With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls – First Direct Arena, Leeds – Sunday 27th January 2019 February 5, 2019


Well it’s official I have now seen Frank Turner more times than I saw David Bowie! How come? Well obviously David Bowie is no longer with us, but also Frank is one hell of a talented performer. Before I tell you about Mr Turner’s performance let me say a little about the excellent support acts. Firstly Grace Petrie, she is a supreme talent; smart, funny, topical, self-deprecating and a great singer songwriter. For just one person with a guitar and a crowd that had come to see Frank Turner she owned the stage. Did anyone who had not heard of Grace Petrie before this night leave having not become a fan? I doubt it. She was fucking awesome. Her treatise on protest singers, or the lack of, “I Wish The Guardian Believed That I Exist” was pertinent, serious, satirical and funny all at the same time. She proved that she can also do happy songs with her ode to her niece, “Ivy” the line about missing Kasabian at Glastonbury rather than Dolly Parton is hilarious and worth the price of admission alone! It was a short set, but every song was a winner and left me wanting to see and hear more from this fabulous woman.

Next up were a band that formed in Arizona back in 1993, Jimmy Eat World. Not so many years ago it is likely that they would have been way above Frank Turner on the bill. Their name comes from a drawing in crayon from guitarist Tom Linton’s younger brother Ed showing another brother Jim, pushing the Earth into his mouth. The band’s pop punk sound has aged well and Jim Adkin’s vocals still hit the spot. There were many highlights in their eleven song set; “Futures” and “Bleed American” but perhaps the best was saved for the last song. A blistering, crowd pleasing romp through stone cold classic “The Middle”, the band’s biggest hit released way back in 2001.

Frank Turner was very much on form, he is great on his own with just a guitar, but when backed by the magnificent Sleeping Souls he reaches stratospheric levels. Ben Lloyd on guitar, harmonica and mandolin, Tarrant Anderson on bass guitar, Matt Nasir on keyboards and Nigel Powell on drums are real heroes that drive this set to enable Frank to pull off yet another amazing show. Some of the newer songs are for me a little soft and I am not sure that I like a loved up and contented Frank as much as an angry Frank. But there is no denying that he has a canon of truly wonderful songs. I could never tire of “Photosynthesis” and I believe that “1933” will be a future classic. The acoustic interlude was wonderful and as always “Long Live The Queen”  brought tears to my eyes as I remembered those people who left us way too soon. “The Ballad Of Me And My Friends” was among the many crowd sing along highlights. After that acoustic sojourn the Sleeping Souls returned with huge bombastic effect with “I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous” and “The Next Storm”. There was hardly a bum left on a seat for those and when the main set ended with a stirring run through “I Still Believe” everyone was jumping and given the sound of the audience singing I suspect that there were many sore throats the next morning! Obviously there was an encore and the best part of that was for me the heartfelt and meaningful plea to “Be More Kind” and the full on rock stomp of “Get Better”. Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls get better every time I see them and I can hardly wait for the next time!

All photos, apart from the gig poster, were provided by rock photographer extraordinaire John Hayhurst at snapagig.com

 

 

Leeds Festival Day 2 Saturday 26th August 2017 August 29, 2017


Click here to read my review of day 2 of the 2017 Leeds Festival on the Hype Media site. I would like to thank those very nice peeps at the Hype Media for giving me the opportunity to be there! Words by me and pictures by rock photographer extraordinaire John Hayhurst of snapagig. I also couldn’t resist adding a couple of Rubberbandits videos below as well. But if you are easily offended do not watch them, you have been warned!

