With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Everly Pregnant Brothers – Fibbers, York – Saturday 1st June 2019 June 2, 2019


It was just a few days ago that the Everly Pregnant Brothers from Sheffield appeared in our Mayhem Virgins series, which is exclusively for bands and singers that we have never featured before. But now, just a short time later they feature again, courtesy of one of a number of gigs they are performing in celebration of their tenth anniversary. The show, promoted by the Gig Cartel, was at Fibbers in York, a venue that will sadly be closing down later this year. So, how good were Big Shaun and the boys? Well, you will need to read on to find out what I thought of them because first there is a pretty decent support band to mention. Also from Sheffield, this mob is called Spit N Strings. They describe themselves as Hip Hop, Indie and Acoustic. To that, I would add folk, rock, and comedy. They are an incredibly entertaining band with overflowing energy, enthusiasm and humour. Tom, James, Dave, and Chris had me bouncing, laughing and smiling from the off. Often English rap and rappers just don’t work, but Spit N Strings pull it off with style! Particular highlights for me were “Radio Four” which is a rib-splitting diatribe about getting old, which most of the audience, including me, are. “Festival” is perhaps the best description of music festivals that there has ever been. Then there is the stone cold classic view of life in supermarkets like Morrisons late in the evening for yellow sticker shopping, “Feeding Time”. But my favourite was “Nobheads”, why? Well we are all a bit of a nobhead at times, aren’t we? The nearest comparison I can find for this band is probably Goldie Looking Chain, but I reckon Spit N Strings are much better and deserve a wider audience, check them out on Spotify by clicking here. Then go tell your mates about them.

Spit N Strings

We were spoilt for choice for gigs in York on Saturday. Was it going to be Rod Stewart at the racecourse or the Everly Pregnant Brothers at Fibbers? Well, it was no contest for me, it was always going to be a win for the Everly Pregnant Brothers. On paper ukeleles, drums, double bass, kazoo and cleverly crafted comedy lyrics to classic songs shouldn’t work, but live and on record, it all comes together brilliantly. Big Shaun took to the stage with a newly minted purple mohawk cut and helped drive the band through a set that contained all their classics. It kicked off with “Pork Pie” ( possibly more familiar as Blur’s “Parklife”)and the humour, banter, singalongs and piss-taking never let up from there. I will never be able to listen to the Cure’s “Love Cats” again without laughing out loud after hearing the epic “Fat Twat” where the audience participation on the chorus was so much fun, “la la la lardy bastard” indeed. The same feeling goes for R.E.M’s “Losing My Religion” once you have heard the Brothers “Losing My Pigeon”. I reckon the reworked lyrics are better! “Big Lump Of Hash” almost had me choking on my pint. If you’re a Bowie fan the Everly Pregnant Brothers take on “Ziggy Stardust”, “Reggie Sprayed Me Car” will make you sing the new lyrics forever, I reckon the Dame, who had a great sense of humour, would have loved this take on one of his most iconic songs. Blur’s “Tender” is turned into a hilarious ode to cyclists and the perils of getting saddle sore. Big Shaun introduced a lady from the audience to take the female verse in “Dun’t Tha Want Me”. She got the “buffer in Mappin and Webb” part spot on, but fluffed the unchanged parts! I think her name was Karen and to quote Big Shaun “Karen, you had one job….” The next three songs are those that can never be left out of an Everly Pregnant Brothers set; “Hendo’s”, “No Oven, No Pie” and “Chip Pan”. These three had the audience including me almost taking the Fibbers roof off with our amazing (well that might be stretching it) singing. It took me ten years but I am so glad that I now have the Everly Pregnant Brothers in my life. A great band and this was an awesome show.

Everly Pregnant Brothers

As a soft southerner who has lived in the north for twelve years, I had to do my research on Hendo’s, for those of you not in the know it is Henderson’s Relish! I may have to replace my Worcester Sauce now!

Big Shaun

Public Service Announcement: All photos, apart from the gig poster were taken using my cheap android phone. The videos were sourced from YouTube. If any of the latter are yours and you would either like a credit or to have them removed please let me know.

