With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music reviews, gig reviews, fun trivia and extra added random stuff!

Latitude Festival 2022- Day 2 – Saturday 23rd July July 31, 2022

I don’t think that there was a better way to open the Obelisk Arean Stage on Saturday than with York’s finest musical sons, Shed Seven. The band, formed in 1990 and named after a railway shed was the perfect choice for an early afternoon Latitude appearance. They are battle-hardened Brit Pop survivors who know their stuff and are still recording with a new album due out soon. The set was a definite 10/10, which is not bad for a band described on Twitter (by one David Callow) as a “shitty little band”. Segueing “Going For Gold” into “Suspicious Minds” worked very well. Note for Mr. Witter, the Elvis tune was released in 1969. The Sheds saved the sublime and magnificent, York City adopted terrace anthem, “Chasing Rainbows” until the end, closing a brilliant show! Rick Witter also gave his maracas as gifts to a couple of people, including a little kid that he had conversed with during the set. Next, it was back to the BBC Sounds Stage for relatively local lass Bessie Turner. She does soulful, folky pop and does it really well. It was a fresh, fun performance for a sunny afternoon. Apparently, her old teacher was in the crowd, I would have been proud had she been one of my pupils!

Shed Seven
Hamish Hawk

Now it was time for a quick dash to the Alcove stage for Scottish singer Hamish Hawk. The band is also called Hamish Hawk. This was an electrifying performance, a bit like early Ultravox but using more “organic” instruments, lots more emotion, and oodles of fun. There were some great songs, including one about ecclesiastical architecture. The closing track, “Caterpillar” gave the band the opportunity to completely wig out and they did it with aplomb and attitude. Hamish is an animated and passionate performer. His dancing style is totally original and feels like a Thunderbirds puppet after too many energy drinks. This is a great band, check them out now if you haven’t already. next it was back to the BBC Sounds Stage for Curtis Harding an extraordinarily talented soul singer which seems to display every emotion from ecstasy to deep pain. The band is superb and the set has the feel of a full-on Blues Brothers-style soul revue. Curtis is a great performer who works the crowd into a frenzy. He has a rich, soulful voice that comes across as a 21st Century Curtis Mayfield or Sly Stone. He and his band know how to party too!

Katy J Pearson

The Obelisk Arena was my next destination for the wonderfully named Los Bitchos. They supply Latin-tinged indie instrumentals, many of which could add something as a soundtrack to TV shows like ‘Breaking Bad’. Their sound reminded me at times of Colour Me Wednesday with added South American percussion and obviously no Jennifer Doveton on vocals. Los Bitchos are a very good band, but I felt vocals would have helped carry the tunes better. That said, a particular highlight for me was “Lindsay Goes To Mykonos” which is apparently about Lindsay Lohan. Katy J Pearson was next on the BBC Sounds Stage. I last saw her just over a year ago at the Crescent in York. Her music is rather special and she has a style that is quite difficult to compare with other artists. Although there were times when she sounded a little like Linda Ronstadt. If you like US West Coast country rock from the early 70s, or Americana and alt. country you will almost certainly love Katy J Pearson. The band has a great brass section and Katy’s voice was immaculate. “Beautiful Soul” was a highlight for me. I returned to the Obelisk Arena for Foals, a band I saw quite a few years ago when they sounded like a good Kasabian crossed with Kings Of Leon. Since then they have become perhaps one of the best bands in the UK, particularly in a live setting. The more dance-oriented material is perfect for bringing a festival to life and Foals most certainly applied a fully cranked musical defibrillator to Latitude. Foals didn’t just bring the crowd alive they took us to musical Valhalla. The light show and screen display were clever, powerful, and sublime. I especially loved the kaleidoscopic, Rorschachy style moving and evolving ink blots. The confetti explosion added an eeriness to proceedings as the confetti just hung in the air, maybe because of the heat of the day or the heat of the crowd. This was a stonking set from a magnificent band.

All the photos, apart from the poster, were taken using my cheap Chinese android phone. The videos were all found on YouTube. If one of them is yours and you would like me to credit you or take it down please let me know.

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Apollo Festival York 2015 – Saturday 27th June 2015 July 2, 2015


Sadly I missed the first Apollo Festival back in 2013 and then last year I had to leave early so I missed the headliner. However this year I was there for the day and what a bloody good day it was! With something like 50 acts across 5 stages I was never going to be able to see everyone but I did see a fair few acts. I was there with my wonderful wife Catherine ak.a. Catwoman and our great friends John and Caron who brought their daughter and our Odd Daughter (that’s another story) Amelia with them. Amelia proved beyond doubt that she is indeed a 5-year-old dancing dynamo of perpetual motion. Anyway enough of us, who did I see?


First up it was 4 Pint Milk in the Rick Witter tent. They are from Huntington School and seemed all of 16 (apologies if you’re older than that lads!). But they rock like they’re much older. The part of their set that John and I saw was cover versions, but damned good cover versions. Jake Bugg’s “Green Man”, the Smiths’ “This Charming Man”, Stone Roses “I Am The Resurrection” and my particular favourite, “Brianstorm” originally done by the Arctic Monkeys. I hope these boys succeed, they play really well and they have an excellent dour and dry northern wit.

