like Bull, they are close to genre defying. An incredibly tight band, original, talented and purveyors of great vocals, heavenly harmonies and stupendous songs. If I had to describe them I would say maybe jangly 90s indie spliced with Velvet Underground, Teenage Fanclub, Blur, the Beach Boys and the Clash. They recently signed a record deal so we will have so much more to look forward to from them. OK until real gigs return this rather splendid online show was a strong substitute. A massive happy birthday to Jorvik Radio and may you have many more!

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Violet Contours – The Crescent, York – Friday 18th October 2019 November 3, 2019


It has taken a while to get this one posted, but here it is! Yet another night at that wonderful York venue, The Crescent. This time to see Violet Contours in action once again. Were they as good as the last time that I saw them? You will have to read on to find out because before them there was a marvelously eclectic selection of support acts. First up we were taken to acoustic heaven by Joh Hendrickx, She does cover versions, of mostly sad songs. This set, which was way too short included songs by Laura Marling, Matt Corby, and the Middle East. Her cover of the latter’s “Blood” was dripping with emotion and that performance convinced me to find out more about them. She included one cover version that I really didn’t see coming, it was “The Black Hills Of Dakota” originally sung by Doris Day in the 1953 film ‘Calamity Jane’. Ms. Hendrickx totally owned the tune! I believe that Joh has a lot more to offer and I am looking forward to seeing her again.

Joh Hendrickx

Scarborough’s the Feens were next, I last saw them in July and they are still a bloody good band. They come across very “Smithsy” on some songs, from back in the day when Morrissey mattered. Particularly Sam Dowling’s guitar playing. Bass player Adam Lodge has a stunningly powerful voice which complements co-lead vocalist Freddie Scmuck’s vocals perfectly. Lodge roams the stage like a young Peter Hook in the early days of New Order, albeit with his bass more sensibly strapped much higher up his body. Someone in the crowd described them as “easier listening indie”, while I get that I think it does them an injustice. Yes their songs could be described as indie and those songs are easy to listen to, but mainly because they are so damned good. I hear traces of Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend in their sound and that is no bad thing. The Feens are getting some strong and well-deserved airplay of late. Expect much more from this band, they have the power and the talent to make it huge!

Feens

Next, it was the turn of the Serotones, another great York band who I last saw more than two years ago. They were very good then and they are even better now. If you like Dinosaur Jr, you might well like the Serotones, but the biggest influence I can hear in their songs is perhaps the Stone Roses, but with better vocals (sorry Ian Brown). The lead singer has an immaculate stage presence and really seems to understand his audience. Great music must be in human DNA somehow as the Serotones contain two kids from Shed Seven members, Rick Witter and Alan Leach. The band played a lot of new songs and they have a new single out now featuring two rather superb new songs; “Death In Paradise” and “Into The Sky”

Serotones

Finally, it was time for the headliners, Violet Contours, yet another fabulously exciting band from York. This was the third time that I have experienced seeing them live and they get better every time. Their jangly indie dance style is definitely influenced by Vampire Weekend, largely because of that feel-good African guitar vibe. But I can also hear Talking Heads, or more directly the more pop styles of Talking Heads offshoot Tom Tom Club, formed by Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz. Ben Henderson’s voice is clear, strong and conveys emotion and soul when he needs it to. Niall, Daniel, Sam, and Ben have developed into a really tight, funky band able to recreate and magnify, magnificently their recorded sound. Their repertoire is growing in range and quality; “Pablo’s Hippo and “Airstrike” are two outstanding tunes and there are plenty more too. Violet Contours are undoubtedly a band that knows how to party and bring the audience into that party effortlessly. But they don’t just get up their and play, they really look like they are enjoying every moment immensely. If you haven’t seen them or listened to them yet what the hell is preventing you?

Violet Contours

The above Serotones video was filmed by David Butler of Wigwam Creative

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by me. 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. I am also happy for you to use any of my pictures, all I ask is for a credit 🙂

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Lost Trends – Victoria Vaults, York – Thursday 18th July 2019 July 23, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 5:53 pm
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This gig marked my first ever visit to the famous Victoria Vaults (a.k.a. Vicci Vaults) in York. It would also be the fifth time that I have had the chance to experience the mighty Lost Trends, one of Yorks finest bands, playing live. But before I tell you about Lost Trends there is the not so small matter of the two rather spiffing support acts. First on stage was Borderline, another local band who interestingly have no guitarist. But honestly, you really don’t notice that with the heavy, synth-laden, beautiful racket they make. At times I detected a synth, indie, Brit Pop style with shades of New Order and Dave Gahan. The highlight of their set for me was the delightfully titled “The Duchess Dies Tonight”. But that was a close run thing with “In A Vacuum”, which bled with the pumping heart of Heaven 17. But a Heaven 17 from a parallel universe where the never had a fractious split with the original Human League. Steve Gillies vocals occasionally hit a rich seam of Gary Numanesque style and delivery. The aforementioned lack of guitar was rendered invisible by the rhythm section that provided the power of more than just two people. James Brown on drums and bass player Tome Brown were totally in sync with each other throughout the set. Borderline are an excellent band that you really need to check out.

Borderline

Scarborough band the Feens graced the stage next and what an outfit they are, riding on the crest of some excellent airplay on BBC Six Music, BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio they hit the stage with a truckload of energy and great tunes. Think Talking Heads with Johnny Marr on guitar duties, yes Sam Dowling is that good! Freddie Schmuck one of the Feens dual lead vocalists has a feel of Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig about him. When the other dual lead singer, bass player Adam Lodge gets going it’s like being hit by a massive injection of Arcade Fire. The Feens are a highly talented and truly brilliant band that promises so much more. I believe this bunch can go all the way!

The Feens

At last, it was time for the mighty Lost Trends, easily one of York’s best bands from the last five years. It was probably George Clinton or Bootsy Collins who coined the phrase Funkateers, well I believe Lost Trends are true Funkateers, on top of that their outlook and attitude suggest Punkateers too. This is a rock band that thinks it’s a funk band, a funk band that thinks it’s an indie band, an indie band that thinks it’s a punk band. The truth is they are all of those genres, and more, combined into a musical package that will blow your socks off and blow your mind. Every song they have is a dance floor banger that would be perfectly at home pumping from the main stage of Reading/ Leeds. We were treated to some great cuts from their EP “Time” launched earlier this year and some old classics, including “DJ” which is a song about crap DJs. I have said this of Lost Trends before but their stuff would be amazing if featured on a dance remix album by the likes of the Chemical Brothers or Soulwax. As usual Pete Knaggs’ guitar never lets up as it shimmers across the magnificent sounds emanating from a rhythm section that would grace any top band. Rusty’s vocal performance was once again immense and full of power and passion. This band deserves to be huge and if you haven’t seen Lost Trends yet, then you had better rectify that very quickly, otherwise, I will have to come around and sort you out! I know where you live!

Lost Trends

Rusty off of Lost Trends

 

Public Service Announcement: All pictures, apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap android phone. All videos were sourced from YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like me to credit you or take it down please let me know.

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