With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Avalanche Party – The Crescent, York – Friday 18th December 2020 December 23, 2020


Thanks to Covid this is only the third gig I have been to since March 14th, well that is if I count the Receivers set outside Vinyl Eddie’s for Record Store Day Drop 1 in August, and frankly I do count that one!. The second was an outdoor socially distanced show at the Centre for Early Music in York, Elkyn and Fawn played that one in September. But this is the first socially distanced indoor gig I have been to and huge praise and respect to Joe, Chris, Harkirit and all the staff who worked that night. It felt safe, drinks delivered direct to your table. Sure the rules on not singing, shouting and dancing were a bit weird, but it meant we were at a real gig at last. Special thanks and respect to the security guy who had to eject two people for blatant disregard of the rules. Even in these times some people are just dickheads!

Anyway on to the show, Avalanche Party are probably my favourite band in the world right now and 2020 should have been huge for them off the back of the release of their stunning debut album, ’24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ last year. But Covid and the ensuing shitstorm of a year has laid all the best plans to waste. I have seen Avalanche Party more than anyone except for Frank Turner and David Bowie so obviously I had high hopes for this show. I knew we wouldn’t get the usual raucous, sweaty, passionate, punky performance that we have come to expect, but I still had high hopes for the night.

They opened their first set with “Bugzy” with Jordan on keys and vocals, Jared on saxophone, playing in a very Bowie style and Harry from the Black Lagoons on acoustic guitar. This was followed by a magnificent electronic noisefest run through ace single “I’m So Wet”. “Johnny Dream” was like an outtake from ‘Lodger’ period Bowie. Some awesome bass runs from Joe on this one. Jared’s sax was also very Bowiesque too. Kane the drummer finally arrived for “Praise”, an older song, but one that remains epic and anthemic. Hot on the heels of praise was “Money” another true Avalanche Party anthem, and it seemed even more soulful and anthemic in this setting. It was turning into a wonderful Avalanche Party oldies fest as they closed the first set with “Let’s Get Together”, which makes me think that they have always had a bit of glam rock in them.

Perhaps the highlight of the second set were two cover versions, the Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows” and a stunning take on the gospel classic “Wade In The Water” that one gave me goosebumps. “Howl” is a stupendous song and perhaps the bands finest single to date, it was great to hear it in such a stripped back form. Jordan sang a couple of songs solo on stage with only his keyboard to accompany him, one of these was “Rebel Forever” I think. Those two songs really showcased what a fantastically versatile vocalist he is, the bloke oozes soul and passion. “Every Last Drop” featured Harry from the Black Lagoons on violin and Jordan joked that this was Harry’s GCSE violin exam. Next was another great almost doo wop style cover of “It’s A Sin” by Canadian artist Tonetta, check him out he is bloody good. The band out did the Flying Pickets and the Housemartins for their classy acapella skills on this number. They closed with a barnstorming, consider it was a stripped back show, take on yet another classic, “Solid Gold”

This is a band who improve every time you see them. They are still on an upward trend and a long way from reaching their peak. They proved tonight that they can perform in any environment and if this type of show is the future of gigs for the foreseeable future then Avalanche Party have it nailed. A true joy to experience, even my wife, who has never seen them before, and to be fair this is not her usual taste in music, absolutely loved it!

All the photos were taken on my cheap Chinese phone, with the exception of the set list which was taken by Avalanche Party’s Joe Bell!

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Avalanche Party – Fulford Arms, York – Thursday 5th December 2019 December 17, 2019


This gig was the 10th time that I had seen Avalanche Party. Regular readers will know I am a big fan of the band, but before I say anything about them let me tell you about the two support bands. First up was Pig Club. They are a York band and one that I had not seen or listened to until now. The first tune made me feel as though I wouldn’t enjoy the rest of their set, but oh boy how wrong was I? This lot splice classy jazz with prog, funk, and psychedelia. It is obvious that each band member is an incredibly skilled musician, but together they are definitely more than the sum of their parts. The guitarist played like a young Jan Akkerman (from Dutch Progsters Focus for you young ‘uns). Meanwhile, the keys wizard sounded at times like Herbie Hancock. Definitely a band worth checking out.

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Another great York band, the Black Lagoons were next to grace the stage. This was the fourth time that I have seen them in nearly four years and strangely the third time that I have seen them supporting Avalanche Party. They have got better each time and they are truly a force to be reckoned when playing live. They have an electrifying swagger and confidence about them, and they totally get their audience. There are definitely prog influences, but the engine room of the band is like Moonie and the Ox from the Who. They could step up as a younger version of the Stooges too if that is what Iggy needed. Their sound is hard to pin to a genre, but imagine Tarantino and Tim Burton directing a zombie vampire film set in the wild west. Well, there is no one other than the Black Lagoons that could soundtrack that movie!