Back at the main stage I only caught Fat Spatula’s last song. On the evidence of that I thought they sounded pretty good and I wished I could have heard more of them. I should add that Catwoman didn’t like them at all. Next on the main stage was the winner of this years Ainsty’s Got Talent contest, Beth Bryers. She undoubtedly has a great operatic style voice which she used over a number of dancey beats including Bastille. I get the appeal to some, however for me Beth is an acquired taste that I unfortunately didn’t acquire.


Rime Suspex though were something else, absolutely brilliant in my opinion. A relatively simple set up of a guitarist, singer and rapper. They were also accompanied by a number of samples I think. Imagine if South Africa’s Die Antwoord came from Blackburn and had better rhymes, well that is Rime Suspex in my view.My particular favourites from their set were “Money” and “Sick And Tired”. Given the lyrical content I almost certainly support their sentiments and politics. They didn’t hit the spot for my friend John, but he has never been a fan of white rappers. But I’ll work on him! Anyway I would definitely pay to see Rime Suspex again.

Our first visit to the Access Music stage brought us Matt Philpot. For me he was a pretty average singer songwriter singing 70s with a mostly laid back 70s vibe. The highlight of his set was a reggaefied arrangement of Aha’s “Take On Me” which I enjoyed. Next we saw the Rusty Pegs who are a bit alt. country and come across like a slightly more Nashville version of Fairground Attraction. I quite liked them.


On our return to the main stage the Happy Daggers were on. I missed the first part of their set but what I did see showed me that these fellows  are funkin’ good and I want more! Rupert Stroud was on next, he and his band were very tight and well rehearsed. He is a rock influenced singer songwriter and he is bloody good. Imagine James Blunt with bigger balls, well that is Rupert Stroud.

After that it was a quick hop across to the Access Music stage for the magnificent Barcode Zebra. I saw them play at last year’s Apollo Festival and they were very good then. This year they were even better. Soul, funk, rock, jazz all in a musical blender supported by a really skilful band and an immensely powerful vocalist. I certainly hope to see more of them.


Now it was time for the wonderful Crybabycry on the main stage. They had been caught in traffic on their way, but believe me it was worth the wait. I saw them earlier this year in a tiny venue during Live In Leeds. On their performance then and at the Apollo Festival I will stick my neck out and say that I believe that they are one of the finest bands in the UK at the moment. Along with my other favourite UK bands; Avalanche Party, Colour Me Wednesday and the Tuts. Powerful three-piece Crybabycry deserve to be on bigger stages and if you don’t like them then I suggest that you pop out and get your hearing examined. Can we have them at Reading and Leeds please?

Awesome covers band the Mothers followed Crybabycry onto the main stage and they rocked their socks off. I danced near the stage for their whole set which included storming versions of songs by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, songs from the Stax back catalogue among many others. They were fucking brilliant and I might try to book them for my 60th birthday party, although that isn’t until January 2019. After that I paid a final visit to the Access Music Stage where Catwoman and I saw Armonia. They played some really chilled and laid back acoustic songs including a wonderful cover of Lordes’ “Royals”

Classic 90s scouse indie pop band Space were next on the main stage and they were blooming amazing. I had forgotten how many great songs they have recorded. Favourites like “Neighbourhood” and “Female Of The Species” were there along with some new songs and stuff that I have never heard before. There wasn’t a duff song in their set. My favourite is one that I hadn’t heard before, the rather fabulous “Boy In A Body Bag” which is a bloody fantastic tune.


Finally it was time for the head-liners the supremely talented Inspiral Carpets. I had seen them many years ago and they were always a band whose new release I would always check out. No other band of their generation rocks the Farsifa like these blokes do. The have some excellent songs in their canon including “Dragging Me Down”, “This Is How It Feels”, “Spitfire” and one of my all time favourite songs from any band or singer “Saturn Five”. Quite an appropriate song for the Apollo Festival don’t you think? The Inspiral Carpets used to refer to themselves as ‘cool as fuck’ and in my opinion they remain so. If you get a chance to see them you would be foolish not to.


Finally let me say a big, big thank you to the organisers of the Apollo Festival especially Mr Apollo himself Stuart Kelly. Also a big shout out to my good friend Simon Pattinson who is on the organising team. Everything was brilliant folks, including the weather. If you change anything for next year then I suggest that you increase the food outlets and vary them a bit. Can I also offer to volunteer to help with organising Apollo 2016?


This really is the final finally! If you haven’t done so already please click here to vote for the Apollo Festival in the Yorkshire Gig Guide Grass Roots Awards. I have!

Well given the weather it seemed somewhat appropriate :-)

Well given the weather it seemed somewhat appropriate 🙂

Public service announcement – none of the media contained in this post was filmed or photographed by me.



