With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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My Wonderful Daze “Guilty Party” EP Launch – Fulford Arms, York – Thursday 5th September 2019 September 10, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:59 pm
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Tonight was the third time that I had seen My Wonderful Daze in less than three months, the first time was also at the Fulford Arms for their Hands Off Gretel support slot back in July. Tonight was a show to let the band showcase their new EP “Guilty Party”. But before I tell you about their set there is the not so small matter of the support band, Freek. I first saw them in December last year, supporting Percy. Freek‘s roots can be traced back to Led Zeppelin and onward through to the White Stripes. Lead singer Ellis Best may, on the first impression, look like a mild-mannered Librarian, but then he unleashes blues-rock licks from his guitar which have the power to cause earthquakes in heaven and hell. But that isn’t all when he opens his mouth to sing out pops a voice that could match Roger Daltrey, Ozzy Osbourne, Paul Rodgers and many more. Best is one hell of a talented rocker. Drummer Christy Bloomfield is like the perfect rock ‘n’ roll metronome (and that is meant as a compliment.) He comes across as a well-controlled sticksman and then he hits those drums with a crazy, frenzied passion and you can imagine him being possessed by the spirit of Keith Moon and the wisdom of Ginger Baker. The highlight for me, and there were many, was “I Am A Weirdo” which is as close as you can get to the perfect rock song!

Just before 9 o’clock, the crowd was palpably excited as they waited for the imminent arrival of those weird, wacky and wonderful folk from Planet Daze, yes it was time for My Wonderful Daze to hit us with their best shot. Incidentally, their best shot is like being attacked by an artillery barrage of riffs, a rhythm section that could power a whole division of tanks and all this marshalled by Field Marshall Chloe Munt a.k.a. Flowers. This is a full-on shock and awe aural assault that either wins you over or forces you to surrender. They played the five songs from their new “Guilty Party” EP first. “Tommy” starts off quite soft and builds into a crescendo of dark passion backed by a band firing on all cylinders. The five-track EP is stunning and in the live environment the already uber heavy, riff-laden, hook-driven, eldritch tunes transform into something heavier, darker and psychedelic. At times they sound like Black Sabbath had Ozzy been replaced by Chloe.

My current favorite track from the EP is “God” and live it is an epic masterpiece. The crowd was up for this band in a big way. Chloe made a number of excursions into the audience and the crowd went into manic mosh mode towards the end. My Wonderful Daze lived up to a previous description from me “Imagine what band might arise if Florence and the Machine had been kidnapped by DC’s Suicide Squad and the Joker injected them with a mix of a large dose of heavy metal and Kurt Cobain’s DNA.” But they went even further than that tonight. In the week that ‘IT – Chapter Two” hit the cinemas there were plenty of Pennywise style red balloons with added black balloons to add a streak of goth. The second half of their set saw much fake blood, well at least I hope it was fake! This was streaked across the faces of the band and Chloe sporting red hair rocked a perfect Carrie White post-Prom Queen scene in a blood dripped white dress. This was not just a gig it was a show with some really theatrical moments, not many bands can pull that off, but My Wonderful Daze can do it with style and ease. There was a technical guitar hitch near the end, but a mighty and dynamic jam session from Mr. Jack Sparkle on bass and JoshQ6 on drums and Chloe taking it upon herself to dance with members of the audience entertained us impeccably while the guitar issue was resolved. For me, the mark of a great band or at least one with the potential to become great is how they handle a mishap like that. My Wonderful Daze handled it like seasoned veterans. They finished with a rip-roaring cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” closer to the White Stripes arrangement but with the heavy and dark turned up to full! You really need to see this band, but while you are waiting check out the “Guilty Party” EP by clicking here

All the photos apart from the EP promo 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.

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Percy – Fulford Arms, York – Wednesday 19th December 2018 December 20, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:33 pm
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My last gig of 2018 was an appearance by York’s own PERCY off the back of their rather spiffing new album ‘Sleepers Wake’. I had the pleasure of reviewing that LP last month, just click here to see what I thought of it. But before I say any more about Percy I should tell you about the blooming bountiful support bands they put on the bill. Firstly it was Freek from Hull and York. This mightily talented duo blast out some stupendous blues based rock which for me is rooted in the best that old school rock had to offer; Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, the Yardbirds and Cream. On top of that they have a kinship with grunge and punk too. But I would love to know where Ellis Best’s monumental voice comes from. Freek also have an innate sense of fun which is epitomised in their closing song “Killer Moth” which is about……. a killer moth! The Rems were next up featuring three of Pompey’s finest musicians, including Steve ‘Bodge’ Duffield one of the founders of the sublime Beta Band. I felt so much eclecticism in their sonic assault which was blended with some perfect post punk vibes. Vocally I could hear tones of Joe Jackson in his pomp and even the much maligned Tin Machine. The latter was particularly strong on the jagged, punked-up “Pills”. The Rems are the sort of band that leaves you wanting more after the first time you have seen or heard them (and probably after the second, third and fourth time too). I definitely want to hear more from them!

Freek

the Rems

Tonights headliners Percy are now at Percy Mark 3 having formed originally way back in 1996. They took a break in 2005 and spent a couple of years as the Nielsens before becoming Percy again. Colin Howard on guitar and lead vocals and Andy Wiles on bass and backing vox have been the core of the band since 1996. They are now aided and abetted by Paula Duck on keys and Jason Wilson on drums. One thing that seems obvious about Percy is that they really seem to enjoy playing and they are a tight unit in the live environment. Any act that can succeed in a small but fabulous venue like the Fulford Arms has to have some special magic about them and Percy have an abundance of it. If you were a fan of Mark E Smith you will love Percy, but while they might be influenced by the Fall they are refreshingly original. Their songs are all brilliantly told stories (“Alice Stone”), simple vignettes on life (“Off The Meds”) or fury venting political comment (“Why Are You Still Here?”). It was a great set that found the perfect cadence from the off and never dropped in either pace or quality. Particular highlights for me were the grungy quiet  to loud and at times Pixies-esque “Hep” and the venomous put down of Brexit and all the lies that surround it, “Unicorn”. If you have never seen Percy live then you are in for a treat when you do. This will most definitely not be my last Percy gig!

Public Service Announcement: – All photographs (except the gig poster) were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. (Watch this space for some top classy photos from me next year!) 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.

 

 
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