With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘What You Are’ – Skylights May 5, 2022


The anticipation for the debut Skylights has been huge for a long while now. The band has slogged their way onwards and upwards to the point where they are selling out shows as far afield as Scotland and Ireland. They are clearly outperforming their beloved Leeds United too. As Leeds head for the Championship Skylights are heading to the top of the Premier League! Will this album cement them in the classic UK rock mantle? I think it might. The record kicks off with “Outlaw”, a mighty powerful statement indeed and in my opinion their finest single so far. What better way to kick off an album than with an absolute banger. It features Turnbull’s finest riffs to date and Rob’s vocal oozes a heady passion. “Nothing Left To Say” drops the intensity very, very slightly, but the sweeping chorus and haunting backing vocals from Jonny more than compensate. The guitar screams like a banshee on heat and Jonny’s bass would register on the Richter scale. “What You Are” makes it three anthems in a row. Then comes “Britannia” which doesn’t let up, Myles’ drumming is reminiscent of early Public Image Limited and drives the tunes, ultimately positive and hopeful, lyrics.

The acoustic take on “Darkness Falls” brings the power level down a little and is a truly sublime ballad. The string arrangements are classy and enhance the already great track. This is the band’s most complete and beautiful lyrics in my opinion. Rob’s voice has a yearning, soulful feel to it and you really do believe he is sorry as the words say. If you like post-punk “Enemies” has that kind of feel and once again features a riff-fest with the might of a neutron bomb. Just over halfway through the tune has a stupendous psychedelic feel and the chorus won’t let you go. “Breaking outta school cos we were high, Kicking down doors just a you and I, Enemies they’ve got to know, Dream those dreams don’t let ’em go” These lads have never let their dreams go and this album proves it. Next is perhaps the one Skylights track that everyone is surely familiar with, “YRA”. It is always a true highlight of their live set and it shows how far the band has grown when you consider that this great tune is not even close to being the best on the album.

“Lifeline” opens with the couplet, “I’m in the mood, I’m in the mood for grooving” and this is the Skylights track that is crying out for a warped dance mix, someone like the Chemical Brothers would blow this one out of the sky. It is already a force 10 funk gale with titanic tornado riffs. The whole band are on fire with “Take Me Somewhere” which is reminiscent of Green Day’s “When September Ends”, albeit a little faster. The album closes with “Driving Me Away” which has a Beatlesesque feel in the production and orchestration and shows just how versatile this band can be. Some versions of the release will include a commentary from Rob and Turnbull on all the tracks and they add a nice curio to the whole thing, although I think only Skylights fanatics will listen to them regularly. The album is an absolutely superb debut and without doubt a contender for album of the year! The vinyl and CD version of the album is out on 6th May and the digital release follows a week later. “Driving Me Away” will be the band’s next single and that comes out on 6th May. All on the rather splendid 42’s Records.

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“Outlaw” – Skylights March 25, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:09 am
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Outlaw – Sleeve Art – Credit Paul Evans, Painted Papillion Smile

Crowded House once told us “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and that should be a mantra for the good things in life. It is clear that uber talented York band followed that advice and have never given up their dream. Maybe that is helped by the experience of supporting Leeds United, but nonetheless, never lose your dreams people. Since reemerging on the scene a few years ago Skylights trajectory has been close to perpendicular. They have played some amazing support slots and for 2022 there will be the first album, homecoming shows at Acomb Working Men’s Club, A headline show at the O2 Academy in Leeds, and a support slot at Bridlington Spa with one of their heroes and influences, The Enemy.

skylights – live Leeds University – photo by Mark Tighe

Just to make things even better they release their latest single, “Outlaw” today, March 25th on 42’s Records. It is their most punk-inflected tune to date and in my opinion would make an amazing choice to open the album, although I am sure it is a bit late for this old bloke to influence that decision! It carries shades of New Order, Joy Division, and early Oasis, back in the days when the boys from Burnage were a great band. “Outlaw” is a live anthem in waiting and I can’t wait to hear the lads pump it out on stage. Click here to stream it on Spotify. I believe that this is the greatest Skylights single so far, and there have been some classics! Get this tune and this band in your life, NOW!!!

