As a boy I was a keen Leeds United supporter, but I was born and grew up in London, so how did that happen? Well this was in the late 60s when they were easily one of the best club sides that had ever existed. I have stuck with them ever since, although maybe not as passionately as back in the olden days. Like many supporters I was incredibly pleased to see the club return to the Premier League this season and even more pleased to see how well they have performed. But wait, this is a music site, why am I babbling on about Leeds United? Well for a few reasons, firstly two of my favourite current bands are huge Leeds United fans, that is Apollo Junction and Skylights. Both have featured here at With Just A Hint Of Mayhem quite a few times.
Today it is the turn, once again of Skylights who recently shared a stark and beautiful stripped down version of their recent single “Darkness Falls”. Leeds Manager Marcelo Bielsa is a big fan of the track and he has written to the boys too tell them. He also appears in the video, well his picture at least! The song works really well in this unplugged style take. Rob Scarisbrick’s vocals ooze with soul and emotion and the gorgeous noise that guitar maestro Turnbull Smith makes with a simple acoustic guitar is incredible. This for me is the mark of a great song in that it works well in many guises from full production to sparse and stripped back. While we are waiting for the Skylights debut album can we have a Stripped EP please?
Click here or below to check out the video of the track on Twitter, currently the only place you can find it.
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I first heard “Nothing Left To Say” from those Yorkshire scallywags Skylights more than a year ago. I seem to recall then that they were planning a video for it. Well, that video has finally arrived for what is yet another anthem from this rather excellent band from York. It is a song that is made for roaring out across a hazy hot festival field. The band are at the top of their game, playing as though they were the musical equivalent of Leeds United from 1974 a team that were by far the best in England at that time! The video is an atmospheric take on how quickly modern life can make a person fall into sad, bad times. The song gets better with every listen and the video deserves plenty of airtime too. I don’t know who filmed it, but whoever it was they did an excellent job! Check out the video below. I am pleased to say that I will be seeing Skylights playing live once again before the end of the year!
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Is this country finally waking up? Are the downtrodden finally kicking back? Are those that consider themselves middle class no longer ignoring the obvious? Are our students finally in control of their rebellious gene? Let’s hope so! This week saw more than 50,000 people on the streets of London to protest at the raising of student fees. This follows protests about the schools building programme cuts in July, another anti cuts rally in Sheffield last month and the occupation of an RBS bank last week. OK I know the Daily Mail readers out there will be getting all sanctimonious about the violence and to a large extent I agree. (Yep me agreeing with a Daily Mail opinion, fucking hell am I getting old?) I do not condone violence of any kind and I truly believe that this was caused by just a small minority as is often the case.
With Nick Laurel and Dave Hardy at the wheel we can't go wrong....... can we?
Bear in mind that these protests have all taken place before the coalition cuts have begun to bite, so I think things will get much worse before they get better. Just look at the housing benefit plans, sure a great way of saving money in the short-term, but with private rents rising far quicker than the government are predicting a recipe for disaster. If it goes to plan it will lead to an exodus of people from London as they can no longer afford to live there. Where will that exodus take them? Why probably into all the areas in the country where there will be no jobs! Now that really makes sense doesn’t it? I do not disagree that cuts are needed in expenditure but there are far better ways of doing it. Over a longer period, with more considered plans etc.
Cameron prepares to throw the baby out with the bathwater
As for those of you that aspire to be or consider yourselves to be middle class, get over it! There are two classes in this country; the filthy rich and the rest of us! Just remember that the current cabinet contains 18 millionaires among its members. These are the people who believe they are leading the country, a mistake which many politicians make (Thatcher, Blair and more). They do not lead us, they serve us and it would be wise of them to remember this.
Clearly this picture proves that Nick Clegg has been David Cameron's ventriloquist dummy all along
I do not believe that this government will see out its full term and therefore we will have the opportunity to voice our opinions through the ballot box again. When the time comes do not bow to apathy, get off your arse and vote. Let’s show the politicians whose country this really is. Anyway, rant over and let me get back to the music. Obviously I have chosen some appropriate stuff for you!
“White Riot” – The Clash. The song is not about race war as many pundits suggested at the time. According to Joe Strummer it is in fact a call to arms of the white youth of Britain to riot against things that were oppressing them in the same way that black youth in the 70s did.
“Let’s Start A Riot” – Three Days Grace. These guys are an Alternative Canadian band who released their 3rd album, ‘Life Starts Here’ last year.