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Mayhem Virgins – The Everly Pregnant Brothers May 28, 2019


I love discovering great new bands or sometimes great bands that are new to me. Well, the wonderfully named Everly Pregnant Brothers are new to me and that is why they are the next act to feature in the Mayhem Virgins series.  They are about to celebrate their tenth, yes tenth, anniversary with a headline show at Fibbers in York on June 1st. Their brand of twisted Yorkshire parody and comedy is truly unique and bloody hilarious and I am so disappointed that I have only just discovered them. But the voyage of discovery through their back catalogue and YouTube videos has frankly put me in an even more positive mood than usual! A band that makes amusingly clever covers (obviously with comedic lyrics) of classics is the sort of thing that would appeal to me, but a band whose main instruments are ukeleles and a kazoo would normally not be my thing. But the Everly Pregnant brothers make that combination work, even for me.

The band formed in Sheffield after a drunken dare by Pete Mckee and Richard Bailey in 2009. The success of the dare prompted the
pair to draught in a bunch of disparate chaps who had three things in common, the love of beer, ukuleles and having a laugh. Pete Mckee stated in a recent interview that “We weren’t supposed to last ten days! We originally got together for a one-off gig and the buggers insisted
we carry on…”  Frontman Shaun Doane added, “I can honestly say I didn’t think any further than the first two shows we ever did, it was already fun and I hoped it would continue but I was quite prepared to do those two shows at Art in the Gardens and then go back to my musical retirement home!” Well, I for one am eternally grateful that this lot never returned to that musical retirement home. Bring on the next ten years, please. Take a listen now to some ace and rib-splitting covers from many serious artists including some of Sheffield’s finest such as the Human League and Pulp. My current favourites are “No Oven, No Pie” and “Chav World”. Click here to check them out on Spotify.

Public service announcement: all the pictures and videos were sourced via Google and YouTube. If any of them are yours and you would like a credit or want them removed please let me know.

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Vinyl Eddie Records Label Launch Show – Fibbers, York – Sunday May 5th 2019 May 11, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:19 pm
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Tonight was the launch party for the brand new label started by what is probably York’s finest Record Shop Vinyl Eddie. No prizes for guessing that it will be call Vinyl Eddie Records. The first two releases are from two fabulous York bands; The Receivers  with the six track ‘There’s More To The World’ and Violet Contours with a self titled four track EP. I now own both of these records, so you might already have a view of what I think of my view on the two bands who were co-headliners for the Fibbers gig. But before I get to them there were another two support bands before the main events. First up were York trio Fear and Loathing who showed absolute fearlessness and no visible loathing. They have a really chilled jazzy, bluesy guitar sound with the kind of hooks that can be found in Nick Cave’s more commercial songs. On the slower parts to their tunes the vocals, for me, showed elements of the best of Scott Walker interpreting Jacques Brel. Some of their tunes have an underlying tone of menace and when they rock out Fear and Loathing are bloody funky indeed!

Fear & Loathing

The Vedettes were next and they are yet another talented band from York. These boys make a mesmerising, frenetic and frankly, stunningly gorgeous noise. When they get their funky groove on the sound reminds me of early Spandau Ballet, circa “To Cut A Long Story Short” and “Musclebound”, before they went soppy with the likes of the sugary, insipid “True”. Kell Chambers vocals come across like he is fronting a punk band that knows how to create dance-able anthems and let’s face it that is what the Vedettes are; punky, funky and slamming dance all rolled into one. Can the Vedettes be contained in one genre? Probably not, unless that genre was Manic Hyper Disco Punk from another galaxy! Check them out and see and hear for yourselves.

