With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Live At Leeds – Saturday 2nd May 2015 May 5, 2015


live-at-leeds

This year was the first time I have been around for Live At Leeds and thanks to my good friend John Hayhurst I even got a cheap ticket. On top of that John’s research on the bands, singers and venues was immaculate. After collecting our wrist bands at the First Direct arena we headed to the Key Club. The first band on stage were Forever Cult. I would describe them as a bit grunge, a bit indie and a bit classic rock. They were bloody good, “Yasmin” is a great song. All three were excellent musicians but the drummer attacked his kit like a reincarnated John Bonham. He even had a look of the great Bonzo about him too.

forever cult

We were entertained on the same stage next by the Treason Kings. They are full on heavy, hard and hairy rock at its best. Maybe with even a bit of a prog twinge. I mean who else but someone with an awareness of prog history would write a song about their chest of drawers called “Chest Of Drawers”? An excellent band in my opinion.

treason kings

After that it was a brisk walk to the O2 Academy for Gaz Coombes. I have seen him a few years ago when he was still with Supergrass, now they were a great band weren’t they? Mr Coombes solo is different from Supergrass but still su-fucking-perb.

gaz coombes

The Belgrave Rooms took us in next. We caught the last pert of Alex Burey’s set. He is a young london singer songwriter who is a bit like a jazzed up and more funky Jake Bugg with an extra added Orange Juice/ Edwyn Collins. Chloe Black was what drew us to the Belgrave. She owned the stage with her striking monochrome look and wowed us with just an iPad and a keyboard. For me she has a range of influences from Amy Winehouse to Bjork via Ballad Madge (a.k.a Madonna) She seemed a little nervous at first but it was a really packed house.

chloe black

We made a dash to get to a small bar called Milo’s for the highly recommended Crybabycry. The bar is quite small and rammed to the rafters with punters. That might have helped or hindered a performer or band. But I believe Crybabycry raised themselves for it. They are a truly stupendous band. Their songs are often underpinned by a classic glam rock drum beat from a very talented drummer. All three are very talented musicians and their songs are wonderful. I can hardly wait to see them again, but I will see them next month at the Apollo Festival in York.

crybabycry

After this and a brief burger stop we whizzed over to the Holy Trinity Church where we stayed for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Being an old church the acoustics are fabulous. Frances was first on for us. Great voice – Tick, great pianist – Tick, Great songs – tick. She clearly ticks all the boxes for me and has the gifts and talent to be really successful.

frances

The second act we saw in the Holy Trinity Church was Freddie Dickson and the Guard. What a fucking amazing find they were. I thought that I was detecting shades of Coldplay and Radiohead and then I thought nope these guys are very much of their own making. I believe that they are probably one of the best young bands that I have seen in years and believe me I have seen some great young bands; Avalanche Party and the Tuts to name but two. Freddie’s voice is off the scale of phenomenal rock voices. This band really ought to be huge!

freddie dickson and the guard

Having settled in to our prime spot on the pew just in front of the stage we were next entertained by Seafret. They might look a little like Simon and Garfunkel but they come across like a turbo charged and folky McAlmont and Butler. They are from Bridlington, they are Seafret and they are bloody marvellous.

seafret

 

The penultimate performer for our time at Live At Leeds was Laura Doggett. She has a brilliant band, an amazing voice and her songs are truly captivating. I felt there were quite a few influences in her songs and performance; Florence, Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks. It was a superb set, the one thing that didn’t work for me though was the often very twee between song conversation.

laura doggett

Finally it was time for Lucy Rose, or perhaps it wasn’t time. The were a multitude of equipment problems for which Lucy apologised, although clearly it wasn’t her fault. Eventually she had the techie set up a microphone and an acoustic amp, whereupon she came out and took requests, from her first album. Not many artists would have the commitment and the balls to do this, let alone actually pull it off. But Lucy Rose really did make it work. Eventually the equipment problems were sorted and she was able to perform some of her planned set. Lucy Rose; a trouper, a true performer and a great singer-songwriter. The packed audience loved her and frankly so did I.

lucy rose

 

And finally it’s the public service announcement. All the videos ( a selection of artists that we saw on the day) are courtesy of YouTube and all the photos are courtesy of rock photographer John Hayhurst. (I borrowed them from your Facebook page Mr H)

 

“Louder than sirens louder than bells sweeter than heaven and hotter than hell” a.k.a. 12 drummers drumming December 24, 2012


12 drummers drummingpsddd

Please tell me that this is the last gifts my true love is sending me for the 12 days of Christmas. I have just about managed to squeeze the 12 drummers into the cupboard, but what the hell am I going to do with 12 bloody huge drum kits? Anyway did you know that the 364 items given as gifts in the 12 days of Christmas song would cost £67,000 this year according to PNC Wealth Management. That is a 6.1% increase on the previous year. I have searched high and low to snare some good songs about drumming that might help to ‘cymbalize’ Christmas. Look out for a couple of Billy Bonuses to end this series of posts too.

florence-and-the-machine1

First up is the lovely Florence Welch and her Machine with “Drumming Song”. The song was released as a single in 2009 and managed a lowly number 54 in the UK. It comes from the album ‘Lungs’ an international hit LP that went to number 1 in the UK and top 5 in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. The single did slightly better in the NMEs top 50 songs of the year for 2009 where it finished 48th. “Drumming Song” was nominated for best video at the 2009 Q Awards and Best Pop Video at the UK Music Video Awards in the same year. Whilst it won neither of these it did take the prize for Best Styling In A Video at the UK Awards.

