Kate Nash really is a wonderful human being, I met her once when she had one of my favourite bands the Tuts, who are sadly no longer together. Kate struck me then as a human with integrity, empathy, and a stack of talent. Her new single, “Wasteman” proves that she still has all three. It is a song that is typically Kate Nash and I mean that in a good way, there aren’t many people like her. It is a rolling kind of tune that shares anger, finding oneself, and ultimately realisation and redemption. The realisation part of the lyric is sublime “Took me some time to see, You’re actually shady. You fucking take the piss. I must have been crazy”. The lyrics are simple, to the point, and bloody good. With a chorus hook as good as “I’m not about it, I’m on my own shit” this song should be a huge hit, and although it probably will be big, it won’t sadly, be played on mainstream radio. “Wasteman” hangs around in your head long after the first listen and the video, starring British icon Danny Dyer is rather ace. It also stars the obscenely talented Gaby Diaz and an appearance by Danny’s daughter Sunnie. Check out the video below and get this tune in your life! The world needs Kate Nash!
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I believe this is the fifth time that I have seen the magnificent Tuts play live since that first time supporting Kate Nash back in April 2013. They get so much better every time, but enough about them for a moment because this show at the delightful Wharf Chambers venue in Leeds also boasted a couple of excellent support acts. First on stage where Milk Crimes, a brilliantly gifted band who I first encountered when they supported Colour Me Wednesday at the Fulford Arms in York earlier this year. They are part Bis, part Buzzcocks and part Pixies. But the overwhelming majority of their parts are pure and original Milk Crimes. A great band with some great tunes and frankly any band with a song entitled “Hail Satan” is alright with me!
Crywank were next as they brought their bottled madness to Leeds. What kind of genre are they? Who knows? Who cares? The answer to both of those questions is probably no and it really doesn’t matter for Crywank are a stunningly eclectic and talented combo. They are so out there and just utterly fucking brilliant. Actually I might even describe them as Zappa-esque. Drums and an acoustic guitar with songs that are either nonsense lyrics or wonderful vignettes of everyday life. They made an offer that I don’t recall ever hearing from another band; give us some weed an we’ll give you an album. Now that is a good deal, but where the hell did I put my stash?
Now it was time for the main event, the Tuts who were by now close to half way through a headline UK tour in support of their stunning first album ‘Update Your Brain’. That album is getting some great reviews; 9 out of 10 from Vive Le Rock Magazine, click here for my review of the album. They opened with the rousing put down of sexism in the music industry “Tut Tut Tut”. The first single from the album, “Let Go Of The Past” had the capacity crowd leaping and bouncing all the way through. The song that has become something of a Tuts standard, “Dump Your Boyfriend” rocked Wharf Chambers to its foundations helped along by a crowd that seemed to know the words to all the songs. As Nad Tut remarked later in the set this was a really special moment, having the crowd singing back to you and I most certainly agree.
The Tuts remain a DIY band and let’s face it it’s hard to get more ‘punk’ than that. They have no label and no manager, although briefly last year they did have a manager. He didn’t last long as his glory days were so far in the past that all his ‘key’ music contacts were probably dead by 1982 and that is kind of what the magnificent “1982” is all about. The band gave us a choice of cover songs; the Clash‘s “Rudie Can’t Fail” or the Spice Girls “Wannabe“. It was a landslide win for “Wannabe” and I must confess it got my vote too. Nad Tut, Hat Tut and Bev Tut evoke the spirit of girl power far more strongly than Scary and the gang. On top of that their powerful version of the Spice Girls first hit is loud and great fun. There was the now obligatory foray into the audience from Nadia and Harriet which the crowd lapped up. They played a rollicking version of my current favourite Tuts song, “Give Us Something Worth Voting For” too. But in what seemed like a fleeting moment their set ended with the fabulous “Back Up”. The Tuts are a band that for me are really on the cusp of major success and I hope they get there. They have talent, intelligence, principles and they know how to win an audience. There are still a few opportunities left to see them on this tour and if you can’t make it to any of those dates then get off your arse and start updating your brain by buying their album.
Me and the magnificent Tuts
Now for one of those pesky public service announcements. All the photos in this post were taken on my cheap little mobile phone camera. Meanwhile the videos are all courtesy of YouTube.
Hillingdon has never really been known for its contribution to the rich history of British rock and pop music. Sure there is Ronnie Wood born in West Drayton, Steve Priest bass player from the Sweet, Bryan Connolly of that band lived in Harefield and course there is Claire Richards of Steps. So it is so refreshing that now there really is a band to be proud of from that often ignored area of west London, yes the Tuts have finally got around to releasing their début album, ‘Update Your Brain’, following a really successful campaign on Pledge Music. I for one can hardly wait for my physical copies to arrive having made my pledge months ago. But I have listened to the album on download and Spotify since Friday.
