With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“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.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

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

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:17 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

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.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

 

‘Seaside Donkeys’ – PERCY April 14, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:57 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

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!

 

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

 

“Seaside Donkey” – PERCY March 31, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:10 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

 

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

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 5:33 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

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. 

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

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. 

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

 

 

Percy – Fulford Arms, York – Wednesday 19th December 2018 December 20, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:33 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My last gig of 2018 was an appearance by York’s own PERCY off the back of their rather spiffing new album ‘Sleepers Wake’. I had the pleasure of reviewing that LP last month, just click here to see what I thought of it. But before I say any more about Percy I should tell you about the blooming bountiful support bands they put on the bill. Firstly it was Freek from Hull and York. This mightily talented duo blast out some stupendous blues based rock which for me is rooted in the best that old school rock had to offer; Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, the Yardbirds and Cream. On top of that they have a kinship with grunge and punk too. But I would love to know where Ellis Best’s monumental voice comes from. Freek also have an innate sense of fun which is epitomised in their closing song “Killer Moth” which is about……. a killer moth! The Rems were next up featuring three of Pompey’s finest musicians, including Steve ‘Bodge’ Duffield one of the founders of the sublime Beta Band. I felt so much eclecticism in their sonic assault which was blended with some perfect post punk vibes. Vocally I could hear tones of Joe Jackson in his pomp and even the much maligned Tin Machine. The latter was particularly strong on the jagged, punked-up “Pills”. The Rems are the sort of band that leaves you wanting more after the first time you have seen or heard them (and probably after the second, third and fourth time too). I definitely want to hear more from them!

Freek

the Rems

Tonights headliners Percy are now at Percy Mark 3 having formed originally way back in 1996. They took a break in 2005 and spent a couple of years as the Nielsens before becoming Percy again. Colin Howard on guitar and lead vocals and Andy Wiles on bass and backing vox have been the core of the band since 1996. They are now aided and abetted by Paula Duck on keys and Jason Wilson on drums. One thing that seems obvious about Percy is that they really seem to enjoy playing and they are a tight unit in the live environment. Any act that can succeed in a small but fabulous venue like the Fulford Arms has to have some special magic about them and Percy have an abundance of it. If you were a fan of Mark E Smith you will love Percy, but while they might be influenced by the Fall they are refreshingly original. Their songs are all brilliantly told stories (“Alice Stone”), simple vignettes on life (“Off The Meds”) or fury venting political comment (“Why Are You Still Here?”). It was a great set that found the perfect cadence from the off and never dropped in either pace or quality. Particular highlights for me were the grungy quiet  to loud and at times Pixies-esque “Hep” and the venomous put down of Brexit and all the lies that surround it, “Unicorn”. If you have never seen Percy live then you are in for a treat when you do. This will most definitely not be my last Percy gig!

Public Service Announcement: – All photographs (except the gig poster) were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. (Watch this space for some top classy photos from me next year!) All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.

 

‘Sleepers Wake’ – PERCY November 15, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:55 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The first track on the new PERCY album asks “Why Are You Still Here?” and many may ask that question of a band who have been around since 1996 with no major league success so far. Well having listened to ‘Sleepers Wake’ I feel I can answer that question. It is because they are fucking brilliant and they epitomise tenacity and perseverance. Andy Wiles the bands bass player and some time drummer (although not at the same time) said to me that PERCY were often referred to as the greatest band that you have never heard of. That phrase has a large element of truth in it and if you check this bunch out I am sure you will agree. The aforementioned track “Why Are You Still Here?” has what is in my opinion on of the best lyrical couplets of 2018; “with your massive gob and your wayward knob”. Does it get better than that? Maybe not but it sure as shit maintains a huge level of quality throughout. Post Punk might be one way to describe them and acolytes of the Fall might be another. However I see them as all of that plus so much more ingenious originality and they keep the flame of Mark E smith burning better than any other band.

The opening bars of “Alice Stone” are for me reminiscent of Elvis Costello’s Attractions on “Watching The Detectives”. The band is as cutting as the attractions and as funky and smart as the Blockheads. The organ playing is almost Doorsesque at times. Does anyone use the term Hep to denote something that is hip these days? well while for most of us Hep died in the sixties it is still very much in PERCY’s vocabulary as evidenced by the soft loud riff driven thrash of “Hep!”. The first few seconds of “Teutonic” feels like it will take a Krautrock direction but it goes somewhere completely different. It is a simple song but with the power and impact of Blur’s “Song 2”. There is also a Graham Coxon feel on “Enlightenment” too. The sonic journey on some of the songs on this album takes me back to those heady days of 1978 and the first incarnation of John Lydon’s Public Image Limited, most notably on “It Is Time” where some of Colin Howard’s vocals sound like a Dalek on speed, but in a good way.

Just when you think PERCY are into a full on post punk style groove they smash into you with a wild slice of psycho-billy workout called “Exploding Head” and frankly my head is on the verge of exploding with pure enjoyment at this point. Later on the band go full on menacing with “Juicy Fruit”. Album closer is possibly the most relaxed, melancholy track on this fabulous collection which evokes sixties experimentation of the likes of Syd Barrett. The musicianship on display here is stunning, from the driving force of Andy on bass and Jason on drums to Colin’s superb guitar and the supreme keyboard journeys and flourishes of Paula. This album deserves wide attention and I hope that it receives it. You can help that cause by clicking here and visiting this excellent ‘listen and buy’ site and deploying your credit card or PayPal account. It won’t cost you much, just have a few pints less on Saturday or go without lunch tomorrow, you know it makes sense

I am really looking forward to witnessing the PERCY phenomenon in a live setting soon. Check them out, you WILL NOT be disappointed! There are still plenty of opportunities to see them, so get your arses off of your seat and get out there;

Friday 24 November 2018 Sheffield TBC
Wednesday 05 December 2018 Wharf Chambers Leeds, UK
Wednesday 19 December 2018 Fulford Arms York, UK
Thurs 31st January 2019 York Fibbers
Sunday 03 February 2019 O’Riley’s Hull, UK
Friday 08 February 2019 Chameleon Arts Cafe Nottingham, UK
Saturday 09 February 2019 Head of Steam Newcastle, UK
Thursday 21 February 2019 Night & Day Café Manchester, UK
Saturday 6 April 2018 Fulford Arms (TBC) York, UK

 

 

 
%d bloggers like this: