With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘Monorail’ – PERCY June 22, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:49 pm
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The brand new PERCY album comes out this week on Ten Foot Records and I have had the pleasure of listening to it a lot over the past couple of months. Have the West Yorkshire Superheroes delivered? Read on to find out dear readers. The album starts with perhaps one of the most wonderfully weird songs Percy has recorded so far, “Chunks”. No one writes lyrics quite like Colin, do they? I think this song is about how the powers that be try to mould people into bland equally sized chunks as though we are all the filling in a shitty Fray Bentos pie. Next up is “ICU” which if John Peel was still around would be a banker for inclusion in the Festive 50 for 2022. I have heard this song played live and I think this will become a Percy classic with Colin’s unique vocal style and some excellent post-punk riffage. Paula’s keyboards on “Midnight On Broadway” evoke a dark 60s cop show that might have been soundtracked by the Doors. But in reality, this is dark music for the 21st Century. After a few listens “Dry Your Tears” is the track on the album where the whole band comes together perfectly, this one is a real grower. “Disinfect Me” feels a bit goth-punk, especially the rhythm section which drives this track like a finely tuned racing car. I can imagine this being played in a nightclub scene in a very modern vampire tale or maybe even a remake of ‘The Hunger’.

The intro to “I Want” comes across as real classic rock. But then when Paula’s synth organ sound gives the song a desecrated church feel and Colin’s vocal kicks in you just know that this is Percy on top form. I bloody love “Rock A Hula” it has an eerie circus vibe about it and I reckon it needs to be included on the soundtrack to Rob Zombie’s “Munsters” film. “I’ve Been Down” is another Percy classic in waiting. The stutter in the chorus brings the song a dark and sinister pop feel. Jason’s drumming is sublime on this. Next up is a song named after a street in York. The tune has a menacing spoken vocal and a hypnotic synth motif that hooks into your brain at super speed and refuses to leave. Is the song actually about the street? Honestly, I have no bloody idea, but I do know it’s a great song. Tucked away at track 10 of 11 is the magnificent “What Lez Said” which I think is possibly Percy’s finest song to date. It drives along as though it is being performed by a strange version of the Kinks that somehow fell into our dimension from a warped parallel universe. If Carlsberg created a Percy tune it would be this one. The album closes with “Last Chance Saloon” which has “play me as a weird interlude in a Tarantino film” writ large all over it. When I eventually get my arse into gear to start producing an internet radio show I might just have to beg Percy to let me use this track as the regular intro/ theme music for it. I thought Percy’s ‘Seaside Donkeys’ from 2020 was a brilliant album and believed it would be hard for the band to better it, but they have fucking done it! ‘Monorail’ is a great album and definitely a contender for album of the year!

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Soma Crew – The Crescent, York – Tuesday 24th May 2022 May 29, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 3:02 pm
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A gig on a Tuesday is never a super appealing night, is it? I always prefer Thursdays and the weekend. But sometimes something draws you in and here it was Percy and Soma Crew, two bands that I have seen before; frankly, neither of them has ever been anything but sensational. So a Tuesday gig it was! First up, for their first-ever gig, was the New Solar Drones. Their first couple of songs reminded me musically of early R.E.M and perhaps lyrically some tones of early Eels. I love that the band has a percussionist, there are not enough of them in music any more. This dude looked a little like Elton John’s long-time percussionist, Ray Cooper. The bass player stood out with his 5-string bass guitar, it’s not often that you see anything but a 4-string bass. But ignoring the number of strings, he played a magnificent bass rumble throughout the set. Their last track was truly epic, very proggy with shades of Genesis, Focus, and Jethro Tull, but still definitely very original. This is definitely a band to keep an eye (and your ears) on!

The New Solar Drones

Next on the floor, yes this was a floor show just in front of the stage, was Percy a.k.a. west Yorkshire Superheroes. They have a new album coming out next month and it is bloody ace. The obvious comparison people make when they hear Percy for the first time is the Fall. But this bunch goes so much deeper than that. I hear punk, C86, and thanks to Andy’s towering bass lines a little of Flea’s finest bass licks. Meanwhile, Paula’s keys add a Doorsian weirdness to the whole thing. The older songs are fast becoming live classics, particularly “Will Of The People” which seems likely to remain topical forever! New tunes “What Lez Said” and “ICU” are very classy indeed. But the high point for me was probably the warped magnificence of “Chunks” which confirms that all is well on Planet Percy!

