With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Julia Bardo – Fulford Arms, York – Saturday 14th March 2020 March 30, 2020


This post is very late largely because the whole COVID-19 somewhat dampened my enthusiasm for writing. This is now the last gig for me and all of us for weeks, maybe months. So I feel a need to document it. It was another great looking line up from Simon Pattinson head honcho of Northern Radar. First up were Fawn, a musically talented bunch and the pet project of Ilana Zsigmond, a transatlantic singer-songwriter who moved to the UK a few years ago. Her band featured Crispin Halcrow who has featured on this blog before as a solo performer. Ilana reminds me of Linda Ronstadt in her early, in which case are her band a fledgling Eagles? Who knows? Crispin is more Glen Frey than Joe Walsh in style, so maybe! Ilana’s between-song banter was intelligent, amusing and frankly spot on. Her song about York (apologies I missed the title) was close to sublime while “Skin” was truly stunning, a really beautiful song. For me, it encapsulates perfectly that journey of understanding who you are and getting to know and understand yourself. Lyrically it is faultless, with my favourite line being ““But I still build forts and I still skip stones and I still haven’t read every book that I own”. That sums me up to a degree, although I probably need to start building more forts!

Fawn

Next up is the extraordinarily talented Kitty VR. I have seen her previously with a band and also solo acoustic, tonight was with a full band. In this environment, Kitty loses a little of her solo acoustic fragility. But that is more than compensated for by the deeper and more expansive sound that a band brings to her growing canon of great songs. “My Kind” is an open-hearted lament when performed solo acoustically. But here it felt like an amazing collaboration between Massive Attack, Portishead and the Cocteau Twins with Jimmy Page producing. this was not just a highlight of Kitty’s set for me, it was also the highlight of the night! Kitty, whether with band or solo retains that elusive Jeff Buckleyesque style that since Jeff’s sad demise I have only ever heard through Kitty and her supremely talented contemporary Laura Kindelan.

Kitty VR

This was the first time that I had come across Julia Bardo and I was pretty impressed. She has great songs with elements that sit on the softer side of Patti Smith and maybe a little Justine Frischmann (Elastica) and Louise Wener (Sleeper) seeping into Julia’s tonal quality. She has some soaring, heartfelt and soul pouring ballads in her powerful song repertoire. There is also a Stevie Nicks comparison which wasn’t apparent until Julia and her band launched into an awesome cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”.  But this was not just a carbon copy cover the song evolved into an extended guitar fade, jam, wigout that matched the Velvet Underground at their peak. Julia Bardo is well worth checking out if you like great music and classy tunes you will love her stuff! Interestingly given the focus on gender equality festival line ups all three of tonight’s acts were incredibly talented women. Festival organisers take note for 2021 (on the assumption that the 2020 festival season will be canned).

Julia Bardo

After the gig, I went for a few drinks with the aforementioned Simon Pattinson and Jared, Joe and Jordan from Avalanche Party who were punters at the show. That is another band that I am looking forward to seeing again once this virus is history. Given that was my final pub visit before close down I can think of far worse people to spend it with. Simon, Jared, Joe, and Jordan thanks for a great night and I look forward to meeting up again on the other side of all this!

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap Chinese android phone. The videos were all found on YouTube if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know. 

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Marsicans – Fulford Arms, York – Tuesday 3rd March 2020 March 9, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:10 am
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Another Northern Radar gig promotion hosted by the talented Simon Pattinson, this time at one of York’s great gig venues, the Fulford Arms. This was lined up as a pre-SXSW warm-up gig for headliners the Marsicans. Sadly as I am writing this review news has just come through that this year’s SXSW has been cancelled thanks to Coronavirus. This must be devastating news for the Marsicans and many other bands. My thoughts are with the Marsicans and all the other acts affected by this decision. In the meantime, I am here to tell you about the gig. So here goes.

First to take to the boards were Pool Room from York. They have a really cool USA FM Radio vibe about their sound but with much less AOR and more full-on ROCK edge. Pool Room also have a great jazz feel at times too, not like traditional or pure jazz but more like Steely Dan, but a much heavier sound. So as steel is not the heaviest metal in the world that is Osmium, then ladies and gentlemen let me bring you Pool Room a.k.a. Osmiumly Dan! This is a band of supremely or even obscenely talented musicians who seem to really know their rock history. Their cover of a Black Keys song was sublime. This was the first time that I have seen them, it definitely won’t be that last.

Second on stage were Flooded and this would be the third time that I have seen them. Both previous occasions were Northern Radar gigs at the Fulford Arms; February 2018 and January 2019. I hope it becomes more than an annual event for me. Flooded combine power pop, punk, light funk and blend them together in some epic pop and rock tunes. At times they sound like late 70s punk bands when they went beyond being one chord wonders and discovered melodies and pop sensibilities, like The Damned, Generation X and Siouxse and the Banshees. If Mike Skinner had taken a more punky direction then I believe that the Streets might have evolved into something like Flooded. This band writes youth anthems for the disaffected and downtrodden younger generation.  Edward has a very good voice, but maybe not a great voice, at least yet anyway. But that does not matter because he makes up for it by sheer force of personality. Tonight he proved himself to be one of the best frontmen around. You absolutely need to check this band out.

I can’t believe that I have only seen Leeds band Marsicans just once before this, that was at the Leeds Festival in 2018 on the BBC Introducing Stage. I liked them back then and having listened to them a lot since I bloody love them now. Their vocals and harmonising are close to immaculate. They played a lot of songs from their new album in readiness for the now sadly cancelled SXSW appearance. I hear that they are planning on going to Austin anyway, rather than lose money. I hope that they find some gigs out there and come home having kicked off a decent fanbase in Texas. The crowd was really up for this and the band clearly knew that and metaphorically slapped us in the face with one of the best headline sets that I have seen for a while. You can hear some stylish jangly indie guitars, some heavier riffs, a rhythm section on peak form (especially Cale on drums) and emotional, soaring vocals in their songs. In fact, all the songs have great hooks and choruses and this band knows how to write a perfect earworm. New single “Juliet” epitomises everything that is great about the Marsicans. I reckon the new album will take the music world by storm and they will definitely get another shot at SXSW.

All the photos apart from the gig poster and the shot of the Marsicans were taken by me on my cheap Chinese android phone. The picture of the Marsicans was taken by Simon Pattinson on his much more expensive phone. The videos were all found on YouTube if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know. 

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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Presents A Gig For SASH – The Crescent, York – Friday 3rd January 2020 January 7, 2020


This is not really a review in the truest sense, more of a little tale as to how, as With Just A Hint Of Mayhem, I promoted my first gig. The idea gelled quite a while ago, I had wanted to do something to celebrate my own 60th birthday (1st January 2019) and the tenth birthday of my With Just A Hint Of Mayhem blog (9th February 2019). But for various reasons I took a lot longer to get things moving so, in reality, I suppose the gig celebrates my 61st birthday (January 1st, 2020) and the blogs eleventh anniversary next month (9th February 2020). One decision I made early was that this first, and possibly only, gig would be for charity. Mostly because I felt that if it went belly up then people might be more forgiving. I chose SASH as it is a charity close to my heart for far more reasons than I have time to go into here. SASH is a youth homelessness charity that works across York, North and East Yorkshire. They provide invaluable help to young people aged 16-25 who are facing homelessness.

The Receivers – Picture-Copyright – Charlie Kirkpatrick

After that all I had to decide was which bands I wanted on the bill, easy peasy, right? Well not quite, one band I was keen to have play agreed to be there and then had to pull out for logistical reasons, sadly the band broke up towards the end of last year too. So that left three out of four to secure for the night. A year ago I said to Rusty, the singer from Lost Trends that I was planning a charity gig, with no prompting he said: “we’re in!” With a stern straight face, I replied: “I haven’t asked you yet!” But obviously Lost Trends then became the first band to be pencilled in. Would I be able to secure the next two bands? Well, that part wasn’t too difficult and from initial conversations, it was clear that the Receivers and My Wonderful Daze were very keen to help and to play at the Crescent on 3rd January. After some advice from people who know their stuff (thank you Joe Coates and Simon Pattinson) I dropped my original wish of four bands on the bill to three. So now all was set and I embarked on a social media campaign of promotion. I was concerned that upfront ticket sales were low, but everyone kept telling me that there would be plenty of walk-ins on the night. Thankfully all those people were right and we had I think something like 80 – 90 people there on the night.

My Wonderful Daze – Picture-Copyright – Charlie Kirkpatrick

The running order was decided by online vote after the Receivers chose to open the show (they have a number of headline gigs coming up). In a close-fought vote, Lost Trends pipped My Wonderful Daze to the headline spot. So it would be doors open at 7:30, the Receivers at 8, My Wonderful Daze at 9 and Lost Trends at 10. I wanted to be there for all the preparation so I arrived at the Crescent at 4pm, before any of the bands ready and waiting to witness the soundchecks. Even that was exciting for me and by then I was running on pure grade adrenaline. All three bands were on top form at soundcheck aided and abetted by ace soundman Stu Bellis. The team at the Crescent were superb and I learned a lot from them for next time (yes I am sure there will be more from me!). Suddenly it was time for the doors to open and I stood by the ticket table waiting for the punters to flood in! It was more of a trickle at first but a relentless trickle which continued at quite a pace for the next hour or so.

Lost Trends – Picture-Copyright – Charlie Kirkpatrick

Before the bands came on Matt Messias told the crowd about all the great work that SASH do to help prevent youth homelessness. Every band played like they were headliners which made it a blistering night of fabulous music. The Receivers played crowdpleasers like “Saturday” and showcased a couple of new songs. Guitarist Alex had some instrument issues towards the end of their set but improvised with some maniacal Bez dancing. Flowers a.k.a. Chloe the obscenely talented frontwoman of My Wonderful Daze had an awful cold but did not let that deter her or the band from pulling off an incendiary set. The crowd had been up for a party and were wearing their bopping shoes and dancing trousers and showing their best moves all night. That culminated in the whole room grooving to those famous indie dance punkateers Lost Trends. It was a great night of punk, funk, psych, indie, metal, glam, and ROCK. It was LOUD and I loved it. Everyone that I spoke to loved it too. All three bands looked to be having great fun on stage as well. The Receivers and My Wonderful Daze offered much of their merch sales to SASH. I know that Lost Trends would have done the same but they are currently “the band with no merch”! So thanks to all the paying punters (many of whom gave their change to the charity), merch sales, all the bands turning down a rider and a discount on the venue hire fee we raised more than £400 for SASH. That is beyond my wildest expectations and it will fund 21 safe nights sleep to young people facing homelessness in our community. I cannot thank you all enough for what you helped us achieve. With Just A Hint Of Mayhem will definitely be doing more gigs!

Matt & Bill – Picture-Copyright – Charlie Kirkpatrick

As a postscript, there was an after-party of sorts at the Priory for shameless Karaoke. But while there were some true legends made into the early hours via Abba songs, Cyndi Lauper tunes and a couple of the Dame’s greatest hits, what went on at the Priory stays at the Priory. Although if you would like to pay me a fiver which I will give to SASH I will tell you as much as I can remember!

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by Charlie Kirkpatrick of Kirkpatrick Photography please do not share or use without permission. You can find Kirkpatrick Photography here and on Facebook. There are a few more excellent pictures from Charlie just below the following public service announcement, including some great crowd shots. I recognise quite a few of those punters! Incidentally, the gig poster was designed and made by me! The videos were all found on YouTube if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know. 

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LIFE – The Fulford Arms, York – Tuesday 29th October 2019 November 3, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:27 pm
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LIFE from Hull is a band that was on the fringe of my music radar before tonight. I had heard a few of their songs and liked them but I had never seen them live, until now. Did I find them to be a good live band? You will need to read on to find out because first there was the little matter of one of York’s best current bands, Faux Pas in support.  This was the third time that I have seen them live in the last twelve months and they step it up a couple of gears every time I see them if they continue at this rate they will be huge. It was a fast-paced, blistering set that showcased the power and poise that this band has in abundance. Ru’s vocals were at peak performance and equal to Brian Molko on his best days. The guitar work from Lewis was everything from Steve Jones to Johnny Marr with the Edgell stamp across it all. Super sticksman Joey sweated an ocean as he pounded the living daylights out of his kit. “That’s My Ego” was the highlight for me, but there were so many to choose from. If I was in a band I would not want to follow Faux Pas on to the stage.

But LIFE did follow them and they were phenomenal, touring to promote their monumentally stunningly good second album ‘A Picture Of Good Health’ they owned the Fulford Arms. If they wanted to they could probably have levitated the building with the sheer volume and energy that was emanating from the stage. Vocalist Mez is a real heart on his sleeve punk showman who looks like he loves what he is doing and he totally gets his audience. The crowd was totally up for this set. It was great to hear the cheers from the crowd when Mez shouted “Fuck Boris”, Fuck The Tories” and “Fuck Trump”. Mez ventured among the crowd a lot and we lapped it up. He ended the show on someone’s shoulders for the final song, no mean feat given how low the Fulford Arms ceiling is. As with Faux Pas, there were many highlights, but standouts for me were “Half Pint Fatherhood”, “Bum Hour” and “Popular Music”. I also have a confession relating to misheard lyrics a.k.a. mondegreen; I had not listened to “It’s A Con” before the gig and I was convinced that Mez was singing “It’s A Cunt”, rather embarrassingly I was wrong, but in my head that is how I will sing it forevermore! If any of you ever doubted that punk had a future, I can tell you that it definitely does, especially in the hands of bands like LIFE. Mez, Lydia, Mick, and Stew take a bow you were possibly the best band that I have seen in 2019 and there have been some great ones. LIFE, the best band to come out of Hull since the Spiders From Mars!

All the photos were found via Google searches. The videos were all found on YouTube. If any of the pictures or videos are yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove them please let me know. 

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Lost Trends – Victoria Vaults, York – Thursday 18th July 2019 July 23, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 5:53 pm
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This gig marked my first ever visit to the famous Victoria Vaults (a.k.a. Vicci Vaults) in York. It would also be the fifth time that I have had the chance to experience the mighty Lost Trends, one of Yorks finest bands, playing live. But before I tell you about Lost Trends there is the not so small matter of the two rather spiffing support acts. First on stage was Borderline, another local band who interestingly have no guitarist. But honestly, you really don’t notice that with the heavy, synth-laden, beautiful racket they make. At times I detected a synth, indie, Brit Pop style with shades of New Order and Dave Gahan. The highlight of their set for me was the delightfully titled “The Duchess Dies Tonight”. But that was a close run thing with “In A Vacuum”, which bled with the pumping heart of Heaven 17. But a Heaven 17 from a parallel universe where the never had a fractious split with the original Human League. Steve Gillies vocals occasionally hit a rich seam of Gary Numanesque style and delivery. The aforementioned lack of guitar was rendered invisible by the rhythm section that provided the power of more than just two people. James Brown on drums and bass player Tome Brown were totally in sync with each other throughout the set. Borderline are an excellent band that you really need to check out.

Borderline

Scarborough band the Feens graced the stage next and what an outfit they are, riding on the crest of some excellent airplay on BBC Six Music, BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio they hit the stage with a truckload of energy and great tunes. Think Talking Heads with Johnny Marr on guitar duties, yes Sam Dowling is that good! Freddie Schmuck one of the Feens dual lead vocalists has a feel of Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig about him. When the other dual lead singer, bass player Adam Lodge gets going it’s like being hit by a massive injection of Arcade Fire. The Feens are a highly talented and truly brilliant band that promises so much more. I believe this bunch can go all the way!