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A Christmas Message From Skylights December 19, 2021

Filed under: Christmas Message — justwilliam1959 @ 7:46 am
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Today’s Christmas message is from ace York band Skylights and presented by guitarist supreme Turnbull. The band has had a phenomenal year by so many standards, which is even more amazing given the Covid restrictions that have existed for much of that time. There was a delicious stripped-back version of “Darkness Falls” back in April and sell-out shows which stretched to Scotland and Ireland and of course plenty in Yorkshire. They were due to close the year with two more sellout shows billed as “homecoming” gigs in York at the Acomb Working Men’s Club. Sadly Covid has meant those two shows have been postponed until April. I will be there! Then of course there will, hopefully, be the eagerly awaited album on the shelves in 2022. If you haven’t got into Skylights yet then where have you been? Click here to check out more of their music and to get yourself some tasty Skylights merch.

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“Darkness Falls (Stripped)” – Skylights April 28, 2021


As a boy I was a keen Leeds United supporter, but I was born and grew up in London, so how did that happen? Well this was in the late 60s when they were easily one of the best club sides that had ever existed. I have stuck with them ever since, although maybe not as passionately as back in the olden days. Like many supporters I was incredibly pleased to see the club return to the Premier League this season and even more pleased to see how well they have performed. But wait, this is a music site, why am I babbling on about Leeds United? Well for a few reasons, firstly two of my favourite current bands are huge Leeds United fans, that is Apollo Junction and Skylights. Both have featured here at With Just A Hint Of Mayhem quite a few times.

Today it is the turn, once again of Skylights who recently shared a stark and beautiful stripped down version of their recent single “Darkness Falls”. Leeds Manager Marcelo Bielsa is a big fan of the track and he has written to the boys too tell them. He also appears in the video, well his picture at least! The song works really well in this unplugged style take. Rob Scarisbrick’s vocals ooze with soul and emotion and the gorgeous noise that guitar maestro Turnbull Smith makes with a simple acoustic guitar is incredible. This for me is the mark of a great song in that it works well in many guises from full production to sparse and stripped back. While we are waiting for the Skylights debut album can we have a Stripped EP please?

Click here or below to check out the video of the track on Twitter, currently the only place you can find it.


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A Christmas Message From Skylights December 17, 2020

Filed under: Christmas,Christmas Message — justwilliam1959 @ 7:38 pm
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Well we promised you some Christmas surprises, and here is the second of those. This time it’s the turn of ace York band and devoted Leeds United supporters Skylights. Well guitarist Turnbull thanks to social distancing. But I am sure the rest of the band share that sentiment! Check out Turnbull’s Christmas message below. Regular readers will know that I am a big Skylights fan and if you don’t have them in your life yet, now’s your chance. Click here to visit there site where you will find a great collection of videos, music and some pretty tasty merch too 🙂 When gigs come back you really should get yourself down to a Skylights show, it’ll be well worth it!

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“Darkness Falls” – Skylights October 15, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:52 pm
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One of the best bands ever to arise from York, Skylights, are back to light up that Covid darkness for us all! Strangely with a song called “Darkness Falls”. It starts like a mellow acoustic driven song that the Who have been known for but it builds in gorgeous layers into an inspiring anthemic crescendo. A real giant of a tune. The production, by Jonny G, throws everything, including a full orchestra sound and the kitchen sink into it, and it works, on an epic scale. Rob puts in his greatest vocal performance to date with a commanding voice that soars above the music on a wave of soulfulness. The rambunctious rhythm section marshalled by Jonny and Myles keeps things ticking perfectly while the guitar fills, riffs and especially the solos from Turnbull weave around the melody like a gold thread made from the great lost chord. I also love that this tune ends rather than fades. Not only that it ends with a great drum fill from Myles, reminiscent of the way the Manic Street Preachers closed “A Design For Life”. Write these boys off at your peril, they are here to stay. It’s a tough call but I believe seeing Skylights playing live once more will be more exciting than having Leeds United back in the Premier League! It is out on 23rd October, I have ordered my yellow vinyl 7 inch, have you? You haven’t? Well just click here and get your copy sorted.

After October 23rd I will edit this post to include some streaming links, I will leave you no opportunity to ignore this classic in the making!