PERCY

Headliners Soma Crew is a deeply talented band laid-back, psyched-out and grungy sometimes at the same time! They use that drone sound really well but these magnificent noiseniks are so much more than a drone-driven shoegaze kind of band. Their influences run very deep, even drawing on the blues at times. The use of subtle looping works really well and while there are definitely some 60s influences underlying the songs Soma Crew are undoubtedly a band planted very firmly in the 21st Century. Si Micklethwaite, singer, songwriter, and guitarist was absolutely on fire in this set a truly mountainous performance. I hear so many influences in the Soma Crew sound; Jonathan Richman, Beatles (in their most experimental moments, Pink Floyd (circa 1970/71), Spiritualized, and even 60s West Coast light rock. But none of that detracts at all from the fact that they are a great band and there is not another band quite like Soma Crew.

Soma Crew

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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A Christmas Message From PERCY December 20, 2021

Filed under: Christmas Message — justwilliam1959 @ 6:06 pm
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For the second year in a row, those West Yorkshire Superheroes PERCY have sent all the readers of With Just A Hint Of Mayhem a Christmas message.

Here is what they have to say! “Happy Christmas everyone and a hard-rockin’ New Year from Percy. Live opportunities were rare for us in 2021 and we want to thank all the venues and punters who braved the circumstances to keep the live music scene in York alive. We are a busy bunch and as well as putting in the hours growing our hair long we have managed to get together and write a brand new album that we plan to bring to you in the early Spring. It is a fast-paced set probably reflective of us all being wound up tight all 2021… The working title is ‘Chunks’ which is about living in a big pie. Yep, a big pie. That is Percy for you.

You can have a listen in to that track live recorded in October at the Crescent by clicking here a few other new tunes from that set on the channel too.

have an awesome New Year everyone.
Percy

Follow PERCY on Twitter for news of the release and gigs @percybanduk

You can listen to and buy Vinyl and CDs at the PERCY Bandcamp site, just click here!

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A Christmas Message From PERCY December 22, 2020

Filed under: Christmas,Christmas Message — justwilliam1959 @ 9:05 pm
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I wasn’t sure whether this Christmas message idea would work or not, but I think it has. This is the eighth one and it is now the turn of West Yorkshire Superheroes, PERCY! Earlier this year the band released the rather fabulous ‘Seaside Donkeys’ album and the vinyl release is something special. You can download it from their BandCamp site and from the same place you can still avail yourself of one of the remaining vinyl albums too. Just click here, you won’t regret it! Well worth the investment, this is a classic album. Given that we haven’t seen the last of Brexshit, the vile gift that keeps on giving, PERCY and their songs will be very relevant for many, many years yet! Now enjoy the PERCY Christmas message from singer guitarist Colin!

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“So much hate in your movements” August 1, 2020


One thing that a crisis usually throws up is usually great protests and great protest songs. This pandemic is no exception, but with artists in lockdown and restricted like all of us it has had to be very different. Some bands and singers have used live streaming sessions to introduce new songs or covers of the greats. There are way too many protest songs to mention in this post, although feel free to contribute your favourites in the comments below. I will include three here, one very much from the current generation, one from my generation and another from the generation from before me, well kind of, the latter at 74 is 13 years older than me 🙂 The three tunes cover Black Lives Matter, the UK government and the Orange Moron in the White House.

First up is British singer Jorja Smith who had her first hit back in 2016. Her song, “By Any Means” is the first single from an upcoming Roc Nation Records compilation that collects together other great protest songs focussed on a social justice theme. Jorja said this about the song “It really came from going to the Black Lives Matter protest and leaving thinking, what can I do to keep this conversation going? It’s not just a post on social media, its life.” The music is a sparse and dark take on modern R & B which fits Jorja’s exquisite vocals and powerful lyrics perfectly.

Second it is the turn of West Yorkshire Superheroes Percy, one of my favourite current bands. “Rubbernecking In The UK” is the third single to be taken from their rather spiffing album ‘Seaside Donkeys’. The song is perhaps more of a protest about modern life, misogyny and voyeurism. However the video, produced by Hot Frog Animations, no doubt with lots of input from the band takes it to another level. The portrayal of UK Government Tsar Dominic Cummings and his cuckold Boris Johnson is funny and scary (because of the reality of where the UK is) in equal measure. The song is an infectious driving slice of post punk perfection.

