With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Latitude Festival 2016 Day 3 Sunday 17th July July 27, 2016


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The final day at Latitude, really? Where on earth did the time go? Wherever it went I had a great time, even on day three. Catwoman went to have a massage today, yes a massage, that is how diverse this festival is. Meanwhile I visited the comedy tent to see Spencer Jones. He is like an adult Punch and Judy show. Whilst he has some very clever visual comedy I personally think that his act was incredibly over long at thirty minutes, but the crowd seemed to love him. I met up with Catwoman and some of the gang for a wander across to the Cabaret tent for one of the highlights of the weekend. Tina C – Herstory; redneck, white trash (it ain’t a colour thing it’s a state of mind), country and western hoe down comedy. Who knew a drag act could be this good? Give me a HELL YEAH!

I dropped by the Lake Stage and caught most of a stunning set from Martha Ffion. It was like Orange Juice had been blended with Altered Images and dusted with some 21st century sparkle. Bloody brilliant! I may have only been there for a short part of Laura Mvula’s Obelisk Arena set, but oh boy this lady oozes class. Jamie Woon was next at the recommendation of Claire (thank you!). He sings very modern R & B that is clearly rooted in old skool soul music. At times he reminded me of the Groove Corporation. Does anyone else remember them? I often go and see a band whose name I like, even if I have never heard of them before. That is why I found myself at the Sunrise Arena again. This time for Little Green Cars. They are a great American band who play highly charged and often emotional rock songs with pitch perfect harmonies. A little like Vampire Weekend but without the African style guitar sound. The BBC 6 Music stage hosted someone who I haven’t seen live for quite a few years, Roots Manuva. He is living proof that British Rap works, especially with such a tight band behind him.

Then it was off to pay my final visit to the Obelisk Arena a.k.a. the main stage. The Lumineers were on. I thought that they were pretty good although perhaps a little too ‘safe’ for me. I also feel that the Lumineers could be one of those bands that is far better live than on record. They were followed by M83 (is it eight three or eighty-three?). I saw them some years ago at the Reading Festival and they are clearly a very good band. But personally I was surprised that they were so high up the bill. M83 are a very original band who may be influenced by the likes of Coldplay. In the meantime I believe that Imagine Dragons and Bastille among others may just owe a little debt to them. The evening was wrapped up, for me at least, by a stonking set from soon to be scouse superstars Clean Cut Kid at the Lake Stage. Can we see them on a bigger stage next year please? So then it was back to our canvas mansion for cheese, wine and a major mosquito attack, okay maybe it was horseflies but they certainly pack a nasty bite (or sting or whatever). In summary I actually enjoyed camping, I loved the great company and I love this splendid festival even if I am working class and therefore technically shouldn’t fit in. Catwoman and I will be back next year provided that the rest of our gang believe that we passed the audition and the initiation!

 

Live At Leeds – Saturday 2nd May 2015 May 5, 2015


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This year was the first time I have been around for Live At Leeds and thanks to my good friend John Hayhurst I even got a cheap ticket. On top of that John’s research on the bands, singers and venues was immaculate. After collecting our wrist bands at the First Direct arena we headed to the Key Club. The first band on stage were Forever Cult. I would describe them as a bit grunge, a bit indie and a bit classic rock. They were bloody good, “Yasmin” is a great song. All three were excellent musicians but the drummer attacked his kit like a reincarnated John Bonham. He even had a look of the great Bonzo about him too.

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We were entertained on the same stage next by the Treason Kings. They are full on heavy, hard and hairy rock at its best. Maybe with even a bit of a prog twinge. I mean who else but someone with an awareness of prog history would write a song about their chest of drawers called “Chest Of Drawers”? An excellent band in my opinion.

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After that it was a brisk walk to the O2 Academy for Gaz Coombes. I have seen him a few years ago when he was still with Supergrass, now they were a great band weren’t they? Mr Coombes solo is different from Supergrass but still su-fucking-perb.

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The Belgrave Rooms took us in next. We caught the last pert of Alex Burey’s set. He is a young london singer songwriter who is a bit like a jazzed up and more funky Jake Bugg with an extra added Orange Juice/ Edwyn Collins. Chloe Black was what drew us to the Belgrave. She owned the stage with her striking monochrome look and wowed us with just an iPad and a keyboard. For me she has a range of influences from Amy Winehouse to Bjork via Ballad Madge (a.k.a Madonna) She seemed a little nervous at first but it was a really packed house.

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We made a dash to get to a small bar called Milo’s for the highly recommended Crybabycry. The bar is quite small and rammed to the rafters with punters. That might have helped or hindered a performer or band. But I believe Crybabycry raised themselves for it. They are a truly stupendous band. Their songs are often underpinned by a classic glam rock drum beat from a very talented drummer. All three are very talented musicians and their songs are wonderful. I can hardly wait to see them again, but I will see them next month at the Apollo Festival in York.