“Panic” – The Smiths This Morrissey/ Marr composition is not really about social unrest, it’s actually about the poor state of pop music at the time. But frankly it still fits on both levels. It was the first Smiths single to feature new member Craig Gannon.
“Walls Come Tumbling Down” – Style Council This is a superb attack on those that govern and I love it. Weller often gets criticised for the Style Council, but I think they were far better than the press thought they were. This song reached number 7 in the UK charts.
“Another Brick In The Wall” – Roger Waters The Wall album is seen by many as close to being Roger Waters solo album. This video is from his current tour playing The Wall in its entirety.
“Going Underground” – The Jam. This song did not feature on any of the bands studio albums although it has been on most Jam compilations. I almost took the title for this post from the song. The couplet, “their lies let you down and their promises rust” would have worked well. This went straight into the UK charts at number 1.
“I Predict A Riot” – Kaiser Chiefs Formed in Leeds in 1997 the band took their name from a South African football team; the Kaizer Chiefs. The band are Leeds United supporters and former Leeds player Lucas Radebe used to play for the Kaizer Chiefs.
“Fight The Power” – Isley Brothers. Written by Ernie Isley this is a really funky protest song. Public Enemy were inspired by it a few years later.
“You Haven’t Done Nothing” – Stevie Wonder This clip appears to be taken from the Andy Williams show. It’s an excellent piece of protest from Mr Wonder. Did you know that the backing vocals on the original studio version were recorded by Motown stablemates at the time, the Jackson 5.
I do worry sometimes that Jedward may be a little more intelligent than Nivid or Dick
It’s January 3rd 2010 and also the first time that the once mighty Leeds United have beaten Manchester United at Old Trafford since 1981. Not only that but it counts as a serious giant killing act in the long traditions and history of the FA Cup. After their financial meltdown a few years back it’s about time Leeds had some great news. They are likely to be promoted this year too. Read all about todays game here. As for the fourth round let’s do the same to ‘Arry’s Spurs!
You're not singing anymore LOL
Leeds were the team I put my faith in when I first got into football, I never lived near the city, in fact I grew up near London. I can still remember the classic Leeds team from the late 60s; Sprake, Reaney, Cooper, Bremner, Charlton, Hunter, Lorimer, Clarke, Jones, Giles, Gray and Madeley (sub). Immortalised in David Peace’s excellent book ‘The Damned United’ the 70s team were hard, tough and dirty. The sad thing for me is that they finished 2nd more than they finished first.
Strangely enough January 3rd is also the 40th anniversary of my first ever visit to a football match. It was Chelsea versus Burnley at Stamford Bridge in London in the third round of the FA Cup. I supported Chelsea that day, mainly because my Uncle Ben who took me was a died in the wool Burnley supporter. That game was a 2 all draw and Chelsea won the replay at Turf Moor in Burnley. In another strange coincidence Chelsea went on to play Leeds United in the final and sadly beat them in a replay which was held at Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground (another coincidence indeed). On the way to the final Leeds beat Manchester United in the semi final in the second replay
My Aunt June (Uncle Ben’s wife) was due to go to the Chelsea versus Burnley match with him but she gave her ticket to me after a somewhat traumatic experience I suffered at school. I used to write stories and sometimes read them in class, mostly limited and simple sci-fi with mild horror elements. I was influenced heavily by Marvel Comics (especially the Fantastic Four), the Pan Collections of Horror Stories and Gerry Anderson’s TV work (Stingray, Thunderbirds etc.). At a parents evening my parents were informed by the school that I had an imagination that was much too vivid and that reading American Comics and Horror stories was bad for me. They advised my folks to get rid of all my comics and horror books, so they did. In those days people often did what the ‘powers that be’ told them to, so I have no issues with my parents. However I do take great issue with the school, even now. Why on earth would you deny a child the chance to expand their imagination? It has never made sense to me. I could understand if they had said I should broaden my reading material, but to take most of it away, that just smacks of censorship!
Have any of you experienced anything similar?
I had around 90 of the first 100 Fantastic Four comics, number 3 was the lowest one I owned
Anyway as I often say this is a music blog so here are some appropriate songs
“Leeds United & Leeds, Leeds, Leeds” – by the Leeds United Football Team – this single actually made the UK charts in the early 70s. Listen carefully and you’ll hear the names of all the players I mentioned earlier.