Finally the older generation is represented by Neil Young. This is not a new song but an acoustic reworking of “Lookin’ For A Leader” from his 2006 album ‘Living With War’. But he hasn’t just given it an acoustic makeover, Mr Young has rewritten the lyrics to point a finger directly at Moron in Chief Donald Trump, a man who makes Dubya look like a genius. I always loved this song in it’s original guise and the new take is perfect for these times.

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“Will Of The People” – PERCY May 1, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:17 pm
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West Yorkshire Super Heroes PERCY have just released a rather splendid video for my favourite song from their current album ‘ Seaside Donkeys’. The song is “Will Of The People” and the video is an incredibly angry and pertinent animation which shows Boris Johnson in the light he really deserves, i.e. a bad light!

Check out my review of the album here and click here to order it.

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‘Seaside Donkeys’ – PERCY April 14, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:57 pm
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West Yorkshire Super Heroes Percy are back with a new album next month, the much anticipated follow up to 2018’s ‘Sleeper’s Wake’. I loved that last album, how does ‘Seaside Donkeys’ shape up to it? Well pretty well actually. The album kicks off with what may be a statement of intent, “Back In The Swing”. It has a sixties garage rock feel to it but with more classic post-punk vocals. I can also feel the presence of the ghost of the Velvet Underground too. Next up is “Rubbernecking In The UK” whose organ-like keyboard intro and refrain comes across like a demented Inspiral Carpets with whiney John Lydonesque vocal. A very, very British song that is as good recorded as it is in the live setting. There is an underlying menace to “Carpe Diem” which appears to be a satirical look at the worst of consumerism and living off of credit cards. My current favourite song on the album, perhaps driven by having seen it performed live a few times is “Will Of The People” which I believe is a future single. The rhythm section of Andy Wiles on bass and Jason Wilson on drums are on overdrive while giving the track a pulsing beat. It has the perfect cynical punk takedown of Brexit, is it still relevant? Of course, it bloody is and it is also a song that had he still been alive Mark E Smith would have cut his hand off to have written!

The soft almost US East Coast rock acoustic feel to “The People Who Drank Themselves To Death” makes you think of the Eagles but with Television’s Tom Verlaine playing the guitar and producing. “Love Song” is and as the sixth track, of ten, may be the one that opens side two of the vinyl copy. It was bundled with the first single released earlier this month. It has another John Lydon PiL vibe with elements of Rock Druid Julian Cope in Colin Howard’s vocals. This will drive the moshpit mental! I can hear Dr. Feelgood, Ian Dury and Magazine in “A Little Trouble In Big Lils” the song almost oozes the smell of stale beer and fags underpinned by keyboards from Paula Duck worthy of Dave Greenfield at the peak of his Stranglers career. Colin even gets a semi yodel in toward the end. You don’t hear that sort of thing very often these days. Jason brings his full Keith Moon to the drum stool on “Rictus Grin” as he seems to follow the fuzzy warped guitar of Colin Howard. This tune will be a wonderful drunken singalong at future Percy gigs.

Talking of drunken singalongs next song to arrive is effectively the title track “Seaside Donkey”. It has an even more acoustic feel than “The People Who Drank Themselves To Death”. The song features a laconic elegiac violin motif which gives it the feel of being a drinking song, although perhaps a rather maudlin drinking shanty. Album closer “A Better Life” has a loose early Pulp feel to its sound and is somewhat uplifting in a strange way.  Percy are most definitely back with a bang. ‘Sleeper’s Wake’ was good but ‘Seaside Donkey’ is a whole new level. Punk, post-punk, US Garage, UK pub rock is all rolled into those menacing, satirical, maniacal, dark and twisted tales of life that Percy fans have come to know and love! If you miss out on this album then you really are a seaside donkey! NEWS FLASH: You can buy the vinyl album now! Click here to place your order!

 

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“Seaside Donkey” – PERCY March 31, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:10 pm
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The new album from York’s finest post-punkers PERCY, ‘Seaside Donkeys’ will be out in May, well COVID-19 permitting. Anyway, if you feel that you can’t wait that long for another PERCY fix they will be issuing a single from the album this Friday, 3rd April. It is called “Seaside Donkey” and will be bundled in this release with “Love Song”. I can picture massive singalongs occurring when “Seaside Donkey” gets played live, I will certainly be shouting my lungs out next time I see this excellent band live. The song has a slightly more acoustic feel than what we have come to expect from PERCY but put simply it is a great song! It even features a laconic violin motif which gives it the feel of being a drinking song, although perhaps a little bit of a maudlin drink, at least for me. “Love Song” is a complete contrast and rocks in a very John Lydon PiL vibe with a Julian Cope feel at times in the vocals, a song built for a heaving mosh pit! As a taster for the album these two tracks will almost certainly make you want to own it when it is issued, it will even be available on vinyl! If you want some music to ease yourself through this incredibly mad world then try PERCY!

