With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

The Selecter and the Tuts – Leeds Brudenell Sunday March 8th 2015 March 9, 2015


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Last night was the first time I had been to a gig at the Brudenell in Leeds and I have to say it really is a fantastic venue. The eclectic and diverse mix of acts appearing there means that I will certainly come back. Anyway on to the main event; the Selecter. I had seen them once before but that would have been around 1979/ 1980 when I was younger than excellent support band the Tuts are now!

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I arrived at the venue just before the doors opened and met some really nice people in the queue. Roger you’re a top bloke! Soon after I came in Pauline Black and Gaps Hendrickson were manning the Selecter’s merch stand. Obviously I was always going to buy something, so I bought a Selecter polo shirt and a CD of the band’s new album; ‘Subculture’ which the pair of them signed for me. Pauline also signed my copy of her autobiography ‘Black By Design’ which I had finished reading a couple of weeks ago. It is an excellent book and every bit as good as recent autobiographies by John Lydon and Viv Albertine. In the book Pauline comes across as very open and honest and having met her, albeit briefly, she really is a wonderful woman. She and Gaps were very attentive with all the fans in the queue for Selecter product.

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As for the gig it was the amazing Tuts who opened the show. They are the support band on the Selecter’s UK tour and Pauline Black has championed them every step of the way. I think that this is the fourth time I have had the pleasure of seeing this incredible young band and it is clear to me that they just keep on getting better and better each time I see them. The stage costumes for tonight were made from a material patterned with the leaf of a popular and some would say refreshing herb. They looked very effective too! Their set was energetic and powerful and they certainly know how to work a crowd. On”Tut, Tut, Tut” especially for International Women’s Day they invited Sarah Statham from local band Esper Scout to drum the intro while all three Tuts ran through the crowd making sure that we all sang along. New song “Do I Have To Look For Love” will become a classic and old favourites like “Worry Warrior” and “Dump Your Boyfriend” already are. The girls cover of the Clash’s “Rudie Can’t Fail” was sublime. Nadia berated the music industry about the apparent need to posses a penis to succeed in the music business. Now those of us with half a brain know that shouldn’t be true, but judging from the line-up for Reading and Leeds this year it certainly and sadly has some credence. So come on all you labels and management companies stop all the macho willy waving and sign this band! Metaphorically they have more balls than many of the men in the music industry! The queue and interest in the band at their merch table was incredible which shows that the fans are there! So come on record labels how about a deal. As for more gigs what about another support slot? Garbage must need a decent support band and the could not go wrong with the Tuts, are you listening Shirley Manson?

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As for the headliners what can I say? The Selecter were awesome. They played most of their biggest songs; “On My Radio”, “Missing Words”, “Celebrate The Bullet” and my particular favourites; “Too Much Pressure” and “Three Minute Hero”. I thought “Danger” and “London’s Burning” went down a storm too and really got the crowd rocking! One of my newer favourites and it’s yet another crowd pleaser is “My England”. They played a few songs from the new album, which I have now played a couple of times now and it is bloody good. It gets an official release next month, but for now is available at the band’s merch stand on the rest of the tour. Some of the new material fits into the set so well that you’d think it had been around a while. “Box Fresh” could easily become a classic pop song. “It Never Worked Out” and “See Them A Come” are the Selecter at their best and on top form. Another song from the new album, “Breakdown” tackles the large number of black people who have died in custody in this country and is as you would expect very hard-hitting. This is clearly a band that stands up proudly for human rights and are openly anti racist and anti sexist, as frankly we all should be! The pre encore show ended with a magnificent version of “Last Train To Skaville” which had all the aging skinheads from the ska revival of the late 70s stomping and skanking hard enough to cave the floor in! Like me many of those folks now have a natural skinhead look given the lack of hair that age brings to some of us. The encore kicked off with a mighty version of “James Bond” and the Tuts joined the Selecter on stage at the end for a final goodbye to the Brudenell crowd. Nadia even managed to stage dive and briefly crowd surf. As for the energy of the band, Gaps must have sweated gallons! (Is there an exercise DVD that could be made from that performance?) Finally I should also mention two other covers that the Selecter performed; Doris Day’s “Secret Love” which worked really well when ska-ified and Springsteen’s “Because The Night” from the new album and for me worked even better when played live. Overall this was a cracking night and I would definitely not leave it as long before seeing the Selecter again and I am already looking forward to seeing the Tuts again.