Now it was the time for the headliners, Avalanche Party as a part of their album launch tour. If you haven’t yet heard ’24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ then get on it now! It is possibly my album of the year for 2019, although Nick cave’s ‘Ghosteen’ is also vying for first place. Regular readers of this blog know that I am a big Avalanche Party fan, I also believe that they are on the cusp of greatness. With a debut album that is among the best debut’s in rock history and a live show that has the power to match that of an ICBM with a plethora of nuclear warheads, they have proved that they have balls and frankly they are the dog’s golden bollocks! Opening with the psychedelic garage punk of “I’m So Wet” the band hit their full stride straight away and when Jordan fixed his maniacal rock star thousand-yard stare on the audience, well the whole place was transfixed, captivated and hypnotised by this magnificent beast of a band. I do wonder how they keep getting better every time that I see them, but they do. Will that ever end? I hope not. They had extra guitar courtesy of the singer/ guitarist from the Black Lagoons and some wild funky sax vamping from a mysterious masked cowboy (a.k.a Luke Marzec). Kane (drums) and Joe (Bass) power a rhythm section that has the might and the firepower to defeat Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet and the melodious, punk, psych interplay between  Jared (guitar) and Glen on keys is woven magically to underpin Jordan’s subtle rock scream vocals. Jared even managed to fit in some saxophone playing too. Highlights for me were “7”, “Rebel Forever” in which I believe that every single member of the crowd sang along when asked to and the towering, majestic glam stomp of probably the best Avalanche Party song to date, “Howl” has to be experienced to be believed. On top of all that we were treated to an outstanding “Porcelain”. Get the album, go and see them, you need Avalanche Party in your life!

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 🙂 You will find plenty more of my pictures just below this public service announcement!

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’24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ – Avalanche Party November 17, 2019


I have just counted up how many times I have seen Avalanche Party and it currently stands at eleven times in five years (soon to be twelve). I was also lucky enough to see a kind of early incarnation of the band when they were still 3 Foot Ninja, that was back in 2009. Back then I could see they had some great potential and every gig and every release since it has become obvious to anyone who has encountered this magnificent band that they are truly on the cusp of greatness. I believe their debut album ’24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ will take them there. It has been a long while coming but damned well worth the wait. It was recorded at Young Thugs Studios in York last December. The dictionary definition of trephine is “a small circular saw with a centre pin mounted on a strong hollow metal shaft to which is attached a transverse handle: used in surgery to remove circular disks of bone from the skull”. This album starts drilling into your skull from opener “El Dorado” an atmospheric, mesmerising and at times menacing track that oozes confidence and greatness. For me, there is a strong influence from Nick Cave on this song and that is no bad thing. The sonic feel shows a band that is not afraid to use the space between notes to great effect too. “Bugzy” smacks into you like the Doors but as if they had come together in the height of early 70s glam rock. Jordan’s vocals are every bit as good as Jim Morrison at his peak and “Bugzy” will become a live favourite. This is a song born from the blues and makes me wonder if Avalanche Party have visited that famous crossroads at Highways 49 and 61 in Clarksdale, Mississippi favoured by blues legend Robert Johnson where he allegedly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for the return of his guitar. There have been four singles released from this record so far, including the third song in, “7”. This is a towering piece of funked-up punk or punked-up funk (delete as appropriate) Kane and Joe prove themselves to be one of the finest rhythm sections on the planet as they play like their lives depended on it.

My favourite track at the moment is “Howl” the current single. It is a very Bowieesque slab of prime heavy riff-laden early 70s rock with a gospel-style chorus. If you are not moved to dance to “Howl” then you might well be clinically dead! This is possibly the finest song that the band have released so far. It is also accompanied by a fabulous video which features a cameo appearance on tambourine from the multi-talented Charlie Swainston! The track which proves how great a band Avalanche Party is is the psychedelic rock circus that is “Milk And Sunlight Is A Heavy Dream”. Vocals, backing vocals, keys, bass, guitars, and drums all align perfectly and the chorus will not let you go. James Aparicio has captured the essence of what makes Avalanche Party such a great live band in his production. From the massed Panzer Tank Division sonic assault of “HA HA” to the deeply mellow buzz of “Hey Misdemeanour” the former Grinderman and Spiritualized producer does not put a foot or a fader wrong. I can already picture a crowd incursion from Jordan during “Playing Field Blues” using his rock star evil stare to hypnotise his audience into becoming Avalanche Party‘s helpless mosh puppets. It redefines heavy, scuzzy garage blues into something very 21st Century. I never thought that I would see myself finding a U2 influence from Avalanche Party, but “Every Last Drop” is the kind of song that Bono would kill to have written. I can see the lighters and lit up mobile phone screens waving in the air at festivals to accompany this gorgeous modern, dirty power ballad. Dark menace runs through the veins of “Cruel Madness” and draws you into a dark, descent of a dream to a world that might be populated by all your fears and phobias. The album closes with “Rebel Forever” which opens and is underpinned with a warped fairground organ riff which gives the tune a Cockney Rebel feel and in many ways sums up Avalanche Party. They are rebels and I hope they will remain rebellious forever!

