With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Cowgirl (Fulford Arms 6th Birthday gig) – Fulford Arms, York – Friday 10th January 2020 February 2, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 5:33 pm
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The Fulford Arms is such a great venue and it really feels like it has been here for a long, long time. But remarkably this show was in celebration of the Fulford Arms’ sixth birthday and it was a pleasure to be a part of it. It was a proper bargain too, five acts for £5. First up was Miles with an excellent solo set using a £30 guitar and a free phone app as his only backing apart from his wonderfully ethereal vocals. New song “Well” was very classy and “The Gap”, which Miles admitted he dropped earlier into the set than usual, was epic. But the highlight for me was “Aspirin” I really love that tune. Thank you, Miles, for a wonderfully chilled kick-off to the party!

Next, it was the turn of metal power trio Redfyrn. Imagine Kate Bush fronting a punk-influenced very heavy metal band with an added sprinkle of early PJ Harvey that is just one description of Redfyrn, but there are so many more. They are a band with great songs, none more so than “Silent Water”. This is a band that deserves to be heard. Their whole stage persona comes across as a little understated but they pack a hell of a punch, especially drummer Leo. This is definitely a band to keep an eye on.

Percy, another of York’s finest took the stage next and this would be the third time that I had seen them in just over a year. They have a new album coming out later this year and judging from the live takes on some of the new songs and the demo versions that I have heard it will be darned good. Their last album, ‘Sleeper’s Wake’ from 2018 was excellent, I reckon the new one will see them step up their game once again. If you like the Fall or anything Mark E Smith was involved with then you will love this lot, in fact, if you love your music with a punk attitude, a pinch of prog and at times political then you will adore Percy! The highlights for me, as expected, were the Brexit related tunes; “Unicorn” and “Will Of The People”. I can see the latter getting played a lot during 2020.

Probably one of my favourite current bands are My Wonderful Daze. Their appearance on the bill at the Fulford Arms on 10th January marked the fifth time that I had seen them in six months! They played at my first ever gig promotion at the Crescent just a week before this show. I was really pleased to see that vocalist Flowers a.k.a. Chloe’s voice was back to full strength after the cold and sore throat at the Crescent. Not that there was any dip in the quality in the previous weeks set mind you. The played some pounding versions of the tracks from their recent EP, ‘Guilty Party’. One of the many things that I love about this band is their overpowering energy, they don’t build to a crescendo, they start with one and keep it at that level for their whole set. Chloe showed great personality when dealing with tonight’s technical issues too; faulty microphone and a broken bass string! I don’t know when the first My Wonderful Daze album will appear, but I am so looking forward to it and to seeing them on stage plenty more times too!

Headliners were another rather excellent York band, Cowgirl, tonight was the third time that I have seen them and in fact the second time in just a few weeks. Their scuzzy, dirty and sometimes feedback-driven garage rock is reminiscent of the Jesus And Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and one of my favourite US bands, the Detroit Cobras. Many of their songs have an underlying electric blues feel, but one that is distorted with punk attitude and noise. I also see a young and more vibrant Velvet Underground in Cowgirl’ swagger and stage presence.  Small sweaty venues like the rather excellent Fulford Arms were made for bands like Cowgirl. Check them out now, that is an order!

 

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap Chinese 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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Miles – Single Launch – The Crescent, York – Friday 19th April 2019 April 27, 2019


This day was actually Good Friday, but when you’re lucky enough to attend a gig like this then I would suggest we rename it Great Friday. This was the third time I have seen Miles, but more of that later, because there were some rather spiffing support acts on the bill too. First to take the stage was Rosalind, tonight made up of amazingly talented York singer songwriter Ellie Milne and Nina on backing vox and harmonies. (I hear that Nina has an EP out now). The pair was aided and abetted by Josh (a.k.a. Wounded Bear) and Mikey (from Miles) on guitar and backing vocals. Ellie’s self-penned songs are built on a tsunami of soul baring emotions and “Call This A Love Song” is a stand out tune. I saw Rosalind for the first time just less than two weeks ago and I am sure I will be seeing her plenty of times in the future. Ellie performed a scorchingly brilliant cover of Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s “Big Fish”. But the closing song which deals with domestic violence was one of the most haunting tunes that I have heard in a long while.

