With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Mayhem Virgins – The Everly Pregnant Brothers May 28, 2019


I love discovering great new bands or sometimes great bands that are new to me. Well, the wonderfully named Everly Pregnant Brothers are new to me and that is why they are the next act to feature in the Mayhem Virgins series.  They are about to celebrate their tenth, yes tenth, anniversary with a headline show at Fibbers in York on June 1st. Their brand of twisted Yorkshire parody and comedy is truly unique and bloody hilarious and I am so disappointed that I have only just discovered them. But the voyage of discovery through their back catalogue and YouTube videos has frankly put me in an even more positive mood than usual! A band that makes amusingly clever covers (obviously with comedic lyrics) of classics is the sort of thing that would appeal to me, but a band whose main instruments are ukeleles and a kazoo would normally not be my thing. But the Everly Pregnant brothers make that combination work, even for me.

The band formed in Sheffield after a drunken dare by Pete Mckee and Richard Bailey in 2009. The success of the dare prompted the
pair to draught in a bunch of disparate chaps who had three things in common, the love of beer, ukuleles and having a laugh. Pete Mckee stated in a recent interview that “We weren’t supposed to last ten days! We originally got together for a one-off gig and the buggers insisted
we carry on…”  Frontman Shaun Doane added, “I can honestly say I didn’t think any further than the first two shows we ever did, it was already fun and I hoped it would continue but I was quite prepared to do those two shows at Art in the Gardens and then go back to my musical retirement home!” Well, I for one am eternally grateful that this lot never returned to that musical retirement home. Bring on the next ten years, please. Take a listen now to some ace and rib-splitting covers from many serious artists including some of Sheffield’s finest such as the Human League and Pulp. My current favourites are “No Oven, No Pie” and “Chav World”. Click here to check them out on Spotify.

Public service announcement: all the pictures and videos were sourced via Google and YouTube. If any of them are yours and you would like a credit or want them removed please let me know.

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Heaven 17 – Sheffield City Hall – Tuesday 25th October 2016 October 30, 2016


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I would like to thank the lovely folk at the Hype Media for giving me the opportunity to see the magnificent Heaven 17. Click here to read my review of the show. I hope you like it!

 

Ian Hunter and the Rant Band – Sheffield City Hall Ballroom – Thursday 2nd October 2014 October 5, 2014


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On Thursday I went to see the magnificent Ian Hunter and the superb Rant Band play in Sheffield. This was my second Hunter show in two years, I previously saw him in Harrogate in 2012. The support band was the stunning blues rock outfit Federal Charm from Manchester. They are a very tight unit musically and their lead singer Nick Bowden has shades of a young Paul Rodgers in his singing. I bought their album at the gig and it is a great set for listening to when driving or probably many other activities too. You should check them out. Click here for their Facebook page.

Ian-Hunter

On to the main man though. Mr Hunter was on top form as expected and the Rant Band are just bloody good as always. It looked like Ian and the band were really enjoying themselves on stage too. It was an excellent set with the highlights for me being the old Mott songs “All The Way From Memphis” and “All The Young Dudes” both of which probably had everyone in the crowd singing along. I certainly was. But my favourite two songs of the evening were “When I’m President” which works better live than it does in it’s recorded form, probably because it is such a great song. The other was the poignant “Michael Picasso” which was originally released as a part of Hunter’s ‘Artful Dodger’ album in 1996. It is a heartfelt tribute to the late, great Mick Ronson. I must admit that the lyrics often bring tears to my eyes, as they did on Thursday.

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Sadly the UK part of the tour is over now, but I urge you to go and see Ian and the band the next time they tour. You will not be disappointed. There are still plenty of dates left rolling into January. These are in Scandinavia, Japan and the USA. His merchandise stand was selling a ‘Live In The UK 2010′ CD which showcases just how good the band are in live performance. So while you’re waiting for that next tour get your hands on a copy of that CD. I have one final question how can Mr Hunter look so fit and young into his 70s? I need that secret! For another great review of Ian Hunter on this tour go to the backseatmafia blog who was at the Holmfirth show. I should add that none of the videos or pictures or videos on this post were taken by me and in fact none are from the Sheffield gig.

 

Brit Awards 2014 – Wednesday February 19th 2014 February 19, 2014


brits 2014The Brits has kicked off well with a storming “R U Mine” from those Sheffield scallywags the Arctic Monkeys. Will it all go downhill from here? Let’s find out shall we? Well at least James Corden was finally on fire for the first time hosting this show. Well the sleeve of his jacket was to set up a lame joke about the Arctic Monkey‘s pyrotechnics. Thankfully this will be his last Brits. The British Female Brit award was presented the shortest man in music Prince Rogers Nelson accompanied by his new band. Corden interrupted for a selfie with the purple one. Ellie Goulding won it and given the nominees deservedly so in my opinion. She was somewhat awed by meeting Prince too.

