With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Song Chart – August 2022 September 25, 2022


Very, very late indeed, but here comes the sixth monthly Mayhem Top 20 Song Chart, this time for August 2022, and it remains as eclectic as most of our previous charts. There are some weird and wonderful strange bedfellows in this list, just like those charts of my youth. The number one for August is the rather splendid Newcastle act, Cat Ryan with their incredible single “Rex Mundi”. They are followed closely by four acts who have not appeared in the song chart before, Trunky Juno, Thrillhouse, Matt James, and Lynx Deluxe. The latter made it into the artist chart for August. Check out Matt James’ new album, ‘Breaking The Fall’, a set of fine songs from a former member of one of my favourite bands, Gene! Politics and passionate, powerful opinions are represented by Captain Ska with “Blood On Your Hands” at number 6, Muse with “Will Of The People” at number 19, and the magnificent current single full of monumental power, passion, and anger from Delilah Bon, “Dead Men Don’t Rape” at number 10. Vaquelin, one of York’s finest bands have appeared in the song chart four months in a row now, their latest single “Broken Window” is at number 20. Classic soul and reggae are represented by Holland and Dozier and Junior Byles. The Streets, Arctic Monkeys, Just Jack, Yungblud, and Pale Waves are all here. Early Italian House Disco music is at number 17 with Silvetti’s “Spring Rain”. Tom Waits is at ten, while classical music gets a look in with the beautiful and haunting piano piece “Metamorphosis No. 4” composed by Philip Glass at number 16. Hannah Robinson has featured in the Mayhem charts a few times and she returns as the voice of J.A.G. on “Fools Lie”. We would love to hear your thoughts on the Mayhem Song Top 20 Chart. Check out the complete list below and click here to access a Spotify playlist of the whole top 20!

1 Rex Mundi – Cat Ryan
2 Oxford English Dictionary – Trunky Juno
3 Cruel Twist Of Fate – Thrillhouse
4 Champione – Matt James
5 Jane Goodall – Lynx Deluxe
6 Blood On Your Hands – Captain Ska
7 Why Can’t We Be Lovers – Holland and Dozier
8 Brexit At Tiffany’s – The Streets
9 Tom Traubert’s Blues (Four Sheets To The Wind In Copenhagen) – Tom Waits
10 Dead Men Don’t Rape – Delilah Bon
11 Curly Locks – Junior Byles
12 Starz In Their Eyes – Just Jack
13 Fools Lie – J.A.G
14 Star Treatment – Arctic Monkeys
15 Tissues – Yungblud
16 Metamorphosis No. 4 – Philip Glass/ Jenny Lin
17 Spring Rain – Silvetti
18 Lies – Pale Waves
19 Will Of The People – Muse
20 Broken Window – Vaquelin

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Leeds Festival Day 1 – Friday 26th August 2022 August 30, 2022


Let me kick off with the whole split Main Stage thing at Reading and Leeds. What is the point of having two main stages? Surely whoever plays last is effectively the headliner. Does it sell more tickets? Or is it an ego stroke for bands and singers? Or maybe it is something else entirely, I would love to hear your views. Anyway, enough of a bit of ranting let me tell you who I saw on day 1. First up was Mall Rat on the Main Stage East. Mall Rat came all the way from Australia and maybe this is what Kylie might have sounded like had she emerged now rather than back in the 80s. Mall Rat mentioned that she was hot and to be fair it was pretty warm, but she was wearing some kind of woolly mittens, what was that all about? I thought “Are You High?” is a striking pop dance track. The clouds on her rolling logo screen had clouds shaped like Care Bears, so I should insert an “aaaahhh” here right? It is still a bit weird watching just one person on stage singing to backing tracks, but to be fair Mall Rat has some great tunes. Next, it was a trip to the Main Stage West for the K’s, these lads have some top songs and they are getting better and better musically. I reckon that they are potential future Reading/ Leeds headliners, hopefully, by then we will have reverted to a single Main Stage. The K’s have the power, passion, and skill that will lead to them becoming the band that Oasis probably wanted to be but never were.

Mall Rat and some Care Bear shaped clouds!