The second support act of the evening was Wounded Bear (a.k.a. Josh). He has a rich, deep voice which enticingly draws you into his songs, most of which weave wonderful stories through their sometimes intricately clever lyrics. The music scene in York is incredibly close and supportive and embraces everyone, so Wounded Bear was the beneficiary of some heavenly counterpoint harmonies provided by Ellie and Nina who we heard as a part of the earlier Rosalind performance. Wounded Bear has a really classy EP out now entitled ‘A Calm Night For A Bullfight’. Currently my favourite song from that release is “Angela”, an emotionally charged and heartfelt love song. But for me Wounded Bear saved his best song to last, Adrian Gurvitz once said in song that he was “gonna write a classic”. Well with “Civil War” Wounded Bear has indeed written a classic tune. Musically and lyrically it has nothing missing, the song borders on perfect and needs to be heard.

Finally it was time for the headliner Miles, I think this is the second time that I have seen Miles and twice more in a previous incarnation as Epilogues. I believe main man Mikey sets out to create music that is epic in scope and could adapt well to score a foreign film of love and loss incredibly successfully. The first few, rather moody masterpieces, are performed by Mikey on his own in a style reminiscent of early period Jarvis Cocker. After that we were hit with the extended band including a well-drilled rhythm section. The drum fills were often like ethereal jazz noodles floating over a rainbow river. Mikey’s vocal talents are at times wondrous and evoke the softer side of Thom Yorke for me. This gig was to launch the new Miles single “16: My Delightful Inheritance” which is shaping up to be his best yet. I must apologise for being so tardy with this review that the album of the same now is now available on Daddy Issues Records and most major streaming sites. Click here or to check it out.

 

Public Service Announcement – all the pictures, apart from the gig poster, were taken using my cheap Chinese Android phone.

 

Miles – The Crescent, York – Thursday 18th October 2018 October 22, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:03 pm
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Miles (ex Epilogues)

No excuse for not living the moment tonight, I forgot to take my mobile phone with me, but that means that there won’t be any shitty out of focus pictures from me! Anyway this gig was another great line up put together by the Magical Mr Coates at Please Please You. Headlined by Miles (ex Epilogues) the night also included three other acts. Excellent value for a fiver I reckon! First to hit the stage was Elk who gave us spaced out folk music backed by acoustic guitar and often by an almost hypnotic keyboard drone. The latter was provided by Mikey off of Miles. There was clearly a whole bundle of emotion in these songs although it sounded like the vocals were mixed a little too low in the quieter moments. The crashing, crescendo like harmonies on some tunes were truly epic. If there is ever another series of ‘True Detective’ some of these songs would fit perfectly.

Wounded Bear

Wounded Bear was second up. He has warm, rich, sublime vocals with a hint of sweetness. Perhaps the aural equivalent of Jack Daniels with honey. This troubadour tells intricate stories with his songs of love and loss. New song “Civil War” is shaping up to be something very special. Alexander Carson was the nights penultimate performer. He has almost angelic vocals on some truly ethereal songs, many of which deal with death. On paper that might sound like a depressing way to spend an evening, but trust me it is not! Alexander’s use of looping and layering his sounds is honed to perfection. On top of that he is one of the most accomplished keyboard players that I have seen in a while. There were some immense piano flourishes that ran the gamut from classical to jazz and back again. This guy is well worth checking out.

Alexander Carson

Finally it was time for Miles. I had seen main man Mikey in a previous acoustic guise as Epilogues. He has come a long way since then and he was good when I saw him as Epilogues, he is even better now and the more powerful sound of a band performance suits him well. Most of the tunes seem to have an ambition to be cinematic in scope and most achieve that ambition. The solo tunes seem to carry a great sadness in their ambient parts and this couples so naturally with the soul baring lyrics. “Me” is an absolute killer of a sad lament. While the emotion in “Two Weeks” was palpable to the point where Mikey was moved to shed real tears. Nigel the drummer took on a spoken interlude to thank everyone who supported and worked on the show. Nigel you are a fucking excellent drummer, but stick to that and not stand up comedy. If you love really open heart outpourings in song then Miles are a must for you. This band needs to be heard more widely. Make it happen!

Miles – ex Epilogues

Public Service announcement: All photos and videos lifted from FaceBook. If you are the photographer and you want to be credited or have the pictures/ video removed then please holler.

 

 
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