Katy Perry was next on stage and she went a bit Stargate Cleopatra on us. She sang “Dark Horse” from her new album ‘Prism’. I presume it’s not a George Harrison tribute. Kylie and Pharrell Williams presented the International Male solo Artist award after more inane and unfunny shite from Corden. It was won by Bruno Mars; personally I expected it to go to Justin Timberlake although I would have voted for Eminem.

Tinie Tempah and Fearne Cotton rocked up to present the British Breakthrough Act Award. It was well won by the rather excellent Bastille. I love the ‘Bad Blood’ album. Sadly Corden was back after that with a dreadful interview with One Direction which included some pathetic jokes about Justin Bieber in prison. Then we were subjected to Bruno Mars with “Treasure”. But to be fair I judged him too soon, that was a good performance. Really classy modern R & B.

Next up a welcome return from Lily Allen to present the award for Best British Group. Thank fuck it wasn’t won by Wand Erection. It went to a proper band instead. The marvellous Arctic Monkeys. The previously known winner of the newcomer award was the understated but talented Sam Smith.

Now we have the Global Success Award presented by Rosie double-barreled surname. Who the fuck is she? Was this Award manufactured for the ultimate manufactured band One Direction? Can’t we just sell them to the USA? Is Harry Styles having a wee the most controversial act of this years show? Sadly it probably is. The revolution doesn’t start here!

Beyonce live, now that was bloody good in my opinion. But was she lip syncing “XO”? The nest award was for best British single, presented by Katy Perry. Was she trying an English accent? Won by the fabulous Rudimental which thankfully beat Olly Murs and Wand Erection.

The first collaboration of this years show was Disclosure and Lorde with a really cool and funky take on Lorde’s “Royals”. Followed by a brilliant live rendition of “White Noise” with Aluna. The International Group award was presented by Cesc Fabregas (WTF?) and Nicole Scherzinger. The winners were Daft Punk. Could it really have been anyone else? The legend that is Nile Rodgers collected the award on their behalf.

Ellie Goulding was next to perform. She did “I Need Your Love” and “Burn”. I loved the massed percussion during “Burn”. I have really grown to like Ellie’s music. Noel Gallagher was there to present the best male solo artist award. Let’s hope he has a new album out soon. Fuck me Bowie’s only gone and won it! Kate Moss accepted it on Bowie’s behalf at his personal behest. A brilliant speech written by the Dame too. This has made my night!

Nick Grimshaw that bloke from Radio One who is moderately more talented than Chris Moyles stepped up to present the International Female solo artist award. Lorde was the winner and a bloody good choice too.  Bowie is a Lorde fan. Then we had yet another shite interview by Corden with Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams. The British Video award was voted for live on Twitter during the show and was presented by Jimmy Carr. Sadly it was won by Wand Erection with “Best Song Ever”, but it isn’t is it?

Rudimental and Bastille combined on stage to become Bastimental for the night. It certainly made up for a second 1D award for the night. Blimey just how sexy is Ella Eyre? Now we are onto the final award of the night, it’s the one that everyone wants. It’s best album and it was presented by Emilie Sande. It went to the Arctic Monkeys. It is a great album, but I was hoping for a second Brit of the night for David Robert Jones. But well done to Alex and the boys, although their acceptance speech was largely bollocks wasn’t it?

The show was closed by Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. What a barnstorming performance from two music masters. “Get Lucky”, “Good Times”, “Happy” the hits just kept coming. Overall I think this years show was an improvement on last year. Some marks out of ten from me; James Corden 1/10, Bowie winning a Brit 10/10 and for the overall show 5/10 could do better.

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“When your girl has left you out on the pavement” August 14, 2013


ABC Lexicon Of Love - London 1982

Regular readers of this blog will know that the 80s is my least favourite musical decade. however there were certainly some musical gems released in that dastardly period. Notably one of my favourite albums of all time; “Lexicon Of Love” from one of Sheffield’s finest bands, ABC in 1982. It was masterfully produced by Trevor Horn with stunning arrangements from Anne Dudley. For me this album really hasn’t aged at all.

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Lead singer and now the only original member left wrote most of the songs from the experience of being dumped by his girlfriend. But there is an excellent piece of trivia relating to one of the wonderful singles spawned by the album, “The Look Of Love” that I only heard about recently. Just after the line ‘When your girl has left you out on the pavement’ you can hear a female voice in response singing ‘goodbye’. Apparently this word is performed by the girl who dumped Martin Fry. Apparently Trevor Horn felt that this was a good idea. I have done a little research to find out the name of this woman, but I have so far drawn a blank. So if you are her or you know who she is I would love to interview her about her part in music history!

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The single reached number 4 in the UK charts and number 18 in the Billboard charts in the US. It went further in Canada and France where it reached number one. It was also a big success in the US Dance Chart were it also hit the top spot. The ‘Lexicon Of Love’ album went to number one in the UK album chart and acheived the same in both New Zealand and Finland.

