With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Kitty VR ‘All In Her Head’ EP Launch – The Crescent, York – Saturday 17th August 2019 August 20, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:56 pm
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This was my third visit to the Crescent, one of York’s best music venues, in a week. I need to slow down! Anyway, tonight was a showcase for the launch of the new EP from Kitty VR, ‘All In Her Head’. More of the very talented Kitty later. First, there were two great support acts to talk about. The first of these was Laura Kindelan and tonight marked the fifth time that I have seen her play live and I hope there will be many more. Laura kicked off her set with a new song, “Over Nothing”. This tune is sparse, electric blues that simply oozes with mood and emotion. I have made this comparison before but this was very wonderfully Jeff Buckleyesque. She played her only love song “Fingertips”, which was actually written as an assignment! Fact fans may wish to know that the Brit Pop era band Mansun actually had a song called “Mansun’s Only Love Song”. The divine, atmospheric “Sweet Tooth” was given a rare but stunning airing as it is one of Kitty’s favourites. Laura closed her set with a powerful run through “Toxic” which had the crowd a moving and a grooving!

Laura Kindelan

The next act to take the stage was the Silver Reserve (Solo) a.k.a. Matthew Sturgess. This guy knows how to do songs of emotional introspection which he delivers supremely well. I heard elements of Bon Iver in his tunes and at times the tonal quality of his fragile vocals were reminiscent of both Thom Yorke and Guy Garvey. He is an incredible talent when it comes to looping guitar riffs and vocals too. His take on this seemed effortless and faultless. He might not have any happy songs, but everything he played begged to be listened to.

Silver Reserve a.k.a. Matthew Sturgess

Finally, it was time for Kitty VR to rock the joint with her excellent band. This must have been close to a full house and the air was electric with excitement and anticipation. Her songs are incredibly well developed and Kitty performs them with great style and soul. Her band is frankly shit hot! Tim Downie is a guitar genius who seems to be able to play in any style required from funky chops to a softer sound and everything in between. The rhythm section of drummer Farai Kuudzadombo and bassist Jack Welsh are a highly polished pair who underlay Kitty’s songs with a smooth driving backbeat. The highlight of her set was for me a towering take on her single “Whirlpool” on which the band hit a psychedelic peak. Sometimes the best cover to do is perhaps a difficult one and in my view, Kitty’s choice of Erykah Badu’s “On And On” was a very brave choice. Kitty didn’t just nail it, she smashed it through the floor as she conveyed the emotion and soul of a truly classic song which she made her own. I felt that her vocals were at times as ethereal and ghostly as Beth Gibbons and if I was not mistaken I believe that was a haunting cover of Portishead’s “Glory Box” near the end. Kitty VR’s EP is something special and this show proves that she has so much more to offer too. Check her out now if you haven’t already.

Kitty VR

All the photos apart from the EP cover art were taken on my cheap android phone. 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.

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Noggy – “Weighed Down” Single Launch – Micklegate Social, York – Monday 8th April 2019 April 15, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 3:50 pm
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Until this show I never realised that the Micklegate Social was a gig venue. I remember the basement there being a rather musty extra seating area for the upstairs bar/ coffee bar. But now it seems transformed into a fabulous, intimate small venue that is perfect for showcasing local upcoming talent. Tonight was the launch of “Weighed Down” a new single from York singer songwriter Noggy. But before his set we were entertained by three more mightily talented artists. The first of those was Rosalind, who replaced Edna Sulemanjovic who unfortunately couldn’t be here. She played some perfectly chilled ballads that made me recall New York’s Janis Ian around the time of “At Seventeen” which was a massive US hit in 1975. Rosalind’s songs and her singing showcase some immense emotional depth. She also played a stunning take on a Benjamin Francis Leftwich song. I definitely want to hear more from her and if you read on you may well see her mentioned again in this post.

