With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Swim Deep, The Magic Gang and Catholic Action- Liverpool O2 Arena 2 – Thursday 15th October 2015 October 18, 2015


Two gigs in two nights you say? Don’t mind if I do. This is the first time in ages that I have been to gigs on two consecutive nights, not withstanding of festival experiences anyway. So I was back at the O2 Academy 2 in Liverpool again last Thursday night. It was to be the first time that I had seen the headliners, Swim Deep live. The support were none too shabby either.

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Taking to the stage first were the wonderfully named (in my opinion) Catholic Action. They play tuneful, powerful Indie Pop  with songs that are full of great hooks. This is a very talented band. I believe that they are largely from Glasgow.

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Next up to entertain a pretty packed venue was the Magic Gang. They brought us classy tunes and classy harmonies all the way from Brighton. They are definitely magic and most probably a gang too. Well worth checking out.

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I kind of liked Swim Deep’s first album ‘Where The Heaven Are We’ and I did listen to their new release ‘Mothers’ before I went to this gig. They have improved immensely, although it would be fair to say that they were pretty damned good to start with. I reckon they are one of those bands that sound even better live than they do on record. The energy that they put into this show was phenomenal there was hardly time to draw a breath. If you have never seen them you really should make it happen at least once. Swim Deep could be described as an electro indie pop band. However I truly believe that they are much broader and deeper (pun intended) than that. I would love to hear what you think of them. I know that the relatively young crowd went mad for them and incidentally I was possibly the oldest punter in the audience, which had it’s fair share of screaming girls and muso boys.

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“And I’ll play you old 45’s That now mean nothing to me” Blog Advent Calendar Day 4 2014 December 4, 2014


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Already it’s day 4 of this years advent calendar blog posts. so it’s 4th December and in the ABC of British bands we have so far visited Sheffield (ABC), Liverpool (Beatles) and London (Clash). Today we go north to Glasgow to hear from Deacon Blue. This is a band who have been around nearly 30 years. They took their name from a Steely Dan song from 1977’s ‘Aja’ album entitled “Deacon’s Blues”.

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Deacon Blue had the first of their seven UK top 20 hits in 1988 with “Real Gone Kid“. Their most recent top 20 hit was the third release of “Dignity” in 1994. Their biggest hit to date was  cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David‘s “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” which made it to number 2 in 1990.

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I hope you enjoy this little selection of Deacon Blue songs.

 

Amazing Snakeheads – The Duchess, York – Sunday 12th October 2014 October 14, 2014


amaz snak hedI had heard of the Amazing Snakeheads before this gig and indeed I had listened to some of their stuff on-line. However what brought me to this gig was actually one of the support bands who added me to their cheap list. Honestly I feel more honoured to be on a cheap list than I would to be on a guest list! Anyway the band who invited me were the magnificent Avalanche Party. I saw them at the Woolpack in York a couple of months back and stayed loosely in touch via Facebook following my review of the Woolpack show. Avalanche Party were the first band of the evening to take to the stage and once again it was a bloody good performance. They have some excellent material; “Mountains” is a great song and their cover of Nancy Sinatra‘s “These Boots Are Made For Walking” is a truly inspired choice of cover that really suits the harder, punkier feel that the band give the song. They are a very tight band of very accomplished and talented musicians. They seem well-drilled and rehearsed but also have the right amount of star presence and swagger on stage. Their free 2 track CD has been on loop in my car on the journey to work for the past few days too. If you get the chances you really need to go and see Avalanche Party. If I find out that you did have the chance and didn’t take it I will have to send the boys round!

WP_20141012_002Second to grace the stage on Sunday were the Valmores. For me the jury is still out on that name. They were pretty good, certainly their playing was strong and it felt well rehearsed. Their songs are mostly strong although the lyrics I could decipher suggested that they might be trying too hard to be controversial. Songs about heroin and the rubbish state that England is in. The lead singer has a good voice although he seemed to want to be Jim Morrison off of the Doors but in a much cleaner 21st century kind of way. The Valmores do have potential to achieve more and I hope that they do.

