With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Leeds Festival 2021 – Day 3 – Sunday 29th August 2021 September 2, 2021


Well this is it my first festival in two years is nearly over. I hope that after the last 18 months or so where Covid has done so much damage that events like this are harbingers of good things to come. So loudly after me repeat FUCK COVID! First band of the final day for me was The Hara on Main Stage West. I found them a little punk formulaic at times, however they undeniably put on a good show, including some Les Dawson style gurning from the singer at times. Imagine Royal Blood with the addition of a stand alone vocalist and with the volume cranked up to a little beyond magnificently loud! Next I caught just a brief part of Weybridge rockers You Me At Six’s set on the Main Stage West. I saw storming run through’s of 2011’s “Bite My Tongue” and “What’s It Like” from their seventh album ‘Suckapunch’. Next a short hop to the Pit Stage for Dead Poet Society, who are a very tight band who seemed perfectly rehearsed. They gave us soulful, raw, passionate, grungy, metal rock music. They were one of the minority of non British bands playing at the festival, I think they are from California.

The Hara
You Me At Six

Next it was back to one of my favourite festival places, the BBC Introducing Stage for Police Car Collective. This band, for me, are completely original and trying to find influences was difficult if not impossible. The singer is obscenely talented as a vocalist and is a true crowd pleaser and showman in the Freddie Mercury mould. His guitar solo on the last song was truly epic in a Mick Ronson kind of way. Just after their set I posted the following statement “OK I know it’s a cliché, but I have seen the future of rock ‘n’ roll. It is called Police Car Collective at Leeds Festival earlier today”. On reflection I stand by that! Did you see them? Perhaps the best band name of the weekend was I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, who I saw on the Main Stage West. They play really funky pop rock and use some great voice sound samples throughout their classy tunes. I sense a little Arctic Monkeys and Vampire Weekend influence here. “Nobody Likes The Opening Band” is a great song in my opinion, possibly built for a festival like this too. This is another US band, from Utah. Finally, the drummer is definitely a Martin Freeman lookalike. Another contender for best band name were next, on Main Stage East, Beabadoobe, who were flying the flag for great female fronted bands. Whilst I loved their more upbeat tunes I thought “Coffee” was a beautiful, whimsical chill out moment. I love this band.

Police Car Collective
I Don’t Know How But They Found Me
Beabadoobe

Back to Main Stage West for some Becky Hill and she drew a huge crowd. This pop songstress is clearly gifted with a wonderful voice and she works the crowd really well. A very good performance but perhaps a little too pop for me, but to each their own, right? Bob Vylan were next on the Pit Stage and what a staggeringly great set. Probably the most political act of the weekend with statements like “Kill the Queen, well she killed Diana right?” This was an awesome performance from a band that has a tight grip on the beating heart of punk. Slowthai performed on Main Stage West and while I am a fan I thought his set was a little flat, had he perhaps over indulged the previous day? His outfit was a little different thought. Great T Shirt, black shorts, black socks and shiny black shoes. For a moment I thought perhaps his Mum had sent him out to break in some of his new school clothes! My first and only trip to the Alternative Stage this weekend was to see my favourite comedian, Katherine Ryan. As usual she covered some wide ranging and perhaps controversial subjects with superb skill and timing. Misogyny, breast feeding, Matt Hancock, Karens and much more. She cracks me up every time.