The Feens

At last, it was time for the mighty Lost Trends, easily one of York’s best bands from the last five years. It was probably George Clinton or Bootsy Collins who coined the phrase Funkateers, well I believe Lost Trends are true Funkateers, on top of that their outlook and attitude suggest Punkateers too. This is a rock band that thinks it’s a funk band, a funk band that thinks it’s an indie band, an indie band that thinks it’s a punk band. The truth is they are all of those genres, and more, combined into a musical package that will blow your socks off and blow your mind. Every song they have is a dance floor banger that would be perfectly at home pumping from the main stage of Reading/ Leeds. We were treated to some great cuts from their EP “Time” launched earlier this year and some old classics, including “DJ” which is a song about crap DJs. I have said this of Lost Trends before but their stuff would be amazing if featured on a dance remix album by the likes of the Chemical Brothers or Soulwax. As usual Pete Knaggs’ guitar never lets up as it shimmers across the magnificent sounds emanating from a rhythm section that would grace any top band. Rusty’s vocal performance was once again immense and full of power and passion. This band deserves to be huge and if you haven’t seen Lost Trends yet, then you had better rectify that very quickly, otherwise, I will have to come around and sort you out! I know where you live!

Lost Trends

Rusty off of Lost Trends

 

Public Service Announcement: All pictures, apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap android phone. All videos were sourced from YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like me to credit you or take it down please let me know.

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Wild Front – Fulford Arms, York – Tuesday 29th January 2019 February 7, 2019


Another night of Northern Radar fun was upon us. some bands I have seen before and some that are new to me. This is often the case when the talented Mr Pattinson puts a show together. I have been to many, many Northern Radar shows and Simon has not let me down so far. Will this gig at the Fulford Arms be the exception to that rule? Read on to find out dear reader. I should mention that this was a very important night in many ways, we were celebrating Independent Venue Week and the Fulford Arms would be visited by real radio royalty, Steve Lamacq! A bit more about him later, let’s get to the bands first. Taking the stage first in an already rammed venue were the delightful Neon Salmon, a great band that I saw quite recently. This is the bunch that wear Kimonos and fairy lights and they do that with style. I get a sense of the fun side of Edwyn Collins with Neon Salmon and also the quintessentially eccentric British sound of Stackridge. The latter struck me early on and was perhaps quite pertinent given that the Salmon boys bravely, skilfully and very successfully covered “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes”, a 1979 hit by the Korgis. Where is the pertinence in that? Well Any Davis and James warren were former members of Stackridge when they formed the Korgis. Neon salmon showed their skill at putting together jazz fused funky sounds with some supreme Flugelhorn overlay. On top of that you cannot deny that “Smoked Mackerel Cat” comes close to drowning in its awesomeness. They even had the audience moshing and crowd surfing, which is no mean feat in a small venue like the Fulford Arms. Get your arse of your sofa and take yourself along to see Neon Salmon, you will be properly entertained.

Cowgirl took to the stage next, they are hard bluesy with a whiff of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club about them. They have a perfect blend of garage punk and 60s slacker surf rock sounds. Vocally you can imagine this might be what Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground might sound like if they were much younger and were formed now. Since the show I have checked them out on-line “You’re Not There” and “She Picks Me Up” are great songs. I would pay to see Cowgirl again they have the perfect sound for a small, packed, sweaty venue like the Fulford Arms. Cowgirl are what the Kings Of Leon might have become if they still gave a shit!

There were four bands on tonight and the third of those was Flooded, now that is a somewhat risky name for a York band, but who cares they are a tight band that could use music to roll back a deluge. I believe that this former three-piece have added a new front man to their ranks and it was a great move as this dude has a fabulous voice. “Butterflies” is a stupendous and classy song, the crowd loved it. Flooded are a band that is abundant with wonderful contradictions; hard punky garage, jangly indie and some deceptively heavy riffage. Is it me getting older or are bands just getting younger? This lot is like a bunch of baby-faced Rock Assassins. You need some Flooded in your life.

Tonights headliners were Wild Front all the way from Southampton and Andy, Josh, Jack and Mike smashed it. Their songs are emotionally driven anthems which stick with you long after the gig high starts to fade. “Make You Feel” is like a Beach Boys Stone Roses coupling but with much better vocals. This is a band that knows their stuff the musicianship is 100% spot on and the soaring vocals and harmonies take you to wonderful places. Wild Front are destined for much greater things I am sure. This is truly beautiful music from an absolutely stunning band. All the bands tonight were very, very good but Wild Front were simply the classiest band on a very classy night.

So what about Steve Lamacq? Well I had a chance to chat with him briefly while he talked Mr Pattinson and me through his journey into music. He is a proper top bloke as, of course, is Simon Pattinson who put this show together. So yes it was another great show from Northern Radar at one of York’s best gig venues. Support your Independent Venues people, they are the real lifeblood of the music scene!

 

The music force is strong with these two!

Public Service Announcement – All the photographs, apart from the gig poster, were taken by me on my rather snazzy new Canon camera. All the videos were found on YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like a credit or for me to take it down please give me a shout.

 

The Receivers – Fulford Arms, York – Tuesday 8th January 2019 January 15, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:58 am
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A new year and my first Northern Radar gig of the year. Simon “Northern Radar” Pattinson never lets me down with his shows, did this one measure up? Read on to find out. Azera were first on, they have some really great and some ‘alright’ (their words) songs. They covered the Pixies and smashed it and smashed it again with a brave and brilliant cover of Radiohead’s “Just”. Some might say that a band with a singing drummer might be a bit of a novelty, not me though. This bloke is an ace sticksman with a bloody marvellous voice. I am not sure what their closing song was called but honestly if you closed your eyes you could almost imagine that it was Nirvana on stage.

The driving, punchy, punky riff fest that is the Silvertones were next up. This lot are in possession of some incredibly melodic and very, very rock sounds, especially in the vocal department. I felt that they were reminiscent of some of the finest post punk, new wave power pop from the late 70s, the Motors spring to mind. I also felt the influence of Blur’s Graham Coxon in some of the guitar hooks. The Silvertones are definitely a band to watch out for.

Tonights penultimate band was Neon Salmon, oh boy what a band! If you like your rock funky, jazzy (but not jazz funk), psychedelic a bit C86 and a bit Orange Juice then this lot are definitely for you. I blooming well love them! Their stage gear included kimonos and fairy lights which made them seem like a vision of Del Trotter at bedtime! Thank you to Simon P for that line 🙂 neon Salmon are the epitome of a good time party band. It looked like they were absolutely loving it. The chocolate fish prize for the most enthusiastic dancer was ace and was awarded to a very worthy winner too. This band deserves great success. Anyone who has a song called “Smoked Mackerel Cat” must be good, right?

Headliners were another great York band, the Receivers. This lot doesn’t only have balls, but a huge talent as well. The lead singer was sporting a Smiths T Shirt but they are so much happier and smile bringing than that miserable old sod Mozza is these days. Their sound is a bit grungey, a little jangly indie and has added all out rock vibes. They are an incredibly tight band and it felt like they were really well rehearsed. The guitarist never stopped moving and even made a couple of forays into a highly enthusiastic crowd. Their rapport with the audience was classy. “Rimshot” is a magnificent new song and despite the introduction I doubt that it is actually about pleasure in the nether regions.  Personally I wouldn’t have fancied following any of tonights support acts, but the Receivers didn’t think that way as they blew the roof off the Fulford Arms during the venues fifth birthday week.  Calling the Receivers in has always seemed so negative, but I would be very happy to call this lot in!

Public Serve Announcement: apart from the gig poster all the pictures are by me and taken on my rather spiffing Canon camera which was a birthday present for my birthday on January 1st (if you must know I am now 20 with 40 years experience) Also this is my first attempt at gig photography, please be gentle with me 😉

 

Eugene Gorgeous – Fulford Arms, York – Wednesday 28th November 2018 November 30, 2018


Sometimes I really need to psych myself up to go out to a gig on a week night, especially a Wednesday. But a gig hosted by Joe Coates (Please Please You) and Simon Pattinson (Northern Radar) ought to make it worth it and frankly it was well worth it! It was also great to catch up with the top bloke that is Dan Lucas, head honcho of the wonderful Boss Caine. First up was a sneaky set from one of York’s best bands, Skylights. A good opportunity for a final live show before their showcase headliner at the Brudenell in Leeds the following day (a review of that show will be heading your way very soon!). Often bands on first play like they are a support band, but Skylights blew that one away. They smashed into this like they were headliners. They were magnificent from the opening bar of “Life Line” to the loud feedback driven end to “Reverb”. Obviously “YRA” was amazing, but tonight “Britannia” stole the show for me. This was a  band totally ready to bring the house down at the Brudenell at their next gig.

