With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Mayhem’s – Top 20 Albums of 2021 December 1, 2021

I don’t often put together the best albums of the year list, but I do love a good list so here are my favourite albums of 2021. What were yours?

  1. ‘Delilah Bon’ – Delilah Bon – An absolutely sublime, sassy debut from Lauren Tate’s magnificent, impassioned alter ego. This has been my album of the year since I first heard it
  2. ‘Shout Out! To Freedom…’ – Nightmares On Wax The perfect late night chill album that you can listen to anytime
  3. ‘Blue Weekend’ – Wolf AliceAn album that proves Wolf Alice continue to grow and are becoming an iconic British band
  4. ‘All In’ – Apollo JunctionThese Leeds lads smash that difficult sophomore album myth out of the park with a total belter
  5. ‘The Myth of the Happily Ever After’ – Biffy Clyro – Biffy are for me perhaps the best band on the planet right now, yet another great release proves it
  6. ‘Happier Than Ever’ – Billie EilishA fantastically accomplished album from a talent that will be around for a lifetime
  7. ‘The Yearbook’ – Baby QueenNot many bands care as much about their fans as Baby Queen, but they are so much more than caring, they really are a stunning band
  8. ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’ – Lana Del Rey – Probably Lana Del Ray’s best album so far, I loved this after one spin
  9. ‘The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows’ – Damon Albarn – Uber polymath Mr Albarn proves once again how wide ranging his abundant talent stretches
  10. ‘Discover Effortless Living’ – BullA fine debut album with echoes of the best of 60s rock from one of York’s greatest bands
  11. ‘Carnage’ – Nick Cave and Warren EllisIt’s Cave and Ellis, what more does one need to say, a truly awesome collection.
  12. ‘Not Your Muse’ – CelesteJazzy, modern R&B, fabulous tunes and most of all a voice that encapsulates so many beautiful emotions
  13. ‘She Walks In Beauty’ – Marianne Faithful and Warren EllisThis has been essential late night listening for me, it is soothing, mindful and close to perfect
  14. ‘We Live Here’ – Bob VylanAn incredibly powerful political album from a band that has got this far without the backing of a huge corporation
  15. ‘21st Century Love Songs’ – Wildhearts The Wildhearts are back baby, with one of their best albums
  16. ‘Amazing Things’ – Don Broco – An album that captures everything that is great with current rock and is showcased by an underlying pop sensibility
  17. ‘The Crippling Space Between’ – Carol Hodge – Another flawless album from the supremely talented wonderful human being known as Carol Hodge
  18. ‘Passions’ – Thirst Dom White steps up from the drum stool to release a beautiful album that is grandly cinematic in its scope
  19. ‘Who Am I’ – Pale WavesIs there anyone that doesn’t love Pale Waves, this set establishes them as one of Blighty’s best bands
  20. ‘We’re All Alone In This Together’ – DaveSharp, passionate, caring, honest and with a large side order of vitriol, Dave tells it like it is expertly

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“Feet don’t fail me now take me to the finish line” July 11, 2014


Before Lizzy Grant became Lana Del Rey she went through quite a few names. One of the best (and I thank the NME for pointing this out) is probably Sparkle Jump Rope Queen. Under that moniker she launched a few songs onto the internet in 2008. They included “Elvis“, “Blue Ribbon” and “Axl Rose Husband”. Lana was rumoured to have dated Axl Rose a couple of years ago. Personally I think she could do so much better! The question is was it just a rumour? At the height of that rumour she appeared in a Guns ‘N’ Roses t-shirt at the Jazz Cafe in London. Both Lana and Axl have a Scottish lineage and one of the bonus tracks on her current album is called “Guns ‘N’ Roses”. So did she or didn’t she date Axl Rose? You know what I really don’t care. I simply love Lana’s tunes!

ldr big hair

lana del vol







“You’re worth more, you’re worth more than this, you can take a leap without the risk” December 23, 2011

Now that the wind had changed direction Matt's face would remain like that

It’s that time of year when we reflect as individuals on the highs and lows of our year and more importantly we decided what the best album and song of the year was. Many publications take part in this annual festivity and my newspaper of choice, the Guardian, is no exception. I expected to see the top 2o albums and songs of 2011 as voted by Guardian readers (including me) to show a similar profile to the lists of other publications and possibly of the critics employed by the newspaper.

Matt sold all his clothes to buy votes in the Guardian poll

However thanks to what I would call (rather begrudgingly) and excellently executed piece of guerilla voting by all of Matt Cardle‘s fans which must number in the high hundreds (ok that was wishful thinking on my part). They have managed to succeed in voting him into first place in both lists. Regular readers of this blog will know the general disdain I show the X factor and all it spawns and for me Matt Cardle is no exception. I find him insipid, limp, lacking charisma and at best an ok karaoke singer. Before the devout fans get on their high horses let me say that I have listened to his album before forming this opinion. I am not like the Christian Fundamentalists in the USA who burned Harry Potter books without having the good grace and common sense to read them first.

Being beaten by Matt Cardle had hurt Polly very deeply

Fair play to the Matt Cardle fans, but in my humblest of opinions his stuff shouldn’t even be close to the top twenty for the year or even the top 50 for the year, unless of course we are talking about the turkey awards. The number two slot in the albums list was taken by Polly Harvey‘s ‘Let England Shake’ and for the songs it was the sublime “Video Games” from Lana Del Ray. Click here to read the Guardian report on what I will refer to as Cardlegate.

The full lists are shown below. I have 11 of the albums and 12 of the songs if you’d like to begin to understand my own eclectic tastes. My own favourite song for the year is “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People, which is in the list and my favourite album is ’50 Words For Snow’ from Kate Bush. The latter sadly isn’t in the list;

Guardian Readers’ albums of 2011

20 Destroyer – Kaputt

19 Adele – 21

18 Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi

17 Björk – Biophilia

16 St Vincent – Strange Mercy

15 King Creosote & John Hopkins – Diamond Mine

14 The Arctic Monkeys – Suck it and See

13 Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX – We’re New Here

12 Josh T Pearson – Last of the Country Gentlemen

11 Wu Lyf – Go Tell Fire to the Mountain

10 Metronomy – The English Riviera

9 Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost

8 Katy B – On A Mission

7 The Horrors – Skying

6 Tom Waits – Bad as Me

5 James Blake – James Blake

4 Wild Beasts – Smother

3 Bon Iver – Bon Iver

2 PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

1 Matt Cardle – Letters

Guardian Readers’ songs of 2011

20 St Vincent – Cruel

19 Nicola Roberts – Beat of My Drum

18 Azealia Banks – 212

17 Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks

16 Summer Camp – Better Off Without You

15 Wild Beasts – Bed Of Nails

14 Bombay Bicycle Club – Shuffle

13 Lady Gaga – Born This Way

12 Bon Iver – Holocene

11 Joe Goddard – Gabriel

10 SBTRKT – Hold On

9 Laura Marling – Sophia

8 Metronomy – The Look

7 Radiohead – Lotus Flower

6 PJ Harvey – The Words That Maketh Murder

5 Adele – Someone Like You

4 M83 – Midnight City

3 The Horrors – Still Life

2 Lana Del Rey – Video Games

1 Matt Cardle – Starlight

Here are a few related videos, starting with one of my least favourite songs of the year “Run For Your Life” from Matt Cardle


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