Next up was another York artist, Alex Golisti who I last saw when he supported Hooray For The Riff Raff at the Crescent in York back in August 2017. He was good then and is even better now. Alex opened with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”. It is always a brave move to cover a Robert Zimmerman song and Alex with his rich, bassy voice really pulled it off. His between song banter has a chance of becoming legendary and if his music career doesn’t take off, although it should, then he could easily develop a career in stand up comedy. His acoustic guitar picking skills are reminiscent of early US deep south country blues artists. In a previous review I had likened Mr Golisti’s vocal style to George Ezra and that still stands. I also reckon that if George Ezra has the archetypal angel on devil on his shoulders that determine his moral guidance then Alex should apply for the devil role. He would smash it and however you read that I do mean it as a compliment.

The abundantly skilled and talented York singer songwriter Laura Kindelan followed and regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of Laura and her music. I caught up with her briefly before her set. She is currently studying music at the Leeds College of Music and now has a band, although they weren’t playing with her this evening. She continues to work on new material and I for one am looking forward to hearing that when she feels it is ready for us. This is the fourth time that I have seen Laura play live since first seeing her supporting Billie Martin back in July 2017. Laura opened her set with a haunting rendition of “Take Your Time” which shows how she uses not just the music but the space between the notes better than many artists can. She revealed in her introduction to another of her songs, “Fingertips” she revealed that it wasn’t in fact a love song written from experience, but ‘shock horror’ it was written for an assignment. Was I disappointed at this revelation? No of course not because however the song was born it is still a fine, classy tune. Laura was supported by Luca Vitale, a cello maestro, for the last couple of songs. Her Arctic Monkeys cover, “Do I Wanna Know”, was incredible, she really gave the song her own spin. I truly believe that if you cover a well-known tune, make it different and this was very definitely Laura Kindelan and not Alex Turner. Laura closed her set with “Spiders” which is indelibly stamped with great emotion, deep feeling and a real darkness. For me this song really showcases Laura’s great talent and I still believe that she has the style and presence to be the kind of force that Jeff Buckley was before he left the world nearly 22 years ago.

Finally it was time for tonights headliner, Noggy. He opened with a cover of the Gregory Alan Isakov’s haunting song “The Universe”. This was a highlight for me, Noggy’s performance turned the emotion in the tune up to 11. Apparently his own composition, “Hologram” was the first song that gave him the confidence to perform his music beyond the confines of his bedroom. That is no surprise as this track has the makings of a classic about it. I, like I am sure many of you, are supremely pleased that Noggy did make the leap from performing tunes in his bedroom to bringing them to us in the wider world. Noggy was joined by show opener Rosalind for some fine vocal harmonies an a couple of songs before ending his set and the evening with his new single “Weighed Down”. Whatever style of music you love, and my taste is wildly eclectic, you surely cannot fail to grasp the beauty of this ethereal, emotional and frankly 100% beautiful ballad. I noticed on-line that Noggy is often described as folk or indie folk (I had no idea that the indie folk sub genre even existed), but I think he is much more than either. “Weighed Down” is in simple terms a great piece of music which you need to have in your life. Click here to check it out on Spotify.

 

Public Service Announcement – all the pictures, apart from the gig poster, were taken using my cheap Chinese Android phone. The videos were found on YouTube. If any of the videos are yours and you would like me to credit you or remove them please let me know.