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“The five years we have had have been such good times, I still love you” December 6, 2010


Well aren’t those December days just rushing past, this is the sixth day of my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar and therefore it must be (a bit of an easy one this) December 6th. So go ahead put your fingernail in the frame of the little cardboard door and pull it open carefully. Todays song takes us back to Christmas 1981. It’s those good Sheffield folk, the Human League with a little ditty called “Don’t You Want Me”. It was number one for five weeks in total and became the 30th different UK Christmas number one.

The hair and make-up artist left the country after this job

It was the band’s only UK number one and also reached the top in the US charts as well. They went on to have a further number one in the US with the excellent “Human” in 1986. “Don’t You Want Me” has become a bit af a party staple, I certainly play it at pretty much every mobile DJ gig I ever do. Yet another 80s song that I like, what’s up with me? The 80s was generally crap, wasn’t it?

In the early days Phil could only afford half a haircut

The band released their first single, “Being Boiled” in June 1978. The NME review was quite positive, although guest reviewer John Lydon dismissed the band as trendy hippies. Apparently David Bowie saw them play live at the end of 1978 and allegedly claimed that he had ‘seen the future of Pop Music’. They were even name checked in the Undertones song “My Perfect Cousin” with the line; ‘His mother bought him a synthesiser/Got the Human League in to advise her/Now he’s making lots of noise/Playing along with the art school boys’ An obvious dig at arty music too.

Nowadays Phil (like me) doesn't have any hair to cut

The band originally included Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh who both left in 1980 following a big bust up with Phil Oakey. They went on to form Heaven 17 and thanks to the Human League’s Virgin contract Marsh and Ware also received 1% of royalties from the next League album, which was ‘Dare’ home of “Don’t You Want Me”

The song has been covered a few times, including versions by Alcazar, Mandy Smith and the Farm. Click on the artist names to see and hear those versions.

Enjoy the original Human league video for the song below.

And finally here they are performing the song on Top Of The Pops

 

Wolf Gang – York City Screen Basement 16th November 2010 November 17, 2010


Having received the regular newsletter from Man Is Slapped recently I found that for the first time in ages I was able to attend one of his gigs. This would be the second time I have seen him at the York City Screen Basement, but more of him later. When I arrived I was greeted by the wonderful sound of Tom Waits playing over the house PA, including the fabulous “Hoist That Rag”. That just made me feel that this was set to be a good night and for once my instincts weren’t wrong, it was a great night.

First up were Detronik. Imagine a large serving of 80s Sheffield electro a la Human League and a couple of spoonfuls of the Stone Roses and Madchester at it’s 90s peak. Are you there? Well that’s how these guys made me feel. They were bloody good and if they were around in the 80s they would have cleaned up completely. I really loved their set, especially closing number “Death To The Disco”. Check out the band on MySpace and the original lineup on YouTube.

Man Is Slapped

Man Is Slapped was the second of three acts and this will be the third time I have seen him play. If you put down what he does on paper (or perhaps in a blog post) you would surely think that this shouldn’t work. But it does work and it works so very well. He played a few new songs from his new EP; Socially Inept which as a fan I obviously purchased. He also di his usual thing of sampling his own sound and vocals in order to provide backing for his songs. Is there anyone else about that can actually do this? Even if there are I doubt that they would be better than Mr Slapped. he even expanded his sound on a couple of songs by using a guitar. Perhaps the next EP will be ‘Man Is Slapped Goes Punk’? He also played a brief electro interlude advertising his web presence and CD for sale. He should be much, much bigger, make it so dear readers! Check him out on MySpace here and also on YouTube here.

Wolf Gang - but this is clearly not a lion and it's clearly not in a cage!

Finally it was the turn of the headliners, I must confess that until tonight I had never heard them and whilst Detronik and Man Is Slapped were excellent I think Wolf Gang surpassed them. They were truly stupendous and excellent band, especially the drummer. The vocalist was also very, very good. The blurb on the gig poster suggests that they go some way to mashing together Talking Heads and Empire Of The Sun. I wouldn’t disagree with this but I would also add that there was an element of early Simple Minds in there too, back in the days when Jim Kerr‘s boys were actually good. I would certainly pay to see this band again and if they’re playing near you it would be foolish and negligent of you to miss them. The next couple of weeks will see them play Glasgow, Sheffield, Brighton, Birmingham, Southampton, London, Bristol and Manchester. I hope they play at the Reading Festival next year. They finished their set with their new single “Lions In Cages” which is released on 22nd November, buy it and make them a happy band. Then they will then be just like me for I went home a happy man! Check them out on MySpace by clicking here and their own website by clicking here and then enjoy a couple more Wolf Gang videos below;

 

 
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