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After this and a brief burger stop we whizzed over to the Holy Trinity Church where we stayed for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Being an old church the acoustics are fabulous. Frances was first on for us. Great voice – Tick, great pianist – Tick, Great songs – tick. She clearly ticks all the boxes for me and has the gifts and talent to be really successful.

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The second act we saw in the Holy Trinity Church was Freddie Dickson and the Guard. What a fucking amazing find they were. I thought that I was detecting shades of Coldplay and Radiohead and then I thought nope these guys are very much of their own making. I believe that they are probably one of the best young bands that I have seen in years and believe me I have seen some great young bands; Avalanche Party and the Tuts to name but two. Freddie’s voice is off the scale of phenomenal rock voices. This band really ought to be huge!

freddie dickson and the guard

Having settled in to our prime spot on the pew just in front of the stage we were next entertained by Seafret. They might look a little like Simon and Garfunkel but they come across like a turbo charged and folky McAlmont and Butler. They are from Bridlington, they are Seafret and they are bloody marvellous.

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The penultimate performer for our time at Live At Leeds was Laura Doggett. She has a brilliant band, an amazing voice and her songs are truly captivating. I felt there were quite a few influences in her songs and performance; Florence, Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks. It was a superb set, the one thing that didn’t work for me though was the often very twee between song conversation.

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Finally it was time for Lucy Rose, or perhaps it wasn’t time. The were a multitude of equipment problems for which Lucy apologised, although clearly it wasn’t her fault. Eventually she had the techie set up a microphone and an acoustic amp, whereupon she came out and took requests, from her first album. Not many artists would have the commitment and the balls to do this, let alone actually pull it off. But Lucy Rose really did make it work. Eventually the equipment problems were sorted and she was able to perform some of her planned set. Lucy Rose; a trouper, a true performer and a great singer-songwriter. The packed audience loved her and frankly so did I.

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And finally it’s the public service announcement. All the videos ( a selection of artists that we saw on the day) are courtesy of YouTube and all the photos are courtesy of rock photographer John Hayhurst. (I borrowed them from your Facebook page Mr H)

 

I Thought It Was Morning – Colour Me Wednesday – New Album review (July 2013) July 30, 2013


About 18 months ago I had the pleasure of interviewing a rather excellent band on this blog. (Click here to read that interview). Well now it’s time for drum rolls and fanfares because that band have an album out. That band is the splendiferous Colour Me Wednesday and their album is called ‘I Thought It Was Morning’. Earlier this evening, before I ordered my copies, I took a listen to the album as a stream on punk news. So I thought that you might like to know what I thought of this collection of 12 rather spiffing tunes.

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The LP kicks off with “Shut”; a perfect start with a quintessentially English rocker which talks about changing the world one person at a time. There really aren’t enough English bands that sing with an accent from Albion. “Holiday From Your Life” has an 80s feel and undertones of Orange Juice in a parallel universe where Edwyn Collins was female. Two tracks in and I’m loving it! This band writes great songs and forget all that X Factor shite, they play bloody well too. A cool reggae vibe is introduced for “Carefree” and it enables the song to jump from the speakers like Lily Allen with balls! So at three songs in it’s also pretty clear that the art of the protest song is alive and well in Uxbridge. Hopefully it will spread much further afield.

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The next song I have heard before and I believe that it will become one of my favourite Colour Me Wednesday songs. It’s the supremely titled “Unicorn In Uniform” and it’s the perfect Indie Pop Punk song. What a slow pulsing,  brooding song “Lost On The High Street” is. I love the bass line and the harmonies are exquisite. ‘I Feel Like I’m Running Out Of Melodies’ is the first line of “Bitter Boys” and frankly it’s obvious this band have melodies to spare.

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Halfway through and this album already feels like one that will get plenty of plays in my collection and one that deserves wide exposure. National Radio need to pick this up! “Don’t Waste Your Breath” is laid out over a really tight reggae bed which is far more the Clash than the Police thankfully. How true is the line ‘Life’s Too Short To Piss Away’? Very true methinks! If you’re a Tory Boy I wouldn’t invite Colour Me Wednesday to your barbecue, you’ll be met with the melodic pop punk of “(I’m Not Coming To Your) BBQ“. I love the way this band draw you into some very commercial sounding tunes that have amazing lyrical bite. “Cat Hair” is no exception to that. The writing on this album belies the fact that this is still a relatively young band.

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Perhaps my favourite title on this LP record is “You’re Not My No. 1 Bastard”. I think I’ll be singing that one tomorrow at work! Another song I have heard before and absolutely love is a song that ought to be high in the charts. It’s “Purge Your Inner Tory” and wouldn’t it be fun to see those mindless bigots at the Daily Mail get hot under the collar about such a great song? The album’s title track is also the closing song and it has the makings of a mini epic.

