With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

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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“Britannia” (Video) – Skylights August 19, 2019


I can’t add much to what I have already said about the mighty, meaty “Britannia” from those Leeds United fanatics and one of York’s finest bands, Skylights. Click here and you will find my review of that song and another classic Skylights anthem, “Lifeline”. Why am I revisiting this riffadelic masterpiece? Well, “Britannia” now has a superb video to accompany it, filmed and produced by Adam Maxwell. It is essentially a great moody black and white film taken at their recent sold-out show at the Wardrobe. It is the kind of classy reel that would grace a fly on the wall documentary. You get the sense that the boys were having a lot of fun that night and I am sure that they were. This is a banging tune that will not fail to get you on your feet and dancing. Every member of the band is firing on all cylinders for “Britannia” It has all the hallmarks of a song that will be an encore tune for Skylights when they get to headline the bigger venues. If you have not heard it yet, then I need you to tell me why! But make up for your terrible oversight by checking out the video below.

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“Britannia” and “Lifeline” – Skylights June 21, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:04 am
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Those cheeky musically talented indie rascals from York, the mighty Skylights have new product out. Not an album, not an EP, not even a single, but two rather spiffing tracks. “Britannia” and “Lifeline“. If you like Mr. Gillespie’s finest moments with Primal Scream then you will bloody love “Britannia”. It is heavy with some gorgeous Turnbulltastic riffs and Rob’s vocals are perhaps his best so far. Then there is the anthemic “Lifeline”, a song I have heard in various states, from demo to almost ready and what shines through, especially now that it has been unleashed to the world, is that it is simply a great song. It would be impossible to understate the value of the Mercedes of rhythm sections on “Lifeline” provided by Jonny Scarisbrick and Myles Soley. Everything that I hear from this lot has me salivating over the prospect of a Skylights album. They are definitely one of my favourite bands right now. They will be making a video for one of these classy songs and they want to hear from you dear music fans to decide which one will get the full-on Skylights cinematic experience. It has been a long while since I started a poll on here, so how about you help the boys choose by voting in this little poll. Go on, you know it makes sense. After you have voted get yourself one of the last remaining tickets for their gig at the Wardrobe in Leeds on 27th July!

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“Take Me Somewhere” – Skylights February 18, 2019


Those Skylights boys sneaked out another song last month. It is called “Take Me Somewhere” and it is a driving little number that showcases some excellent riffing from guitar dynamo Turnbull overlaid on to the finely tuned and powerful engine of the rhythm section where Jonny Scarisbrick on bass and Drummer Myles Soley give it real welly to add some superb rock ‘n’ roll horsepower. The song is completed by some pedal to the metal soaring vocals from Rob Scarisbrick. These boys are firing on all cylinders and this song will drive its anthemic way into your head and parallel park there along with some of Skylights other great songs. I have heard a rough mix of another Skylights song recently and that is another humdinger, which makes me look forward to a début album whenever that might be. If you like your Indie Rock with a sharp punky attitude then you need this band in your life. They play a sell out gig this Friday, 22nd February at the 380 capacity Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen in Leeds. I’ll be there, will you?

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 
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