The Vedettes

Next it was time for the first of the two joint headliners, the Receivers. This is an incredibly talented band who get better every time you see them. They are a well honed and incredibly tight band who have a knack for writing some great tunes across a range of styles. “Saturday” is probably their most mainstream and accessible song and it has some immense pop hooks and style. Add to that the unavoidable urge forced upon you to sing along to the chorus. Then they vent their anger in possibly the best way since the heady days of UK punk in “That’s What They Told Me”. The songs from the new release are close to perfect; “Leave The Right Marks”, “Rimshot” and a supremely emotionally charged “Grand Central” proved that and there was a palpable sense of delight and excitement in the crowd throughout the band’s whole set. But even the old songs are something special, “A Thousand Times” is an anthemic banger that makes you want to move your body, for me it feels a little like the Stereophonics at their peak. Nick’s vocals were spot on in this set and Alex is developing into one of the best guitarists around, he also seems to possess more energy than the Duracell bunny. But underpinning the whole receivers sound is the Rolls Royce of rhythm sections from Louis on drums and Harry on bass. The Receivers are definitely one to watch and I am looking forward to seeing them live again soon!

The Receivers

Completing the line up and showcasing more of what is great about the York music scene were joint headliners Violet Contours. Just like the Receivers they have a fabulous record to promote. They have an effervescent, bright and happy sound that has the power to get even the most lethargic people on the floor. There are Vampire Weekend influences in their African style guitars and perhaps some Stone Roses although Ben Henderson’s vocals are probably better than Ian Brown’s in a live setting. Their brand of indie with jangly guitars and funky bass inspired by Orange Juice are a treat for the ears. The band are a solid and tight unit although they have only been around since 2016. One thing I really love about them is how much they seem to be enjoying themselves on stage. I am not properly familiar with all their song titles yet, (although “Pixar” and “Airstrike” are mint) but as I travelled home my head was full of Violet Contours rhythms, melodies and the sheer exuberance that oozes from their songs. Vinyl Eddie Records are off to a great start with initial releases from two of York’s finest bands; The Receivers and Violet Contours. If we don’t here a great deal more from both bands then I might have to eat my hat. Check them out!

Violet Contours

 

 

 

‘There’s More To The World’ – The Receivers May 3, 2019


This Sunday, 5th May sees the launch of Vinyl Eddie Records at Fibbers in York. A great record store promoting excellent music in York. One of the labels first releases is from the Receivers, a northern dynamo of a band from York. Their EP, available on vinyl, is called ‘There’s More To The World’. To be pedantic though back in the day a six-track release would most probably be called a mini album, but that is splitting hairs and I have none left to split. Is this a good release from this fine band? Well, read on to find out.

The record kicks off with “Leave The Right Marks” a pulverising rock song that arrives with colossal force and doesn’t relent for its full three-minute life cycle. Nick’s vocals are particularly strong on this one and the lead guitar work from Alex is exemplary. But the engine room of Harry’s bass and some full on Bonzo Bonham style drumming from Louis is like a finely tuned formula one car. It holds everything together on this delicious hard rocking opener. The next track “Saturday” is one you may have heard before as it was a taster release from the boys back in March. It takes the indie guitar sound to greater heights and has a late 70s post punk ambience about it. For some strange reason it brings to mind the Bluetones classic “Slight Return” for me, I have no idea why. The chorus is a sticky earworm that burrows into your head and refuses to come out.

The wave of pulsating power riffs that opens and underpins “All Your Friends” is compulsive, enthralling and after two spins convinced me that this is my current favourite Receivers tune. It has a feel of early U2 with guitar work that would make Dave Evans proud. Meanwhile “That’s What They Told Me” takes Nick’s vocals into the territory of Mark E Smith and John Lydon in his PiL peak. It is a discourse on modern life for the young, well that is certainly what it feels like to me. The next song is called “Rimshot” and for those dirty minded people reading this please note that a rimshot is a percussion technique used to produce an accented snare drum back beat. Anyway the song is redolent of Oasis when they were good and would compete well with almost anything from the first two albums from the Burnage Boys. The guitars on this track are very Noel Gallagheresque. This collection signs off with the nicely chilled majestic come down of “Grand Central”. A song that might have come from my favourite BritPop era band Gene with a vocal that is as good as anything Martin Rossiter ever committed to vinyl.

