With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘What You Are’ – Skylights May 5, 2022


The anticipation for the debut Skylights has been huge for a long while now. The band has slogged their way onwards and upwards to the point where they are selling out shows as far afield as Scotland and Ireland. They are clearly outperforming their beloved Leeds United too. As Leeds head for the Championship Skylights are heading to the top of the Premier League! Will this album cement them in the classic UK rock mantle? I think it might. The record kicks off with “Outlaw”, a mighty powerful statement indeed and in my opinion their finest single so far. What better way to kick off an album than with an absolute banger. It features Turnbull’s finest riffs to date and Rob’s vocal oozes a heady passion. “Nothing Left To Say” drops the intensity very, very slightly, but the sweeping chorus and haunting backing vocals from Jonny more than compensate. The guitar screams like a banshee on heat and Jonny’s bass would register on the Richter scale. “What You Are” makes it three anthems in a row. Then comes “Britannia” which doesn’t let up, Myles’ drumming is reminiscent of early Public Image Limited and drives the tunes, ultimately positive and hopeful, lyrics.

The acoustic take on “Darkness Falls” brings the power level down a little and is a truly sublime ballad. The string arrangements are classy and enhance the already great track. This is the band’s most complete and beautiful lyrics in my opinion. Rob’s voice has a yearning, soulful feel to it and you really do believe he is sorry as the words say. If you like post-punk “Enemies” has that kind of feel and once again features a riff-fest with the might of a neutron bomb. Just over halfway through the tune has a stupendous psychedelic feel and the chorus won’t let you go. “Breaking outta school cos we were high, Kicking down doors just a you and I, Enemies they’ve got to know, Dream those dreams don’t let ’em go” These lads have never let their dreams go and this album proves it. Next is perhaps the one Skylights track that everyone is surely familiar with, “YRA”. It is always a true highlight of their live set and it shows how far the band has grown when you consider that this great tune is not even close to being the best on the album.

“Lifeline” opens with the couplet, “I’m in the mood, I’m in the mood for grooving” and this is the Skylights track that is crying out for a warped dance mix, someone like the Chemical Brothers would blow this one out of the sky. It is already a force 10 funk gale with titanic tornado riffs. The whole band are on fire with “Take Me Somewhere” which is reminiscent of Green Day’s “When September Ends”, albeit a little faster. The album closes with “Driving Me Away” which has a Beatlesesque feel in the production and orchestration and shows just how versatile this band can be. Some versions of the release will include a commentary from Rob and Turnbull on all the tracks and they add a nice curio to the whole thing, although I think only Skylights fanatics will listen to them regularly. The album is an absolutely superb debut and without doubt a contender for album of the year! The vinyl and CD version of the album is out on 6th May and the digital release follows a week later. “Driving Me Away” will be the band’s next single and that comes out on 6th May. All on the rather splendid 42’s Records.

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“Darkness Falls” – Skylights October 15, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:52 pm
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One of the best bands ever to arise from York, Skylights, are back to light up that Covid darkness for us all! Strangely with a song called “Darkness Falls”. It starts like a mellow acoustic driven song that the Who have been known for but it builds in gorgeous layers into an inspiring anthemic crescendo. A real giant of a tune. The production, by Jonny G, throws everything, including a full orchestra sound and the kitchen sink into it, and it works, on an epic scale. Rob puts in his greatest vocal performance to date with a commanding voice that soars above the music on a wave of soulfulness. The rambunctious rhythm section marshalled by Jonny and Myles keeps things ticking perfectly while the guitar fills, riffs and especially the solos from Turnbull weave around the melody like a gold thread made from the great lost chord. I also love that this tune ends rather than fades. Not only that it ends with a great drum fill from Myles, reminiscent of the way the Manic Street Preachers closed “A Design For Life”. Write these boys off at your peril, they are here to stay. It’s a tough call but I believe seeing Skylights playing live once more will be more exciting than having Leeds United back in the Premier League! It is out on 23rd October, I have ordered my yellow vinyl 7 inch, have you? You haven’t? Well just click here and get your copy sorted.

