With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Cape Cub – Fulford Arms, York Thursday 15th February 2018 February 19, 2018

York’s Fulford Arms is a quirky, eclectic, friendly and a bloody excellent venue. This show was another put together by Simon Pattinson of the rather fabulous Northern Radar. I have known Simon for quite a while now and up to now he has never let me down with any gig he has been involved with. But I guess there is always a first time. Will this be it? Well you had better read on to find out! First on stage was a young man with the clever stage name of Sundile. If you are a fan of chilled lo-fi sounds then Sundile is definitely the man for you. Whilst his Arctic Monkeys cover was good his own tunes are at times stunning. It was a shame that many people in the audience continued to talk among themselves during his set though, if that was you, then frankly you missed a good ‘un. I also felt that the sound was not at a great level for him, but I recommend checking him out.

Flooded, a York band were next, this is one powerhouse of a three-piece with what would seem to be a really eclectic taste in music. Not only are they purveyors of fine rock music with a nod to classic rock history from the 60s to now they also look like they are enjoying the hell out of what they do. I could hear the Small Faces, the Who, Oasis and Muse in there at times, but trust me this is a proper band, not a facsimile of others. The ‘About’ section on their FaceBook page says that they are ‘1 over-hyped drummer and 2 normal-ish boys from York’. Nathan Christy and Sam Curry are the two normal-ish boys, personally I reckon they veer more towards the ‘ish’ part of that. Both play bass, guitar and both of them sing too. Add the ‘over hyped’ drummer Max Mulrenan and you have a band that is a true force to be reckoned with. Mulrenan is a powerhouse of a drummer a slightly more in control Keith Moon. I will definitely be looking out for more shows by this lot!

Pura Vida are an immensely talented band with musicianship that is on a par with the best British bands. They are very hard to define from a genre perspective at times there are elements of indie blended with the softer side of prog and this seems to be underpinned by a punky attitude. Imagine, if you will, a band fronted by Johnny Marr and a less pompous Bono and backed by Echo and the Bunnymen with perhaps New Order and Joy Division producing. Can you hear that sound in your head? well that is the kind of sound that I heard. In Spanish Pura Vida means ‘pure life’ or ‘simple life’ and it is widely used in Costa Rica to describe a way of life. This band are pure rock and simply a great band. I will definitely be seeing them play live again sometime.

Headliner Cape Cub is the genius brainchild of Chad Male who hails from a small village, Marske-by-the-Sea, in north-east England. After forming Cape Cub in late 2014 his first big success came with “Swim” in 2015, he has been championed by Radio 1 and Radio X since then. He has also released some stunning music since his début. Including the staggeringly brilliant EPs from 2016; “Closer” and “6 a.m”. I am not yet too familiar with the songs but this was an awesome set, the band hit you with soft rolling sonic waves that mesmerize you as they build into small tsunamis of perfect sound. This is a band that to me sound like what Coldplay if Chris Martin’s boys were great and not just good. The sweep and depth of the songs and the emotion that they forge is incredible. The highest point of the set, and there were no low points,  for me was the new single “Come Around”. You still have a chance to catch the outstanding Cape Cub live on this tour; London – Thousand Island (22nd February), Sound – Liverpool (23rd February) and Newcastle Think Tank (24th February). If there are any tickets left for these shows then you need to buy, beg, steal, borrow or whatever other activities will get you one….. keep it legal though! Cape Cub are set to play an increasing role in British music in the coming years.




“Averageism EP” – Tax January 21, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 1:21 pm
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Sometimes you have to make a choice as to which gig you want to go to when there is a clash. Last Friday I went to see Absolute Bowie at Fibbers in York, sadly this meant that I missed a great line up put together by Northern Radar at another fabulous York venue; the Crescent. Who did I miss? The Televangelist, Dvsk, Tax and the Honey Smugglers, that’s who. But I did meet up with Northern Radar Head Honcho Simon Pattinson after the show along with some of Tax, including the drummer and Millie (with an i, e) who isn’t their manager but perhaps should be! Millie gave me a copy of the new Tax EP ‘Averageism’. I promised to take a listen to it and maybe review it for this blog. What some of you don’t know is that if any singers or bands give me some of their music to review I will always listen to it, but I will only review it if I like it. Personally I don’t think it is fair to lumber upcoming bands with a negative review. But this is most definitely NOT a negative review!

This five track EP is without a doubt, bloody awesome. It was produced by Liam Watson, and as many of you know his cv includes the White Stripes. Tax, from York, are refreshingly original, but in terms of influence I can hear some heavy punk and post punk vibes, the Adverts, PiL, the Fall, the New York Dolls and early 70s Glam Rock. The EPs title track is probably my favourite after the third listen, any song that mentions James Last, Ian Brown, Burt Bacharach and uses the words moron and twat in the lyrics is alright with me. Aside from the tightness of the band what really impressed me was the lyrics; “Out For Lunch” has a brilliant couplet in “I’ve got a handshake like an earthquake”, play the track loud enough and it might even move the gauge on a Richter scale recorder. “Clone” sounds like something the Adverts TV Smith might have recorded in the late 70s, very LoFi but with more balls than the usual LoFi sound. The EP is completed by the excellently titled “Piss” and “I’m A Presenter On The TV”. If you haven’t seen Tax or heard them then I suggest you do something about that right now! But careful how you search for them, you might end up reaching some pretty dull accounting sites! Click here to find them on FaceBook and click here to find them on Soundcloud. Personally I can’t wait to see this lot play live now!



