With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Mayhem Virgins – Call Me Malcolm February 7, 2021


This is the tenth act that we have featured in the Mayhem Virgins series since it began in 2018. It gives us an opportunity to showcase great bands and singers that have up to now never featured on With Just A Hint Of Mayhem before. For this post it is the turn of the extremely talented, very original and one of the best ska/punk bands I have ever heard, Call Me Malcolm. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Millie Manders (click here to listen to that interview) and she told me how highly she rated Call Me Malcolm, so I had to check them out and oh boy I am glad that I did. There is an incredible energy in Call Me Malcolm’s songs which I am sure translates into something special in a live environment and gig reviews that I have read bear this out.

They released their first album “We Did This To Ourselves” in 2014 and this sets out their manifesto as a band that knows what they want, where they want to go and what the journey might be like. Like many of my favourite bands Call Me Malcolm wear their politics proudly on their sleeves. Every song that I have listened to by them makes me think that they really give a shit about life. “You’re Free To Do as We Tell You” opens the album with a crashing boom that makes you want to stay with them, give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed. They deploy all the classic traits and skills of the best ska/ punk bands and blend them into a signature Call Me Malcolm sound. I also love their use of soundbites, there is a great use of something from ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’ on this record. “I’m Alright I Suppose” is an early sign of their willingness to confront mental health issues.

The Call Me Malcolm sophomore album “I Was Broken When You Got Here” blows that old “difficult second album” problem that hits many bands right out of the water. It is yet another great collection of sublime songs. The “Guided Meditation” speech at the start is very funny. I almost spat out my dandelion and pond weed tea out mid meditation. This album takes the band to another level and I suspect they are still a long way from their peak. I sensed influences from Madness, Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake at times and apparently Vinnie Fiorello (of Less Than Jake) said that he saw Call Me Malcolm as “a saving grace of the genre”. It is difficult not to agree with that assertion. The album was highly acclaimed and Ska Punk Daily voted it no.8 in their “Top 10 Ska Punk Albums of the Decade.” It is hard to pick a favourite track from what is a succession of banging classics. But if forced I would choose the incendiary “There Is No ‘I’ In Apocalypse”, the happy poppy tune with much darker mental breakdown related lyrics, “Restore Factory Settings” and “Show Me What You Got” which opens like a punked up Doobie Brothers track spliced with a ska punk Steely Dan jazzy vibe transported here from a weird and wonderful parallel universe.

The band released their third album “Me Myself And Something Else” last year. The spoof news broadcasts “Good Morning”, “Breaking News” and “Goodnight” showcase Call Me Malcolm’s skilful and very amusing comedic skill. Two of the singles taken from this LP are in my opinion perhaps the band’s finest songs to date. I can hardly wait to hear “Wake Up, The Monster Said” and “What You Burn” at a gig when Covid is all over. The band once again convey some powerful and heartfelt messages relating to mental health and in this current strange world they are much needed. They are among a small, but growing, number of artists prepared to talk openly about such issues and that takes courage and empathy both of which this band possess boatloads of. In addition to the previously mentioned singles my current favourites here are “Also, Spiders”, “I Met All The Beasts In Your Thoughts” and “Sleepwalk With Me”. The immaculate three part harmonies across the bands canon makes them seem like a ska/ punk Beach Boys!

Thanks to that wonderful human being Millie Manders I am now a big fan of Call Me Malcolm. This is another band on my ever growing list of gigs I want to see after Covid. I hope I have enough years left to see them all! Finally, I came across the Call Me Malcolm Christmas single from 2014, “All I Want For Christmas Is A Pony With A Jetpack”. I wished that I had discovered that before my ’12 Days Of (Mostly) Punky Christmas’ posts in December. Check this band out NOW, if you are disappointed after doing that then I will be very, very disappointed in you! Enjoy some great tunes and videos below and after that you’ll find a link to their Spotify page for even more delightful tunes from Call Me Malcolm.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