Florence + The Machine - Spectrum

Bing+Crosby++David+Bowie++2[1]

The second song I have chosen for you today is probably an obvious choice for a festive song to those of you who know me. It’s the Dame and the Crooner; better known as David Bowie and Bing Crosby with “Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy”. The former was written especially for Bowie’s appearance on Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas TV show. The show was recorded in September 1977 and it was alleged that Crosby didn’t know who Bowie was. personally I doubt that is true. Bowie also performed “Heroes” on the show. the music press utilised all their black humour skills in late 1977 suggesting that no one would ever want to appear on TV with Bowie. This was largely because he had recorded TV shows with Marc Bolan and then Bing Crosby and within a few weeks both Bolan and Crosby had died. “Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy” was finally released as a single in the UK in 1982. It reached number 3 in the UK and Germany and number 6 in Ireland that year.

david-bowie-and-bing-crosby-peace-on-earth-rca

And next up is the first of my Billy Bonuses for today, supreme drummer Cozy Powell with “Dance With Devil”

And an extra Billy Bonus for your delight. When I was at school I sat next to a young man who was already a skillful drummer and he went on to ply his trade with the Tom Robinson Band and Stiff Little Fingers. His name is Brian ‘Dolphin’ Taylor. I haven’t seen him in more than 30 years. But Brian if you happen to be reading this feel free to get in touch.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very, very funky happy Christmas and a groovy new year :-)

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very, very funky happy Christmas and a groovy new year 🙂

 

Reading Festival 2012 – Day 2 – Saturday 25th August August 27, 2012


 

We arrived a bit late for the secret set from Green Day which began at 11 o’clock, but by all accounts it was blisteringly good. So day 2 kicked off for us with a song from Los Campesinos. An excellent band and even the sun came out to enjoy them! Theme Park were very fresh and funky with a singer that looks like Mr Cole a.k.a Cashley. They sound like David Byrne on ecstasy and was that Prince Harry on guitar? Probably not as he had his kit on! We saw Citizens next. They have been produced by Alex Kapranos and seem to be channeling Edwyn Collins. A very good band.

The usual visit to the comedy stage gave us Jimmy McGhie and Reginald D Hunter. Both were very funny, especially McGhie’s mugging story about Ewoks in hoodies! Grimes was next and she gave us some wonderful ethereal trance tunes  and a topless blonde dancer too…. he was quite good! We made it to the NME/ Radio 1 stage for Dry The River. They have a very chilled US  west coast sound with added psychedelic wig outs and up until that point the weather was Californian too.

Santigold was pure class but what the hell had she made the band wear? Her set had everything; the audience on stage, costume change and a pantomime horse (probably the first time I’ve ever seen one of those on stage at Reading)! We went back to the Main Stage for late afternoon and the Shins were the perfect choice! After the Shins it was the mercurial Enter Shikari. It’s now 4 years in a row at Reading for the Shikari boys who in my opinion are one of the finest bands to grace the main stage. They owned the place!

Some vaccines cure but the Vaccines rock! They are future headliners I think. Florence & the Machine best so far by mile and she did it in heavy rain. Heavy is an understatement, it was pissing down! Not only talented but a trouper too. Ms Welch has a heavenly voice. I am sure that she will be back to headline in the next few years. We watched the first two songs from Kasabian. I think they are far better live than on record but I would still describe them as Leaden Zeppelin. We caught just one song from the bouncy Katy B before a mini tour of the remaining headliners; At The Drive-In were on supreme form and it’s good to see them back, Metronomy provided us with some laid back late night dance grooves and finally we caught a bit of the DJ set from Bassnectar. For that all we were missing were a couple of tabs of E and some glow sticks. And so ended a relatively chilled and slightly damp day 2.

 

 

“And all of the ghouls come out to play” December 23, 2011

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 9:52 pm
Tags: , , ,

The Harrods Winter Sale begins at 9 a.m. on December 27th. Why am I telling you this on a music blog? Well it’s because Florence and the Machine will be playing an acoustic set at the opening, apparently at Door 5.

Clearly there was no room for presents in Florence's stockings

This surprises me on a couple of levels. Firstly isn’t this usually the domain of acts that are long past their sell by date, someone who finished fifth on the X Factor a few years ago or a boy band squeezing the last bit of cash they can out of a dull career. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Florence and the Machine fit in to any of those categories and I think they’re a great act, I’m just surprised. Secondly is there not a health and safety issue? We’ve all seen the film clips where the people who have queued outside the store all night charge in seemingly unaware of anyone else as soon as the door opens. I’m worried that Florence and the Machine could be trampled and have to rename themselves Flat Florence and the various broken machine parts. Incidentally àpropos of nothing, did you know that Florence Welch was often in trouble at school for impromptu singing?

the dreaded dark dandruff had returned!

I won’t be there unfortunately but I’d love to hear from anyone who is planning to attend or feel free to get in touch after the event.

Florence was struggling to pluck up the courage to kill the Christmas dinner bird

 

 
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