With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

The Golden Age Of TV – Victoria Vaults, York – Thursday 20th February 2020 February 27, 2020

This looked like yet another great gig in York, presented by those wacky and wonderful folk from Vinyl Eddie Records. It was at the Victoria Vaults which is now in the top three York venues along with the Crescent and the Fulford Arms. There were four acts on the bill and it was all kicked off by the obscenely talented Kitty VR. This woman not only knows how to write a great song she knows how to perform a great song too. She gave us a lot more background than I have heard before about her composition “My Kind”. A true history of the song which mostly stems from her time living in a converted church. I loved the band version of “Whirlpool” when I first heard it, acoustically it is a different animal indeed, but still very beautiful but in a different way. Kitty was very nervous about doing one particular cover. It was a cover of Tim Buckley’s “Once I Was”, it is a song she first came across from a video clip of Tim’s son Jeff playing it at a celebration of his father’s life in 1991. I was lucky enough to see Jeff Buckley live once. I have been lucky enough to see Kitty VR twice now and I expect to see her play plenty more shows before I leave this mortal coil!

Next up were a relatively new band, this was their third ever gig, Grapefruit Eyes. They formed from the ashes of Neon Salmon, another great York band. They are a bit jazzy, a bit prog, a bit Radiohead with some proper funky guitar chops. I still get a sense of Orange Juice and Edwyn Collins in there, although perhaps a little less than I did with Neon Salmon. I really loved Neon Salmon, but this lot are even better. I am still not sure about the name, but frankly, the Beatles was a pretty crap name and look what happened to them. This band knows how to put on a show and dressed for the occasion with Finn the drummer in a sparkly glitter jacket while George and Isaac donned Kimono style drape jackets which had a kind of Showaddywaddy in the 25th Century. Not sure about George’s front mini man bun, but who cares, the music was bloody awesome!

York has some fabulous bands and the next one to tread the boards is no exception. I am talking about Pavilion, who are fine purveyors of very funky keyboard-driven indie dance. Keyboards provided by the daughter of one of York’s Royal Rock family, Shed Seven. This is a very good band, but the keyboard sweeps and fills make them a truly great band. They come across as a band that is really confident in what they do and so they should be. The music is really tight and the vocals soar mightily over a powerful soundtrack. Definitely, a band to watch out for. As an added bonus they also had Kitty VR on stage with them for a magnificent duet.

Finally, it was time for headliners The Golden Age Of TV from Leeds. This five-piece has been described as an alternative guitar band. I think that they are so much more than that, made up of punk, indie, funk, psych, and exultant pop tunes. Bea Fletcher’s vocal style is sometimes reminiscent of Siouxse Sioux in her prime but she has more range in my view. Some of their tunes are close to full-on funk a la Average White Band but played with a gnarly punk attitude. Their energy appears boundless. New Single “Me, You And A Dog” ticks all the boxes required of a great song; perfect hooks, rifftastic guitar work, great vocals which veer towards a hybrid of Chrissie Hynde and Kate Bush at times. This is a band that deserves much more exposure!

All the photos apart from the first picture (which was “borrowed” from The Golden Age Of TV’s FaceBook page) were taken by me on my cheap Chinese android phone or by Eddie Parkinson (a.k.a. Vinyl Eddie) on his far more expensive 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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Wild Front – Fulford Arms, York – Tuesday 29th January 2019 February 7, 2019

Another night of Northern Radar fun was upon us. some bands I have seen before and some that are new to me. This is often the case when the talented Mr Pattinson puts a show together. I have been to many, many Northern Radar shows and Simon has not let me down so far. Will this gig at the Fulford Arms be the exception to that rule? Read on to find out dear reader. I should mention that this was a very important night in many ways, we were celebrating Independent Venue Week and the Fulford Arms would be visited by real radio royalty, Steve Lamacq! A bit more about him later, let’s get to the bands first. Taking the stage first in an already rammed venue were the delightful Neon Salmon, a great band that I saw quite recently. This is the bunch that wear Kimonos and fairy lights and they do that with style. I get a sense of the fun side of Edwyn Collins with Neon Salmon and also the quintessentially eccentric British sound of Stackridge. The latter struck me early on and was perhaps quite pertinent given that the Salmon boys bravely, skilfully and very successfully covered “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes”, a 1979 hit by the Korgis. Where is the pertinence in that? Well Any Davis and James warren were former members of Stackridge when they formed the Korgis. Neon salmon showed their skill at putting together jazz fused funky sounds with some supreme Flugelhorn overlay. On top of that you cannot deny that “Smoked Mackerel Cat” comes close to drowning in its awesomeness. They even had the audience moshing and crowd surfing, which is no mean feat in a small venue like the Fulford Arms. Get your arse of your sofa and take yourself along to see Neon Salmon, you will be properly entertained.

