With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

A Slow Education – Day 2 – The Crescent, York – Saturday 23rd October 2021 November 7, 2021


Three bands down after Day 1 just seven to go on Day 2 of the rather marvellous A Slow Education mini Festival at one of York’s finest venues, the Crescent. Perspex took to the stage first and it is always good to have such a lively band to kick off proceedings at the start of what looked like a great day of music. Perspex have a tank full of energy and probably a whole bunch of jerry cans full of the stuff too. At their peak, they sound like prime time Clash with vocal phrasings like Steve Harley. Who doesn’t love Perspex? I was lucky enough to review Cowgirl’s eponymously titled first album a couple of months back so I was looking forward to hearing some of the new songs played live and they did not disappoint. If Carlsberg made garage rock it would probably sound like Cowgirl. This band is an MC5 for the 21st Century. The Lounge Society were next and lounge is not something they do. This is psyched up, punchy, funky rock with a hard edge, definitely not music for a relaxing night in your lounge. It is music made to make you move around maniacally while balancing like a crazed high wire walker on that fine line between genius and madness. Bands are definitely looking so much younger to old farts like me these days, but lead singer Cameron Davey belies those youthful looks with just the right measure of rock-star swagger and menace. The Lounge Society are truly a band for our age.

Cowgirl
Bull

If you like your rock sharp, funky and angular a la Talking Heads then I have no doubt that you will love the majestic Treeboy & Arc. There are some heartfelt punky vocals across some outstanding tunes that tell of real life. Bass player James Kay is bloody good and must be close to the bass skills of Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. This is funk-punk for music maniacs. This band is not afraid to show off their skyscraping, jacked-up riffs that underpin some colossal, towering tunes. Next on stage were the band that I have seen more than any other in 2021, but thanks to these bastard Covid days that is only three times. I am talking about one of York’s mightiest bands, Bull. This was another stunning set from a band that is great on record and truly awesome in the live environment. The new songs take their sublime harmonies to another level, definitely to Beach Boys proportions. Not sure why, but I have a strange vision of Bull recording and acapella cover of They Might Be Giants’ “Birdhouse In Your Soul”. Also how about a Monkees style TV show featuring scenes from Bull mansions where the ban get into all kinds of surreal adventures and psychedelic japes. That needs to be made, right? Billy Nomates might genuinely have no mates and no band on stage with her but she has balls. To take to the stage with just a laptop and stun the crowd into a trancey submission so easily takes supreme skill and she has that in abundance. Her beats are huge and so is her social conscience. Vocally she scores 11/10 for me, I am now most definitely a Billy Nomates fan. Headliners Warmduscher was highly recommended to me and I had listened to a lot of their stuff before this show. The name “Warmduscher” is German and the term literally means ‘hot showerer’, which implies the idea of someone unwilling to step out of their comfort zone or do things that make them feel uncomfortable. It stems from a German myth that taking a cold shower is considered masculine. So is this a band unwilling to step out of their comfort zone, I don’t think so. This is a great bunch of musicians from Fat White Family and Paranoid London. Their post-punk sound is enhanced by some great tunes but I felt their performance was lacklustre and lacked sparkle on the night. Maybe it was the ridiculously long soundcheck or the heavy reliance on vocal effects pedals by vocalist Clams Baker Jr. Mate you have a good voice stop messing with all the effects stuff. The jury is out for me on Warmduscher, so I hope I caught them on an off night, but I need to see them again to confirm.

Treeboy & Arc

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Mayhem’s Home Town – Music from York – local lock-down releases 1 June 14, 2020


My adopted home city of York has been a hot bed of great music since I first moved here in 2007 and the York music force remains strong. So I thought that I would take this opportunity to highlight just a small handful of the great musical talent that this fantastic city has to offer. Focusing on three releases that have happened very recently during these strange lock down days.

First up are a York band that are destined for huge success, I am confident that eventually this lot will play arenas. I am talking of the Howl And The Hum who recently released their first album ‘Human Contact’ and is arguably one of the best debut albums of the 21st century so far. These boys have earned their chops the hard way through open mic nights and busking. If you haven’t heard them yet then you need to catch up really quickly. As a taster take a listen to their latest release below. It is an alternative live version of “Hostages” from their new album.

Perspex refer to themselves as “the plastic band for the decadent listener”, somehow I doubt if I can conjure up a better way to describe them. The band’s first release of 2020, “A Horse Named Useless” is a lo-fi weirdfest which has a delightful melody and contrasts that with a line about wanking off horses. Warped, wonderful, weird, wacky and worthy of a long listen.

Finally talented young York singer-songwriter Jacob Clayton released his first single “Inside Our Minds” last month. It is a chilled, yet emotional, folky track which feels reflective enough for these strange days. It is hard to judge an artist on one song, but frankly “Inside Our Minds” makes me want to hear more from him.

This site has posted about many York acts over the years and long may that continue. If any York musicians, bands, singers want to be featured here send me a message. Obviously we will still continue to include acts from all over the world, but I feel that a focus on our local scene is well worth it in these strange times!

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