With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

My Wonderful Daze “Guilty Party” EP Launch – Fulford Arms, York – Thursday 5th September 2019 September 10, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:59 pm
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Tonight was the third time that I had seen My Wonderful Daze in less than three months, the first time was also at the Fulford Arms for their Hands Off Gretel support slot back in July. Tonight was a show to let the band showcase their new EP “Guilty Party”. But before I tell you about their set there is the not so small matter of the support band, Freek. I first saw them in December last year, supporting Percy. Freek‘s roots can be traced back to Led Zeppelin and onward through to the White Stripes. Lead singer Ellis Best may, on the first impression, look like a mild-mannered Librarian, but then he unleashes blues-rock licks from his guitar which have the power to cause earthquakes in heaven and hell. But that isn’t all when he opens his mouth to sing out pops a voice that could match Roger Daltrey, Ozzy Osbourne, Paul Rodgers and many more. Best is one hell of a talented rocker. Drummer Christy Bloomfield is like the perfect rock ‘n’ roll metronome (and that is meant as a compliment.) He comes across as a well-controlled sticksman and then he hits those drums with a crazy, frenzied passion and you can imagine him being possessed by the spirit of Keith Moon and the wisdom of Ginger Baker. The highlight for me, and there were many, was “I Am A Weirdo” which is as close as you can get to the perfect rock song!

Just before 9 o’clock, the crowd was palpably excited as they waited for the imminent arrival of those weird, wacky and wonderful folk from Planet Daze, yes it was time for My Wonderful Daze to hit us with their best shot. Incidentally, their best shot is like being attacked by an artillery barrage of riffs, a rhythm section that could power a whole division of tanks and all this marshalled by Field Marshall Chloe Munt a.k.a. Flowers. This is a full-on shock and awe aural assault that either wins you over or forces you to surrender. They played the five songs from their new “Guilty Party” EP first. “Tommy” starts off quite soft and builds into a crescendo of dark passion backed by a band firing on all cylinders. The five-track EP is stunning and in the live environment the already uber heavy, riff-laden, hook-driven, eldritch tunes transform into something heavier, darker and psychedelic. At times they sound like Black Sabbath had Ozzy been replaced by Chloe.

My current favorite track from the EP is “God” and live it is an epic masterpiece. The crowd was up for this band in a big way. Chloe made a number of excursions into the audience and the crowd went into manic mosh mode towards the end. My Wonderful Daze lived up to a previous description from me “Imagine what band might arise if Florence and the Machine had been kidnapped by DC’s Suicide Squad and the Joker injected them with a mix of a large dose of heavy metal and Kurt Cobain’s DNA.” But they went even further than that tonight. In the week that ‘IT – Chapter Two” hit the cinemas there were plenty of Pennywise style red balloons with added black balloons to add a streak of goth. The second half of their set saw much fake blood, well at least I hope it was fake! This was streaked across the faces of the band and Chloe sporting red hair rocked a perfect Carrie White post-Prom Queen scene in a blood dripped white dress. This was not just a gig it was a show with some really theatrical moments, not many bands can pull that off, but My Wonderful Daze can do it with style and ease. There was a technical guitar hitch near the end, but a mighty and dynamic jam session from Mr. Jack Sparkle on bass and JoshQ6 on drums and Chloe taking it upon herself to dance with members of the audience entertained us impeccably while the guitar issue was resolved. For me, the mark of a great band or at least one with the potential to become great is how they handle a mishap like that. My Wonderful Daze handled it like seasoned veterans. They finished with a rip-roaring cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” closer to the White Stripes arrangement but with the heavy and dark turned up to full! You really need to see this band, but while you are waiting check out the “Guilty Party” EP by clicking here