I saw Dylan at the Latitude Festival a few weeks ago and she was bloody good, so I had to catch her at Leeds, where she opened the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage, not quite sure why she was on the Dance Stage. I think Dylan will be huge, she has a great core following and I am sure she picked up a lot of new fans with this set. Once again she did a snippet of a great cover of “Paradise City”. And just like at Latitude “You’re Not Harry Styles” went down an absolute storm! I paid my first visit to the BBC Introducing Stage next for Boy Bleach, a great festival discovery for me. Hard glam punk with a wonderful overlay of camp. This was a belting full-on performance. This included kind of band uniforms of tartan ties and white shirts adorned with slogans, such as “Tax The Rich” and “Destroy”. “So Good” is a fabulous song, but “Bullet” is anthemic punk for Generation Z. On top of that, the cover of Britney Spears’s “Toxic” was an explosive banger. A truly awesome band. A short hop to the Festival Republic Stage next for Daisy Brain, the alias of Will Tse. This is grungey slacker rock of the finest order. There’s some Graham Coxon, some Dinosaur Jr and maybe even some Pavement and Nirvana too. But above all, there were megatons of Daisy Brain originality. This was a spectacularly good set and I am now proper looking forward to the release of the Daisy Brain EP later this year.

Boy Bleach

I stayed at the Festival Republic Stage for The Native from Plymouth. They are purveyors of melodic and emotional power pop with a punchy rock edge. This band knows how to write a great song. In particular “Looking Back” is something very special, from the harmonies to the screaming guitar solo. The Native were clearly well up for this appearance! Bradford’s Bad Boy Chiller Crew were on Main Stage West. This bunch put on a British rap and hip hop party, but I didn’t really feel it. A bit like Goldie Lookin’ Chain with nowhere near as much humour. I trudged over to Main Stage East for the phenomenal Pale Waves. When they first arrived on the scene they were considered as another indie band, but they are so much more than that. The songs from the new album, ‘Unwanted’ testify to that. Front woman Heather Baron- Gracie is a real performer and she works the crowd wonderfully well. The band are incredibly tight, especially drummer Ciara. This was another stonking set from Pale Waves. I managed to catch the tail end of Belfast based rapper Emby’s set on the BBC Introducing Stage. Wow, can anyone else spit rhymes and ciphers as clear and as fast as this bloke? Somehow I don’t think so, he was bloody good and I need to hear more of his stuff.

Panic Shack

I stayed at the BBC Introducing Stage for DIY Welsh punksters Panic Shack. Incredible songs from a fantastic band. If the Tuts, the Spice Girls and the Runaways had been cloned and spliced then I am sure that they would become Panic Shack. The co ordinated moves were entertaining and skillfully exercised. I love the humour and fun that Panic Shack convey, and obviously the fab tunes too. I want more Panic Shack in my life please. My final act of the day was Crawlers from Liverpool on the Festival Republic Stage. Their songs are impassioned, heartfelt, funky and punky. Another great band and what a stunner of a show! OK why is this my last act of day 1, well I had a prior commitment to whizz back to the Fulford Arms in York to see Ginger Wildheart and I sure as hell wasn’t going to miss that for the 1975. Obviously if Rage Against The Machine hadn’t pulled out I would definitely have stayed at the Leeds Festival!

All pictures, except the gig poster, were taken by me using my very cheap Chinese Android phone. The videos were found on YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be removed please let me know.

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Avalanche Party vs. Leeds Festival August 19, 2022


I am sure you know that Rage Against The Machine have cancelled all their current European dates, including the Reading and Leeds Festivals. The bad press that their replacement as headliners, the 1975, are getting is a little OTT and unfair in my opinion. However, this change does present me with a dilemma. If Rage Against The Machine were still on the bill it would be no contest. But one of my most favourite bands, a band that I have seen more times than any other act, Avalanche Party will be playing a headline set at the Crescent in York on Friday 26th August, which is the night the 1975 will be headlining the Leeds Festival. I am not camping at the Festival site, so I will be driving home to York each night. Also, I don’t have a press pass, I am a paying punter, so therefore beholden to no one. My problem is do I drive back to York for the Avalanche Party experience? I have already bought my ticket, which was just a quid in advance, how good a deal is that? If I do drive back I will definitely miss Beabadoobee and possibly Pale Waves, two of the bands I mentioned in my Leeds Festival preview a few days ago. Weighing it all up I have decided to drive back to York to see Avalanche Party on Friday night. It won’t change my mind, but I would love to know what you would do. On the same night, Ginger Wildheart is playing the Fulford Arms in York. So in fact York has a better set of headline acts on the Friday than the Leeds Festival does. So apologies to Beabadoobee and Pale Waves but there ain’t no party like an Avalanche Party, right?