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Skylights – The Crescent, York – Friday 28th February 2020 March 6, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:55 pm
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This would be the sixth time that I have seen Skylights in 18 months. These boys keep getting better. But more of them later, first there were a couple of support acts to talk about. Kicking proceedings off were Mad Leisure from Leeds. They are clearly great musicians and a pretty tight band, the vocals are good too. But for me, their songs are all a bit derivative of Oasis and other Brit Pop sounds and lack a real spark. I would like to see Mad Leisure take a step higher and expand their horizons musically. If they don’t then I fear they will never stand out from the crowd.

The second act to hit the stage was something on another level entirely. I am talking about Sounds Like A Storm, also from Leeds. They are classic rockers for the 21st Century and I believe that they have a great future ahead of them. Most of this crowd was probably at the venue for the headliners but that did not bother Sounds Like A Storm in the slightest. They went for it and drew a lot of punters away from the bar with their heady mix of punk, classic rock, great tunes, and immense sass. There is a raw garage rock element to their sound which underpins the passion and honesty in their lyrics. Sounds Like A Storm acts like a band that was born for the live arena and I intend to get more of them into my life!

In 18 months Skylights have had some huge success and 2020 will see them become even bigger. These lads are massive Leeds United fans and like their team they have the potential to move up to the rock music premier league. Their musical roots run deep into British music history to the Small Face, slate 70s punk, Johnny Marr at his Smiths peak, Oasis when they were good and the Inspiral Carpets. But it is not just these roots, Skylights have their own unique talent that makes them more than just another indie rock band. They are possibly one of the tightest bands around. Jonny and Myles provide a rhythm that purrs like a finely tuned Rolls Royce while Turnbull throws magnificent guitar hooks, riffs, and shapes across every song that moves from psychedelic to moody shoegaze and covers every base in between. On top of that, you have Rob’s classic vocal performance with a powerful command of the stage. He has the manic 1,000-yard stare of all the best frontmen and he pulls it off far better than Liam Gallagher. But a band needs more than that to be successful and what Skylights have in abundance is an incredible collection of songs with a future as classics. We heard plenty of them at this gig. Particular highlights for me were “YRA” and new single “Enemies”. Later this year they will be headlining the rejuvenated Apollo Festival in York and supporting York legends Shed Seven in June in Halifax. I even got to meet Turnbull’s Mum, what a top lady she is!

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap Chinese android phone or by Eddie Parkinson (a.k.a. Vinyl Eddie) on his far more expensive phone! Eddie took the Skylights shot! 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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“Enemies” – Skylights February 10, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 8:27 pm
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One of York’s finest bands, Skylights have a new single out, it’s called “Enemies” and personally, I think it is their best yet. So many things are looking up for Skylights at the moment. A hometown headline gig later this month, lots of airplay at their football temple Elland Road, a spin on Soccer AM, a support slot for Shed Seven at the Halifax Piece Hall in June and now on the bill at this years Kendal Calling Festival. As the lyric of “Enemies” says “dream those dreams don’t let ’em die”. These boys are living the dream and they damned well deserve this success, they work bloody hard.

“Enemies” is a mass sonic assault which grabs your brain and spins it around in your skull until you submit to its indie-rock power. Rob’s vocals are reminiscent of Ian Brown at his peak. Turnbull takes his guitar on a psychedelic riff-fest that means the power of this tune never ends. Meanwhile holding the rudder are Jonny and Myles, a rhythm section that it would be hard to better. It is all accompanied by a moody black and white video with clips of the band taken at The Wardrobe in Leeds. When it arrives the first Skylights album will be a fucking classic!

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“Nothing Left To Say” (Video) – Skylights November 22, 2019


I first heard “Nothing Left To Say” from those Yorkshire scallywags Skylights more than a year ago. I seem to recall then that they were planning a video for it. Well, that video has finally arrived for what is yet another anthem from this rather excellent band from York. It is a song that is made for roaring out across a hazy hot festival field. The band are at the top of their game, playing as though they were the musical equivalent of Leeds United from 1974 a team that were by far the best in England at that time! The video is an atmospheric take on how quickly modern life can make a person fall into sad, bad times. The song gets better with every listen and the video deserves plenty of airtime too. I don’t know who filmed it, but whoever it was they did an excellent job! Check out the video below. I am pleased to say that I will be seeing Skylights playing live once again before the end of the year!

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