 

 

 

Reading Festival 2014 – The Preview August 18, 2014


leeds-festival-2014

Here we are again, time for my annual pilgrimage to the Reading Festival with my good friend Nick Horslen. Collectively we are the Zimmer Twins a.k.a Bald Guy and Silver Dude. So what is on the agenda for us this year? well there are plenty of bands that we have seen many times before, particularly on the Main Stage. Friday on that stage looks very appealing, particularly Deaf Havana, Jimmy Eat World, Enter Shikari and Vampire Weekend all of whom we have seen before but entertaining none the less. There is a joint headline thing going on that day with Paramore and Queens Of The Stone Age. I’m not too sure about the joint headline thing but both are very good bands who I have seen quite a few times. Friday on the NME/ Radio 1 Stage has a couple of acts that I’d like to see. Notably Warpaint, Metronomy and Gerard Way.I really don’t want to miss Aluna George on the Radio 1 Dance Stage either. I can see some big clashes cropping up for us that afternoon! As for the Lock Up Stage I really want to see Brody Dalle. I am never going to be able to see everyone I want to on that day. Some tough choices need to be faced clearly. I haven’t even considered any of the other stages yet either! As usual I would appreciate any recommendations from you folks reading this, especially if it makes our hard choices a bit easier.

Saturday’s Main Stage line up also looks good and once again it features many acts that I have seen before; including Pulled Apart By Horses, The Hives, Foster The People, Imagine Dragons, Jake Bugg and the Arctic Monkeys. But I have to see DZ Deathrays on the Radio 1 Stage first thing on Saturday. I saw them at the Woolpack in York a couple of weeks back and they were awesome. Also on that stage on my to see list are Royal Blood, Cage The Elephant, Die Antwoord, Chvrches and Bombay Bicycle Club. Then maybe Architects on the Pit stage. Band Of Skulls and We Are Scientists on the Festival Republic Stage. I also want to pay a visit to the Alternative Stage for some comedy. Does anyone have the ability to clone me so that I can attend every stage? Please send me the details, what do you need? A DNA sample, blood, sweat, tears, a stool sample? just let me know because as you are all well aware; you’re never alone with a clone!

Sunday’s closing night on the Main stage is good, but at the moment I prefer the other days. Although missing Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Blink 182 would be disappointing. However Disclosure headline the NME/ Radio 1 Stage that night and I don’t want to miss them either. On that same stage on Sunday I also fancy Clean Bandit, the Horrors and the 1975. Blimey this doesn’t get any easier does it? Then of course there is the Klaxons on the Radio 1 Dance Stage. The Lock Up stage is headlined by the magnificent Gogol Bordello with support from the Frankly (Turner) un-missable Mongol Horde.

OK clearly I will enjoy loads of acts but I will also be disappointed at having to miss so many. I await your recommendations dear reader, along with your plans for cloning me. The Zimmer Twins will see you there!

If you squint you can just about spot the Zimmer Twins in that crowd!

If you squint you can just about spot the Zimmer Twins in that crowd!

 

 

“I won’t always love these selfish things” – Advent day 23 December 23, 2013


The_Number_23_by_BrettYoncakI think it’s really starting to feel like Christmas now. It’s 23rd December or Christmas Eve Eve as some like to call it. The With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent posts have reached day 23 and you will now be entertained by two songs with the number 23 in their title.

Strawberry Letter Twenty 'Fro perhaps?

Strawberry Letter Twenty ‘Fro perhaps?

One of my favourite songs of all time is first and it is a song that I have blogged about quite a few times before. I give you the Brothers Johnson with the magnificent Shuggie Otis penned “Strawberry Letter 23”. Shuggie wrote and recorded the song for his 1971 album ‘Freedom Flight‘. George Johnson was dating one of Shuggie’s cousins a few years later who gave him that Shuggie album. George was so taken with the song that he and his brother Louis, the pair were known as the Brothers Johnson recorded it. It appeared on their album ‘Right On Time’ in 1977 and was also released as a single that year. The Brothers Johnson recording was produced by Quincy Jones and featured Lee Ritenour on lead guitar. It made it to number five in the US charts and number one in the US R & B chart. But sadly barely troubled the UK chart reaching a lowly number 35. I was always miffed about that given the shite that does sell by the bucket load. I have so far only ever met one other person who sees this as one of their favourite songs; take a bow Fraser Matthews.

