With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Jordan Mackampa – City Screen Basement York – Tuesday 20th September 2016 September 20, 2016


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Here I am at yet another gig put on by my good friend Simon Pattinson. He has never let me down yet, will he keep his 100% record? Read the whole review to figure out the answer. (No pressure Mr P!). This was a gig that the delightful Catwoman (a.k.a. my beautiful wife Catherine) joined me for and unlike the Gary Numan debacle from a few years ago she really enjoyed it, as did I.

First up was a young man called Mikey who appeared under the name Epilogues. He is a singer songwriter with some really good songs and an excellent and savvy use of technology including playing through his phone some elements that he had recorded earlier. He had some problems with his G String and before you go all Carry On Films on me I mean on his guitar. He overcame that and a slight bit of nervousness with aplomb and played a great set. To me he came across as a more folk based and influenced multi instrumentalist along the lines of Jack Garratt. Mikey also possesses a great voice, this bloke has a lot of potential. Incidentally I need to apologise to Mikey as I didn’t get a picture of him for this post, sorry mate!

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Crispin Halcrow

Crispin Halcrow was next up, I first saw him supporting Adams French back in January at this same venue. He was good then and he has also improved too. He has some beautiful songs some of which are easily on a par with Billy Joel‘s “So It Goes” which he covered tonight. One of Crispin’ s compositions “Say Goodbye” (at least that is what I think it was called) was a wonderfully sad song that also contained great beauty. Maybe I’m mad here, but I reckon Rod Stewart would make an excellent cover of that song. Crispin from Kendal remains reminiscent of the likes of Seth Lakeman for me. He is most definitely an artist with great potential.

Amy May Ellis

Amy May Ellis

The next act to take the stage was Amy May Ellis accompanied by her ukulele. She is a great talent with a haunting and siren like voice which weaves the words of her songs with a soaring grace. I reckon she would be one of the few artists that I have seen that could also do her whole set acapella with no detrimental effect. She readily admits to being no comedian, but here jokes (one about a polar bear and the other about snowmen) were pretty good. As for the swearing song, was it called “Existential Life Crisis”? That was brilliantly and wickedly funny. Amy is a prodigious talent and someone that I would definitely pay to see again.

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Jordan Mackampa

Now it was time for the main man, Jordan Mackampa on what was the seventh show of his first UK headline tour. He is a proper and very talented showman. Imagine how John Legend might sound if he sang behind a guitar rather than a keyboard. Jordan plays and writes supremely soulful and emotional folk rock music. I also really enjoyed those woo woo backing vocals he had us in the audience performing too. Catwoman and I harmonised really well, at least I think that we did! “Colours” is an amazingly poignant song. It brought tears to my eyes and made me think of two people very close to me that are currently battling that evil bastard of a disease known as cancer. You both know who you are and I want you to know that I love you and I will always be there for you. Jordan has some immensely inspirational songs which really touch our simple human emotions. I can see myself listening to him a lot in future.

 

 

 

Leeds Festival 2016 Day 3 – Sunday 28th August September 1, 2016


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Going to hit Mud City – yaaaay! It was a later start than the previous two days, my old bones are suffering from walking through gallons of thick, cloggy mud, In fact part of me wanted to stay home today, but I really didn’t want to miss Avalanche Party. The good news is that I was able to blag my way into guest parking. So sometimes looking old, well-worn and grizzled is a good thing, right? As I walked onto the festival site plenty of kids were leaving saying that they couldn’t face another night camping in the mud. I can’t say I blame them.

Skindred

I went to the Main Stage first just after stopping off for some excellent festival food, a fish finger sandwich! British band Skindred were just about to come on stage as I arrived. You really have to admire a band that enters the stage to a kind of dance mix of the Imperial March from Star Wars. Skindred? Wow what can I say? This is a really hard-hitting Stupendous band. Think Rage Against The Machine, the Prodigy, Metal, dub, toasting and humour. This lot knows how to rock hard and how to entertain. The frontman is among the best that I have ever seen. Then of course there is the Newport Helicopter……..wait for it bitches! You really need to check this band out if you haven’t already. After that it was off to the BBC Introducing Stage for Tiny Giant. There is nothing tiny about their sound, it’s gigantic. Imagine a cross between Kate Bush and Lene Lovich fronting a powerful indie pop band. That is kind of what Tiny Giant seemed like to me.

Tiny Giant

Now it was time for the big event of the day, Avalanche Party on the BBC Introducing Stage. This is a big deal from this superb north-east band (they played the same stage at Reading the previous day). Regular readers will know that I am a big fan of Avalanche Party and that I have seen them quite a few times. But one question I have is how can a band get better every time you see them? Well if they’re Avalanche Party they can and they do. This lot doesn’t play at being a rock band, they ARE a rock band!Punk, psych and everything in between is what they deliver. Front man Jordan Bell stalks the stage like he owns it (and in effect he does). He comes across as the bastard son of Jarvis Cocker and Jim Morrison with one of the most piercing stares in music today. Without doubt Avalanche Party smashed Leeds. If you were here and had never seen them before then you must be a fan now, otherwise I fear for your mental health and your taste! Festival organisers can we have them on one of the other stages next year please? I would also like to give a special shout out to some of the folks who travelled from Avalanche Party’s home town in a minibus, especially Debbie Hutchinson, Emma and Danjo. Lovely people and great fans of the band.

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Well that was really all I was at the festival for on Sunday, but I persevered a little longer in the mud. I turned up at the NME/ Radio 1 tent next for Netsky. This is yet another dance act (ok I am being somewhat curmudgeonly about dance acts at this festival, but it’s just my opinion folks). Netsky in my opinion is a dance act emanating from a lineage that stretches back to rave, the Prodigy, Pendulum and Chase & Status. Obviously talented and skilled, but for me, well it feels like I’ve heard it all before.

Back to the Main Stage again next for the supreme festival good time party band the Eagles Of Death Metal. I must confess that I had forgotten just how good this band are. Jesse Hughes is yet another magnificent front,am and there have been some brilliant ones today. As an extra bonus their cover of David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” was ace. In fact I forgot to mention Fall Out Boy’s little Bowie tribute in my day 1 post, that was a nice touch.

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Next it was Jack Garratt on the NME/ Radio 1 stage. Jack arrived via the BBC Introducing route a couple of years back (as did Everything Everything). There is a lot of what the BBC does that I really don’t like, but what they do with the BBC Introducing set up is simply first class. Jack is a fantastically talented singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist. The last time I saw him play he was very nervous, but now, with an excellent first album under his belt he oozes confidence. He is also clearly enjoying himself too. He smiled through the whole set like a kid let loose in a sweet shop. It really is hard not to like this guy.

After this I am afraid that I wimped out somewhat. I was knackered and mud fatigued. I decided to head on home to my beautiful wife Catwoman (a.k.a. Catherine). I had planned to stick around for Imagine Dragons and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers on the Main Stage so I ought to apologise to those two magnificent bands. Anyway having aqua-planed out of the car park just behind a car being towed out by a tractor it felt to me like I had made the right decision. So after all those Reading visits how was my first Leeds Festival? Well apart from the mud it was magnificent. I will be back here next year although it does leave me tinged with sadness to be finally saying goodbye to the Reading Festival, Leeds is every bit as good and in fact in many areas it is better. In particular that it is a more compact site and that the Main Stage is at the bottom of a slope which means even those of us who aren’t super tall can see quite well from a distance! I would love to hear your experiences of this years Reading and Leeds Festivals.

These boots were made for walking, walking in the mud!

 

 

 
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