Here is what you could have had

Here is what you have
Here is what you want, and what you will get!

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Leeds Festival 2022 – A Preview August 14, 2022


I know that right now there is a lot of negativity towards the 1975 after they became last-minute replacements for Rage Against The Machine who have sadly cancelled all their remaining European date, including the Reading and Leeds Festivals. I am not a huge 1975 fan, but give them a break. If you only bought a day ticket to see Rage Against The Machine, go along anyway and check out some of the other great acts that will be taking to the numerous stages. As usual, there are a number of acts that I don’t want to miss and as per usual I am sure some of them will clash meaning that I will have to take the hard decision as to who to choose.

My must-see acts for Friday at Leeds (Sunday at Reading) are Pale Waves on Main Stage East (I am still not sure about that split main stage idea, it doesn’t work for me). Ashnikko and Dylan look good on the Radio 1 Dance Stage. Dylan was exceptionally good at Latitude a few weeks ago. But my headline choice for Friday is easy, Beabadoobee on the Festival Republic Stage.

On Saturday at Leeds (Friday at Reading), I will definitely not be missing Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes on the Main Stage East, the same place I will probably catch Dave’s headline set. I am still not sure about Megan Thee Stallion, but I might be tempted. Meg Ward will be banging on the Radio 1 Dance Stage and I don’t want to miss Cleopatrick, Kid Kapichi, and Fever 333 on the Festival Republic stage.

The Leeds Festival Sunday (Saturday at Reading) lineup looks fantastic. Arctic Monkeys, Wolf Alice, and Fontaines D.C. on the Main Stage East coupled with Bring Me The Horizon, Enter: Shikari and Poppy on Main Stage West. OK, I confess the twin main stages look like they will work on Sunday! On the Radio 1 Dance Stage, Police Car Collective will be very special. As will the Skinner Brothers on the Festival Republic Stage. Obviously across all three days, I will check out the BBC Introducing Stage regularly. I want to get a huge festival music fix once again. Who are you looking forward to most?

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Mayhem’s – Top 20 Albums of 2021 December 1, 2021


I don’t often put together the best albums of the year list, but I do love a good list so here are my favourite albums of 2021. What were yours?

  1. ‘Delilah Bon’ – Delilah Bon – An absolutely sublime, sassy debut from Lauren Tate’s magnificent, impassioned alter ego. This has been my album of the year since I first heard it
  2. ‘Shout Out! To Freedom…’ – Nightmares On Wax The perfect late night chill album that you can listen to anytime
  3. ‘Blue Weekend’ – Wolf AliceAn album that proves Wolf Alice continue to grow and are becoming an iconic British band
  4. ‘All In’ – Apollo JunctionThese Leeds lads smash that difficult sophomore album myth out of the park with a total belter
  5. ‘The Myth of the Happily Ever After’ – Biffy Clyro – Biffy are for me perhaps the best band on the planet right now, yet another great release proves it
  6. ‘Happier Than Ever’ – Billie EilishA fantastically accomplished album from a talent that will be around for a lifetime
  7. ‘The Yearbook’ – Baby QueenNot many bands care as much about their fans as Baby Queen, but they are so much more than caring, they really are a stunning band
  8. ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’ – Lana Del Rey – Probably Lana Del Ray’s best album so far, I loved this after one spin
  9. ‘The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows’ – Damon Albarn – Uber polymath Mr Albarn proves once again how wide ranging his abundant talent stretches
  10. ‘Discover Effortless Living’ – BullA fine debut album with echoes of the best of 60s rock from one of York’s greatest bands
  11. ‘Carnage’ – Nick Cave and Warren EllisIt’s Cave and Ellis, what more does one need to say, a truly awesome collection.
  12. ‘Not Your Muse’ – CelesteJazzy, modern R&B, fabulous tunes and most of all a voice that encapsulates so many beautiful emotions
  13. ‘She Walks In Beauty’ – Marianne Faithful and Warren EllisThis has been essential late night listening for me, it is soothing, mindful and close to perfect
  14. ‘We Live Here’ – Bob VylanAn incredibly powerful political album from a band that has got this far without the backing of a huge corporation
  15. ‘21st Century Love Songs’ – Wildhearts The Wildhearts are back baby, with one of their best albums
  16. ‘Amazing Things’ – Don Broco – An album that captures everything that is great with current rock and is showcased by an underlying pop sensibility
  17. ‘The Crippling Space Between’ – Carol Hodge – Another flawless album from the supremely talented wonderful human being known as Carol Hodge
  18. ‘Passions’ – Thirst Dom White steps up from the drum stool to release a beautiful album that is grandly cinematic in its scope
  19. ‘Who Am I’ – Pale WavesIs there anyone that doesn’t love Pale Waves, this set establishes them as one of Blighty’s best bands
  20. ‘We’re All Alone In This Together’ – DaveSharp, passionate, caring, honest and with a large side order of vitriol, Dave tells it like it is expertly