You can still catch them both on the remaining dates of the UK tour and if you haven’t already done so then sort yourself a ticket out. You will not regret it!

OK and now for the usual public service note, this time the pictures were taken on my little phone but the videos were all obtained on You Tube.

 

Reading Festival 2011 – Day 1 – The Pictures September 1, 2011

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:06 am
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Here we go good people a few festival pictures taken with my Nokia. This is post 1 of 3. I hope you enjoy 🙂

 

Reading Festival 2011 – The Preview August 25, 2011

Filed under: Observation — justwilliam1959 @ 9:34 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

So here we are then just hours away from the kick off of the Reading and Leeds festivals which means you’ll shortly get to hear my opinions on all that I see this weekend. Well I suppose that to some degree does depend on exactly what I see; some things that go on at festival stay at festival. So perhaps I won’t mention scotch eggs! I reckon some of you could put 2 and 2 together about that and not many of you would reach an answer of 4. I will be at the Reading end of the festival, despite living very close to the Leeds site. Why would I do this I hear you ask? Well because
Reading for me is the original annual rock festival. Plus it is my annual meet up with my good friend Nick Horslen. A kind of Grumpy Old Men do the festival kind of vibe.

The headliners are My Chemical Romance, Pulp/ The Strokes (joint headliners) and Muse. Of that bunch I am mostly looking forward to Pulp. Muse will be playing the whole of their ‘Origin of Symmetry’ album. It’s the 10th anniversary year of the release of that one. I have seen Muse three times before and loved them every time. However I am a little torn this time as their set clashes with a headline set in one of the tents by 2 Many DJs. I love their mash-up mix tape efforts and I have always wanted to see them.

I always like to check out bands with interesting names that I have never heard of as well. So this year I shall definitely try to get to see She Keeps Bees.

If there is anyone you think I should check out feel free to let me know and if you’re going to be at Reading yourself come and say hello.
It’s adios for now while I go to the darkest recesses of the shed to try to find my steel toe-capped wellies!

 

Reading Festival 2010 – Picture Special! September 1, 2010


OK dear readers (especially if you just like looking at the pictures) what follows is a selection of pictures taken by myself and Mr H at this years festival. All were taken using nothing but Nokia mobile phones. Sadly (or perhaps happily) there are no pictures of Guns N Roses, largely because our batteries ran out while waiting an hour for them to appear. At a later stage we may put a few videos on YouTube too (watch this blog for news of that!) So in no particular order here they come.

Amy's Ghost a terrific local band

The Brilliant Things - a brilliant band

Lostprophets - MEGA LOLZ

Gaslight Anthem

Free Energy - a superb rock band from Philly

Villagers - quite a small village I assume 🙂

Villagers - yes definitely a small village!

A view of the crowd from the crowd

I'm going on Dragons Den for an investment in my floating tent invention!

I bet those wellies weren't so clean on the way home

All that mud and not a hippo in sight

mud, mud, glorious mud

What to wear and what not to wear

Lucie and her friend and Nick

Suzy, Nick, me and half of Jake (can we get a Less Than Jake reference in there somewhere?)

Suzy, Nick, half of me and Jake

 

Reading Festival 2010 – Day 1, Friday 27th August August 30, 2010


It’s been a year of waiting but here is the first of my posts from this year’s Reading Festival. Thankfully the rain had stopped but it had left parts of the festival site looking a little like the First World War trenches, my sympathies certainly extend to many of the more unlucky campers, presumably those who arrived last. Personally I ‘don’t do’ camping and will be staying at my good friend Nicks during the whole event.

We finally got through the gates just after noon and managed to catch a very brief glimpse of a band I had hoped to see purely because they have an excellent name; Wot Gorilla? I didn’t see enough to say much about them sadly, but they seemed ok. Next up we saw Crazy Arm, a tight, strong band very much in a rock mould. Harlem were next and again it was a brief glimpse, but I would suggest that these guys know how to party. A local band appearing on the BBC Introducing Stage had been recommended to us by BBC Radio Berkshire; Amy’s Ghost they were superb. Shades of Kate Bush and Florence (off of Florence and the Machine) influences among others, also very theatrical. I even bought their album from the delightful singer who stayed around to talk to fans until the Beeb told her she had to leave.