 

Laura Kindelan – Forty Five Vinyl Cafe – York – Friday 14th September 2018 September 17, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:19 pm
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This was the third time I have seen Laura Kindelan playing live in just over a year and I hope there will be plenty more opportunities to catch this incredibly talented singer, musician and songwriter in the future. Laura is off to Uni in Leeds very soon so this was her last hometown gig before that. It was at the fabulous Forty Five Vinyl Cafe on Micklegate in York. If you have never been there then you really ought to get yourself there soon. This was probably the first time I have ever visited and not bought any vinyl, although I did buy a couple of CDs from one of the excellent support acts. So let me start with those support acts. First it was Lands (a.k.a. George) a staggeringly good vocalist. He makes his voice soar and he has some really good original material, however were he totally smashed it tonight was with an inspired choice of cover songs. Most notably with Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire” on which he came pretty damned close to bossing the Boss. But even more so with his version of Radiohead’s “Creep”, covering Thom Yorke is a brave move and one that is often difficult to pull off, but Lands owned the song and poured himself into it. I expect to see much more from him either as Lands or some of his other projects (I will be checking Leodis with which he partners with his buddy Archie soon).

Lands

Second on the bill was Nottingham lad (now based in Leeds) Joseph Knight. I had the honour of seeing Joseph sound check for the show and he captivated what at that time was a very small audience. When he took the stage for real he proved what a great talent for songwriting he has, he is quite a tasty performer too. “Have You Seen The Sky Tonight” was performed with sonic beauty, but sadly Joseph told us that up to now he has never find the right way to record the song and probably never will, but a good reason to catch him live though. He explained that “Hold On To Me” had originally been recorded as a duet but obviously he had to play it solo on the night. It is a great song that would grace any pop chart in the world. I am not a fan of manufactured boy bands, but “Hold On To Me” would add class and credibility to a pop act. Maybe Boyzone should sign off with a classic song like this. Joseph played “Nervous” which he explained had been written when he was just fifteen. The song’s sentiment and message about having to love yourself before you will find love must still hang true with all of us. My favourite song from him from tonight’s set was as perfect lyrically as it is possible to get and it is called “Missing Piece”. I can tell you that the words brought a tear to my eyes, especially the line “I didn’t know that I was broken until you fixed me”. Thursday I had never heard or heard of Joseph Knight, Friday I saw and heard him and became a fan!

Joseph Knight

From the first time that I saw Laura Kindelan play live back in July 2017 I felt that she was in possession of a rare and raw talent that doesn’t come along very often. My opinion on that has only got stronger over time. Indeed Laura’s performance this evening was even better than the previous live sets I have seen her do. She has a wide range of influences and her style of singing and playing covers a wide array of genres; jazz, blues, folk, rock and pretty much everything in between. She was brave enough to do something that not many artists would, she opened her show with an unfinished song, “Take A Little Time”. Well it sounds pretty damned spot on right now so what the hell will it evolve into when she finishes it? When introducing “Spiders” Laura described it as the most intense song that she has ever written and listening to the acerbic lyrical flow it would be hard to disagree with that assertion. She is working on a cello based version of the song which I believe could sound truly epic!

Laura Kindelan

The first time that I ever heard the jazz standard “Good Morning Heartache” was in 1972 via Diana Ross’ version. That cover paled into insipid insignificance when I eventually heard Billie Holiday’s 1946 recording of the song. Some people say that certain songs are untouchable sacred cows but I don’t agree and I am pleased to say that neither does Laura in this case. Laura makes fine use of her looping talents to give us an eerie, ethereal and moderately menacing arrangement and take on the song. It makes mincemeat of most of the other recorded cover versions of this song. Laura makes it sound sonically like something from a parallel universe. If David Lynch revives Twin Peaks again then he has to feature Laura Kindelan’s version of “Good Morning Heartache” in at least one episode. Laura’s younger brother Euan joined her on the drums for the last few songs of the set and he proved that he is a skilled and very understated sticksman with massive potential for the future. “Take Your Time” was developed from a drum pattern that Euan created. I have previously compared Laura Kindelan to Jeff Buckley. I was among the lucky few to witness Buckley’s towering but way too short set some twenty-four years ago at the Reading Festival in 1994. I would love to hear Ms. Kindelan cover a Jeff Buckley song one day. I reckon she could definitely add her personal stamp to “Lover You Should’ve Come Over”. Laura’s songs sound far more mature than her years. She is a musician that seems to want to never stop learning and developing her  craft and that will keep her continually fresh ahead of the curve musically. Most of you have no doubt heard the apocryphal tales of the great old bluesmen ‘selling their souls at the crossroads’ to be gifted with supreme talent by the devil. Has Laura Kindelan sold her soul at the crossroads? No of course not, this woman does not need to, she has pure, latent, natural talent in abundance!

