With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music reviews, gig reviews, fun trivia and extra added random stuff!

The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – January 23rd, 2022 February 24, 2022

Greetings dear readers how is 2022 shaping up for you. I am a little late with this post, so there will be a February top 20 on the way soon and some news as to how these Top 20 posts will change going forward. Many of you know that I am a keen user of a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I still remain over 97% more obscure than other users in the UK. It also lists my most obscure artists, (the top two of which have been there since I began doing these posts) which currently are;

Woke Up Dead (One of the two bands that have been ever-present in my obscure list and an excellent band to boot!)

Promethium (This metal bunch continue to fly the flag for great British rock and like Woke Up Dead have been ever-present in this obscure team)

Penfriend – (Not Laura Kidd’s first time in this list and a welcome return)

Cabinet Of Millionaires – (the art of political protest is still strong!)

Folk The System – (folky protest and frankly great songs)

So who were the top artists for January 23rd? Check the full lists below, in a first for this chart there are more female artists than male artists for the first time (11 versus 9). In fact the Top 4 are all women, including a first number one for Gwen McCrae, what a voice! The Dame hangs in at number five. My reggae taste is represented by Dr. Alimantado (7), Dillinger (8) and Marcia Griffiths (17). My favourite 90s band Gene sit at number 18. There a a few classic artists (Kiki Dee, Kate Bush, Judie Tzuke and Joni Mitchell to name a few). This was before Joni removed her music from Spotify of course. Confession time, I really, really fancied Judie Tzuke when I was in my teens! There is a great showing for new artists too, some are more new to me, including The Anchoress, Helen Love, Bruno Skibbild and Yard Act. Look out for an upcoming Bruno Skibbild post soon. Give Obscurify a spin and let me know what your chart looks like and how obscure your tastes are 🙂

1 Gwen McCrae
2 Kate Bush
3 Tori Amos
4 Millie Jackson
5 David Bowie
6 Kiki Dee
7 Dr. Alimantado
8 Dillinger
9 The Anchoress
10 Joni Mitchell
11 Tavares
12 Helen Love
13 Beverly Craven
14 Yard Act
15 Shabazz Palaces
16 Norman Connors
17 Marcia Griffiths
18 Gene
19 Judie Tzuke
20 Bruno Skibbild

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Billie Marten, Epilogues, Laura Kindelan – The Basement, City Screen, York – Tuesday 11th July 2017 July 12, 2017

This wonderful, intimate venue was home to a wonderful and intimate gig on Tuesday night courtesy of the talented Mr Simon Pattinson of Northern Radar. Mr P always puts together some excellent packages and I would like to congratulate him on his first sell out gig, may there be many more! Incidentally if you spot any gig promoted by Northern Radar give it a shot, Simon has never let me down in all the years I have known him.

Anyway tonight was a really chilled acoustic gathering kicked off by Laura Kindelan from York. For me Laura evokes what might have been had Jeff Buckley been female. This girl has so much soul in her voice and also a magnificently chilled and carefree style. She also has some great songs, “Sweet Tooth” is achingly, stunningly beautiful and I love it.

I first saw tonights second act, Epilogues back at this same venue in September last year when Mikey was supporting Jordan Mackampa. I liked him then and I still do. He said that he was nervous at the start of his set, but it really didn’t show. He has a great vocal range which is suggestive of both Thom Yorke in his softer moments and David Bowie circa 1969. The name Epilogues suggests closure but this fella has so much to offer that maybe he should become Prologues.

Billie Marten was the headliner tonight although she did say that she was blown away by the support. But whilst everyone tonight put in great performances for me Billie definitely shaded it. How many “Internet Sensations” (Billie came to prominence via her own YouTube channel as a young girl and then on a local YouTube channel called Ont’ Sofa) have true talent? I would wager that not many do, but Billie Marten has talent in spades. Her performance evokes a slight spirit of Joni Mitchell but she is also very much her own woman. “Cartoon People” belies the fact that Billie is only eighteen, it is a powerful song about Donald Trump and his daughter. It is a great song that would win over anyone in possession of a brain and a heart. This young lady will go far and she deserves to. She also shared some of her home baked cake with us and I can tell you that it was damned fine too.