Cowgirl took to the stage next, they are hard bluesy with a whiff of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club about them. They have a perfect blend of garage punk and 60s slacker surf rock sounds. Vocally you can imagine this might be what Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground might sound like if they were much younger and were formed now. Since the show I have checked them out on-line “You’re Not There” and “She Picks Me Up” are great songs. I would pay to see Cowgirl again they have the perfect sound for a small, packed, sweaty venue like the Fulford Arms. Cowgirl are what the Kings Of Leon might have become if they still gave a shit!

There were four bands on tonight and the third of those was Flooded, now that is a somewhat risky name for a York band, but who cares they are a tight band that could use music to roll back a deluge. I believe that this former three-piece have added a new front man to their ranks and it was a great move as this dude has a fabulous voice. “Butterflies” is a stupendous and classy song, the crowd loved it. Flooded are a band that is abundant with wonderful contradictions; hard punky garage, jangly indie and some deceptively heavy riffage. Is it me getting older or are bands just getting younger? This lot is like a bunch of baby-faced Rock Assassins. You need some Flooded in your life.

Tonights headliners were Wild Front all the way from Southampton and Andy, Josh, Jack and Mike smashed it. Their songs are emotionally driven anthems which stick with you long after the gig high starts to fade. “Make You Feel” is like a Beach Boys Stone Roses coupling but with much better vocals. This is a band that knows their stuff the musicianship is 100% spot on and the soaring vocals and harmonies take you to wonderful places. Wild Front are destined for much greater things I am sure. This is truly beautiful music from an absolutely stunning band. All the bands tonight were very, very good but Wild Front were simply the classiest band on a very classy night.

So what about Steve Lamacq? Well I had a chance to chat with him briefly while he talked Mr Pattinson and me through his journey into music. He is a proper top bloke as, of course, is Simon Pattinson who put this show together. So yes it was another great show from Northern Radar at one of York’s best gig venues. Support your Independent Venues people, they are the real lifeblood of the music scene!


The music force is strong with these two!

Public Service Announcement – All the photographs, apart from the gig poster, were taken by me on my rather snazzy new Canon camera. All the videos were found on YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like a credit or for me to take it down please give me a shout.


The Receivers – Fulford Arms, York – Tuesday 8th January 2019 January 15, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:58 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

A new year and my first Northern Radar gig of the year. Simon “Northern Radar” Pattinson never lets me down with his shows, did this one measure up? Read on to find out. Azera were first on, they have some really great and some ‘alright’ (their words) songs. They covered the Pixies and smashed it and smashed it again with a brave and brilliant cover of Radiohead’s “Just”. Some might say that a band with a singing drummer might be a bit of a novelty, not me though. This bloke is an ace sticksman with a bloody marvellous voice. I am not sure what their closing song was called but honestly if you closed your eyes you could almost imagine that it was Nirvana on stage.

The driving, punchy, punky riff fest that is the Silvertones were next up. This lot are in possession of some incredibly melodic and very, very rock sounds, especially in the vocal department. I felt that they were reminiscent of some of the finest post punk, new wave power pop from the late 70s, the Motors spring to mind. I also felt the influence of Blur’s Graham Coxon in some of the guitar hooks. The Silvertones are definitely a band to watch out for.

Tonights penultimate band was Neon Salmon, oh boy what a band! If you like your rock funky, jazzy (but not jazz funk), psychedelic a bit C86 and a bit Orange Juice then this lot are definitely for you. I blooming well love them! Their stage gear included kimonos and fairy lights which made them seem like a vision of Del Trotter at bedtime! Thank you to Simon P for that line 🙂 neon Salmon are the epitome of a good time party band. It looked like they were absolutely loving it. The chocolate fish prize for the most enthusiastic dancer was ace and was awarded to a very worthy winner too. This band deserves great success. Anyone who has a song called “Smoked Mackerel Cat” must be good, right?

Headliners were another great York band, the Receivers. This lot doesn’t only have balls, but a huge talent as well. The lead singer was sporting a Smiths T Shirt but they are so much happier and smile bringing than that miserable old sod Mozza is these days. Their sound is a bit grungey, a little jangly indie and has added all out rock vibes. They are an incredibly tight band and it felt like they were really well rehearsed. The guitarist never stopped moving and even made a couple of forays into a highly enthusiastic crowd. Their rapport with the audience was classy. “Rimshot” is a magnificent new song and despite the introduction I doubt that it is actually about pleasure in the nether regions.  Personally I wouldn’t have fancied following any of tonights support acts, but the Receivers didn’t think that way as they blew the roof off the Fulford Arms during the venues fifth birthday week.  Calling the Receivers in has always seemed so negative, but I would be very happy to call this lot in!

Public Serve Announcement: apart from the gig poster all the pictures are by me and taken on my rather spiffing Canon camera which was a birthday present for my birthday on January 1st (if you must know I am now 20 with 40 years experience) Also this is my first attempt at gig photography, please be gentle with me 😉


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