Laura & Euan

Laura Kindelan

Public Service Announcement: all photos are from my cheap android phone from China. Videos are all found on YouTube. If you wish to be credited for any of the videos or would like them taken down please let me know. N.B. Fawn were replaced by Lands on the bill.

 

Interview – Laura Kindelan – March 19th 2018 March 22, 2018


Laura checks out an excellent, if somewhat expensive, Toots & the Maytals LP at the Vinyl Cafe.

I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing York singer, songwriter and ace musician Laura Kindelan earlier this week in 45 The Vinyl Cafe on Micklegate. Laura was eloquent, effervescent and spoke about her major influences, where she might take her sound next, her musical guilty pleasures and her favourite chocolate among many other things. Check out that conversation below.

  1. Who is your biggest musical influence and why?

Well there isn’t just one person, for me it’s the sound and the performance. For the sound, it has to be Lianne La Havas; I love her jazz guitar, melodic vocals and song writing. I particularly love her lyrical patterns and use of unusual words. My history teacher introduced me to her.

As for performance, I would have to name two people; Amy Winehouse and Damien Rice. I believe that both of them show the beauty of imperfections. Damien Rice’s mix of his first album “O” massively fluctuates in volume within songs, which could be considered wrong but I believe it’s emotive.

  1. What is next for you, where do you go from here?

I am very happy to be a slow burner. I am not focussed at all on becoming a product or a brand. I want to be a well-respected musician, singer and song writer. That has to include maintaining respect for myself and my craft. I want my music to speak for me, not the image. I would also love to work with a really tight rhythm section in the future.

  1. Musically do you have any of what you might consider guilty pleasures, if so what are they?

That is a tough one, the first one that I can think of is Abba. However, I don’t feel too guilty about it as they wrote, produced and released such great songs. But perhaps my real guilty pleasure is my ‘go to’ party song; “Bitch Better Have My Money” by Rihanna.

Photo by Michael Parr

  1. How do you prepare for a gig?

First, I always do some vocal warm ups. I like to make myself feel nice, to feel good. I don’t often wear much make-up, but for a show, I choose to get dressed up with make-up and nice clothes. Everything I do to prepare for a gig contributes to making me feel comfortable and confident on stage. I really believe that a performer should invest the audience in what they do by personally connecting with them, and to do that, you need to be happy and comfortable with yourself. Confidence is key to any good performance.

  1. Name one thing in your musical career that you are most proud of and feel free to tell us why?

My headline show last year at the National Centre for Early Music in York. It felt like such a magical night and I am so proud that I did it. I can’t quite believe that it happened. There were around 180 people there, really listening and enjoying the night – It’s definitely something I’ll never forget.

Click here to check out my review of that show on this blog last year

  1. What drives you to write songs?

Sometimes it is all about getting something off my mind; a feeling or a relationship perhaps. Currently I really love to experiment with harmonies, shapes and different tunings on my guitar. I think I draw influence in this experimentation from Jeff Buckley and Tom Misch, particularly with pretty harmony and rhythm from the latter. I see my sound as evolving into something similar to Tom Misch, only much grottier!

Photograph by Tomorrow’s Photos

  1. How does your song writing process work?

I have lots of lyrics stored on my phone that I’ve written as they come to me and I sometimes go there for inspiration. Although, as I said before, I love to experiment with harmony and chord progressions so I often begin here.