“She used to be a girl of simple pleasures, a breath of spring to chase your blues away” Blog Advent Calendar Day 14 December 14, 2014

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Ladies and gentlemen and those that aren’t quite sure it is now December 14th and that means that my Christmas advent blog posts for 2014 have reached Day 14 which in turn means that we are at the letter ‘N’. With that in mind I have decided to pick a band from Scotland for todays ABC of British bands entry. Please allow me to welcome the mighty Nazareth to this post.

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The band formed in 1968 and the original members were Manny Charlton (guitar), Pete Agnew (bass), Darrell Sweet (drums) and Dan McCafferty (tonsil-shredding vocals). The band still tours although Pete Agnew is the only one of the original members still with the band. There are no middle east or biblical overtones to the band’s name. They are named after a town that is mentioned in the classic song “The Weight” from the Band. That town is Nazareth, Pennsylvania. The line is “I pulled in to Nazareth, I was feeling about half past dead”


The band was probably at its commercial peak in the early 70s when they had three UK top 20 albums from 1973 to 1974. I used to own two of those on vinyl; ‘Razamanaz’ and ‘Loud ‘N’ Proud‘. They also reached the top 20 of the album charts in Norway six times between 1980 and 1989. Their latest album ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Telephone’ has charted in four countries this year; Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria. This is probably the last Nazareth album to feature McCafferty’s vocals as he retired due to ill-health last year.



Their biggest success in the UK singles chart was with “Broken Down Angel” which peaked at number 9 in 1973. Their cover of Joni Mitchell‘s “This Flight Tonight” made it to number one in Germany that same year. In 1975 they released a cover version of the classic ballad “Love Hurts” it made it to the top of the charts in Canada and South Africa. Dan McCafferty has released a few solo recordings over the years and his cover of the Rolling Stones “Out Of Time” almost made the UK top 40 in 1975, stalling at number 41, I used to have a vinyl copy of that too. In 1994 Guns ‘N’ Roses covered Nazareth’s “Hair Of The Dog” on their covers album ‘The Spaghetti Incident’. Supposedly Nazareth had previously turned down an invite to play at Axl Rose‘s wedding. They might not have entertained guests at Mr Rose’s wedding, but you can enjoy Nazareth now.


“And I feel to be a cog in something turning” July 11, 2014

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 1:43 pm
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Joni Mitchell wrote “Woodstock” despite never actually making it to the iconic festival held on Max Yasgur‘s farm in 1969. Joni said that ‘the deprivation of not being able to go’ provided her with ‘an intense angle on Woodstock.



The crowd at Woodstock, August 1969.


“So never mind the darkness we still can find a way” March 7, 2014

MjAxMy02ZTFmY2VlYzY1OGY0ODcxSaul Hudson’s father designed album covers for many artists including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. But unless you know that Saul Hudson is legendary guitarist Slash that wouldn’t mean much to you would it? Do you know of any other rock stars parents that are also artistically talented in some way?



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“And I dreamed I saw the bombers riding shotgun in the sky” May 2, 2010

Hello good people of the blogosphere, this is a quick post to say a big thank you. After 14 months my blog has now surpassed 500,000 hits, I am truly blown away. In that time there have been 125 posts from me and there have also been 268 comments and I must confess it’s the comments that I love most! So keep ’em coming folks!

Now listen folks, you don't have to come to my house to read my blog, just do it on line, it's much easier!

The top search terms that directed people to this blog in that period have been; Pink Floyd, Lily Allen, Kate Bush, Slipknot, Catwoman, Beatles, Pink, Michael Jackson Thriller, Bjork and Creed. Strangely of all the tags I have added the top five are David Bowie, The Beatles, Steal The Smile, BBC and Kate Bush of which only the Beatles and Kate Bush feature in the most searched list

Steal The Smile are also among the top 3 links made from my blog, with a large number of people heading to their MySpace page, click here to take that journey yourself!

I would also like to thank some other bloggers who have direct plenty of traffic my way and I recommend that you check them out;

Strange Cousin Susan

Barely Awake In Frog Pajamas

Pretending Life Is Like A Song

As usual I would like to mark this occasion with a song, can any of you guess why I chose this particular song? Incidentally it is Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” performed below by Matthews Southern Comfort


“We are starlight, we are golden” February 17, 2009

Here we go again a veritable trivia roller coaster for your personal delight (I feel much better after that awful bout of verbal diarrhea!) So today being the 17th February the year of our lord 2009. Actually as an atheist how should I refer to the year? Incidentally I used to consider myself an agnostic, but a former boss of mine said “an agnostic is just an atheist with no balls” so I decided I rather be an atheist than a eunuch agnostic!

