With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

King Kurt – The Crescent, York – Sunday 24th November 2019 December 1, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:22 pm
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The 80s mental madcaps King Kurt are back together again! Originally formed in 1981 the band split up in 1988. There have been a few sporadic reformations since then, this one is quite special as it includes four original members. Do these Psychobilly monsters still have what it takes? You will need to read on to find out as there is first the little matter of a rather good support act to talk about. That support act was one of York’s best-known bands, the Snakerattlers, a psychobilly, garage, trash, thrash power duo with Naomi on drums and vocals and Dan on vocals and Link Wray style guitar duties. It is quite a while since I last saw them and believe me they have gotten so much better in that time. They are truly a live force of nature the way they attack their songs. Dan uses his sometimes comedic, often horror style of gurning to draw the audience in and frankly we were drawn in quite easily at this show. They have a couple of albums under their rattlesnake buckled belts and we heard a great selection from both. They have a great set of band themed songs too; “Do The Rattle Rock”, “Snake Rattle Rock, Snake Rattle Roll” to name just a couple. Dan and Naomi played a blistering set that had us bouncing around from the off. Highlights for me were “She’s Strange” which Dan dedicated to Naomi and a mountainous “All Heads Will Roll”. Another incredibly talented band from the fine city of York, my adopted home!

Back in the early 80s after original King Kurt member, Jef left the band they decided to give him a proper send-off by turning him into a cake by covering him in flour, eggs and shaving foam. The legendary ‘messy’ gigs that followed were a result of fans doing something similar at every gig. Nowadays all King Kurt gigs are clean unless stated otherwise. My good friend Ian and I were warned as we entered the Crescent that this was a clean gig. A small part of me was disappointed, however, I am glad that I didn’t go home covered in crap! The band took to the stage in a uniform of red onesies, the type with the button flap on the arse. Are there any other bands that would dare to play a gig dressed like that? Probably, but definitely not many. King Kurt is usually billed as a psychobilly band and while that is certainly a part of what they are, I believe that they are so much more. Their songs and performance also have power pop, punk, glam rock (in sound if not in appearance) and a very British humour that has its roots in the like of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Smeg’s vocals were first class and Thwack’s guitar rocked like a bastard. All the big songs were there in a set that felt like it was over way too soon, but that is because time flies when you are having so much fun, right? All the hits and favourites were there and my particular highlights were “Destination Zululand” and “Do The Rat”. Sometimes I see bands reform and think to myself, why did you bother, but with King Kurt all I have to say is welcome back and what took you so long?

All the photos apart from the gig flyer 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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The Big Boss Caine Album Launch Show – The Crescent, York – Saturday March 24th 2018 March 27, 2018


Earlier this month I was delighted to get the chance to review ‘Loved By Trouble, Troubled By Love’ the extraordinary new album from the mighty Boss Caine. (Click here to read that review) So given that I thought it was such a darned good album I was excited and filled with great expectations for the album launch show. Did I enjoy the show? Well dear reader you will have to read on to discover that. The gig was at one of York‘s finest venues, The Crescent and was promoted by talented and discerning promoter Joe Coates of Please Please You. First on the bill and all the way from London were the Swamp Stomp String Band an act that frankly it was impossible not to enjoy. They played some top tunes, many about booze and death, and had the audience a boppin’ and a rockin’ for their whole set. Their music is simple but oh so infectious and enjoyable, the between song banter is highly entertaining too. Essentially the Swamp Stomp String Band is two blokes, a Double Bass, a Guitar, A Banjo and a kazoo! You really ought to see them if you get the chance, I will definitely check them out again sometime.

The Swamp Stomp String Band

The second and final support act were the Snakerattlers who at one point claimed to come from hell, but actually they are from York. This is the second time that I have seen the Snakerattlers and they are a potentially very exciting live band. Their new album ‘This Is Rattlerock’ showcases their sound well and it will be interesting to see how they are able to develop that in future releases. The almost menacing thunder of Naomi’s drumming and the rumble of Dan’s psyched up rockabilly style guitar seemed to really hit the spot for many in tonight’s audience. I think that this is a very good band with the power and ability to become something much bigger. However one thing that is lacking for me is the engagement with their audience. Dan did make a couple of audience invasions but for me spending most of your set with your back to the crowd or side on to them doesn’t help when looking to interact with the punters. But apart from that this is clearly a talented band who are worth checking out if you haven’t already.