New Young Pony Club, were accomplished with a great rapport with their audience. We watched them play a couple of songs in our bid to see as many bands as possible in a day. I would say very much destined for a reasonable career, sound as a pound I would say! Billy Talent were next on the Main Stage; very punk, very loud and they mean it maaaan! After this it was a more chilled sound with Girls who are from San Francisco, but maybe the flowers on the mic stand gave that away. A good band though even if the singer/ stroke guitarist did adopt a one-legged flamingo pose occasionally a little like Ian Anderson off of Jethro Tull. We’re Only Afraid Of NYC were quite reasonable, but we only caught a brief glimpse before heading to the Main Stage again for Gogol Bordello, probably my favourite band of the day. This is the third time I have seen them at Reading and once again they were brilliant. This is truly a superb band that knows their audience and knows how to have a great time. I hadn’t realised quite how cosmopolitan they were either, including members from Russia, Ethiopia, USA, Ecuador and Scotland to name but a few.

Sketches met while at Leeds University and know how to really funk things up; I reckon they’d be great in a small sweaty venue. We only saw a short part of Pulled Apart By Horses set, but I think I may have to check them out on-line when I get home; these boys know their stuff and hit some excellent riffs. Heading past the Main Stage again we chanced upon NOFX. We only heard one song which was about assassinating George W Bush, so that makes them alright with me. Disappointedly we managed just the briefest of glimpses of Egyptian Hip Hop, but it was a good glimpse and I will certainly be exploring them more on-line. You have to love a band with that name, who are neither Egyptian (at least I don’t think so) or Hip Hop (well they didn’t sound it anyway). Back to the Main Stage for the Lost Prophets, these boys were truly fucking ace, we were singing and jumping with the rest of the crowd, another of my favourite bands of the day.

The NME/ Radio 1 tent beckoned next for Delphic. A brilliant dance band, but I might have benefited more with a spliff beforehand, but seeing as I don’t do drugs that was never going to happen, but a great set none the less. We stayed in place for Mumford And Sons and I have never seen that tent so crowded, in fact a number of people passed out in the crush. The crowd was mental for Mumford (hey could that be another band name?) and the band played like they felt it too. I like them, but I’d probably only see them at festivals. I probably lost a few pounds in sweat from that experience too

We then went back to the Main Stage to await the arrival of Guns N Roses, well Axl Rose and some other musicians really. Boy did we wait, they were an hour late coming on and at best were like a G’n’R tribute band. The booing started way before they hit the stage and continued afterwards too. Axl had no interaction with his audience and I think his voice is shot as well. In all my years of going to Reading I have never seen an audience so small for a headliner on the Main Stage or an audience so muted in their applause and reaction. I always felt that Guns N Roses were a poor headline choice and now I’m sure I was right. You could always hear the sound of barrels being scraped and dead horses being flogged.

We actually didn’t stay for the whole of G’n’R but alternated between LCD Soundsystem in the NME/ Radio 1 Tent and Marina And The Diamonds on the Festival Republic stage. Both of these bands were very entertaining and each of them was way better than Guns N Roses. I’ve liked a lot of LCD’s output and I will be buying Marina’s album soon as well.

So now it’s time for some brief R and R before we make our assault on Day 2. In the words of Arnie, I will be back soon, ok I know he never said soon, but that’s just slightly more English and genteel isn’t it?

 

Reading Festival 2010 – The Preview August 26, 2010


Tomorrow morning dear readers I will be travelling to the Reading Festival. Now for those of you from outside the UK who think this might have something to do with books, well it doesn’t, it’s all about rock music, with a dash of dance and comedy. I have been in attendance for more years than I care to recall now, many of those with my good friend Nick Horslen and that partnership is maintained this year once again.

I intend to provide you with a review post of the festival, but whether that will need to wait until Monday or Tuesday depends on the connectivity! The headliners this year are a really eclectic selection in my opinion. Friday night is Guns N Roses, who let’s face it aren’t Guns N Roses anymore are they? Saturday night brings Canada’s Arcade Fire, who I think are very good but a somewhat strange choice for headliners, but they are good friends of David Bowie and he has appeared on stage with them before, so my fingers are firmly crossed. Then to close on Sunday night it’s the turn of reformed pop punkers Blink 182. They are my son’s favourite band of all time, so he will certainly have a great festival and maybe in a few years we will get to see him play the hallowed Reading stage with his band Steal The Smile.

OK so here’s the deal, if you can’t make the festival, check the festival website then comment on this post and tell me the bands you’d like me to check out on your behalf and if I can fit them in I will. But if you are there feel free to get in touch via the blog, maybe I’ll even let you provide a guest review 🙂

 

 
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