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This is a fabulous début album from a band that most certainly dares to be different. If you like formulaic pop pap don’t buy this album. But if you like great music with pop sensibility and a great punk attitude then you’d better bloody buy it! That’s an order ok and I’ll make it dead easy for you. Just click here to buy one, or more than one, of the many formats available. Then tell all your friends about this band and be safe in the knowledge that you knew them before they were mega big! I would like to wish Sam, Jen, Hat and Carmela stacks of success with this album. They are miles better than the Saturdays and the Sundays. They are more powerful than “Blue Monday”, they pack more emotion than “Everything’s Tuesday”, they give “Thursday’s Child” a run for it’s money and they make sure “Friday On My Mind” is no longer on my mind. They are not just your average day of the week, they are COLOUR ME WEDNESDAY!

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Charity Gig – The Junction, York – Friday 22nd May 2009 May 25, 2009


OK I know it’s been a long while since I’ve posted, but I finally made it back and I have a lot to tell you, in particular about Friday night. I had the pleasure of attending a charity gig at the Junction in York. A mighty array of excellent acts had been assembled by Simon Pattinson to aid two local charities; York Guardian Angels and the York Hospital Radio. Like me Simon is a volunteer at York Hospital Radio as is Tom Wycks (more of him later) who designed the flier. £5 for five acts is a bargain anywhere, but here with such a superb selection it was a stupendous bargain. But enough of that, you’re probably dying to find out who was on the bill aren’t you?

The flyer from Fridays gig

The flyer from Fridays gig

First up was ‘A Man Is Slapped’. How can I describe him? Well what if the Human League were a hip hop band? That might go someway to describing this somewhat genre defying chap. I have posted a Man Is Slapped review before. I was impressed then and I was even more impressed on Friday. He does a fantastic song live where he overlays all the backing parts and then sings over that overlaid loop. He also does some great beat boxing too. If you get a chance to see him, take it!. Also if you have the misfortune to find yourself in York Hospital in the coming weeks you may get to hear him on the Hospital Radio Station. Tom Wycks (see I said there would be more of him later) has arranged to record a Man Is Slapped interview. Tom’s show usually goes out at 8pm on Wednesdays and I must say it is very good.

Second up was ‘Electrify Me’ now let me use another ‘what if’ to describe him. What if Brian Eno had been born no more than twenty years ago? This young guy is an electronic multi-instrumentalist. Well I say instrumentalist but he seemed to be making music with sounds synthesised from old electronic equipment. Including a Game Boy, well at least I think it was a Game Boy, for all I know it might have been a a Star Trek Phaser or just a simple hole punch. He did a storming cover of “Tainted Love” which was made famous by Soft Cell in the 80s but written and recorded by Gloria Jones and was a big Northern Soul hit in the 70s. Anyway back to Electrify Me, this guy is a must for student parties and festival dance tents. You cannot help but move your feet to this guy’s unique sound and he even made the Nokia tune sound cool!

Third up was a band who joined the bill too late to appear on the flier. They’re called ‘Front Room Antics’ I’ve enjoyed the ‘what ifs’ so far so here’s another. What if Orange Juice (the band not the drink) hadn’t been invented until now and were infused more with blues than soul? yep that could be these guys. Good sound and they know how to jam, which they did especially well during the broken string incident (hey that would make a great band name!).  An excellent vocalist that drank red wine too, now that hasn’t been seen since the days of Rod and the Faces, although Rod and the boys were so ill mannered they necked it straight from the bottle. I detected some influences in the ‘Front Room Antics’ sound notably Franz Ferdinand, Kings Of Leon and Television. This band might not be the fastest stringers in the west but they are a great band with excellent potential nonetheless!

‘Euphoria Audio’ were next and yes there is another ‘what if’ (although I don’t think it’s a good one) What if the Lost Prophets weren’t Welsh? That would only go a very, very small way to describing this band. When they started I thought Kasabian only a more dynamic and so much better, then I thought Lost Prophets (as you might have guessed). In fact whilst there are some influences here this is a very original and very superb band. Very tight instrumentally and with a fantastic rock vocalist. This band would work well at festivals and have the potential to perhaps fill stadiums one day. They also have a song in an Internet song contest; 1click2fame, so click here to vote for them.

Finally there was the headline act ‘3 Foot Ninja’. What can I say? How about another ‘what if’? What if punk and power pop were in fact conjoined twins? That barely does them justice but goes someway to describing their rich, eclectic and truly marvellous sound. They have real energy, very loud but also very skilled musically. I had heard of them but never actually heard them until this gig and boy am I glad I saw them. I will definitely go and see them again. They included two incredible cover versions in their set. Firstly Dizzee Rascal’s “Dance Wiv Me”  and they finished with an awesome (and regular readers will know that I use that word very sparingly) cover of the Prodigy’s “Breathe”. My advice is gather up all of your X Factor shite and burn it, then replace it with whatever you can get by 3 Foot Ninja!

Let me finish by saying a big thank you to Simon P for making this all possible and for helping to raise money for two excellent causes; Guardian Angels and York Hospital Radio. I can confirm that £170 was raised.

 

 
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