With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

The Specials – Barbican, York – Thursday 9th May 2019 May 12, 2019


This was the third time I had seen the Specials, once back in the early days and more recently at this same venue back in November 2016. That 2016 gig was marred by the poor sound quality and a relatively short set from the band. Was it better this time? Well yes, it was, but before I tell you about that you need to know about the spectacularly talented support band the Tuts. Regular readers will know that I am a big fan of this all-girl punk powerhouse of a band from the area of west London that I hail from. They have rather skillfully rechristened themselves a three-tone band for this tour. A support slot like this doesn’t come along too often and it is perfect for the Tuts. I have previously seen them supporting Kate Nash and the Selecter and this is now the seventh time I have seen them play live since February 2014. They simply get better and better every time and I believe that they are still some way from reaching their peak. Nadia, Bev, and Harriet played a rabble-rousing selection of songs from the Tuts debut album ‘Update Your Brain’. Particular highlights were “Always Hear The Same Shit”, “1982” and “Dump Your Boyfriend”. But the song that really set the crowd alight like a Molotov cocktail in a firework factory was “Tut Tut Tut”. Bear in mind that when the Tuts were announced as the support for this tour almost all the shows had sold out so the girls had to win the audience over. They didn’t just win them over they thrashed them into submission to a point where they had no choice but become fans. The energy generated by this band could power a small city. We were given a choice of cover versions and the crowd chose the Clash classic “Rudie Can’t Fail” rather than the Spice Girls “Wannabe”. Personally, I would have been happy with either but the Clash tune won by a landslide and I am sure that the ghost of Joe Strummer was filled with pride by the Tuts version. The Tuts merch stand looked to be doing great business later in the evening with, hopefully, legions of Specials fans now also into the Tuts. I do know that my mate Simon Hernaman purchased the Tuts album on CD. If you have not yet seen or listened to the Tuts you really need to sort your life out and do it. I reckon they are probably one of the best, if not the best, bands in the UK right now. I do know that Nad Tut disagrees with me on that, she told me that they see themselves as the best band in the world and frankly who am I to argue with that! Go Tuts!

Finally, it was the turn of the Specials to take to the stage, they were preceded by a wonderfully exuberant and tasteful DJ set by Saffiyah Khan. The band opened at full pelt with “Man At C & A” with Lynval firing up the crowd from the opening salvo, although to be fair we didn’t need much firing up. There were some inspired selections from their critically acclaimed album ‘Encore’, notably “Vote For Me”, the Valentines cover “Blam Blam Fever” and an impassioned “Ten Commandments” which featured Saffiyah Khan. But the highpoint of the newer material was for me the reworked Fun Boy Three tune “The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum” which is still, sadly as highly relevant now as it was when it was originally released back in 1981. The three remaining original members of the band, Lynval Golding, Horace Panter (a.k.a. Sir Horace Gentleman) and Terry Hall were on top form. Hall’s laconic dry humour was on display on pretty much every occasion he chose to speak to the crowd. Special mention must be given to one of the UK’s greatest guitar players, Steve Cradock who added some intense rock sounds to every song. What I have always loved about the Specials is how when they do a cover version it really does become one of their own, particularly in the live arena. The crowd were full on skanking for “A Message To You Rudy” (originally by Dany Livingstone), “Do The Dog” (originally by Rufus Thomas) and it would be an understatement to say that the crowd went apeshit (no pun intended) for a riotously uncontained romp through the Maytals “Monkey Man”. It is the originals from the early days, though, that hit the highest heights for me. “Do Nothing”, “Rat Race”, “Nite Klub”, “Friday Night, Saturday Morning”, “Gangsters” and “Too Much Too Young” still retain nuclear levels of ska punk power. A nineteen song set took us to the inevitable encore and what a treat that encore was. It kicked off with a reggae instrumental jam, I have no idea what the title was. This was followed by another classic that is still as pertinent today as it was nearly forty years ago, “Ghost Town”. This mercurial performance from the Specials was closed with a Skatalites cover “You’re Wondering Now” which also featured Saffiyah Khan. This was a fitting end to a truly great show which proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the Specials have still got it!

 

Public Service Announcement – all the pictures, apart from the tour poster, were taken on my cheap android phone. The videos were found on YouTube. If you would like to be credited or have them removed please let me know.

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Apollo Festival – York – Saturday 25th June 2016 June 30, 2016


apollo-festival

I wonder how long it will be before folk start referring to the last weekend in June as Apollo weekend and not Glasto weekend. Well many people in York already do, and rightly so this relatively new festival is still very vibrant, friendly and fun even in its fourth year. I have now been three times and I enjoyed each visit immensely. If you like good music and a good day out for the family in Yorkshire then look no further than York’s Apollo Festival.

Anyway this year I was a bit of a lazy stage hopper in that I only visited one other stage apart from the Main Stage. I arrived at about 11.15 along with my beautiful wife Catherine a.k.a. Catwoman our good friend Caron and our amazing Odd Daughter Amelia. The first act we saw was the Ainsty’s Got Talent winner B Boy Swirl, aged just nine years old he is just three years older than Amelia. He proved himself to be a talented whirlwind of beatbox noise and break dance frenzy. What a brilliant start to the day.