If you want to be among the first to own the album click here now! While you’re waiting take a listen to a couple of tracks from their last album.

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Cowgirl (Fulford Arms 6th Birthday gig) – Fulford Arms, York – Friday 10th January 2020 February 2, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 5:33 pm
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The Fulford Arms is such a great venue and it really feels like it has been here for a long, long time. But remarkably this show was in celebration of the Fulford Arms’ sixth birthday and it was a pleasure to be a part of it. It was a proper bargain too, five acts for £5. First up was Miles with an excellent solo set using a £30 guitar and a free phone app as his only backing apart from his wonderfully ethereal vocals. New song “Well” was very classy and “The Gap”, which Miles admitted he dropped earlier into the set than usual, was epic. But the highlight for me was “Aspirin” I really love that tune. Thank you, Miles, for a wonderfully chilled kick-off to the party!

Next, it was the turn of metal power trio Redfyrn. Imagine Kate Bush fronting a punk-influenced very heavy metal band with an added sprinkle of early PJ Harvey that is just one description of Redfyrn, but there are so many more. They are a band with great songs, none more so than “Silent Water”. This is a band that deserves to be heard. Their whole stage persona comes across as a little understated but they pack a hell of a punch, especially drummer Leo. This is definitely a band to keep an eye on.

Percy, another of York’s finest took the stage next and this would be the third time that I had seen them in just over a year. They have a new album coming out later this year and judging from the live takes on some of the new songs and the demo versions that I have heard it will be darned good. Their last album, ‘Sleeper’s Wake’ from 2018 was excellent, I reckon the new one will see them step up their game once again. If you like the Fall or anything Mark E Smith was involved with then you will love this lot, in fact, if you love your music with a punk attitude, a pinch of prog and at times political then you will adore Percy! The highlights for me, as expected, were the Brexit related tunes; “Unicorn” and “Will Of The People”. I can see the latter getting played a lot during 2020.

Probably one of my favourite current bands are My Wonderful Daze. Their appearance on the bill at the Fulford Arms on 10th January marked the fifth time that I had seen them in six months! They played at my first ever gig promotion at the Crescent just a week before this show. I was really pleased to see that vocalist Flowers a.k.a. Chloe’s voice was back to full strength after the cold and sore throat at the Crescent. Not that there was any dip in the quality in the previous weeks set mind you. The played some pounding versions of the tracks from their recent EP, ‘Guilty Party’. One of the many things that I love about this band is their overpowering energy, they don’t build to a crescendo, they start with one and keep it at that level for their whole set. Chloe showed great personality when dealing with tonight’s technical issues too; faulty microphone and a broken bass string! I don’t know when the first My Wonderful Daze album will appear, but I am so looking forward to it and to seeing them on stage plenty more times too!

Headliners were another rather excellent York band, Cowgirl, tonight was the third time that I have seen them and in fact the second time in just a few weeks. Their scuzzy, dirty and sometimes feedback-driven garage rock is reminiscent of the Jesus And Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and one of my favourite US bands, the Detroit Cobras. Many of their songs have an underlying electric blues feel, but one that is distorted with punk attitude and noise. I also see a young and more vibrant Velvet Underground in Cowgirl’ swagger and stage presence.  Small sweaty venues like the rather excellent Fulford Arms were made for bands like Cowgirl. Check them out now, that is an order!

 

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap Chinese 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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The Big Boss Caine Annual All Star Festive Fundraiser 2019 -The Fulford Arms, York – Friday 13th December 2019 December 22, 2019