Becky Hill
Bob Vylan
Slowthai

The Wombats took to the Main Stage West next. To be honest I had never taken much notice of the Wombats, but this was a really good set. They have a great canon of songs. “Pink Lemonade” and “Let’s Dance To Joy Division” were highlights for me. But neither as wonderful as “Lemon To A Knife Fight” for which ardent fans brought their own lemons! I love it! Back to the BBC Introducing Stage for one of York’s finest bands who I have watched grow from small beginnings to signing to EMI and releasing their first album, ‘Discover Effortless Living’ earlier this year. They showcased that record well in this beautiful, but all too brief set. The whole band were on top form, the playing was immaculate and the ethereal and heavenly Byrdsian harmonies were simply gorgeous. Calva Louise have developed into a really ace band and their songs are powered by huge riffs and a rhythm that might have formed in the foothills of Mordor. A real show from a great band who were joined on stage by Blakeeleven for “Ephemeral”. The final band of the day and the weekend for me was Waterparks on the Pit Stage. They hail from Houston in Texas and released their fourth studio album earlier this year. They definitely come across as a band who enjoy themselves on stage. There is a pop punk element to their songs but also a wider ranging rock sound. I was bouncing throughout their whole set, despite have been here three days and my advanced years. As well as some great tunes they have some great song titles too. Notably “You’d Be Paranoid Too (If Everyone Was Out To Get You)” and “I Miss Having Sex But at Least I Don’t Wanna Die Anymore”. Check them out, I think you’ll love them. So after the mess that Covid made of the world we are finally crawling back to some kind of normal at last. It was great to be back at a festival and to close I would like to say a big thank you to all the unsung heroes of festivals; road crew, sound and light folks, security, marshals, first aiders, food and drink vendors, cleaners and anyone else I missed. THANK YOU!

Wombats
Bull
Calva Louise

All the pictures were taken using my cheap Chinese phone camera. The videos were found on YouTube. If it is yours and you would like me to take it down or give you a credit please let me know. Yes I do know the clip is from Reading, but there is not much film footage of Leeds online 🙂

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Leeds Festival 2021 – A Stream Of Consciousness August 26, 2021


I have grown up with Reading Festival and some time after I moved to the frozen north I switched to the other part of this great festival, Leeds. I went to my first Reading in 1975, me and some mates bunked under the fence and in the limited time we had on the site (we had to catch the last train home) we saw Osibisa. We got in that way for three years in a row, I doubt that is even close to possible these days, but back then we felt like highwaymen or the last gang in town, proper rebels. In truth though, we were a bunch of teenage chancers who thought they knew everything. I was 16 at the time and I did know everything, then I got a bit older and realised quite easily that I really knew nothing and had so much to learn. Even at my advanced years (shhhh….. don’t tell anyone, but I’m 62) I still learn something every day. But one thing I learned back on the fateful night in 1975 is that I bloody love this festival and I still do. I haven’t missed many since 1975. The last year, apart from 2020 when it was Covid cancelled, that I didn’t attend was in 2007. I switched to Leeds in 2015 (I think) after my Reading Festival buddy decided he was too old for three days in a muddy field. I plan to keep going until I physically can’t or until I’m dead! My ashes can be scattered on the fields of Richfield Avenue and at Bramham Park. Anyway the reason for this confusing stream of consciousness is that after 18 months of suffering for everyone thanks to Covid, festivals are back and for the first time in two years I will be stood in a, hopefully not too, muddy field near Leeds watching some incredible bands and artists. Highlights for me will I am sure be those listed below. I hear there is an Oasis tribute act on the Main Stage on Friday too 😉

Biffy Clyro, Yungblud, Wolf Alice, The Hunna, Sophie and the Giants and Baby Queen (Friday)

Stormzy, Mabel, AJ Tracey, the Snuts, Catfish and the Bottlemen, MK, Sam Fender, Yonaka, Boston Manor and Dinosaur Pile-Up (Saturday)

Two Door Cinema Club, Beabadoobe, Disclosure, Slowthai, I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, You Me At Six, Bob Vylan, Bull and Police Car Collective (Sunday)

Who are you looking forward to? Who do you recommend that I haven’t mentioned?

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Albums Of The Year – 2019 December 26, 2019


Well, that’s nearly it for 2019. The world has gone even crazier, but underneath all the chaos there is and hopefully will always be great music. So along with almost every other publication, website and blog I have compiled my top ten albums of 2019. It was a tough choice and putting them into a sequence has been even tougher, especially the top 2 which have switched places a lot. I would love to hear about your favourite albums of the year.

