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 – May 2022 June 9, 2022


Here comes the third monthly Mayhem Top 20 Song Chart. This month’s number one is from a band that has featured on this site quite a few times and will continue to do so if they keep up the superb quality of their great music and live shows. They scraped into the artist chart at number 20 back in March. But now they follow Prairie Brigade and the Hazy Janes to hit the top spot in the song chart. Who am I talking about? A fabulous York band called Vaquelin with their current single “Roads Leading Nowhere”. They managed to hold off competition from Harry Styles who sits at number 2. There are a lot of oldies in this month’s chart, including Bill Withers, Love, Steely Dan, the O’Jays, the Clash, Mike and the Mechanics, Traffic, and the Sex Pistols. T.Rex take “Metal Guru into the top 20 for the second time in three months, it hit number 20 in March and sits at number 18 for May. David Bowie makes it three entries in a row and Roxy Music appear for their second month in a row. The oldest release on the list is “Alone Again Or”, a 1968 UK hit from Love at number 8. A really eerie cover of Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” by M Ward hits number 6 and my favourite Professor Elemental song, “I Love Libraries” gets to number seven. There are also appearances from Leeds band Astoria at a very creditable number 4, the Institutes, Let’s Eat Grandma, and Kendrick Lamar. Eight artists featured in the Mayhem Top 20 Artist chart for May also feature on this list. We would love to hear your thoughts on the Mayhem Song Top 20 Chart as we hope to make it a regular feature. Check out the complete list below.

1 Roads Leading Nowhere – Vaquelin
2 Music For A Sushi Restaurant – Harry Styles
3 Goodbye Mr. Blue – Father John Misty
4 (Don’t) Turn Around – Astoria
5 Use Me (Live) – Bill Withers
6 Let’s Dance – M Ward
7 I Love Libraries – Professor Elemental
8 Alone Again Or – Love
9 Haitian Divorce – Steely Dan
10 All That You’ll Ever Know – The Institutes
11 The Living Years – Mike and the Mechanics
12 London Calling – The Clash
13 Pyjamarama – Roxy Music
14 I Dig Your Act – O’Jays
15 What In The World – David Bowie
16 United In Grief – Kendrick Lamar
17 Happy New Year – Let’s Eat Grandma
18 Metal Guru – T Rex
19 Freedom Rider – Traffic
20 Anarchy In The UK – Sex Pistols

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The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – May 2022 June 7, 2022


The Mayhem Artist Top 20 artist chart for May 2022 is here. Many of you know that I am a keen user of a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I achieved a level of only 96% more obscure than other users in the UK this month, one point up from last month’s 95%. Regular readers will know that it also lists my most obscure artists, (two of which had been there since I began doing these posts, although for the first time ever Woke Up Dead and Promethium are not on that list! Sorry chaps) which currently are;

Gene (The best British band of the Britpop era in my opinion, back for a second month)

Har Mar Superstar (American modern disco maestro and supremely good live act)

Astoria (A fine young band from Leeds who were recently featured in our Mayhem Virgins series)

Vaquelin (One of York’s finest young bands. They will definitely be in the Mayhem Song chart for May 2022 when it is posted soon. Check out their latest video below too)

Matty Groove (An incredibly talented beatboxer who I recently saw supporting Professor Elemental)

As for the May Top 20, only Dame David remains from the last chart, but he drops from number one to number six. Other classic artists include Sex Pistols (at number one), Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, John Lennon, and The Clash. A few would giants make an appearance too including Bill Withers and the Four Tops. I learned in Uncut magazine this month that somewhere out there is an unreleased album that the Tops recorded with Norman Whitfield. Who do we need to speak to about getting that released? There is quite an eclectic mix here for May: Father John Misty, OMD, Steve Earle, Professor Elemental, and The The. Harry Styles rocked up at number 14 in April and hits number two in May. I am most definitely a Harry Styles fan, he is a hugely talented artist and I bloody love his music! I would love to hear your thoughts on this chart. Oh and keep your eyes open for the third Mayhem Monthly Song Chart, just like an old-school top 20 singles chart! That one includes songs by a few of the artists featured in the April Artist Chart. Will one of this month’s obscure artists get the coveted number one in the song chart? Maybe, but you will find out soon!

