With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Mallrats EP Launch – The Crescent, York – 8th July 2016 July 8, 2016


I had looked forward to another Northern Radar gig for some time. Simon Pattinson has never let me down with his gigs or recommendations and I have known him a few years now. But rather than keep you in suspense let me just say that once again Simon came up trumps. He has a great knack for finding and promoting great bands. When he makes it big, just remember where you read it first!

So first up tonight were the fabulously named Eugene Gorgeous. This is the first opportunity that I have had to see this spectacular band. Imagine, if you will, the Velvet Underground meeting the Jesus and Mary Chain at a dive bar in Twin Peaks. Well if you can picture that in your mind that is Eugene Gorgeous. Whilst the singer appeared to be fuelled by milk. The guitarist was something special too with and incredible talent for feedback and sustain he can make that guitar squeal!

Are you looking for a Nirvana for the 21st Century? Yes? How about a band with some dub licks straight out of the Clash and a pinch of the Strokes? Is that your bag baby? Well in that case Mice On Mars are right up your street. On top of all their other talents they have a drummer that plays like a reincarnated Keith Moon.

maven fiction

Next up were Maven Fiction, a band that I have seen in many guises before. If you like any of the following genres then you really ought to love this band; pop, funk, electronica and punk. If you also like great songs and great melodies then you really need to check them out. In my opinion it is an absolute tragedy that Maven Fiction are not bigger than the likes of Coldplay. Can we at least get them on the Apollo Festival stage next year in York Stuart Kelly?

mallrats

Finally it was the turn of the magnificent Mallrats who were headlining a gig to promote their rather excellent new EP. You can’t really ignore a band whose sixth and seventh gigs (I’m reliably informed) were at the Reading and Leeds Festivals? Frankly you can’t can you? This is a phenomenally talented young band who I hope will achieve great success. This is the third time that I have seen them and they have got better every time. I also had the opportunity to meet the drummers Dad and what a thoroughly nice bloke he is! This was another great gig from Northern Radar and it was, as usual 100% perfect. Apart from the ringing in my ears. But actually that is my fault as I stood far to close to the speaker stack for Maven Fiction’s set!

 

 

 

Apollo Festival – York – Saturday 25th June 2016 June 30, 2016


apollo-festival

I wonder how long it will be before folk start referring to the last weekend in June as Apollo weekend and not Glasto weekend. Well many people in York already do, and rightly so this relatively new festival is still very vibrant, friendly and fun even in its fourth year. I have now been three times and I enjoyed each visit immensely. If you like good music and a good day out for the family in Yorkshire then look no further than York’s Apollo Festival.

Anyway this year I was a bit of a lazy stage hopper in that I only visited one other stage apart from the Main Stage. I arrived at about 11.15 along with my beautiful wife Catherine a.k.a. Catwoman our good friend Caron and our amazing Odd Daughter Amelia. The first act we saw was the Ainsty’s Got Talent winner B Boy Swirl, aged just nine years old he is just three years older than Amelia. He proved himself to be a talented whirlwind of beatbox noise and break dance frenzy. What a brilliant start to the day.

Next up on the Main Stage was someone with a vocal talent that could easily compare and compete with Adele. The magnificent and truly soulful Kymberley Kennedy. Definitely check this lady out, she has a gorgeous voice. After that it was a quick dash to the Rick Witter Premier Stage for me to catch the final part of a stunning set from those magnificent scamps, the Mallrats. Just like the last time I saw them they were awesome!

I made my way back to the Main Stage for the second half of the Jackobins set. These scousers owe a debt to Brit Pop, but only a small one. Their talent goes much deeper than that. Ace mod covers band the outstanding 5:15’s were up next. What a party band these boys are, covers of the Jam, solo Weller, the Specials, the Yardbirds and so much more. They were followed by Chris Helme the former front man of the Seahorses. He is clearly a very talented and very chilled kind of bloke. But I’m afraid his music just doesn’t do it for me. But to each their own right?

I was disappointed that I had to miss the Supermodels this year. But I did have good reason,  I had earlier bumped into the fabulous Rachel Brown of Northern Exposure who has recommended the Velcro Teddy Bears for ages. So clearly I was not going to miss them. Rachel and her fella Ash were also in the audience in the Rick Witter Premier Stage for the Velcro Teddy Bears Apollo début. So what were this highly rated Sheffield four piece band like? The were bloody stupendous. They rocked the place hard. If you love Led Zep, the softer side of Sabbath and hard but soulful rock then you will become a fan of the Velcro Teddy Bears. An incredibly tight band with a vocalist who could probably make any song his own. Their songs have the hallmarks of future classics. For me they were the band of the day. Thank you Rachel! I was also pleased to see my mate Kevin Forth in attendance too.

Dave McCabe and the Ramifications were next to entertain us from the Main Stage. Dave in case you wondered is a former Zuton. The band was excellent from start to finish in my opinion although I really would have liked to have seen them close with “Valerie” but Dave was having none of that.

dodgyap

Dodgy were the penultimate Main Stage band and it is fair to say that they were far more than just “Good Enough”. A stonking version of “Staying Out For The Summer” even managed to keep the rain at bay for a while. Sadly the rain really kicked in after Cast’s arrival, what a “Fine Time” for a downpour? So I must apologise to the marvellous Cast as we left about halfway through their set as we were soaked. But they are clearly still a great festival band. I saw them back in the 90s and if anything they have got even better.

castap.jpg.gallery

So once again I have had the pleasure of attending another wonderful Apollo festival. This is one small wacky step for Dad dancing but one giant leap for festival kind. If you’re not already thinking about getting your tickets for next year, well frankly you’re not well!

Public Service Announcement – None of the pictures or videos were taken or filmed by me. I ‘borrowed’ them all from t’interweb.

 

 
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