Next up it was Liverpool’s the Mysterines. I must confess that I was not sure of that name, but once they start that becomes irrelevant. The noise they create is some of the best rock music that you will ever hear. The pace never slows down and “I Just Love To Hate You” is possibly one of my new favourite songs. Lia Mysterine’s voice has the passion of Patti Smith, the punk attitude of Joan Jett and the cheeky glam tone of Suzi Quatro. With a drummer channelling the spirit of Keith Moon and the Muppets Animal, alongside a bass player that provides a deep thudding underlay the Mysterines are destined to go far.

The headliners tonight, Eugene Gorgeous, should be the subject of some work by the world famous Pete Frame of Rock Family Trees fame. The singer’s brother is a part of Bull and tonight the drummer was Harry from Black Lagoons and the collective has representation from other bands too. The simplest way to describe them would be eclectic, but even that doesn’t do them justice. For me they have a lot of prime Lou Reed period Velvet Underground about them but then they put that aside with an incredible cover of Aretha’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” in which they don’t change the gender, which makes it work even better. This is the first time that I have seen them in more than two years and the VU came up in my description of them back then. I said “imagine if you will the Velvet Underground meeting the Jesus and Mary Chain at a dive bar in Twin Peaks.” well I believe that description still stands .Vocalist Paddy Beer is like the EverReady bunny fuelled by energy drinks and milk! If you love music then you cannot dislike this mightily talented bunch. I don’t think any of them are actually called Eugene but they sure as hell make the most gorgeous noise! If you haven’t caught up with Eugene Gorgeous yet then I suggest that you get yourself acquainted with them immediately!

Public Service Announcement: – All photographs (except the Eugene Gorgeous name tag) were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.

 

Tom Hingley and the Karpets – Fibbers, York – Saturday 3rd November 2018 November 11, 2018


This night would mark my second opportunity to see the rather brilliant Skylights from York and also serve to remind me of just how old I am. Why the latter? Well I realised that the first time that I ever saw Tom Hingley was at the Reading Festival in 1990 when he was the lead singer of the Inspiral Carpets. They headlined that year and no doubt I also caught a glimpse, without knowing, of their guitar tech; a young Noel Gallagher. That is nearly 30 years ago! Anyway enough of all that reminiscing how about I tell you about this gig at the Crescent? Well first l I should apologise for missing the Feds who were first on the bill. The ticket said 8 p.m. and I got there just before that only to find that the Feds had hit the stage at 7:15. Oh well I will need to catch them another time. The second band on were Apollo Junction from Leeds and they are purveyors of fine, quality pop rock. The audience was not a bad size at this point but everyone was congregated around the two raised spaces leaving the main floor empty. However this did not deter Apollo Junction who had already suffered one setback as their keyboard player, Sam was too unwell to join them. Not only were they not deterred they were positively inspired with three of the band; Jamie, Matt and Ben coming on to the floor to continue their set. Drummer Jonathan was left on his tod on the stage. This is a band with a hell of a future. They are Gareth Bale’s favourite band don’t you know!

Apollo Junction

The immensely talented Skylights were up next to play what is possibly their last show in York for sometime as they will be operating out of Leeds going forward. So did they play like it was their last home town gig for a while? They sure as shit did, they totally owned the audience and shook Fibbers to its core. There is no slow build up with this band they hammer you into submission from the opening bars. They are able to do that for a number of reasons, first their songs are anthemic, memorable and sit in your head after the first listen. Secondly this is one of the tightest bands around. Myles and Jonny on bass and drums  are a powerhouse rhythm section with what seems like an innate ability to achieve perpetual motion. Meanwhile it is in the live setting that you really can appreciate what a latent talent Turnbull has as a guitarist. His riffing and soloing swirls over every song more akin to the contribution of Johnny Marr to the Smiths or Bernard Butler to Suede. Add to that the stylish and very British rock vocals and a stage presence that draws from Liam Gallagher (back in the days when Liam was great) from  front man Rob and you have a potent combination of potential greatness! “YRA” and “What You Are” were most definitely particular highlights for me.