After October 23rd I will edit this post to include some streaming links, I will leave you no opportunity to ignore this classic in the making!

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“Enemies” – Skylights February 10, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 8:27 pm
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One of York’s finest bands, Skylights have a new single out, it’s called “Enemies” and personally, I think it is their best yet. So many things are looking up for Skylights at the moment. A hometown headline gig later this month, lots of airplay at their football temple Elland Road, a spin on Soccer AM, a support slot for Shed Seven at the Halifax Piece Hall in June and now on the bill at this years Kendal Calling Festival. As the lyric of “Enemies” says “dream those dreams don’t let ’em die”. These boys are living the dream and they damned well deserve this success, they work bloody hard.

“Enemies” is a mass sonic assault which grabs your brain and spins it around in your skull until you submit to its indie-rock power. Rob’s vocals are reminiscent of Ian Brown at his peak. Turnbull takes his guitar on a psychedelic riff-fest that means the power of this tune never ends. Meanwhile holding the rudder are Jonny and Myles, a rhythm section that it would be hard to better. It is all accompanied by a moody black and white video with clips of the band taken at The Wardrobe in Leeds. When it arrives the first Skylights album will be a fucking classic!

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“Nothing Left To Say” (Video) – Skylights November 22, 2019


I first heard “Nothing Left To Say” from those Yorkshire scallywags Skylights more than a year ago. I seem to recall then that they were planning a video for it. Well, that video has finally arrived for what is yet another anthem from this rather excellent band from York. It is a song that is made for roaring out across a hazy hot festival field. The band are at the top of their game, playing as though they were the musical equivalent of Leeds United from 1974 a team that were by far the best in England at that time! The video is an atmospheric take on how quickly modern life can make a person fall into sad, bad times. The song gets better with every listen and the video deserves plenty of airtime too. I don’t know who filmed it, but whoever it was they did an excellent job! Check out the video below. I am pleased to say that I will be seeing Skylights playing live once again before the end of the year!

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“Britannia” (Video) – Skylights August 19, 2019


I can’t add much to what I have already said about the mighty, meaty “Britannia” from those Leeds United fanatics and one of York’s finest bands, Skylights. Click here and you will find my review of that song and another classic Skylights anthem, “Lifeline”. Why am I revisiting this riffadelic masterpiece? Well, “Britannia” now has a superb video to accompany it, filmed and produced by Adam Maxwell. It is essentially a great moody black and white film taken at their recent sold-out show at the Wardrobe. It is the kind of classy reel that would grace a fly on the wall documentary. You get the sense that the boys were having a lot of fun that night and I am sure that they were. This is a banging tune that will not fail to get you on your feet and dancing. Every member of the band is firing on all cylinders for “Britannia” It has all the hallmarks of a song that will be an encore tune for Skylights when they get to headline the bigger venues. If you have not heard it yet, then I need you to tell me why! But make up for your terrible oversight by checking out the video below.

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“Britannia” and “Lifeline” – Skylights June 21, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:04 am
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Those cheeky musically talented indie rascals from York, the mighty Skylights have new product out. Not an album, not an EP, not even a single, but two rather spiffing tracks. “Britannia” and “Lifeline“. If you like Mr. Gillespie’s finest moments with Primal Scream then you will bloody love “Britannia”. It is heavy with some gorgeous Turnbulltastic riffs and Rob’s vocals are perhaps his best so far. Then there is the anthemic “Lifeline”, a song I have heard in various states, from demo to almost ready and what shines through, especially now that it has been unleashed to the world, is that it is simply a great song. It would be impossible to understate the value of the Mercedes of rhythm sections on “Lifeline” provided by Jonny Scarisbrick and Myles Soley. Everything that I hear from this lot has me salivating over the prospect of a Skylights album. They are definitely one of my favourite bands right now. They will be making a video for one of these classy songs and they want to hear from you dear music fans to decide which one will get the full-on Skylights cinematic experience. It has been a long while since I started a poll on here, so how about you help the boys choose by voting in this little poll. Go on, you know it makes sense. After you have voted get yourself one of the last remaining tickets for their gig at the Wardrobe in Leeds on 27th July!

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“Take Me Somewhere” – Skylights February 18, 2019


Those Skylights boys sneaked out another song last month. It is called “Take Me Somewhere” and it is a driving little number that showcases some excellent riffing from guitar dynamo Turnbull overlaid on to the finely tuned and powerful engine of the rhythm section where Jonny Scarisbrick on bass and Drummer Myles Soley give it real welly to add some superb rock ‘n’ roll horsepower. The song is completed by some pedal to the metal soaring vocals from Rob Scarisbrick. These boys are firing on all cylinders and this song will drive its anthemic way into your head and parallel park there along with some of Skylights other great songs. I have heard a rough mix of another Skylights song recently and that is another humdinger, which makes me look forward to a début album whenever that might be. If you like your Indie Rock with a sharp punky attitude then you need this band in your life. They play a sell out gig this Friday, 22nd February at the 380 capacity Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen in Leeds. I’ll be there, will you?

 

 

Eugene Gorgeous – Fulford Arms, York – Wednesday 28th November 2018 November 30, 2018


Sometimes I really need to psych myself up to go out to a gig on a week night, especially a Wednesday. But a gig hosted by Joe Coates (Please Please You) and Simon Pattinson (Northern Radar) ought to make it worth it and frankly it was well worth it! It was also great to catch up with the top bloke that is Dan Lucas, head honcho of the wonderful Boss Caine. First up was a sneaky set from one of York’s best bands, Skylights. A good opportunity for a final live show before their showcase headliner at the Brudenell in Leeds the following day (a review of that show will be heading your way very soon!). Often bands on first play like they are a support band, but Skylights blew that one away. They smashed into this like they were headliners. They were magnificent from the opening bar of “Life Line” to the loud feedback driven end to “Reverb”. Obviously “YRA” was amazing, but tonight “Britannia” stole the show for me. This was a  band totally ready to bring the house down at the Brudenell at their next gig.

Next up it was Liverpool’s the Mysterines. I must confess that I was not sure of that name, but once they start that becomes irrelevant. The noise they create is some of the best rock music that you will ever hear. The pace never slows down and “I Just Love To Hate You” is possibly one of my new favourite songs. Lia Mysterine’s voice has the passion of Patti Smith, the punk attitude of Joan Jett and the cheeky glam tone of Suzi Quatro. With a drummer channelling the spirit of Keith Moon and the Muppets Animal, alongside a bass player that provides a deep thudding underlay the Mysterines are destined to go far.

The headliners tonight, Eugene Gorgeous, should be the subject of some work by the world famous Pete Frame of Rock Family Trees fame. The singer’s brother is a part of Bull and tonight the drummer was Harry from Black Lagoons and the collective has representation from other bands too. The simplest way to describe them would be eclectic, but even that doesn’t do them justice. For me they have a lot of prime Lou Reed period Velvet Underground about them but then they put that aside with an incredible cover of Aretha’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” in which they don’t change the gender, which makes it work even better. This is the first time that I have seen them in more than two years and the VU came up in my description of them back then. I said “imagine if you will the Velvet Underground meeting the Jesus and Mary Chain at a dive bar in Twin Peaks.” well I believe that description still stands .Vocalist Paddy Beer is like the EverReady bunny fuelled by energy drinks and milk! If you love music then you cannot dislike this mightily talented bunch. I don’t think any of them are actually called Eugene but they sure as hell make the most gorgeous noise! If you haven’t caught up with Eugene Gorgeous yet then I suggest that you get yourself acquainted with them immediately!

Public Service Announcement: – All photographs (except the Eugene Gorgeous name tag) were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.

 

 
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