The band have been touring constantly for a long while now, honing their craft and doing whatever they need to do in order to reach their destiny as the future of rock ‘n’ roll. They have graced festivals across the UK and Europe and completed a prestigious slot at SXSW. At the start of the current album tour, they headlined shows in Los Angeles and New York. This album has anger, fear, the evils of capitalism, love, death and what it is like to live in the world today. The exquisite artwork on the cover features close friend and major influence of the band, Dale Barclay, frontman from the Amazing Snakeheads/ And Yet It Moves. Barclay passed away so tragically young last year. Here is what the band themselves had to say about the LP; “This is our debut album, we haven’t touched the surface before, and this is a glimpse into our bigger picture, our chaotic process, our commitment to us. There’s 5 people in this band with an equal passion, 5 different reasons to create, 5 different people with 200+ ideas each, that’s 1000+ ideas, 1000s of reasons we have to create. We had to make this now… mainly because we want to make a second one.” Jordan Bell, Jared Thorpe, Kane Waterfield, Joe Bell and Glen Adkins you should be well proud of this release as I am sure you are’. This record is already a contender for best album of 2019 and it is not officially released until November 22nd on So Knee Records. I love it already and now I am looking forward to Avalanche Party‘s sophomore release!

All the pictures in this post were found via Google and the videos were sourced from YouTube. If any of them are yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove them please let me know.

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“I’m So Wet” – Avalanche Party May 27, 2017


Regular readers will have seen me write often about Avalanche Party. Well here’s a bit more while this talented band are strutting their stuff and pumping out their rocking tunes all across Europe at the moment. Very successfully too by all accounts! One song that they will be playing at a gig near you soon will be “I’m So Wet”. It is a mighty powerful slab of soft to loud noise with a total psych crescendo as it heads to it’s end. It has melody, it has great lyrics it has a band that know their stuff and it will grab you by the short and curlies until it is over. Jordan’s vocal is immaculate and Kane’s drumming evokes the spirit of John Bonham.

You will be physically and mentally drained by the time the song has finished, but in a really good way. Personally I reckon that it is their greatest song to date and it deserves your attention. Download it, stream it on Spotify (other streaming services are available), click here to check it out on Soundcloud, but whatever you do listen to it. I will be very, very disappointed if you don’t

 

Avalanche Party, Black Lagoons, Unqualified Nurse Band, Moriacana – Fulford Arms, York, Thursday 2nd March 2017 March 3, 2017


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This was another fantastic line up and a great night presented by Behind The White Door at one of York‘s best gig venues. Yes another power packed show at the Fulford Arms. It was remarkably a free entry gig, but like others I did contribute to the band collection and bought some merch too. It was also great to catch up with good friends and gig veterans Mike Harrison and Simon Pattinson. Anyway it was one of the north east’s if the UK’s finest bands Avalanche Party that brought me out on a damp March night. In fact this was the sixth time I have seen them. But more of them later. The show kicked off with Moriacana who in my experience are possibly one of the loudest two piece bands I have ever seen. But this very talented drummer and guitarist/ vocalist aren’t just all about loudness. The noise that they make is grungy heaven. I am sure that this York band will be compared with the likes of ..And The Hangnails, Royal Blood and other similarly set up two pieces, however while that is all well and good it should be noted that Moriacana also bring their own uniqueness to the party.

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Next up was the rather interestingly named Unqualified Nurse Band all the way from Derby. They can do punk, they can do heavy, they can do grunge, they can do quiet loud quiet (à la Pixies) and they can even do some slowed down more intimate moments. Actually is there much that they can’t do? I don’t know, they certainly gave us a pulsing and thrilling set which was mildly reminiscent of the magnificent Biffy Clyro. I bought their EP and I have been playing it in the car today. Definitely a band to watch out for. The third band to take the stage were one of York’s finest young bands, the Black Lagoons. I have seen them once before just over a year ago and they were damned good then. Are they still damned good? Actually no they’re not ………… they are even better than damned good! they play a fuzzy, swampy and at times proggy take on garage rock. They do it with style and stage presence. The drummer sounds like a young John Bonham and I can only imagine that the Black Lagoons will continue to grow. Being local they also brought along quite a sizeable fan base. It was a shame that some of them left before the headliners.

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Actually if you’re a fan of the Black Lagoons then I am sure that you do or will love the head honchos from tonight’s gig. Yes it was a triumphant return to York for the mighty, majestic and magnificent machine that is Avalanche Party. Jordan Bell stalks the stage like Jim Morrison with a mastery of that menacing, hypnotic stare. His vocals ooze classy and classic rock be it psychedelic, punk or anything in between. The bedrock of the band is the awesome rhythm section of Joe Bell and his thunderous bass and Kane Waterfield who pounds his kit to death every set. Overlay that with the sublime and psychy lead guitar of Jared Thorpe and let’s not forget some excellent sweeping keyboard sounds from Glen Adkins. It was yet another stunning set from a great band who I first saw back in August 2014. My favourite songs of the night were “Money” and “Let’s Get Together”. With an appearance at Leeds and Reading festivals last year I feel sure that Avalanche Party have the potential to really make it big. If you haven’t seen Avalanche Party yet then where the bloody hell have you been? Get out from under that stone and seek them out, you will not be disappointed!

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Public Service Announcement – the Avalanche Party pictures were taken on my phone, all the other pictures and videos are courtesy of that wonderful t’interweb!

 

 
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