The Tuts as we now know them with Nadia Javed on guitar and vocals, Beverley Ishmael on drums and Harriet Doveton on bass formed back in 2010. This album is the culmination of their hard-working DIY approach to what they do. They really know their fans and use social networking to engage excellently with them. They have had some inspirational support slots notably with Kate Nash back in 2013, which was when I first saw them at dear old Fibbers in York. They have also toured with the Selecter and played support to the Undertones and Adam Ant among others. They really are a proper band in that they work well off and with each other and everything that they have done so far is a step up from what came before. ‘Update Your Brain’ is no exception and twenty or thirty years ago it would have been a banker for the album chart top ten. But sadly the music industry no longer works like that. But charts or no charts this is a bloody good album.
Tuts fans will have heard many of the tracks before but as a cohesive set of twelve tracks that makes no difference. From opener “Let Go Of The Past” right through to the albums final track “Back Up” the punk, the power and the pop are turned up to eleven. It is great to see a young band with no fear of wearing their beliefs on their sleeves; hitting out at music industry sexism on one of my favourites “tut Tut Tut” and the uncaring one party state we have in the UK “Give Us Something Worth Voting For”. They also put their money where their mouth is with an anti Boris Johnson protest at Uxbridge Library a while back. Sadly it wasn’t enough to prevent arch moron Boris from being parachuted in to become their local MP. But perhaps having such an arse as their member of parliament will lead to more excellent anti Tory songs from Nadia, Bev and Hat Tut!
“Con Man” is a proper rock out song and “Dump Your Boyfriend” has become a Tuts classic and is a certainty for inclusion on the Tuts Greatest Hits when it is released five or ten years from now. To paraphrase that song if you have a shit favourite band that never delivers then dump that band and start getting to know the Tuts. You will not regret it. They are touring the UK in support of the album I will be seeing them in Leeds later this month. Where are you seeing them? If you’re not planning on seeing them then I suggest that you change your plans now and that is an order. If you don’t follow that order then I will have no choice than to send the Tuts round to sort you out!
Many of you reading this review will be among the many pledgers who will already have the album. But don’t worry if you’re not, you can still get your hands on it. I don’t usually give stars or marks out of ten for albums on this blog. But I will make an exception for the Tuts with an 8 and a half out of ten. Why not ten? Well first I never give a ten and secondly I expect their next album to be even better so I want to leave room for a higher mark! We should also start a campaign to have the Tuts appear at Reading and Leeds Festivals next year. It will be a big start in breaking the male domination of the bill. Now stop reading this shit and get listening to ‘Update Your Brain’……… NOW!!!!
The Tuts are headlining their own exclusive UK tour in some excellent and intimate venues. I had the opportunity to see them play live again last night. The last time I saw them they were supporting Kate Nash at Fibbers in York back in early 2013. Things have gone well for them since then. They have another EP out next month and an album next year. I can hardly wait! On top of that they met the great Billy Bragg at Glasto last year and he has bagged them a slot on the left field stage for this years Glasto. If you’re there in June DO NOT MISS THEM! THAT IS AN ORDER!
Anyway more of the Tuts later, because they also had some great support. Unfortunately I only caught the last song from Elopes but they did sound pretty feisty. Sorry folks I’ll blame the train for missing your set. The other support band won me over with their name before they had even played a note. They are called Jesus And His Judgemental Father. How good is that name? Often when seeing a band for the first time, especially if I’ve not heard them before, I look for influences. I did that with Jesus And His Judgemental Father (I just felt like repeating that excellent name! For me there were shades of the Beat, Blink 182, 80s metal, the Pogues and I could probably come up with more. But for every small trace of influences they show they have stacks more originality. Harriet from the Tuts said that they sounded like the type of band that might appear at the High School dance in an 80s or 90s teen horror flick. That works for me. They are a really tight and very together band with a fabulously talented guitarist. The drummer showed support for Pussy Riot with the bright red balaclava. Given the chance I will definitely pay to see this band again and I bought their album last night too. It’s bloody good!
It was fantastic to see the Tuts headlining at last. They are well worth that top slot. Fun, funky, punky and different they are the Tuts and there is no one quite like them. Their cover of the Clash’s “Rudie Can’t Fail” would make Joe Strummer proud. They were even joined on stage by Jen Doveton, Harriet’s sister from Colour Me Wednesday for one song. Their own songs top tunes. I was still singing “Tut Tut Tut” in my head when I woke up this morning and “Dump Your Boyfriend” has probably been number one in the charts for weeks in a parallel universe where there is no shit like the X Factor on TV. These girls ooze talent and charisma and if they don’t make it to even bigger stages and audiences soon then there is no justice. Harriet, Bev and Nadia good luck with the rest of the tour, Glastonbury and York in October. I need more details about the latter obviously! If the Tuts are playing in a venue near you just get off your lazy arse and go and see them. You will not regret it!