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‘Who Am I?’ – Pale Waves March 1, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:49 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Manchester’s Pale Waves recently released their sophomore album ‘Who Am I?’ many bands have struggled with the quality of that “difficult” second album, but not Pale Waves. The band appear to have taken a really difficult road to the follow up to 2018’s ‘My Mind Makes Noises’; constant touring, a near fatal bus crash, having to record in the midst of a pandemic and perhaps the weight of expectation after that first LP. But those experiences seem to have inspired them to greatness. This is a stylish and classy collection of perfect pop rock tunes. Heather Baron-Gracie’s voice is strong and reminded me at times of Taylor Swift. But there is also a pure crystal clarity to her vocals which hint at what Karen Carpenter might have done if she had taken more of a rock direction.

The album has so far spawned a quintuple of essential singles including opener “Change” which builds slowly into singalong view of a relationship that needs to change. After four or five spins I think “Fall To Pieces” is one of my favourite tracks on the album, at least for now. This is another track dealing with relationship issues, with lyrics which are at times brutally open. “She’s My Religion” kicks off with instrumentation that might have opened a Cure tune back in the early 80s, then Heather’s voice kicks in and you know instantly that this is a 21st Century song. The lyrical couplet “She’s cold, she’s dark, she’s cynical. She’s forever angry at the world” is sublime wordsmithing! I can picture bouncing around in a sunny festival field on a high while listening to the band perform “Easy”. Excuse the pun but it has an easy pop dance lilt to it. A broken relationship is the subject of “Wish U Were Here” and once again the lyrics sound simple but for me they are the work of a first class genius. How can you not love the pre chorus refrain of “I look at pictures of you, I’m getting nothing back. If there’s really a god, why won’t she give me that?” Next up are a brace of songs that draw on the best of the Go-Gos; “Tomorrow” and “You Don’t Own Me”, the latter of which is one of my favourite tracks on the album, but frankly it is a tough competition. As an album ‘Who Am I?’ really lives up to “all killer, no filler’ status.

I love the message in “I Just Needed You” which perfectly sums up what is the difference between what we want versus what we need. It is also a supremely radio friendly song which would have been played to death back in the hey day of US FM radio in the 70s. “Odd Ones Out” has a real acoustic, almost folky feel and such a gorgeous, dreamy, perfectly harmonised chorus. The band are particularly tight throughout the album but for me they come across as the consummate ace band on “Run To” the rhythm section hits perfect cadence and the harmonies are spot on. The album closes with the title track “Who Am I?” a deep, powerful ballad which feels influenced by Alanis Morrisette. Every so often a song comes along that makes me cry, this is one of them. Heather opens her heart wide and sings with so much emotion and soul. For me this is about the black dog of depression and is simply wonderful. This is a faultless release and a further springboard for what should be much deserved huge success for Pale Waves. It is a record that traverses the strange road the world has travelled in the last 12 months taking us from euphoria to depression and onward to hope! Roll on the return of festivals and gigs, I need to see Pale Waves play live.

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