Billie Marten, Epilogues, Laura Kindelan – The Basement, City Screen, York – Tuesday 11th July 2017 July 12, 2017

This wonderful, intimate venue was home to a wonderful and intimate gig on Tuesday night courtesy of the talented Mr Simon Pattinson of Northern Radar. Mr P always puts together some excellent packages and I would like to congratulate him on his first sell out gig, may there be many more! Incidentally if you spot any gig promoted by Northern Radar give it a shot, Simon has never let me down in all the years I have known him.

Anyway tonight was a really chilled acoustic gathering kicked off by Laura Kindelan from York. For me Laura evokes what might have been had Jeff Buckley been female. This girl has so much soul in her voice and also a magnificently chilled and carefree style. She also has some great songs, “Sweet Tooth” is achingly, stunningly beautiful and I love it.

I first saw tonights second act, Epilogues back at this same venue in September last year when Mikey was supporting Jordan Mackampa. I liked him then and I still do. He said that he was nervous at the start of his set, but it really didn’t show. He has a great vocal range which is suggestive of both Thom Yorke in his softer moments and David Bowie circa 1969. The name Epilogues suggests closure but this fella has so much to offer that maybe he should become Prologues.

Billie Marten was the headliner tonight although she did say that she was blown away by the support. But whilst everyone tonight put in great performances for me Billie definitely shaded it. How many “Internet Sensations” (Billie came to prominence via her own YouTube channel as a young girl and then on a local YouTube channel called Ont’ Sofa) have true talent? I would wager that not many do, but Billie Marten has talent in spades. Her performance evokes a slight spirit of Joni Mitchell but she is also very much her own woman. “Cartoon People” belies the fact that Billie is only eighteen, it is a powerful song about Donald Trump and his daughter. It is a great song that would win over anyone in possession of a brain and a heart. This young lady will go far and she deserves to. She also shared some of her home baked cake with us and I can tell you that it was damned fine too.


Cry Baby at the Crescent, York Friday 14th October 2016 October 18, 2016

It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to attend another Northern Radar show put on by good friend, the very talented Mr Simon Pattinson. I have attended many gigs that Simon has either put on or recommended and he has not let me down so far. At four quid for four bands did he let me down for the first time tonight? Well dear reader you will have to read on to find out.


The first band on were Kram with a Grunge-like take on Royal Blood. The singer/ guitarist, knowingly or unknowingly, gave a nod to the late, great Kurt Cobain by taking to the stage in a dressing gown. A bit like Cobain did at the Reading Festival back in 1992 when he came on stage wearing a hospital gown. I was actually there for that too. But enough trivia and comparison, Kram are an excellent band. A versatile and skilled guitarist who possesses a great rock voice more than ably backed up by a drummer who really knows his way around a drum kit.


Next up were Lost Trends from my adopted home city of York. How the hell have I not seen these blokes before? This mob sound really well rehearsed and watching them play I felt that they really knew rock history. Chatting to them afterwards about everything from the Beatles to Bowie and the Shadows to Radiohead it is very clear that they do. Lost Trends are very difficult to slot into a specific genre. They have a bit of indie, a touch of classic rock and are most definitely a band that you can dance to. They have the potential to become one of my and I hope your favourite bands. If I had left after their set I would have gone home happy. Oh and their excellent single “DJ” has been featured on racing ads on Channel 4, check it out at the end of this post.


The penultimate band of the evening were the Naked Six. If you like classic rock with a twist of 21st Century then this is definitely a band that you must see. Riffs reminiscent of Jimmy Page and vocals could grace many classic bands. Their songs were all incredibly powerful and the playing was stupendous. Given the right breaks the Naked Six have the potential to surpass the success of two of their famous fathers. Thank you for letting your boys get into a band Biff off of Saxon and Finley Quaye. If I had left home after the Naked Six I would have gone home bloody ecstatic. A mega monster of a band and one that I will definitely pay to see again.


I didn’t envy Cry Baby having to follow three very talented and stunning bands. But they did it incredibly well and with great aplomb. The great thing about all of tonights bands is that they are all very different. Cry Baby perform classy indie rock n roll with influences from many sources; the Killers, Razorlight and the Arctic Monkeys. They have some well crafted songs and know how to put on a show. I am sure that I will see this lot again. I suggest that you, dear reader, should check out all the bands that I saw at this gig you will not be disappointed. Talking of disappointment, did Simon let me down tonight? What do you think? Of course he bloody didn’t this was yet another awesome Northern Radar show!

The usual public service announcement, all the pictures were taken using my shitty little Nokia phone and the video is courtesy of YouTube.