They might look like angels but they rock like fuck when they’re on stage!
I hope you all got through Friday 13th without any disasters, especially the superstitious among you. Anyway it’s now December 14th which means you are about to get your next helping of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Advent calendar number themed posts. You will have guessed by now that todays songs include the number fourteen in their titles.
The Bard of Barking brings the first song for today with “The Fourteenth Of February”. The track is taken from Billy’s 1996 album ‘William Bloke’ which made it to number 16 in the UK album charts. In 2008 at the NME Awards show Billy duetted with another great English singer songwriter and activist, Kate Nash. They played Kate’s “Foundations” and Billy’s “A New England”. I saw Billy Bragg play live in the 80s and I saw Kate play live in York and at the Reading Festival this year. In York she unleashed her storming support band, the fabulous Tuts!
Todays second song is from Beck Hansen and is taken from his fourth studio album ‘One Foot In The Grave’ released in 1994. (Is Beck a Victor Meldrew fan by any chance?). The song is called “Fourteen Rivers, Fourteen Floods”. The album never charted because it preceded his big breakthrough. Beck’s mother Bibbe Hansen was part of Andy Warhol’s circle and she appeared in a few Warhol films. When Beck dropped out of school he took a number of menial jobs which included; Truck Loader and Leaf Blower Operator.
Well that’s it, the first week of December is almost over and now it’s just over eighteen days until the big old bloke in the red coat parks his venison on your roof and somehow manages to squeeze his excessive girth down your chimney! That means of course that today is December 7th and that in turn means that todays choices that sit behind the advent calendar door feature the number seven in their titles.
First I bring you the mighty Queen with a magnificent slice of rock, “Seven Seas Of Rhye” taken from the album ‘Queen II‘. It was the bands first single and their first UK hit. It reached number ten in 1974 which was far better than their first two singles none of which charted. They were “Keep Yourself Alive” and “Liar”. It was the success of “Seven Seas Of Rhye” that supposedly inspired Freddie Mercury to take up Queen as his full-time job. The band made their first Top Of The Pops appearance performing the song in February 1974. The album version of the song fades into a few people singing an old British Music Hall song; “I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside”. It was written by John A Glover-Kind and first recorded by Mark Sheridan in 1909.
The second song for today remains one of my favourites. It is “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes. Is this perhaps Jack White’s finest hour so far? Very possibly in my opinion. It was released in 2003 and comes from the album ‘Elephant’. It reached number 7 in the UK chart, number 4 in Germany and number 3 in Italy. While it only made it to number 76 on the US Billboard chart it did climb to number one on the US Alternative Songs chart. It became their second biggest UK hit after “Icky Thump” from 2007. “Seven Nation Army” which was written by Jack White has been covered by many artists including; Living Colour, Flaming Lips, Metallica, Alice Russel, the Oak Ridge Boys, Kate Nash and Kelly Clarkson. It was also massacred (in my opinion) by X Factor runner-up Marcus Collins in 2012.
Let’s face it most new Christmas songs in recent years have been pretty shit haven’t they? You can almost hear the sound of the barrel being scraped with some Christmas albums as well. Leona Lewis another short-lived X Factor success has one out this year. I reckon that will go from stocking filler on a small-scale this year to the charity shop or the recycling plant next year.
But trust me all is not lost. Those feisty, punky and talented girls known to the world have released a Christmas song as part of the magnificent Kate Nash‘s first ever Christmas release, an EP entitled “Have Faith With Kate Nash This Christmas”. The Tuts contribution is called “Christmas Is In The Air”. It starts off in an acoustic vein, probably just to lullaby you into a false sense of security. But then it comes to life stupendously with a rather spiffing chorus. I loved this song after the first listen and it will definitely be on my Christmas playlist. The video is darned good too. Special guests include Colour Me Wednesday and a festive jumper sported by Nadia Tut that probably should never be allowed out on it’s own. Enjoy the video, listen to the song and then buy the EP ok? I know where Santa’s Evil Elves live and if I find out that you haven’t bought the EP I will send them to your house. You wouldn’t want me to do that would you? TUTS ROOL YULE OK!
Stuart Goddard‘s Mum was once James McCartney’s cleaner. But to put that into something that most people will understand, Adam Ant’s Mum was once Paul McCartney’s cleaner. Adam was born Stuart Goddard and Paul McCartney’s name is in fact James Paul McCartney. Mr Ant was born in Marylebone so I assume that his Mum cleaned for Macca when he lived in London back in the days when young Master Ant was heading for his teenage years. Do you know the occupations of the parents of any other superstars?
Is Mr Ant following in his Mum’s footsteps?