There are a couple of birthdays to celebrate today, firstly the late great (here they come again those confounded l & g’s) Tommy Edwards. Tommy was born in 1922 and so would have been 87 today. Unfortunately he died aged 47 in 1968. He is probably best remembered for his rather excellent version of the classic love song “It’s All In The Game” which has also been covered by everyone from Sir Cliff Richard (he certainly didn’t have the same agnostic vs atheist dilemma that I did I’m sure!) to the Four Tops. My favourite version is definitely by the Tops followed closely by Mr Edwards. Tommy Edwards version was a UK and US number 1 in 1958, pre me even! The Four Tops reached number 5 in the UK and 23 in the US with the song in 1970.Click on their name to see them singing it live in what appears to be a hospital. The song was co-written by a US Vice President, Charles Daws who wrote a piece of music in 1911 called “Melody In A Major”, Carl Sigman added the lyrics to the piece in 1951. Mr Daws went on to become VP under Calvin Coolidge. It is so far the only number one song to have been written or co-written by a US Vice President. I can’t imagine Cheney or Biden ever doing the same somehow.

The late great Tommy Edwards

The late great Tommy Edwards

The mostly late but always great Four Tops

The mostly late but always great Four Tops

The second and final birthday today is that of Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day, who is 37 today. I saw Green Day live at the Milton Keynes Bowl in 2005 they were bloody good! As his hair is often died some of you may not know that he is in fact a redhead, just like my son Luke, who coincidentally also plays guitar and sings in a band! They’re called Steal The Smile. OK this bit is yet another blatant plug, but check them out on myspace and tell me what you think of them. www.myspace.com/stealthesmile This is Steal The Smile at the Face Bar in Reading last year with a cover of Pendulum’s “Blood Sugar” And lest we forget whose birthday it is, Billie Joe, remember? Here are Green Day with the superb “Basket Case

Billie Joe on stage in 2005

Billie Joe on stage in 2005

On this day in 1970 Joni Mitchell announced her ‘retirement’ from live performance during a show at the Royal Albert Hall in London (what a great venue that is!) She was on stage again by the end of the year. She’s not the first or last to ‘retire’ either; Frank Sinatra did it a few times, Bowie retired in 1973 (well technically he retired the Ziggy character. Robbie seems to have retired, well I live in hope at least. (There we go a Bowie reference and a Robbie dig in the same sentence) Joni’s real name is Roberta Joan Anderson and in 2003 Rolling Stone magazine (my favourite US publication!) named her the 72nd greatest guitarist of all time; she was the highest-ranked woman on the list. Which women guitarists should have been higher? What do you think? One of Joni’s biggest hits was the wonderful “Big Yellow Taxi” She also wrote one of my favourite songs, “Woodstock” which was about Woodstock, I bet you never saw that coming did you? That song was a big hit for Ian Matthews with his band Matthews Southern Comfort. I should point out that Joni is not a Canadian relative of Peggy, Phil and Grant Mitchell

Joni waiting for a taxi, a big yellow one!

Joni waiting for a taxi, a big yellow one!

On this day in 1972 Pink Floyd started a 3 night run at the Rainbow Theatre in London, tickets wee just ÂŁ1 each, but that was a lot of money then, but probably not to bankers! An early incarnation of the Floyd was known as the Tea Set and when they found themselves on the same bill as another band with the same name, Syd Barrett came up with the alternative name The Pink Floyd Sound, after two blues musicians, Pink Anderson (no relation to Joni Mitchell) and Floyd Council whose names he’d seen on the notes of a Blind Boy Fuller album

"What a bummer" thought William when he checked his Pink Floyd collection

"What a bummer" thought William when he checked his Pink Floyd collection

Ok that’s it for today apart from two things. Firstly I intend to start an occasional series soon where I’ll work alphabetically through some of my favourite artists and include at least one of their songs and some interesting (but you’ll be the judges of that of course) trivia. I’ll be starting with the letter ‘A’ soon, any guesses who it might be? And lastly following on from an earlier post about the Clash, who had a song called “Janie Jones” I have had a request for some information about Ms Jones and that will follow later this week, but I can confirm that she wasn’t just a character in a Clash song, she was indeed a real person!

Bye for now peeps 🙂


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