A2ED8BD34DAB1DE828C516F4C45865F0Jimmy Eat World get the next song, simply called “23”. It is the closing track on their fifth album, ‘Futures’ from 2004. Along with three other tracks from the album (“Kill”, “Work” and “Polaris”) “23” was used to soundtrack part of the TV series ‘One Tree Hill. The band formed in Arizona in 1993. The name came from a spat between the younger brothers of guitarist Tom Linton. The brothers are called Jim and Ed and they often fought. After one argument Ed Linton made a crayon drawing of Jim shoving the planet Earth into his mouth. He had captioned it ‘Jimmy Eat World’. They should be touring in the UK next year. I hope that means that they will be putting in an appearance at the Reading Festival in 2014.

 

Reading Festival 2011 – Day 2 – Saturday 27th August August 28, 2011


Hello again people and here is the dispatch from the muddy fields of the Reading festival after day 2. Firstly I have to mention a rather funny comment I made on the way to the main arena today. Which strangely enough for me was said completely innocently. My feet were sticking in the mud quite a lot so I said; “If this mud gets any more sticky my boots will be sucked off”. It made Nick and me laugh and if you’re not laughing then maybe you had to be there or you have a much cleaner mind than ours. Or maybe you’re just too mature!

We only caught Funeral Party’s last song in the NME/ Radio 1 tent they sounded pretty good though. Yuck were in the NME/ Radio 1 tent next and were recommended by my friend John Hayhurst who is usually at the Leeds festival but unfortunately can’t make it this year. It was a bloody good tip as it happens! I would describe them as shoegazers with a young Bob Dylan lookalike as a singer. But a great band I will be downloading their album on Monday night. Oh and I almost forgot also the drummer looked like my old boss Bazza Hutton with added afro. Castrovalva were on the BBC Introducing stage, we didn’t see much of them but they definitely need to look at their audience more.

Next was our first visit to the Main Stage, where we spent most of the day eventually. Joined by a supporting cast of really nice and mad in a nice way people from all over the world; South Africa, Brazil and Brighton at least. It was hard to refuse the offer of a free beer from the South African blokes and even shhhhh…… whisper it; a small toke on one of their spliffs! The Pigeon Detectives were on for me they are  just bland identikit indie pop. Although Nick wouldn’t agree with that. In their favour they are very hardworking. Seasick Steve was next up on the Main Stage. What can I say? Well for starters he is a supreme talent with way more charisma and stage presence than Liam Gallagher even when sat down. Amazingly he was joined on stage for most of his set by none other than John Paul Jones off of Led Zeppelin. We saw a couple from Tribes who were pretty good. we then paid our daily visit to the comedy tent to see Michael Fabbri who was very filthy and very funny.

Madness or should that be Mudness (thanks for that one Nick) were next on the Main Stage. When I first read that they were on the bill some months ago I wondered whether they would be able to really pull it off. Well I am happy to report that they did in bucketloads. This was probably the best ever loved up party vibe I have ever seen in 20 odd years of going to this festival at Reading. It even included a mosh conga. Jimmy Eat World were next; they were very good but who could have followed Madness? The National were an excellent chilled out close to the afternoon session and a good precursor to Pulp. If the members of the Doors were born in the 80’s they may have sounded like the National and I will have to download some of their stuff soon too.

Pulp, who were sharing top billing at the Festival with the Strokes were next on the Main Stage; from the simply stated laser phrase show at the start to the brilliant and perfect closer “Common People” they were truly fucking awesome. Jarvis Cocker is a certified genius who has immense stage craft and worked the audience to perfection. Richard Hawley was also on stage with them.  The Strokes closed the day and as expected were very, very good, but for me not quite as good as Pulp. Jarvis joined them for a great version of the Cars’ “Just What I Needed”. So sadly only one day to go now but it looks like a good one!

 

 
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