1 Sex Pistols
2 Harry Styles
3 Pink Floyd
4 Bill Withers
5 Four Tops
6 David Bowie
7 Father John Misty
8 The Institutes
9 Steve Earle
10 Arcade Fire
11 Lou Reed
12 Daryl Hall & John Oates
13 Elvis Costello
14 The Clash
15 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
16 John Lennon
17 Yelawolf
18 The The
19 Professor Elemental
20 Linda Ronstadt

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Professor Elemental – Fulford Arms, York – Sunday 15th May 2022 May 17, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:35 am
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This was not a bad-sized crowd considering it was a Sunday night and I reckon everyone in the Fulford Arms enjoyed tonight’s gig, including the wonderful staff that always give the venue an extra pinch of music fairy dust! Interestingly there were no instruments on stage and while that might seem strange when you read about the performances you will see that it really didn’t matter. To be fair a couple of instruments, a Keytar and a recorder did make appearances later. First up was Matty Groove from Leeds who beatboxes like no one I have ever heard before. He is a true beatbox genius. How does someone develop a talent like that? He did techno, drum & bass, and a great take on “No Limits” the 1993 hit from 2 Unlimited. At one point he had five different noises going on at the same time. His Spotify bio simply says “i speak the groove and sample my mouth” and in a nutshell that is what he does, awesome!

Matty Groove

Next, it was A Short Dark Stranger, is he a musician, a performer, an entertainer, a full-on electro lounge singer, or a comedian? Yes to all of those actually! This really was a full-on performance by Mr. Stranger. Well, don’t expect me to give away his secret identity! Anyone who hates the Tories is a good person in my opinion and in at least two of his songs “The World Will Give You Cancer” and “Even Sharks Can Smile” are wonderfully witty and biting in their anti-establishment lyrics. “Pale Blue Dot” based on Carl Sagan’s observation of the insignificance of our planet was great. But perhaps my favourite for which the Keytar came out was “Hindenberg”, a song about the doomed dirigible in the style of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD). He even threw in the synth riff from “Enola Gay” at one point. I can’t pick out the reason, but at times I was reminded of Har Mar Superstar. I definitely hope to see A Short Dark Stranger again sometime.

A Short Dark Stranger

Finally, it was time for tonight’s headliner Professor Elemental. I knew this would be a good show for many reasons: people recommended it, I have listened to some of his stuff online, and he has comics and tea on his merch table. What other acts have that kind of merch? Dressed in his ubiquitous stage clothes of safari style suit and pith helmet, but this time in a rainbow style, Professor Elemental was keen to make this a really feel-good, happy show and he succeeded and in fact overachieved on that score. The costume was that of one of the great lost characters that should have appeared in that bloody awful remake of ‘Jumanji’. There is no one quite like Professor Elemental, certainly no rapper more totally old school English. The Wall Street Journal described him as “Chap hop’s leading exponent”. He has a huge following in the steampunk community and it is easy to see why. But that is not exclusive, there were clearly fans of all genres of music in attendance judging by the t-shirts being worn in the crowd. There are some great songs in his repertoire, I loved “Noise” during which the crowd kept Susan The Unicorn aloft for the whole track. She had been inflated with whimsy don’t you know! The sleazy businessman costume change for the businessman song was sublime satire. Then there was the amazing off-the-cuff rap accompanied by more amazing beats from Matty Groove. “All In Together” was another great tune that the Professor dedicated to the Fulford Arms team and all the punters. Audience participation was 110% throughout, every one of us did exactly what the Professor asked of us. You need to see Professor Elemental live, you will not be disappointed!

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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