Mallrats EP Launch – The Crescent, York – 8th July 2016 July 8, 2016

I had looked forward to another Northern Radar gig for some time. Simon Pattinson has never let me down with his gigs or recommendations and I have known him a few years now. But rather than keep you in suspense let me just say that once again Simon came up trumps. He has a great knack for finding and promoting great bands. When he makes it big, just remember where you read it first!

So first up tonight were the fabulously named Eugene Gorgeous. This is the first opportunity that I have had to see this spectacular band. Imagine, if you will, the Velvet Underground meeting the Jesus and Mary Chain at a dive bar in Twin Peaks. Well if you can picture that in your mind that is Eugene Gorgeous. Whilst the singer appeared to be fuelled by milk. The guitarist was something special too with and incredible talent for feedback and sustain he can make that guitar squeal!

Are you looking for a Nirvana for the 21st Century? Yes? How about a band with some dub licks straight out of the Clash and a pinch of the Strokes? Is that your bag baby? Well in that case Mice On Mars are right up your street. On top of all their other talents they have a drummer that plays like a reincarnated Keith Moon.

maven fiction

Next up were Maven Fiction, a band that I have seen in many guises before. If you like any of the following genres then you really ought to love this band; pop, funk, electronica and punk. If you also like great songs and great melodies then you really need to check them out. In my opinion it is an absolute tragedy that Maven Fiction are not bigger than the likes of Coldplay. Can we at least get them on the Apollo Festival stage next year in York Stuart Kelly?


Finally it was the turn of the magnificent Mallrats who were headlining a gig to promote their rather excellent new EP. You can’t really ignore a band whose sixth and seventh gigs (I’m reliably informed) were at the Reading and Leeds Festivals? Frankly you can’t can you? This is a phenomenally talented young band who I hope will achieve great success. This is the third time that I have seen them and they have got better every time. I also had the opportunity to meet the drummers Dad and what a thoroughly nice bloke he is! This was another great gig from Northern Radar and it was, as usual 100% perfect. Apart from the ringing in my ears. But actually that is my fault as I stood far to close to the speaker stack for Maven Fiction’s set!




Black Lagoons, Broken Skulls, Mall Rats & Blind Eye – The Crescent, York – Friday 22nd January 2016 January 23, 2016

I once again had the pleasure of attending a gig set up by the fabulous Northern Radar a.k.a Simon Pattinson. It was at the Crescent in York a new community venue that I have not been to before. As usual with Simon’s shows the quality was top-notch. I have been to many gigs arranged by Simon and so far there has not been a bad one. No pressure for next time then Simon! Tonight’s bill featured two bands that I have seen before and two that were new to me. Incidentally it was great to catch up with Jordan Bell off of Avalanche Party, Mike Harrison, Joe Alexander and obviously Mr Pattinson himself.


The proceedings were kicked off by the majestic power trio known as Blind Eye who I have seen before, the boys were fresh from recording their EP at a studio in Manchester. They gave us a couple of new songs that in a few years I am sure will be seen as Blind Eye classics; “Stained Glass Windows” and “Vultures”. Along with some of their older songs they also performed one of their customary covers, this time it was a thunderous run through of the Beatles classic “Come Together”. They even managed to incorporate a few lines of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” into the song. This band is truly fucking awesome, their EP I am sure will be off the scale good.


OK now I want you to imagine a band that is a cross between the Velvet Underground with all of Andy Warhol’s arty-farty stuff removed and then crossed with Nirvana. Can you picture that? Good now think of that band’s drummer being a reincarnated John Bonham (not because they look the same but that they share the same pounding power. Do you have the picture in your mind? Can you imagine the sound that such a band would make? Excellent because that band Ladies and Gentlemen is the Mall Rats. A brilliant band whose closing song “Plunge Pool” was one of the most moshtastic of the whole evening.

broken skulls

The third act on tonight was another York band that I have seen before, the truly stupendous Broken Skulls. These two brothers come across like the Kings Of Leon genetically spliced with Royal Blood and then injected with a massive testosterone booster. How can two people make such a loud but beautiful noise? I really don’t know but they do. Maybe we need to ask them how they do it. Anyway it would be fair to say that they really owned the stage during their set.


I have not had the pleasure of witnessing a show by the Black Lagoons before tonight so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Even more so when I cast my eyes on the band for the first time. The majority of them have probably never seen a razor. Not because they are hirsute with resplendent facial hair but because I don’t believe that some of them have started shaving yet. But don’t let that put you off, for whatever age they are, and frankly I don’t care, they are a stunning live act. What do they sound like? That is a difficult question to answer, but it is almost as though they have invented a new genre of music which I will call Prog Punk (or possibly Punk Prog). These lads can only get better in my opinion and they are very damned good already. I tried to imagine the Queens Of The Stone Age as a school band and that captured a degree of what the Black Lagoons are. On top of that they have a reborn Keith Moon on drums and the coolest, most serious faced bass player since John Entwistle. I recommend that you check out all of tonight’s bands. No wait I don’t recommend that you do it, I order you to do it!

Public Service announcement all the pictures were taken by me and the videos are courtesy of YouTube. However I couldn’t find a Mall Rats video, so if you can send me the link to one then feel free to do so 🙂



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


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.


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.


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.



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!



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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