Apollo Festival 2015 – The Preview March 22, 2015


Last year I enjoyed a great day at a small local festival here in York. The Apollo Festival, you can read my review of last years event by clicking here. This year sees this wonderful family friendly music festival enter its third year. It was started in 2013 by Stuart Kelly and he has grown the show really well. Last year more than 3,000 people turned up which was close to doubling the amount of music fans that were there for the inaugural festival in 2013. If things go to plan you could be among 4,000 happy Apollo punters this year. I certainly will be as I have already purchased tickets for myself and the delightful Catwoman.

If you live in or near to York, or even further afield,  then you have no excuse for missing this event in June. Prices are very affordable at just over £15 each ticket. Significantly less than what you’d pay for a day ticket to one of the major festivals. But even keeping prices low hasn’t affected the quality of the acts playing. Last year was great and I also experienced a few bands that I had previously never seen or heard of. One of the highlights from last year for me was And The Hangnails. We also saw the Entertainment Company and we liked them so much that we have booked them for Catwoman’s ‘significant’ birthday party next year.

The line-up for this year has two excellent bands that for one reason or another I have never seen before despite being a fan. Those bands are the fabulous Space and the headliners are the superb  Inspiral Carpets. The ticket price is worth it for those two alone. One of the stages for 2015 will be curated by Rick Witter of Shed Seven, so I reckon that might be quite interesting. Other acts appearing are CryBabyCry, Happy Daggers, Hello Operator, Kimberly Kennedy, The Mothers, Rime Suspex, Rupert Stroud and Kid Conventional. I saw Hello Operator recently at the Basement in York City Screen and they are were excellent; a very loud, very powerful and explosive British rock band. I will be there along with my wonderful wife Catherine (a.k.a Catwoman) and hopefully a few of the friends that I have been promoting the festival to; John, Caron, Amelia, Shaun, Tracey you know who you are! Simon P, I know you’ll be there too and it looks like once again your music recommendations to me will be spot on! Finally I would like to say a big thank you to Stuart Kelly for starting this festival and building it to an even bigger level. Look out for my festival review at the end of June. Now get off your arse and get yourself a ticket! I will see you at the 2015 Apollo Festival at the York Sports Club, Shipton Road, York on Saturday 27th June. If you fail to turn up after all I have said then I will have to send the boys round!


“I am beautiful and clean and so very very young” March 26, 2009

Hello peeps!

Todays very brief post (well by my usual standards anyway) is a small collection of recent music news, just in case you missed it.

A number of Liverpool musicians and former players have recorded a charity single in memory of the 96 people who lost their lives at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. The 20th anniversary of that tragic event is next month, it remains the UKs biggest sporting disaster. The song is a terrace anthem of the Kop at Liverpool FC, called “The Fields Of Anfield Road”. Peter Hooton of the Farm has written a new verse for the song. he is joined by John Power, formerly of the La’s and Cast on the song which was produced by Ken Nelson who has also produced Coldplay. A number of former Liverpool players, including Bruce Grobbelar and John Aldridge also provide a vocal contribution. Click here to see the BBC news piece on the song.

Puerto Rican Merengue singer Elvis Crespo (now that is one superb name if you ask me!) has been accused of exposing himself during a flight in the US. Maybe it was a Ryanair flight and he didn’t have enough change for the toilet! As it was in US airspace the incident was reported to the FBI. He was questioned by airport authorities in Miami but has not been arrested. Check out his Myspace page here

Elvis tries to cover up his in flight...........errrr.......'wardrobe malfunction' (thank you Janet J) with some colourful letters.......which are not from France!

Elvis tries to cover up his in flight...........errrr.......'wardrobe malfunction' (thank you Janet J) with some colourful letters.......which are not from France!

And a final piece of news for today, Spandau Ballet are reforming. I can’t imagine there is any other reason than money. The Sex Pistols were quite honest about reforming for money in 1996 even going so far as naming the tour “The Filthy Lucre Tour”. Where do you stand on bands reforming? Overall I am really not keen on it, it leads to all kinds of crap bands getting back together. I mean even Shed Seven reformed a year or two back……..wtf? There was a fabulous quote from Morrissey once when questioned yet again about a Smiths reunion. His response was something like “I would rather eat my own testicles than see the Smiths reform” Now I can honestly say he was talking bollocks! Anyway take the Spandau Ballet reformation poll below!

The Spandau boys had once again raided their Mum's wardrobes for stage clothes

The Spandau boys had once again raided their Mum's wardrobes for stage clothes

To end this particular post here is yet another in a series of shameless plugs for my son Luke’s band, ‘Steal The Smile‘. If you haven’t checked them out before do it now, they’re bloody good. If you like good pop punk type stuff a la Blink 182 you’re gonna love ’em! Click the band name to be safely delivered to their MySpace page!

Steal The Smile an excellent band from the Reading area - pay to go and see them or buy them a shirt

Steal The Smile an excellent band from the Reading area - pay to go and see them or buy them a shirt



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