These aren’t music related but I used to work at a London Transport bus overhaul works in Elstree from 1977 to 1983. At the same time we had Todd Carty‘s Dad working in the factory and Snooker Champion Steve ‘Interesting’ Davis’ Dad driving a staff bus. Todd played Tucker Jenkins in Grange Hill and Mark Fowler in Eastenders. But in a music related connection I did go to school with Chris Doveton whose daughters make up one-third of the superb band the Tuts and one half of the rather excellent Colour Me Wednesday. The Tuts have just completed a successful European Tour in support of Kate Nash and Colour Me Wednesday have been promoting their excellent first album ‘I Thought It Was Morning’ which came out in July. If you haven’t checked out the Tuts and Colour Me Wednesday yet you need to explain in no less than 500 words why you haven’t. if you don’t then I will have to arrange for Mrs Goddard to turn you upside down and use you as a mop!
The song that I have chosen to support the trivia element of this post is Adams Ant’s “Apollo 9” which was released in 1984, some 15 years after the launch of the rocket of the same name. Is it possible that Mrs Goddard was still polishing Macca’s floors when that launch took place in 1969? I have also decided to blatantly plug the Tuts and Colour Me Wednesday. Why would I do that I hear you ask? Simply because I can is my answer!
Here are just a few random pictures that I took at this years festival. There will be two more picture posts. If you spot yourself in any of them feel free to get in touch and I’d be happy to give you a mention on the blog. If you’d like to read my review of the day click here.
So here we are once again and Nick Horslen and I have arrived at the Reading Festival site for the umpteenth year. I think it’s more than 10 years for us as a team. As for me I have missed only two from the last 20 years. I attended my first ever Reading in 1976 and got in through a hole in the fence, which doesn’t seem so easy to do nowadays. Today turned out to be the hottest day at the Festival for a few years; for the weather at least!
Wytches (why is there a new wave of making your band’s name appear to be from ye olde English language?) were first up they sound a little Doorsy and their guitar wig-outs were like a harder edged garage band. Pretty good though.
King No-one from Leeds were on the BBC Introducing stage; fans of Vampire Weekend maybe? I like these dudes.
Night Engine are channeling the vocal ghost of Billy McKenzie and answering the questions can gingers rock and can they funk? The answer in my opinion is fuck yeah! Irish band Kodaline come on like the bastard love sprogs of Bono and Chris Martin but with more balls! This band deserves to be HUGE!
If you want top performance power pop look no further than the fabulous Parquet Courts. Top band! So what were New Found Glory like? As the sign said ‘Pop Punk’s Not Dead! Right on. They played the whole of the Sticks and Stones’ album.
Next came our first visit to the comedy stage for the excellent Shappi Khorsandi and Idiots of Ants who weren’t so good. They weren’t really able to engage with the audience.
Does what it says on the tin no. 1; Frank Turner – mightily awesome! Although perhaps not as awesome as I have known him to be in the past. His Mum introduced him, which was a nice touch. He also had a Cobain moment as he was pushed on to the stage in a wheelchair; his Mum explained that he had a bad back, however he stayed in the chair for about a minute! Interestingly he got the whole of the Main Stage crowd, including us, to sit down for one of the choruses of “Photosynthesis” to which we all sang along. Now that is a little ironic given that the chorus starts with the line ‘I won’t sit down’
We met 3 thirds of the Tuts and half of Colour Me Wednesday outside the Festival Republic Stage! I saw the Tuts earlier this year when they supported Kate Nash and I am looking forward to seeing Colour Me Wednesday later this week in Leeds. If you are reading this post and you haven’t heard the Tuts or Colour Me Wednesday then I order you to do something about that!
Has Marc Bolan been reincarnated? Nope it’s the Temples on the Festival Republic stage! Kate Nash is supremely talented and after her set I am now an even bigger fan than I was when I saw her in York earlier this year. It was great to see Nadia Tut make it onstage eventually too! A brief note to the festival organisers; what is wrong with a bit of a stage invasion instigated by Kate herself? It would have been fun and no harm would have been done. But at least three people made it up.
System of a Down on the Main Stage; loud, heavy, technically superb but would I ever listen to them outside the confines of a festival? I doubt it. Does what it says on the tin number 2; Green Day. They were very, very good and certainly had more energy than last years Friday headliners the Cure. But in a way it is kind of identikit pop punk. They played the whole of the ‘Dookie’ album, which will be 20 years old next year. I felt that apart from a few songs it hasn’t aged well. “Basket Case” will always be a classic though. The light show was superb and Billie Joe‘s stage presence is unquestionably great. The best part for me was the storming encore of “American Idiot” (I do believe I will never tire of that song) and “Jesus Of Suburbia“. Then just when we thought it was all over Mr Armstrong came back on for a solo acoustic rendition of “Time Of Your Life”. All in all a pretty good day. Now bring on Day 2!