Finally it was time for headline band Tom Hingley and the Karpets. I have been an Inspiral Carpets fan for many years but while I have seen them with and without Tom I had never seen Tom on his own. Mr Hingley’s opening statement was a heartfelt plea or perhaps more like a strict order to “GET TO THE FUCKING FRONT” over the sounds of “Commercial Reign” from 1990, and it worked, everyone moved forward as one. I suspect that everyone in the crowd was glad that they did move as well because that is the place to experience something as marvellous as this. All of the greatest Inspiral Carpets songs were aired; “She Comes In The Fall”, “Dragging Me Down”, “Bitches Brew” and “I Want You”. That last one made me realise how much the world misses Mark E Smith who contributed vocals to the original release. The set would have been incomplete with what is for me the greatest song the Inspiral Carpets ever recorded, “Saturn V”. I gave myself a sore throat singing along to that. There was an excellent cover of “Tainted Love” which was interestingly preceded by a few bars of the Joan Jett/ Arrows hit “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll”. The evening was brought to an emotional close with the emotional roller coaster of “This Is How It Feels”. A quick special mention to bass player Ste Pearce who kindly topped up my plastic wine bottle from his bottle of white wine from the rider. Tom Hingley is a supremely talented performer who knows his audience so very well. I met him briefly at the merch stand after the show where he kindly signed the book and CD that I bought. Based on the show tonight and that brief meeting I reckon Mr Hingley is a top bloke!

Public Service Announcement: – All photographs were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.

 

 

 

Skylights – The Crescent, York – Saturday 18th August 2018 August 23, 2018


Any gig which has bands on the bill that you are a fan of has to be good right? Well I had very high hopes for this one. I have had the pleasure of reviewing a couple of recent songs by headliners, Skylights and a couple by another great York band Honours. This would also be the third time I had seen Honours play live. The venue was the wonderfully quirky Crescent in York. First up were a band that I had not heard of before this show, Fond. So two Scotsmen and a Yorkshire walk into a band and call it Fond. Apologies for the poor humour but I am not particularly fond of this lot. They are very competent musicians and some of their songs, particularly their set closer strive to raise the spirit of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. It is an admirable intention but one which ultimately failed for me. In my opinion this lot might be better suited to open for a Who tribute band in a small pub.

Fond

Honours were next and as they always seem to do they played a set that could easily have been from a headline slot. Two songs that are now becoming classics; “Freedom” and “Duchess” had the crowd, which included members of Hello Operator, bouncing hard. Daniel and Tom power a finely tuned rhythm section engine which under pins the riff laden road laid down by Struan. On top of that is Jordan’s excellent vocal which could power a Formula 1 car. They also showcased a new song, “Gone” which might be their next single. It was apparently not even a week old and for me it stole their set, a truly stunning tune. Once again this raises my expectations in anticipation of the first Honours album, whenever that might arise.

Honours

Tonight’s headliners Skylights are on the comeback trail and this show is a big part of that comeback. So was it worth Rob and Rob and Myles Soley returning? Damned right it was! Their first two releases, “YRA 2018” and “What You Are” sound excellent in the recorded versions but when played live they take flight with the power of a supersonic plane. There were a lot of additional vocalists in the crowd for “YRA”. Influenced by the likes of Oasis and perhaps the Verve they also put their own personality on some great songs. “Drive Me Away” singularly failed to drive anyone away and kept us all rocking. I hope Skylights stick around for a bit longer this time! All in all this was another great night at the Crescent. Thanks to Turnbull for putting me on the guest list. It was great catching up with ace York music promoter Simon Pattinson again. Mr P how the hell did we manage to drink so much?

Skylights

and the crowd go wild!

Chilling in the Green Room!

Public Service Announcement: All pictures are courtesy of my cheap Android Chinese mobile phone. Except the shot of the audience, that was supplied by Turnbull Skylight 🙂 Videos are sourced from YouTube. If you would like me to credit you as videographer or to remove them please let me know.

 

 
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