The WJAHOM Interview Podcast – Millie Manders! January 25, 2021

Filed under: Interview,Podcast — justwilliam1959 @ 6:00 pm
Tags: , ,

Last week I had the honour, privilege and pleasure of interviewing the wonderfully talented Millie Manders of Millie Manders and the ShutUp . What did I learn from interviewing Millie? Well it is clear that she is a smart, affable raconteur and frankly a first class human being! Click here to take a listen to the interview on Spotify and afterwards check out some ace Millie Manders and the ShutUp videos. Then click here to avail yourself of some rather spiffing Millie Manders merch!

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2021 Part 1 January 16, 2021


Welcome to our first singles round up of 2021, this time I am once again joined by a guest co-reviewer. This time it is the turn of one of the newer members of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Team, Paul Bamlett. Paul is a self confessed music nut, so he fits in well over here at Mayhem Towers. We kick off this years singles round up series with eight cracking tunes from eight supremely talented artists and bands which found their way into the world during the last few months. Elkyn and Millie Manders and the Shut Up are the only ones to have featured here at WJAHOM before, but I am confident that all eight will be back again sometime. We have artists from all over the UK; Norwich, London, North East England, Leeds, York, Sheffield and Manchester

“Panic” – Millie Manders and the Shut Up

Paul – This is great, they don’t sound like anyone else. Danceable and very current given the powerful message. This song is the perfect package topped off with Millie’s excellent voice. A very, very impressive song and performance.

Bill – A planet saving anthem that is also in possession of a brilliant earworm of a chorus. A wonderful underlay of perfectly played guitar and the use of voice clips is interesting and adds to the gravity of the message. A heavy sound full of passion, especially Millie’s vocals. This is a song that proves Millie Manders and the Shut Up are much broader than ska punk. Like Paul I bloody love Millie’s voice!

“Raison D’etre” – Stolen Dead Music

Bill – Hard, heavy, bluesy and very, very long. Vocals at times reminiscent of Kings Of Leon. Great hooks and riffs and a very 70s rock guitar breakdown at the end.

Paul – Very interesting, a very good song, a touch on Nirvana at times. Why such a long instrumental break? That said this sounds like it will be a great song played live.

“Little Cheryl” – Not Now Norman

Paul – A real old fashioned sound with an incredibly strong chorus. Good double tracking of guitars and some excellent snappy riffs.

Bill – Reminiscent of the Go-Go’s at their peak. A good pop hook and melody, a kind of subdued power pop. Taylor Mitchell has a great voice and at times the guitar underlays the tune in a Johnny Marr kind of way. I want to hear more from this lot. A great band name in my opinion, too.

“We Eat The Buffalo” – Radio Aftermath

Bill – Immense riffs coupled with a great rock vocal. Are there two drummers on this, or has John Bonham been resurrected? This is very punky metal which I think will be ace in a live environment.

Paul – This reminds me of the Misfits or the Damned or maybe early Metallica. Great vocals are definitely in the same vein as early recordings by Dave Vanian and James Hetfield. This is a great song

“Drag Me To The Light” – Miles and the Chain Gang

Paul – Some Joe Strummer style on the vocals. The horns and Dexy’s style brass were a great addition to the track. I felt that the guitar sound reminded me of A Certain Ration or Talking Heads. One of my favorites from this batch.

Bill – Nicely British with a touch of ska, while the harmonies add an almost US West Coast vibe. Funky, choppy Billy Whizz guitar and fantastic production.

“Everybody Used To Love You” – Silverjet

Bill – Tumultuous opening riffage with a classic 70s rock vocal style. I love the guitar solo and the drumming. It feels a bit post punk but heavier and will probably be awesome live.

Paul – A great opening riff with some Kiss style in there. Maybe they should have used that same riff for the chorus. Hats off to them they sound like a great band and I get the feeling that they know how to strut their stuff like Motley Crue or Hanoi Rocks.