This is a damned fine release which will get the boys even more recognition and exposure and deservedly so. Word is getting out about the Receivers and they have been played plenty on local radio and feted by the local press. They have even had a spin from Steve Lamacq. ‘There’s More To The World’ heralds the start of what could be a great career for Nick, Harry, Alex and Louis collectively known as the Receivers. You NEED to own a copy of this record, so I suggest you do whatever you can to make it so. Most companies really fear having to call in the receivers, but York’s Receivers would and should be welcomed everywhere to ply us with their intelligent, thoughtful and frankly bloody marvellous tunes! If you miss out on a copy of the record then click here to take a listen on Spotify.

 

 

 

Absolute Bowie – Fibbers, York – Saturday 26th January 2019 January 31, 2019


Regular readers will know that as a die-hard, life long David Bowie fan it took ages for me to finally cave in and see a Bowie tribute act. That particular tribute act is Absolute Bowie and 2019 marks the third year in a row that I have seen the magnificent spectacle of an Absolute Bowie show. When I first came to see them at Fibbers back in 2017 I was determined not to like them, but I bloody loved them and still do. The show is empathetic, sympathetic and a stunningly well put together tribute to the late, great Dame David. This show was very special as it featured not just the usual two Bowie’s from my experiences, but no less than four different Bowie incarnations. Obviously Ziggy and the Spiders was first, kicking off proceedings with an explosive “Watch That Man” followed by many Ziggy period classics including another from ‘Aladdin Sane’ that I hadn’t heard for a while, “Panic In Detroit”. There were many highlights in that first set particularly the perfect rendition of “Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?)” including the warped jazz tinged Mike Garson piano licks from the supremely talented Alex Paolillo. When Bowie (John O’Neill) picked up the 12 string guitar I knew a treat was in store and I was not wrong, first a great version of my favourite Bowie song “All The Young Dudes” and then a crowd pleasing take of “Starman” which had the crowd singing at full volume.

After a brief interval the band returned in full Serious Moonlight mode and smashed 80s Bowie with rousing and authentic early 80s anthems; “Let’s Dance”, “Ashes To Ashes” and “China Girl”. The 80s was never my favourite David Bowie period, but it is impossible to deny that some of the songs are guaranteed party starters and the audience agreed and threw themselves into singing and dancing with gargantuan glee and amazing abandon. I am sure there were plenty of sore throats and aching muscles the next day. John O’Neill left the stage as 80s Bowie while the stupendously talented band carried on before he returned as a 90s Bowie and wowed us with “Hallo Spaceboy” and what you might call a deep cut, “Look Back In Anger” from the 1979 David Bowie album ‘Lodger’. I was intrigued about what the encore might be after the band left the stage. I was blown away. They kicked off the final three songs with a note perfect recreation of “Black Star”, a song that the real Bowie never got to perform live. O’Neill looked the part wearing the bandage style mask with those eerie black dot eyes. Taking on that song was for me one hell of a brave move, but it paid off, it was excellent and beautifully performed. How could Absolute Bowie follow such a mountainous peak? Quite spectacularly actually. Firstly with another outing for the 12 string on “Space Oddity” and a very passionate and moving “Heroes”.

Absolute Bowie were very worthy and deserving winners of the ‘Best Bowie Tribute’ and ‘Best Tribute Band in the UK’ at the Agents Association of Great Britain Awards last summer. On tonights performance they must be in with a good chance of winning many more awards. I should mention the people who form this magnificent band too. Obviously there is John O’Neill as Bowie, Chris Buratti on Guitar and as a very credible and believable Mick Ronson, Alex Face drummer extraordinaire who would almost certainly make Woody Woodmansey proud, Fabio Cascio a bass player who knows his way around classic rock bass lines and the previously mentioned keyboard wizard Alex Paolillo. If you have never seen Absolute Bowie then I urge you to do so. Even if you are like I used to be; a die-hard fan who hated the idea of a Bowie tribute. This lot is well worth the ticket price. My beautiful wife Catwoman joined me tonight and she loved it as did our good friends Nikki and David. I am sure that all four of us will be back next year!

Public Service Announcement: All the pictures, apart from the tour poster, were taken on my cheap android phone. The videos were found on YouTube. If any of the videos are yours let me know if you would like a credit or if you want a video removed.