The Snakerattlers

Finally it was time for the main event the first live showcase of what I believe to be the finest Boss Caine album to date, ‘Loved By Trouble, Troubled By Love’. I have lost count of how many times I have played the album since receiving my link for review a few weeks ago, but pretty much every song gains an even more expansive life and sound scape when heard live. “Champagne” pulled the crowd in from the off and we were all completely mesmerised by a stunning full band performance. My favourite song from the record is still “Lonesome Crow” in which the build to a wrought emotional crescendo which hits your heart and your brain in equal measure surely cannot fail to move even the hardest of souls. Second track on the album “Evidence” has, for me, some of the best lyrics in a song for some while. I have found that “Where Good Things Go To Die” leads me down a winding lane of memory back to the town where I was born and grew up. Listening to this tune seems to dredge up a new memory of my teens every time that I hear it and standing in the crowd Saturday night I was swept with more recollection of all those now long distant pangs, pains and dilemmas of teenage angst. Dan had all of us singing along with absolute gusto to album closer “Smoking In My Backyard”. While that song meant that the ten tracks from this fine collection had been handsomely put to bed there was room for a couple of extra songs one of which was the soulful lament of “Leaving Victoria” from 2010’s Boss Caine album ‘The Ship That Sailed’. Tonight’s performance was the perfect way to launch a great album with all the potential to become a true classic. For me and many of the other lucky folk in the crowd this gig will live long in our heads. Boss Caine bossed it!

 

Avalanche Party – Fulford Arms, York – Saturday 30th December 2017 December 31, 2017


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What could be more fitting for my last gig of 2017 than an evening in the presence of one of the finest British bands of their generation Avalanche Party. They get better every time I see them, so did they improve yet again? Well you will have to read on to discover that. This show was the 100th that has been put together by those lovely folk at Behind The White Door and in addition to Avalanche Party they booked some proper humdingers.

dav

It all kicked off with one of the best young bands in York, the Black Lagoons. This is the third time that I have seen them and so far they have never failed to impress me. The fashion influence on some of the band is very rockabilly style. But this is not who they are musically. There is a tiny bit of that genre, there is a hint of prog and there is definitely a psych vibe going on. Can I narrow that down to maybe Psychabilly? But labelling bands is ultimately futile isn’t it? Unless that label is along the lines of good or bad and the Black Lagoons are bloody good. Link Wray would be proud of the lead guitarist and the rhythm section is akin to the Who’s powerful engine room of Moon and Entwistle. I think the band could interact with the audience a bit more, but that is easily fixed. If you get the chance to see them, then take it!

dav

The audience gets a Nosebleed!

Next up were Nosebleed from Leeds who gave us a full on punky garage onslaught. This trio may well have taken their stage wear style from the Hives and they are just as entertaining. They milked their audience invasion opportunities really well and their sound came across like Steve Jones in his Sex Pistols days multi tracking. Stand too close to the speakers with this lot and you might well get a Nosebleed. They are a well oiled and rehearsed band that seemed to enjoy every moment of their time on stage (or in the audience)!

dav

The Snakerattlers are Naomi and Dan who are also the funky, punky people who run Behind The White Door. A hard rocking duo with a boy and girl in the line up might often be compared with the White Stripes, but don’t. They are so very different. Their fast paced punk styled songs smack you in the face until you submit to their Snakerattler charms. I would love to know how Naomi got so much noise from just two drums and a cymbal. Dan’s guitar skills are well honed and powerful. I must confess that I didn’t really like their first tune but the rest of their set was stunning. They have a new album coming out in 2018 and I can hardly wait to hear it. Feel free to send me a copy for review guys! 🙂

dav

So now for the headliners, Avalanche Party were they better than the last time I saw them, well of course they were. This is now the seventh time that I have seem them live. In fact there are only two acts that I have seen more often; David Bowie (10 times) and Frank Turner (11 times). The band kicked off with a barnstorming “I’m So Wet” and never let up until they blew the roof off with an explosive and bombastic “Solid Gold” to close their set. Other highlights were “Let’s Get Together” and a new song, “Heaven’s Creatures” given its first ever live outing. Jordan Bell is now without doubt a seasoned crowd surfer and this along with his invading the crowd with mic stand guitar just adds to the showmanship that this band have developed over the past few years. The Yorkshire Post named Avalanche Party’s set at the Kazoopa Festival in Leeds as their gig of the year and no wonder. The show tonight was full on pomp, spectacle and exactly what great rock n roll should be. If you haven’t seen this band yet then why not? I order you to see them in 2018 and if you don’t then I will need a note from your parents telling me why!

Public Service Announcement – all the pictures, apart from the gig poster, were taken by my mobile phone (hence the poor quality!). The videos are all found via YouTube.

 

 

 
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