With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Sunflower Thieves and Epilogues – Songs Under Skies – National Centre For Early Music (NCEM), York – Wednesday 16th June 2021 July 5, 2021


This was the final show of 5 of the second series of Songs Under Skies (the last was September 2020) in the grounds of the iconic and frankly gorgeous York venue the National Centre For Early Music (NCEM). Tonight we had even more local talent proving once again that York and Yorkshire bloody rock it! Before it all started though, I had the opportunity for a long chat with the supremely talented Laura Kindelan. I am definitely looking to more music from her! (No pressure Laura!) First up was Epilogues a.k.a. Mikey who regular readers will have spotted on these pages before. By his own admission Mikey writes many sad songs, but he does fill them with truly stupendous lyrics. His second song of the evening was “Sixteen” from his new EP released a few months back, yes it was a sad song, but truly beautiful too. “The Gap” was absolute epic Epilogues, even with what Mikey referred to as a nightmare chord. I loved “Two Weeks” which I believe is about a broken relationship. Mikey gave us some idiosyncratic ad libs while tuning his guitar, including the line “and the crowd went mild”. I may have to borrow that in the future. My favourite song from this set was a new one, “I’m Just Glad That You Stayed”.

Next up were an act that I had not seen or heard before, Sunflower Thieves. They are purveyors of perfectly matched voices and heavenly harmonies. They kicked off their set with the sublime “Don’t mind The Weather” which was released as a single this year. It is the perfect song for a beautiful, balmy summer evening. They played a couple of new songs, apologies if I got the titles wrong. “34 Days” and “Going Out With You”. The latter has an early 70s US West Coast coffee bar vibe. It would have fitted perfectly in an acoustic afternoon session at the Troubadour in Los Angeles back in the day. I adore “Hide And Seek” which is about being carefree and being nostalgic for childhood. It evoked many wonderful carefree and youthful memories for me. They played a tune that they wrote with the multi talented Sam Griffiths of the Howl And The Hum, but I missed the title, but it was probably my favourite of the whole night. I also really love “Heavyweight” a song about social anxiety, which I suppose couldn’t be more topical right now. I definitely want to hear more from the Sunflower Thieves and I am sure that I will!

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Hello Operator, Avalanche Party, Broken Skulls, Wildlife – Fibbers, York – Saturday 23rd May 2015 May 24, 2015


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I am back at Fibbers again just a few days after Julian couldn’t Cope. But there are no diva shenanigans tonight, Mike and Simon have created an excellent line up for what will sadly be Mike J’s final promotion. Kicking events off were the York and Leeds based Wildlife. I believe that this band would have easily fitted into New York’s late 70s post punk scene alongside a fledgling Talking Heads. But they are not revivalists of that era they are very 21st century too. They have great songs, great stage presence and a good rapport with the audience. They handled a little power outage problem with aplomb. Apparently all the songs are about the singers cock, well apart from “Like A Racehorse” anyway! Whether you like songs about cocks or not you should check them out.

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The second band to tread the boards tonight were the two piece Broken Skulls. Imagine if the Strokes had more power, more balls and only two members. Can you do that? If you can then you would probably be imagining Broken Skulls. I would imagine that the two piece format leads many to compare them with the excellent Royal Blood. However they are more than a facsimile of another band. They are incredibly powerful performers, gifted instrumentalists and they write some terrific songs. They dedicated an old song to Mike this evening which was also the name of a former band of theirs; “Toy Radar”. I would definitely go and see these boys again and so should you if you haven’t already.

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Second on the bill this evening is a band that hardly need any introduction to regular readers of this blog, the magnificent Avalanche Party. Up to now they have had excellent reviews from me. Is that about to change? Fuck no! These lads rocked their socks off on Saturday. They played a barnstorming set and the audience would have eaten out of the bands hands had they been asked. Well the majority would have at least. New song “Money” was stunning live and Joe and Jordan’s crowd invasions, or should that be incursions, raised the excitement levels for the punters. I would like to thank Jordan for dedicating the mountainous (sorry for the cliché) “Mountains” to me. ‘This one is for Big Billy at the front’; I love it! The band will be launching their new EP in their home town, Middlesbrough soon. Sadly I can’t make it, so please put a copy aside for me chaps! But if you can make it then you bloody well should. This band mean big and should be big. They get better every time I see them.

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I didn’t envy the brilliant Hello Operator having to follow such a great set from one of my favourite bands of the moment, but they did follow and they followed bloody well. Hello Operator are a different kind of band to Avalanche Party but they are equally as powerful. They appear schooled in a different vein of classic rock and they know how to win over and captivate an audience. I saw them earlier this year at the smaller City Screen venue and they metaphorically blew the roof off. Frankly they did the same at Fibbers. They are and incredibly tight, talented and well rehearsed band. The guitarist has the flourish of Bernard Butler at his peak and as far as vocals go they have a singer who has one of the finest rock voices around. If you have never seen them then get off your arse and do so!

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I would like to thank Mike and Simon for a great night and also Joe Bell off of Avalanche Party for the vino. This was a truly superb night for everyone who came along. Four great bands in one night it can’t get better than that can it?

The public service announcement for today is that all the pictures were taken with my Nokia and the videos are courtesy of YouTube

 

 
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