 

Tom Hingley and the Karpets – Fibbers, York – Saturday 3rd November 2018 November 11, 2018


This night would mark my second opportunity to see the rather brilliant Skylights from York and also serve to remind me of just how old I am. Why the latter? Well I realised that the first time that I ever saw Tom Hingley was at the Reading Festival in 1990 when he was the lead singer of the Inspiral Carpets. They headlined that year and no doubt I also caught a glimpse, without knowing, of their guitar tech; a young Noel Gallagher. That is nearly 30 years ago! Anyway enough of all that reminiscing how about I tell you about this gig at the Crescent? Well first l I should apologise for missing the Feds who were first on the bill. The ticket said 8 p.m. and I got there just before that only to find that the Feds had hit the stage at 7:15. Oh well I will need to catch them another time. The second band on were Apollo Junction from Leeds and they are purveyors of fine, quality pop rock. The audience was not a bad size at this point but everyone was congregated around the two raised spaces leaving the main floor empty. However this did not deter Apollo Junction who had already suffered one setback as their keyboard player, Sam was too unwell to join them. Not only were they not deterred they were positively inspired with three of the band; Jamie, Matt and Ben coming on to the floor to continue their set. Drummer Jonathan was left on his tod on the stage. This is a band with a hell of a future. They are Gareth Bale’s favourite band don’t you know!

Apollo Junction

The immensely talented Skylights were up next to play what is possibly their last show in York for sometime as they will be operating out of Leeds going forward. So did they play like it was their last home town gig for a while? They sure as shit did, they totally owned the audience and shook Fibbers to its core. There is no slow build up with this band they hammer you into submission from the opening bars. They are able to do that for a number of reasons, first their songs are anthemic, memorable and sit in your head after the first listen. Secondly this is one of the tightest bands around. Myles and Jonny on bass and drums  are a powerhouse rhythm section with what seems like an innate ability to achieve perpetual motion. Meanwhile it is in the live setting that you really can appreciate what a latent talent Turnbull has as a guitarist. His riffing and soloing swirls over every song more akin to the contribution of Johnny Marr to the Smiths or Bernard Butler to Suede. Add to that the stylish and very British rock vocals and a stage presence that draws from Liam Gallagher (back in the days when Liam was great) from  front man Rob and you have a potent combination of potential greatness! “YRA” and “What You Are” were most definitely particular highlights for me.

Finally it was time for headline band Tom Hingley and the Karpets. I have been an Inspiral Carpets fan for many years but while I have seen them with and without Tom I had never seen Tom on his own. Mr Hingley’s opening statement was a heartfelt plea or perhaps more like a strict order to “GET TO THE FUCKING FRONT” over the sounds of “Commercial Reign” from 1990, and it worked, everyone moved forward as one. I suspect that everyone in the crowd was glad that they did move as well because that is the place to experience something as marvellous as this. All of the greatest Inspiral Carpets songs were aired; “She Comes In The Fall”, “Dragging Me Down”, “Bitches Brew” and “I Want You”. That last one made me realise how much the world misses Mark E Smith who contributed vocals to the original release. The set would have been incomplete with what is for me the greatest song the Inspiral Carpets ever recorded, “Saturn V”. I gave myself a sore throat singing along to that. There was an excellent cover of “Tainted Love” which was interestingly preceded by a few bars of the Joan Jett/ Arrows hit “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll”. The evening was brought to an emotional close with the emotional roller coaster of “This Is How It Feels”. A quick special mention to bass player Ste Pearce who kindly topped up my plastic wine bottle from his bottle of white wine from the rider. Tom Hingley is a supremely talented performer who knows his audience so very well. I met him briefly at the merch stand after the show where he kindly signed the book and CD that I bought. Based on the show tonight and that brief meeting I reckon Mr Hingley is a top bloke!

Public Service Announcement: – All photographs were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.

 

 

 

Lower Than Atlantis – Fibbers, York – Sunday 13th May May 15, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:25 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Last Sunday I had the absolute pleasure of going to see one of Watford’s finest bands, Lower Than Atlantis playing live at Fibbers in York. It was courtesy of those doyens of decibels over at 3 Songs & Out. Click here to read my review and feel free to stick around on 3 Songs & Out.

 

 
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