Next up on the Main Stage was someone with a vocal talent that could easily compare and compete with Adele. The magnificent and truly soulful Kymberley Kennedy. Definitely check this lady out, she has a gorgeous voice. After that it was a quick dash to the Rick Witter Premier Stage for me to catch the final part of a stunning set from those magnificent scamps, the Mallrats. Just like the last time I saw them they were awesome!

I made my way back to the Main Stage for the second half of the Jackobins set. These scousers owe a debt to Brit Pop, but only a small one. Their talent goes much deeper than that. Ace mod covers band the outstanding 5:15’s were up next. What a party band these boys are, covers of the Jam, solo Weller, the Specials, the Yardbirds and so much more. They were followed by Chris Helme the former front man of the Seahorses. He is clearly a very talented and very chilled kind of bloke. But I’m afraid his music just doesn’t do it for me. But to each their own right?

I was disappointed that I had to miss the Supermodels this year. But I did have good reason,  I had earlier bumped into the fabulous Rachel Brown of Northern Exposure who has recommended the Velcro Teddy Bears for ages. So clearly I was not going to miss them. Rachel and her fella Ash were also in the audience in the Rick Witter Premier Stage for the Velcro Teddy Bears Apollo début. So what were this highly rated Sheffield four piece band like? The were bloody stupendous. They rocked the place hard. If you love Led Zep, the softer side of Sabbath and hard but soulful rock then you will become a fan of the Velcro Teddy Bears. An incredibly tight band with a vocalist who could probably make any song his own. Their songs have the hallmarks of future classics. For me they were the band of the day. Thank you Rachel! I was also pleased to see my mate Kevin Forth in attendance too.

Dave McCabe and the Ramifications were next to entertain us from the Main Stage. Dave in case you wondered is a former Zuton. The band was excellent from start to finish in my opinion although I really would have liked to have seen them close with “Valerie” but Dave was having none of that.

dodgyap

Dodgy were the penultimate Main Stage band and it is fair to say that they were far more than just “Good Enough”. A stonking version of “Staying Out For The Summer” even managed to keep the rain at bay for a while. Sadly the rain really kicked in after Cast’s arrival, what a “Fine Time” for a downpour? So I must apologise to the marvellous Cast as we left about halfway through their set as we were soaked. But they are clearly still a great festival band. I saw them back in the 90s and if anything they have got even better.

castap.jpg.gallery

So once again I have had the pleasure of attending another wonderful Apollo festival. This is one small wacky step for Dad dancing but one giant leap for festival kind. If you’re not already thinking about getting your tickets for next year, well frankly you’re not well!

Public Service Announcement – None of the pictures or videos were taken or filmed by me. I ‘borrowed’ them all from t’interweb.

 

“Today I don’t feel like doing anything” November 6, 2015


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This is just a brief post to say that I have been somewhat lazy about blogging lately and neglectful of all my blogs. So I hope to make up for that over the next few days and at least post the small backlog of reviews and events that I have been to recently. After that there will be an official blog break from mid November to mid December to enable yours truly to recharge in warmer climes. But for now please enjoy a few lazy and lazy related tunes!

lazy

 

 

“You’re so deaf that you cannot hear him” December 5, 2013

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 10:32 pm
Tags: , , , ,

RIP NELSON MANDELA

mandela

 

“Who takes all the glory and none of the shame” April 8, 2013


I won’t say much about the death of the grocer‘s daughter, I will just let the music speak for itself!

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“But I’ll TTY later and we’ll be loving ASAP” December 3, 2012


funny-texting-hey-word

Given the ubiquitous nature of text messages these days I find it hard to believe that it was only twenty years ago that the first ever text message was sent. The message was despatched from a PC to a mobile phone by an engineer using the Vodafone network in the UK; the message was simply ‘Merry Christmas‘.

texting2

The development of texting or SMS (Short message Service) actually goes back further than that. It began as an idea by Matti Makkonen a Finnish Civil Servant. It was during a pizza meal at a telecommunications conference in 1984. his idea became the standard for the SMS facility that we use today. Strangely it was never patented, a little unlucky for Mr Makkonen then!

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I assume that there were a few more texts sent in 1992, however the rise has been incredible with an estimated 8 trillion sent last year. I wonder what percentage of those were illegally viewed by the UK tabloid press?

Funny-Pictures-Texting

So how about a few text related (some very loosely) songs to celebrate?

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“In the year of the scavenger, the season of the bitch” November 13, 2012


According to the Mail OnLine (so let’s treat the information cautiously) dogs prefer classical music to heavy metal and they don’t seem to like those cheap relaxing music for your canine friend CDs either. I wonder if that has anything to do with the location of their sub woofer? Click here to read the full article.

Anyway I thought that I’d like to try a little experiment about how true this is. So here are a few dog related songs that I would like you to play to your mutt and tell me what reaction you get. Unfortunately I can’t do that as I only have cats.

 

 
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