With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2022 Part 3 May 3, 2022

This is the third singles round-up of 2022 which includes ten great songs released earlier in the year (yes we are still catching up!) from a group of artists from all over the world. Reading, New York (via Montreal), Buckinghamshire, Ireland (two of them), Berlin, Manchester, Hull, Canada and London. I think only Head Ballet have appeared on these pages before and while the rest are new to us I am 100% confident that their first appearance will not be their last appearance. It was also rather spooky and random that the artists at 9th and 10th in this list actually have 9 and 10 in their names, freaky huh?

“Laura” – Third Lung

This excellent track from Reading’s Third Lung reminds me of U2 at their best with its immense, soaring Bonoesque vocal and a barrage of riffs all underpinned by a huge rhythm section. Can someone let Third Lung play a set at Red Rocks please?

“I Was Made For Loving You” – Karine Hannah

Karine Hannah takes the classic Kiss power ballad and turns it into a steamy, sultry torch song. A truly magnificent cover version.

“Born To Rule” – Matt James

Matt James was the drummer and co-songwriter with one of the greatest British bands of the 90s, Gene. He left the music business for a while, but now he is back and based on this track, very much on form. This Latin-tinged, brass-driven beauty rolls over your ears nicely and bodes well for his first solo album, produced by Stephen Street, which will be out later this year.

“When I’m Not Awake I’m Dreaming Of You” – lullahush

This track from Ireland’s lullahush is, I suppose, electronica but a kind of dreamy, chilled, and at the same time dancey type of electronica. Vocally there is a folk-like element, which reminded me of Jon Marsh of the Beloved and the synth patterns are otherworldly, which maybe fits the dream subject perfectly. I love the contrasting female vocals towards the end.

“You, Me And Everything Else” – Friendmaker

This starts out as a soft lament and builds into a beautifully orchestrated crescendo, which evokes some of the great choruses produced by Semisonic back in the day. David Marron’s vocal performance is sublime and contains great emotional depth.

“Distant Shouts” – Donkey Kid

Berlin’s Donkey Kid’s songwriting for me compares lyrically, on this track at least, with Mike Skinner. But musically it has shades of some of the best alternative electro sounds from the early 80s. The sort of tracks that John Peel would have championed. I am now most definitely a Donkey Kid fan!

“To Know Yours” – Head Ballet

Supremely talented electro pop duo from Manchester Head Ballet were formed by Kiera Court and Danny Casio and with this single they have come up with another sublime stunner of a track. It refuses to leave your head after just a couple of listens. In a parallel universe this would be playing from every radio during a scorching hot summer!

“Eyes Wide Open” – Breeze

The opening to this rather fabulous ditty had me thinking of the Fountains Of Wayne at their peak twinned with the type of infectious hook and chorus that Noel Gallagher used to be good at back in the 90s. These Hullraisers can only get better, they have an average age that is just over 25% of my age! I am looking forward to seeing them live.

“That Was Yesterday” – J9

Janine “J9” Carter really is a very special talent. This track has everything from drum machine dance vibes, to dark electronic drone, androgynous vocals, a cinematic feel and a sweeping sound that would not be out of place on the soundtrack to “Blade Runner”. A bloody awesome tune! It also has a video that leaps right over the state line of Weirdsville!

“Demons” – 10 Guage

This is heavy, but not just heavy, we are talking FUCKING HEAVY! A tune that forces you to head bang along to its cascade of heart stopping riffs. Rob Jewson’s vocal performance is off the charts./ I will be first in the queue when the 10 Guage album hits the world and I hope they come and play up here in York soon.

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Apollo Festival 2014 – York – Saturday 21st June June 30, 2014



Unfortunately I was unable to attend last years Apollo Festival so I was quite excited about this one. On another unfortunate note for various reasons I ended up having to miss the set from Reverend and the Makers who headlined the day. But I did get to see absolutely loads of great music and I do hope to be back next year. This time for the full day!