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The Amazing Snakeheads were the headliners and I think that it would be fair to say that I saw no snakeheads they were bloody amazing. They were also one of the loudest bands that I have seen for some time, but that might have been heightened by the fact that I was standing next to the speaker stack! Glasgow’s  Amazing Snakeheads are probably the best perpetrators of loud, angry, scuzzy blues rock that I have ever seen. The band set up is drums, bass and guitar with the guitarist also providing the at times tonsil shredding vocal. We even had a crowd invasion from frontman Dale Barclay. I really enjoyed them, but I can imagine that they may be a bit of a Marmite band in that you’ll either love them or hate them. “I’m A Vampire” is my favourite Snakeheads song; what’s yours?

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“Yesterdays shatter, tomorrows don’t matter” December 30, 2011


I always used to think that it was TV stars whose careers had faded considerably that turned up in pantomime roles each year. Maybe the Milkman from Eastenders or the Lollipop Lady from Coronation Street. That of course is still the case, but now the list includes a few music related stars. One of whom is very talented in my opinion the others are probably the most talentless act to have arisen in the entertainment industry.

Firstly the beautiful Clare Grogan once off of Altered Images has appeared in the Glasgow production of Sleeping Beauty at the Kings Theatre. Meanwhile those talentless pop muppet X Factor rejects Jedward are appearing in a version of Jack and the Beanstalk in Dublin. It is called Jedward and the Beanstalk. To be fair there may be some typecasting there as Jack was a bit thick wasn’t he? One half of Jedward even crowd surfed the young fans at the stage door. Oh what joy it would be for them to appear at Reading and Leeds in 2012. I can almost picture the bottles of piss being loaded as soon as that announcement is made!

Anyway to finish enjoy a couple of excellent songs from the beautiful Clare Grogan in her days with Altered Images and cover your ears for an excruciatingly bad cover of Blink 182’s “All The Small Things” by Jedward.

 

Wolf Gang – York City Screen Basement 16th November 2010 November 17, 2010


Having received the regular newsletter from Man Is Slapped recently I found that for the first time in ages I was able to attend one of his gigs. This would be the second time I have seen him at the York City Screen Basement, but more of him later. When I arrived I was greeted by the wonderful sound of Tom Waits playing over the house PA, including the fabulous “Hoist That Rag”. That just made me feel that this was set to be a good night and for once my instincts weren’t wrong, it was a great night.

First up were Detronik. Imagine a large serving of 80s Sheffield electro a la Human League and a couple of spoonfuls of the Stone Roses and Madchester at it’s 90s peak. Are you there? Well that’s how these guys made me feel. They were bloody good and if they were around in the 80s they would have cleaned up completely. I really loved their set, especially closing number “Death To The Disco”. Check out the band on MySpace and the original lineup on YouTube.

Man Is Slapped

Man Is Slapped was the second of three acts and this will be the third time I have seen him play. If you put down what he does on paper (or perhaps in a blog post) you would surely think that this shouldn’t work. But it does work and it works so very well. He played a few new songs from his new EP; Socially Inept which as a fan I obviously purchased. He also di his usual thing of sampling his own sound and vocals in order to provide backing for his songs. Is there anyone else about that can actually do this? Even if there are I doubt that they would be better than Mr Slapped. he even expanded his sound on a couple of songs by using a guitar. Perhaps the next EP will be ‘Man Is Slapped Goes Punk’? He also played a brief electro interlude advertising his web presence and CD for sale. He should be much, much bigger, make it so dear readers! Check him out on MySpace here and also on YouTube here.

Wolf Gang - but this is clearly not a lion and it's clearly not in a cage!

Finally it was the turn of the headliners, I must confess that until tonight I had never heard them and whilst Detronik and Man Is Slapped were excellent I think Wolf Gang surpassed them. They were truly stupendous and excellent band, especially the drummer. The vocalist was also very, very good. The blurb on the gig poster suggests that they go some way to mashing together Talking Heads and Empire Of The Sun. I wouldn’t disagree with this but I would also add that there was an element of early Simple Minds in there too, back in the days when Jim Kerr‘s boys were actually good. I would certainly pay to see this band again and if they’re playing near you it would be foolish and negligent of you to miss them. The next couple of weeks will see them play Glasgow, Sheffield, Brighton, Birmingham, Southampton, London, Bristol and Manchester. I hope they play at the Reading Festival next year. They finished their set with their new single “Lions In Cages” which is released on 22nd November, buy it and make them a happy band. Then they will then be just like me for I went home a happy man! Check them out on MySpace by clicking here and their own website by clicking here and then enjoy a couple more Wolf Gang videos below;

 

 
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