  1. ’24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ – Avalanche Party – Possibly the best debut album in rock history.
  2. ‘Ghosteen’ – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – is it possible to get more gut-wrenching and thought-provoking emotion in one album.
  3. ‘End Of Suffering’ – Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes – As a fan of Frank since his Gallows days I believe that this is his finest moment…. so far!
  4. ‘I Want The World’ – Hands Off Gretel – Easily one of the most exciting and exhilarating live bands to emerge in the last couple of years.
  5. ‘Renaissance Men’ – The Wildhearts – This band is well and truly back, not just with a bang but with a mega explosion.
  6. ‘Encore’ – The Specials – Who believed that the Specials had a new album in them, let alone one this good?
  7. ‘Nothing Great About Britain’ – Slowthai – no one has summed up what the UK is like now much better than Slowthai did on this stunning release.
  8. ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ – Billie Eilish
  9. ‘Tough Crowd’ – Nervus – Better than their last album and probably not as good as their next, this band gets better and better!
  10. ‘Kind Heaven’ – Perry Farrell – an eclectic mix of styles that perhaps only someone of Perry’s talents could pull off. This was one of my most listened to albums on Spotify this year apparently.

I would also like to take the opportunity to say thank you for reading and following this site, you inspire me to continue. Finally always remember those that are less fortunate than you, homeless people and those suffering in silence. Remember the people it would be easier to forget. It is ok to be not ok. “In a world that has decided that it’s going to lose its mind Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind” (Frank Turner). I hope that 2020 is a great year for you and however it pans out look out for each other.

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Leeds Festival 2019 – Day 3 – Sunday 25th August September 1, 2019


How do Festival weekends seem to go so quickly? This was by far the hottest of my three days at the 2019 Leeds Festival, well in terms of temperature at least. Were the bands as hot in terms of performance? Well, dear reader, you will need to read on to find out. One of the big rumours of the day was that Frank Turner would be playing a secret set. There was a gap on the Pit/ Lock Up Stage from midday to 1 o’clock, so I came in extra early to be there only to find that it was just a rumour based on the fact that Frank had played a couple of album launch sets at the Brudenell in Leeds the night before. Hopefully, Mr Turner will be playing at the festival next year. My first action of the day was to see Amsterdam’s Pip Blom on the BBC Radio 1 Stage. The band name is taken from the name of the bandleader who writes and produces all of the band’s fabulous indie-pop classics. They are like a reincarnation of the Breeders with a very strong power-pop direction. Check out their album ‘Boat’ on Heavenly Recordings.

Oddity Road

Next, it was a quick dash across to the Festival Republic Stage to see Sheffield’s Oddity Road. They hit you with harmonic, melodious rock songs that would grace the canon of many successful bands. The Foo Fighters and the Killers to name just a couple. Oddity Road are purveyors of finely crafted and intelligently performed power-pop classics in waiting. Remarkably they are currently unsigned, but I doubt that will last for too much longer. I made a dash across to the Pit/ Lock Up stage with great excitement and anticipation as it was time for Queen Zee. But our hopes were dashed as the band had to pull out for medical reasons. I hope that there was a speedy recovering and that this amazing band will be back next year.

Belako

The Festival Republic Stage next played host to Basque country rock band Belako. This band are incredibly hard-edged with a planet splitting volcanic shriek of a rock vocal and I mean that in a good way. I heard shades of peak-era Siouxse and the Banshees in Belako. Definitely a band to keep an eye out for. I made my first visit to the Main Stage today to catch Against The Current. This charming, talented and well-rehearsed band from Poughkeepsie in the USA smashed it with a great set. This bunch epitomise perfect high powered pop with vocal hooks and riffs aplenty accompanied by some really top tunes. They have more energy than Duracell’s finest products! Back to the Festival Republic for a band that has been highly recommended to me by quite a few people, Sophie and the Giants. The band hail from Sheffield and while I don’t believe that they are real giants they do have some gigantic tunes with huge sweeping choruses that attach to your neural network like a stubborn and persistent beanstalk. Sophie Scott’s voice has an incredible range and volume and a gorgeous tonal quality. She could easily match the vocal talents of Florence Welch.