I spent the day with my wonderful wife Catherine (regular readers will know her as Catwoman and our good friends Caron and John and their beautiful daughter Amelia. Catwoman and me are Odd parents to Amelia. the first stage we visited was the Access To Music Stage. Ruby was playing when we arrived, she looked very young, but she was also very, very good. Her own material had some very mature lyrics for someone so young and she even made an Olly Murs song sound good when she covered “Troublemaker”. We stayed in place to see the next act; Laura. Does nobody bother with surnames any more? Laura has an excellent voice and some great songs of her own. She also played two well-chosen and extremely well done covers. The first was the Beatles “Blackbird” and she finished her set with a storming acoustic cover of the Gnarls Barkley modern classic “Crazy”.


We wandered over to the Main Stage next where we saw We Could Be Astronauts last song. It was a pity that we weren’t able to see more because these guys sound bloody good! Redstar from Huddersfield were next and it would be difficult to find any fault with this superb band. Their playing is on the button and really tight. The vocalist has all the traits of a great front man and he backs that up with a great rock voice. Their songs are pretty damned good too. I reckon there may be some Kasabianesque influences in there and they made me think of what Beady Eye could have been had Liam retained any talent. But that is small stuff, they are very much their own band. The free CD album they handed out to us punters is brilliant and has been on heavy rotation in my car since the show. Chris Helme former singer of John Squire‘s first post Stone Roses project the Seahorses was next. he is clearly a talented bloke with a good voice but I found him a little dull.

It was back to the Access To Music Stage next where we saw the fabulous Barcode Zebra. probably the funkiest band of the day. A truly stupendous rhythm section and a vocalist for whom a description of awesome might not be quite enough. They are playing in York at a launch of their new EP in July and sadly I will be away that weekend. I would definitely pay to see this band again. also if you’re reading this good people of Barcode Zebra I would love to do an interview with you for this blog!

The Entertainment Co Stage was our next port of call where we found it impossible not to dance and sing along to the curators of that stage; The Entertainment Company! They don’t just play cover versions they own them! Are they the best party band ever?  Very probably! shall we book them for Catwoman’s 50th birthday party (yes she doesn’t look even close to 50 does she)? I hope they do private party bookings because I’d love them to play for us in September 2016!

After that it was a return to the Main Stage where we saw the Black Delta Movement. We didn’t catch their whole set but they come across as very accomplished rockers with a swampy blues rock feel. Not bad at all. Former Bluetones frontman the ‘Legendary’ Mark Morriss was on next with a rather brilliant acoustic set. He is wonderfully self-deprecating and even his new songs have an air of classics about them.

Next it was a quick jog back to the Entertainment Co Stage where we were hoping to see the highly recommended And The Hangnails (thank you Mr Pattinson). before they took to the stage those wonderful people from the Entertainment Company had allowed a young singer from LA to play a few songs. His name is Ben Caron and he is soulful and funky. A bit like Bruno Mars but with more of an R & B edge. He has a truly great voice with which he wowed the all too small crowd. I bought his album, a steal at £7 and he struck me as a really good bloke too. You really should check him out. And The Hangails came on the stage and it is fair to say that for just two people they make a massive noise. I don’t mean that in a negative way either, this pair know how to rock. I sensed some influence from the likes of the White Stripes, the Black Keys and the Strokes. Would I pay to see this mighty duo again? Hell yeah!

Target By Numbers were next on the Access To Music Stage. Good musicians and some ok songs, but they really didn’t do it for me. The last band we saw on the day was the Supermodels on the Main Stage. They are a covers band, but to simply say that really doesn’t do them justice. They cover some classic rock songs with such verve and talent that you could almost imagine you were listening to the real thing if your eyes were shut. Their cover of the Who’s “Baba O’Riley” would give Daltrey and Townshend a run for their money. I really want to see them play again. Sadly we had to leave just before the Supermodels left the stage. But although we missed the headliners we had a fantastic day! well done to the organisers and for all the money raised for an excellent cause; the Smiley Riley Fund!



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