All the photos apart from the EP promo were taken by me. 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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This House Is Haunted – The Crescent, York – Friday 16th August 2019 August 18, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:23 pm
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One of the few things that I knew about this gig beforehand was that York’s magical, madcap musical adventurers My Wonderful Daze would be playing. This would be the second time that I had seen them. Previously I saw them at the Fulford Arms when they supported Hands Off Gretel back in July. Click here to read what I said about them then. Right now they are just weeks away from the launch of their first EP and if their boundlessly energetic stage performance combined with some supreme musical talent is anything to go by it will be at least bloody good, but most probably fucking great! The bands sound is a clever combination of punk riffs, glam stomp underscored by the sort of funky guitar licks that force you to dance even if you feel that you don’t want to. This is one hell of a tight band and Flowers’ singing show just how powerful a strong punk ethos can be. Highlights for me were “Glorious Day” and “Happy Now” (I hope that I got the titles right!). I had previously detected some warped similarities to Florence and the Machine, but their set tonight took me right back to the first time that I saw Siouxsie and the Banshees around 1976/77. When the My Wonderful Daze EP is available you need to do everything that you can to get your hands on a copy, obviously nothing illegal right? Shady but not illegal might work though.

My Wonderful Daze

Next up were another great York band, although they have now “emigrated” to Leeds, Amongst Thieves. This is a band that knows how to please an audience, in fact, lead singer Josh Nash spent the whole set in the audience. Prowling around with a maniacal stare and swing his microphone around lassoo style emulating Roger Daltrey at his peak. all of this rock theatre element simply added to what was a set of staggeringly great power. Amongst Thieves know how to rock like a bastard from Hell and everything was turned up to eleven or higher. There was punk, metal and classic rock among many other things. Nash’s vocals were hard and spot-on, the counterpoint growly vocal from Ricky Kwong was at times stunning.  This was their first York gig for two years, they really need to come back more often. I am definitely a fan of the band after this gig, I even bought their 11 track CD from 2017 and it has already been played three times. This is a band with the potential to become huge and I hope that they do.

Amongst Thieves

Headliners tonight were This House Is Haunted, another fabulous York band. This city’s great musical heritage shows no signs of slowing down. Apparently, this was only their fourth gig, that was extremely hard to believe for me. It was a polished and powerful performance from a highly talented band. They are as heavy as hell, but with some introspective moments akin to Radiohead. The bottom line though is that if you love great rock music you will adore This House Is Haunted. Zak Ford’s vocals are reminiscent of some of the great metal vocalists. Jenn and Dom are a formidable rhythm section that is the beating heart of the songs. For a three-piece, they make more noise than a band with twice the personnel. Dom’s drumming is super heavy and he must have some of John Bonham’s DNA in him. Their signature tune “This House Is Haunted” deserves to be massive. I will definitely be seeing this lot again!

This House Is Haunted

 

All the photos apart from the gig poster 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.

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Hands Off Gretel – Fulford Arms, York – Wednesday 10th July 2019 July 18, 2019


Until now I had missed every opportunity to catch Hands Off Gretel play live, so I had high expectations of this show. Did the band meet my expectations? You’ll have to read on to find out as there were also three other bands on the bill, starting with Witch Of The East. This is the brainchild and solo project of the mightily talented Aeris Houlihan, her sound is heavier than heavy, as grungey as it can get and definitely turned up to 11. Aeris has a blonde version of Marc Bolan’s iconic early 70s hairstyle which allows me to blatantly paraphrase Mr. Bolan and say of Aeris, “She ain’t no square with her corkscrew hair”. Her guitar playing is exquisite and her vocals are really special. Her singing voice is great on the new album ‘Queen Of Insecurity’ but live it goes beyond great. On stage, Aeris was aided and abetted by a drummer that could fit with Motorhead or the Muppets, he was that good! I am not yet familiar with all of Witch Of The East‘s songs, but Aeris gave me a copy of the album so it won’t be long! (Thank you Aeris!). I believe the opening song was “Silence” and my favourite from the set was “When You Fuck Me” which for me was how I would imagine Peaches sounding if she was more metal than electro. Ms. Houlihan made a really stylish and effective crowd incursion towards the end of her set too. I am now a confirmed fan of Witch Of The East and I can hardly wait to see them live again!

Next up was My Wonderful Daze from York, their sound is deep, dark and almost menacing at times. Imagine what band might arise if Florence and the Machine had been kidnapped by DC’s Suicide Squad and the Joker injected them with a mix of a large dose of heavy metal and Kurt Cobain’s DNA. This was not just a simple rock music set it was also a real performance with the band using stage clothes, eccentric makeup and flowing movement to get their songs across. My Wonderful Daze owned the stage for the whole of their set and they captivated a largely spellbound audience. They also keep the punk ethos going by utilising some great stage names (well I am making an assumption that these aren’t their real names) like; Flowers, Eden, and Mr. Jack Sparkle.

As Sirens Fall were the only band without a female member, but they showed true solidarity with the other bands by wearing dresses, well some of the band at least. Singer Mikey Lord I believe will one day become a really iconic frontman. He is highly skilled at engaging the audience and bringing them into the fast lane currently occupied by As Sirens Fall. Mikey has something of Brian Molko about him with some Bowie thrown in for good measure, particularly his powerful on-stage presence. In their five years together the band have released two EPs, both produced by Romesh Dodangoda. Romesh has previously produced Bring Me The Horizon among many others. As Sirens Fall are heavy as hell served with a dash of goth and a shot of punk. They make My Chemical Romance look and sound like Westlife! I can state categorically that As Sirens Fall, have gone straight into my top five live bands! I came to this gig with my good friend Jari, who was here on a business trip from Finland. As Sirens Fall is his new favourite band!

Many bands reach the cusp of greatness but often never make it beyond that, never usually through things that they are able to control. I believe that Hands Off Gretel are about to take one small step for a band, but one giant leap for women in rock. This band has the passion, the skill, and the attitude to take it so much further. I am glad I got to see them at the Fulford Arms, a wonderfully intimate venue. They are surely destined to fill arenas next and who knows where after that. This show came just a few days after the singer and guitarist Lauren Tate’s open letter to the men who come to the band’s shows. It calls out all the misogynistic creeps who sexualise any female in a band or in the audience. What she says is spot on and finally, many more people are taking notice and are ready to do something about this. Ever since I went to my first gig in 1972 and my first festival in 1975 I have loved the camaraderie and care for others in most gig crowds, but sadly there are always exceptions. Lauren was right to call this out and let’s hope it flushes these arseholes out! If you haven’t read her letter yet, you really need to, click here to see it. The band showed great solidarity for this kind of movement. Lauren and Becky, the bass player sported expertly painted on facial hair. At times Becky’s rock god postures were reminiscent of Lemmy in his full-on Motorhead pomp and the added chest hair added to that picture. Guitarist Sean Bon sported a kind of scary red gimp mask, given the heat that night he must have sweated buckets! The band is currently promoting their sophomore album ‘I Want The World’ and most of that collections tracks got an airing tonight. Particular highlights for me were “S.A.S.S”, “Kiss Me Girl” and “Freaks Like Us”. Hands Off Gretel are like a well-oiled punk machine that hits you with grunge licks, heavy riffs, and classy tunes. Lauren’s vocals have been likened to Gwen Stefani before and I get that comparison, but I believe Lauren’s voice is far more at home on the harder, intense styles than Gwen’s might have been. This was a stunning, powerhouse of a performance, the venue was hotter than I had ever known it but the verve and excitement generated by this band drove the heat and energy to molten lava levels. Hands Off Gretel are a long way from their peak but their trajectory is steep and seems driven by the power of a Saturn V rocket. If you haven’t yet seen them, sort yourself out. You will not be disappointed! I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the bands in this review.

Witch Of The East – Pic was taken on my cheap Android phone

Public Service Announcement: All pictures, apart from the gig poster and the pic of Witch Of The East were taken by John Hayhurst of Snapagig (a.k.a this generations Mick Rock)! All videos were sourced from YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like me to credit you or take it down please let me know.

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