Sophie and the Giants

I rushed over to the BBC Radio 1 Stage for rising British rapper Slowthai and oh boy was it worth running in that heat. After being so disappointed by Gunna and Juice WRLD over the past couple of days Slowthai. He singlehandedly restored my faith in rap as I thought that he might. He is a great performer and his words and cyphers are intelligent, challenging and at times works of genius. His album ‘Nothing Great About Britain’ is, for me, among the best releases of the year. The Pit/ Lock Up was home to Bad Nerves from Essex next. These boys play it hard and fast with 100 miles per hour riffery and spot on sneery punk vocals. Their tunes are reminiscent and worthy of early Strokes cuts. I sense influences from classic period Buzzcocks and Stiff Little Fingers. I heard them play their single “Radio Punk” here and that has since become one of my favourite songs of the moment.

Bad Nerves

The BBC Introducing Stage has been supremely good this year on my next visit to that stage I got to experience the delights of Charlotte, a 20-year-old from Hull, who possess one of the most soulful voices I have heard. Her style is at times similar to Adele, but with less of the shoutier elements. Charlotte has a really tight and funky band behind her too. This girl can go all the way and I hope that she does. The Japanese House were next up on the Festival Republic Stage. I am sure that they are not Japanese, nor are they a house, what they are is highly talented singer-songwriter Amber Bain from Buckinghamshire. She has songs with hypnotic harmonies and huge hooks. If you want to chill out on the hottest festival afternoon that I can remember then you need to do it to the Japanese House. The refreshingly beautiful symphonic flow of Bain’s songs is still washing over me.

Charlotte

I did not make too many trips to the Main Stage on Sunday but I wanted to be there to witness the first person born this century to have a US number one album with ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ I am talking of course about the mercurial talent that is Billie Eilish. She is what a 21st-century superstar should be; an original talent, someone who does things her way and on top of that a truly engaging performer. She has sass, style and superb songs. I reckon she drew the biggest crowd of the weekend, the crowd went absolutely nuts for her. She will undoubtedly be back at this festival before too long. Have I been at the Pit/ Lock Up Stage more times than any other this year? It certainly feels like it, this time I was here for Blood Youth from Yorkshire. This bunch are heavier than Osmium and harder than Nuclear Pasta (a.k.a. the material that makes up a Neutron Star). Blood Youth wield the force to cause an earthquake in Hell by the power of their mountainous riffs alone. This band produced a wave of the heaviest hardcore heavy metal today and rocked the Pit/ Lock Up Tent almost out of its moorings! Take a listen to their current album ‘Starve’ it is something special and you will not be disappointed.

Blood Youth

I stayed in the Pit/ Lock Up tent for the next act, an artist I knew next to nothing about, but I was intrigued. Just when I thought I had seen pretty much all there is to see at gigs and festivals during the last forty-seven years up comes Poppy, once known as Moriah Rose Pereira. This completely original LA artist shares a birthday with me, she was born the day that I turned 36. If you thought Lady Gaga was a bit ‘out there’ and strange then you have never come across Poppy. Is she an android? Well, she could be. This was perhaps one of the most spectacular sets that I have ever seen at one of the smaller stages at the Reading/ Leeds Festival! Poppy is like the sproglet of Max Headroom and Gwen Stefani with added alien DNA. Her band look like players in a rock star zombie film. The music is full-on heavy glam rock with a heavy nod to classic 60s girl group choruses in the vocals. Almost certainly my favourite act of the whole weekend. What was yours? I might have left after Poppy as nothing could really follow her, but I felt that I needed to stick around a little longer. Well, long enough to at least catch Twenty One Pilots. The boys opened with “Jumpsuit” which set the bar pretty high for the rest of their set. They managed to include a piece of the White Stripes “Seven Nation Army” within the live rendition of “Morph”, so I guess you could say that “Morph” morphed. It was an electrifying set, highlights for me were “My Blood” and “Cut My Lip”. But the real crowd-pleaser was a cover of the Oasis classic “Don’t Look Back In Anger” for which they were joined on stage by fellow co headliner Post Malone. I was more than satisfied to end my festival with such a great set from Twenty One Pilots. Apologies to Post Malone, the heat pretty much wasted me and I am not a big Post Malone fan! Leeds Festival I will see you again in 2020.

I know that they didn’t actually play the Leeds Festival, but they are a great band, so here is a sneaky Queen Zee video. Get well soon and we’ll see you next time!

All the photos apart from the Festival Line Up poster were taken on my cheap 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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