The Big Boss Caine Annual All-Star Festive Fundraiser has traditionally been held at the now sadly demised Fibbers in York, but for 2019 and hopefully many years to come it has relocated to the rather fabulous Fulford Arms. A huge thank you to Dan Lucas for putting this on and to everyone at the Fulford Arms who worked tirelessly all night and of course to all the bands taking part. This is the first of these events that I have managed to get along to and I am so glad that I did. This year’s charity was Kitchen for Everyone, York. who provide an amazing service, feeding the homeless and vulnerable in York, and there was also a collection of food and clothing on the night for those in need locally, as part of We Shall Overcome. The total raised at the gig was £522 at handover though there I believe there will be more to add to that from poster sales and whatnot. There was also a Land Rover fully laden with clothes, sleeping bags, hats, gloves, socks, dried food, sanitary/bathroom products, and mucho love! Dan Lucas will be continuing to collect each week at Busk @ Dusk if you fancy getting down there on a Sunday night. The gig was the day after the damaging and disastrous UK General Election which gives Britain its most far-right government in history. I was feeling pretty low about that and I drank an awful lot of wine that night. So before I tell you about the show can I just say sorry to anyone that I might have bored the pants off/ annoyed/ never stopped talking to/ leaned on/ offended (delete as appropriate) and I really hope it wasn’t the latter!

PERCY

A massive shout and thanks to the extremely talented Kai West for producing such an incredible poster. I never got around to buying one of the limited edition copies on sale on the night, so if there are any left then I am still interested. Unfortunately the first of the six bands on the bill, French Exits, couldn’t make it. So the event was kicked off in great style by Percy. A York band that regular readers of With Just A Hint Of Mayhem will have noticed a few times before. They are a very left-field prog-punk combo. They are so different and ‘out there’ that they have the power to bring John Peel back to life; Percy would make an amazing collection of classic Peel sessions. The new songs that they showcased on the night are immense and bubble over with venom and anger, especially future classic tune in the making, “Will Of The People”. If you like Magazine, the Fall or even Half Man Half Biscuit you need to check Percy out. But comparisons aside Percy are very much original, so what the hell, check them out whoever you are a fan of they are well worth it! Also a big shout for Percy for being the first band of the evening to shout “Fuck The Tories”, they weren’t the last.

Cowgirl

Cowgirl, a great band that I saw for the first time back in January. If the Stooges had been fronted by Lou Reed and Jonathan Richman then Cowgirl would be the result. Their bluesy, riff-laden, psychedelic, feedback fuelled scuzzy garage rock is at times evocative of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Detroit Cobras. Bizarrely, maybe through some nicely utilised feedback, I was also taken back to 1974 and the first time that I ever heard David Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs’ album via a late-night end to end playthrough on John Peel’s show a week before it’s release. Listening to that in the dark on headphones scared the shit out of me. I believe that Cowgirl might have the same effect in a darkened room. Someone needs to give them the opportunity to soundtrack a British horror film along the lines of ‘Eden Lake’.

Snakerattlers

The Snakerattlers have had a great year; an exhilarating new album, ‘All Heads Will Roll’ and this was their 71st gig of the year. They are now a live force to be reckoned with, a truly amazing live band. Dan’s stage presence is spot on and how the fuck does Naomi make so much noise from such a small drum kit? Their towering psychobilly based sound is ecstatic and energising. The now expected crowd incursions from singer-guitarist Dan Gott are special, not just for his Dick Dalesque guitar work but for his expert gurning and an evil stare that would fit neatly into the British Horror film that I want Cowgirl to soundtrack. Stuck for a Christmas present for your Gran? Get here the Snakerattlers album, it will keep her alive for many more years!

Nosedivers

After more than 20 years one of York’s finest punk bands is back together. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am talking about the Nosedivers. They come on like the snotty young brothers of the Clash with the swagger and poise of the Ramones. Dan Lucas’ vocals are rich, deep and sharp and very different from his Boss Caine work. The Nosedivers energy is off the scale and their anger is channeled into some fiery political comment. Changing the chorus of one song rather cleverly and topically to “Fuck the Tories”. The mountainous riffs and piledriving songs are carved from a punk mountain, on the scale of Mount Olympus but built from pure punk vibes. We need this band to stick around a while longer and I hope that they do. But even if they don’t it was a major blast having them back even for a short while.

Bull

The headliners and the perfect band to close this scintillating salmagundi of a gig was York’s very own Bull. If you know this band you will bloody love them. If you don’t know them yet then what are you waiting for, get on it now! They take the best of the Pixies, the Strokes, the heavier side of R.E.M, the retrospection of Elvis Costello and the pop-rock sensibility of Kurt Cobain and roll it into that unique Bull sound. Bull are supremely talented musicians and they owned the stage and deserved this prestigious headline slot. They are clearly on top of their game and I get the impression that they are still some way from reaching their peak. They are a band with the power to shred the shackles of King Kong. As someone once said, “this lot will just become awesomer and awesomer!” Get rid of the bullshit in your life with Bull!

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap Chinese 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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