  1. Name a song that you believe you could cover and make it better than the original?

At the moment I am playing around with a very different arrangement of “Do I Wanna Know” by the Arctic Monkeys. I am trying out a very slowed down version which is more ‘head bobby’, with more dissonance and harmonics. I think this new vibe adds more meaning to the lyrics.

  1. Which of your songs would you like to see covered by someone else and who would be your top choice to do it?

I would like it to be someone completely different from me, how about Hello Operator? That could actually be amazing, we should make it happen!

Photo by Tim Downie

  1. Tell me something that you have never told an interviewer before (and this does not need to be music related)?

My signature dish, that I make incredibly well (if I do say so myself), is Carbonara with mushrooms, bacon and cream. Bon appétit.

  1. Name three things that you simply cannot live without?

My family, good food and Doctor Martens. I’m hoping to build a collection of Docs – I currently have four pairs, including one with a snake-skin pattern.

  1. What is your favourite confectionary item?

Terry’s Chocolate Orange, beyond any doubt the best there is!

Now check out some of Laura’s rather excellent tunes.

All photographs were provided to me by Laura and are credited to the photographer in the caption. The first picture was a rare good one taken on my phone. Video links were specially selected by Laura herself.

 

Laura Kindelan – Centre for Early Music, York – Saturday 4th November 2017 November 7, 2017


I first saw Laura Kindelan back in July when she was part of the bill supporting Billie Marten at the Basement in York. She was an absolutely delightful and talented performer back then which made me really keen to see her play again. This showcase gig at the beautiful venue that is York’s Centre For Early Music was to promote “Sippin’ Whisky” which is her newest release. Was she as good this time as she was in the summer? You will have to read on to find that out. Zak Ford was tonight’s support act, this young man is a little folky, a little soulful and he has written some excellent songs based on tonight’s evidence. Notably “Honest Man” and “My Body”. My only criticism is that at times his enunciation could have been clearer. But that aside it was a very good set of songs and a heartfelt performance.

Now bearing in mind that Laura is barely 18 she has a talent and an ability that is way beyond her years. Yet she still maintains the enthusiasm and hope that youth brings. Her songs tell stories and evoke some of the best ‘kitchen sink dramas‘. She is a consummate song-smith and wordsmith and she really seems to love her time on stage. listening to Laura’s recordings on CD, Spotify and the like it is easy to hear that she has a precocious, natural talent. But for me she is also one of those relatively great artists whose live shows make the recorded music really come alive. Laura supports her emotionally strong and soulful voice with some relatively sparse guitar accompaniment. Let’s not forget that she is also quite a skilled guitarist.

In my earlier review I likened Laura to the late great Jeff Buckley and I still believe that her approach and style oozes the spirit of Mr Buckley. But then on songs like “The Beginning” she could be channelling Kate Nash. But while these comparisons exist for me that does not take away from the fact that Laura Kindelan has the potential to become a towering talent. Lyrically she clearly shows a mature understanding of life and relationships, perhaps most notably on “Fists”. If pushed I think I would say that “Sweet Tooth” is still my favourite Kindelan classic, but that is facing tough competition from “Colours” and the aforementioned “Sippin’ Whisky”. Her cover of the Billie Holiday standard “Good Morning Heartache” reaches in to the heart of the song and turns it into a more modern electric, but still so sad, blues lament. While I am not saying Laura is the new Billie Holiday she does totally own the song with a stunning arrangement and a very clever use of a loop effect. In my opinion covers should take a step away from the original and this takes a long stride, similar to the strides Jeff Buckley took with covers of “Lilac Wine” and “Hallelujah”. I really hope that Laura makes the right choice and gets the University that she wants, but selfishly I also hope her time as a Uni student doesn’t take her too far from her wonderful music. You really need to check out her music, you will not be disappointed and many of you will join the growing ranks of Laura Kindelan fans!

All videos searched and sourced from YouTube and the photos are courtesy of the Magnificent Marc McGarraghy at Yellow Mustang Photography.

 

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.

 

 
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