“Message From God” – M30

Paul – Great tune, the drums come in perfectly. There were a few moments where the backing vocals made me think of the Arctic Monkeys. I like this one!

Bill – Organ intro was like some kind of religious horror film theme. Very different and understated instrumentation. A very British vocal, none of that affected American style here! I also love the backing vocals on the chorus. One of my favourites of this round up.

“If Only It Was Alright Now” – Elkyn

Bill – A soft chilled acoustic guitar track at the start which builds into a spectacular peak with a sound that emulates bells ringing. Great harmonies too

Paul – Ambient, folky and very original. I like the track but I would like to hear it in a much more basic “unplugged” style without the drums.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

Millie Manders and the Shutup – Fulford Arms, York – Saturday 30th November 2019 December 4, 2019


There was a lot of music going on in York on 30th November. I had whittled my way down to two choices; The Men They Couldn’t Hang at the Crescent or Millie Manders and the Shutup at the Fulford Arms. I chose the latter, as you will have guessed by the title of this post, but it was a tough choice indeed. I went for a band that I had never seen or heard before, why? Well, that is how I roll! Anyway, before the talented Ms. Manders appeared on stage we were treated to two fine support bands. First up were the Platitudes, eight-piece ska-punkers from Leeds. They are a really tightly honed band and Kristina’s vocals are not typical ska punk style, she has a great voice and a real pop sensibility. Their songs are all very good with some truly great tunes among them, notably “Man With A Plan” and “Bomb Song”. Cramming eight people onto such a tiny stage takes some doing, getting them to perform so well and for them to produce such an electric, exciting set is purely down to the band themselves. They prove the old adage that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” See the Platitudes once and I guarantee you will want to see them again, I damned well do!

The Platitudes

The second support act was Dead Beat At Dawn from Thirsk who almost defies putting them into a genre. But I would describe them as ska-punk with extra added punk, metal and rap. Yes, you heard me right, rap! Imagine the Beastie Boys reinvented as a 90s ska-punk band, then you might have a chance of understanding what Dead Beat At Dawn are. They are frenetically energetic, incredibly funny, self-deprecating and bloody talented musicians too. Their sampler let them down, but they didn’t lose anything by that, they just threw themselves into their set twice as hard. Their own songs are quite unique in a great way, especially “180 (The Theme From Dart Squad). They also performed an incredibly fun cover of Madness’ “Baggy Trousers”. This lot will make a stalwart festival band, I will certainly be seeing them again.

Dead Beat At Dawn

Millie Manders and the Shutup, just how good are they? Well, they’re not just good they are a true tower of greatness. Millie is a supremely talented frontwoman who empathises with and supports her audience. Their music has a conscience, which comes across very powerfully in “Right To Life” and “Lollipops”. The latter of which is one of the best politically angry songs to emerge in the last few years. “Teddy” is lovingly weird and perhaps scary at the same time. They showcased a few new songs, a couple of which dealt with mental health issues, something which Millie was very open about. Always remember people, sometimes it’s ok to be not ok! Millie Manders and the Shutup are a great ska-punk band, that is certainly where their music probably resides. However, in Millie they have a singer who at times sounds like Pauline Black or the ghost of Amy Winehouse. Then just when you relax into that kind of vibe she hits you with a nu-metal growl that would put some metal singers to shame. The band had us eating out of their hands as we sang along to “One That Got Away”. Their cover of the Jam’s “Pretty Green” was for me both unexpected and delicious. I should mention the individual talents of the band too, especially the drummer who plays like he is the Energiser Bunny with perpetual motion. I am without a doubt a committed fan of Millie Manders and the Shutup now. I spoke very briefly to Millie at the end when I bought the band’s three EPs on CD. People say that Dave Grohl is the nicest bloke in rock, well I reckon Millie is a contender for the nicest woman in rock! You might not know it yet, but you need this band in your life!

Millie Manders and the Shutup

All the photos apart from the gig flyer were taken on my cheap 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.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: