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

 

Hello Operator, Avalanche Party, Broken Skulls, Wildlife – Fibbers, York – Saturday 23rd May 2015 May 24, 2015


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I am back at Fibbers again just a few days after Julian couldn’t Cope. But there are no diva shenanigans tonight, Mike and Simon have created an excellent line up for what will sadly be Mike J’s final promotion. Kicking events off were the York and Leeds based Wildlife. I believe that this band would have easily fitted into New York’s late 70s post punk scene alongside a fledgling Talking Heads. But they are not revivalists of that era they are very 21st century too. They have great songs, great stage presence and a good rapport with the audience. They handled a little power outage problem with aplomb. Apparently all the songs are about the singers cock, well apart from “Like A Racehorse” anyway! Whether you like songs about cocks or not you should check them out.

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The second band to tread the boards tonight were the two piece Broken Skulls. Imagine if the Strokes had more power, more balls and only two members. Can you do that? If you can then you would probably be imagining Broken Skulls. I would imagine that the two piece format leads many to compare them with the excellent Royal Blood. However they are more than a facsimile of another band. They are incredibly powerful performers, gifted instrumentalists and they write some terrific songs. They dedicated an old song to Mike this evening which was also the name of a former band of theirs; “Toy Radar”. I would definitely go and see these boys again and so should you if you haven’t already.

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Second on the bill this evening is a band that hardly need any introduction to regular readers of this blog, the magnificent Avalanche Party. Up to now they have had excellent reviews from me. Is that about to change? Fuck no! These lads rocked their socks off on Saturday. They played a barnstorming set and the audience would have eaten out of the bands hands had they been asked. Well the majority would have at least. New song “Money” was stunning live and Joe and Jordan’s crowd invasions, or should that be incursions, raised the excitement levels for the punters. I would like to thank Jordan for dedicating the mountainous (sorry for the cliché) “Mountains” to me. ‘This one is for Big Billy at the front’; I love it! The band will be launching their new EP in their home town, Middlesbrough soon. Sadly I can’t make it, so please put a copy aside for me chaps! But if you can make it then you bloody well should. This band mean big and should be big. They get better every time I see them.

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I didn’t envy the brilliant Hello Operator having to follow such a great set from one of my favourite bands of the moment, but they did follow and they followed bloody well. Hello Operator are a different kind of band to Avalanche Party but they are equally as powerful. They appear schooled in a different vein of classic rock and they know how to win over and captivate an audience. I saw them earlier this year at the smaller City Screen venue and they metaphorically blew the roof off. Frankly they did the same at Fibbers. They are and incredibly tight, talented and well rehearsed band. The guitarist has the flourish of Bernard Butler at his peak and as far as vocals go they have a singer who has one of the finest rock voices around. If you have never seen them then get off your arse and do so!

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I would like to thank Mike and Simon for a great night and also Joe Bell off of Avalanche Party for the vino. This was a truly superb night for everyone who came along. Four great bands in one night it can’t get better than that can it?

The public service announcement for today is that all the pictures were taken with my Nokia and the videos are courtesy of YouTube

 

“One for the money” – a review of the new Avalanche Party single! March 30, 2015


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Regular readers of this blog will know by now that I am a big fan of one of Middlesbrough’s finest bands and indeed a great British band, hell just a great band anyway you look at them; I’m talking the magnificent Avalanche Party. Well the boys have a rather spiffing new single out called “Money”. It’s stunning video was launched earlier today. The film was produced by Jodie Canwell. I don’t know much about Jodie but I felt there were elements of David Lynch in her work on this video. It was all shot on the North Yorkshire Moors and when I say it’s weird I mean that as a big compliment. Can I be in the next video please?

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But not only is it a brilliant video the song is bloody good too. I hope there are vinyl copies of it available next time I see the boys (which hopefully will be on 23rd May at Fibbers in York). If this song is an indicator of future direction for this wonderful band then roll on more releases. EPs, singles an album anything will do me. The song was produced by Fred Purser who has worked with a wide range of artists including the Futureheads and Tom Jones. Have you downloaded “Money” yet? If not then why not? It’s bloody well free people! Click here and download it immediately! Anyway never mind “one for the money” I give this 9 out of 10. Why not 10 I hear you ask, well because I’m saving that for the Avalanche Party album! Jordan, Owen, Kane and Joe – keep on rocking! Sadly my wife Catherine (aka Catwoman) isn’t keen on the song…. but I’m working on her!

 

“Wanna make sure England does not happen to you” January 22, 2012


Back in 2009 I had the opportunity to see a band at a charity gig in York. I said some very good things about them in my review of that gig. Click here to read it. In fact I finished my write up of them with ‘My advice is gather up all of your X Factor shite and burn it, then replace it with whatever you can get by 3 Foot Ninja!’ The band have recorded an album which is scheduled for release in March this year and if the new tracks from them that are out there right now are anything to go by, it will be a real scorcher. You can get hold of new track “Fear” for free by clicking here and you can watch them playing another new song; “England Rains Over You” by clicking here. Are these boys the ones to take up a recent clarion call for a new powerful protest song in these dire times? As a big fan of the Clash I certainly hope so. I feel that they have a bit of the Clash about their attitude and that can never be a bad thing.

This music will move you on many levels. You will move your body, your emotions will shake a leg and your mind will tango with your soul. These boys have it all; great songs, great hooks, great lyrics, a social conscience, buckets of talent and a desire and hunger to be the best rock band they could ever be. They will be touring to support the album so if they play anywhere near you do whatever you can as long as it’s legal to raise the money to see them. You will not be disappointed, I intend to be at least one of those gigs myself. So feel free to come and say hi to the Hint Of Mayhem guy after you’ve pogoed and moshed the roof off the venue.

The band consists of Jordan and Joe Bell aided and abetted by Kane Waterfield on skin thumping duties. Did you wonder where their name came from? Well I’m pretty sure it was after a certain member of this powerful trio spent some time playing the original 3 Foot Ninja game on-line. I was also keen to see that they had posted a list of really good bands they have played gigs with on Purevolume. That list is; The Subways, Ash, Wilko Johnson, The Fratellis, Cage The Elephant, The Buzzcocks, Pete and the Pirates, Elvis Presley (they don’t look old enough for that one do they?), British Sea Power, The Airborne Toxic Event, Chico, Twisted Wheel, The Nostalgic Oasis Reverence Band, Little Comets, General Fiasco, Flashguns, Shrug (feat. Barry White). And there was me thinking my musical tastes were eclectic!

So prepare yourself for the arrival of the new album in a few weeks by downloading “Fear” and checking them out on Facebook and MySpace and of course going to see them at a gig near you. I am hoping to bring you more news about this brilliant band very soon; watch this space.

3 Foot Ninja prepare to take the head off of all that bland X Factor style shite!

 

 
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