With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Apollo Festival York 2015 – Saturday 27th June 2015 July 2, 2015


apollo-festival-2015

Sadly I missed the first Apollo Festival back in 2013 and then last year I had to leave early so I missed the headliner. However this year I was there for the day and what a bloody good day it was! With something like 50 acts across 5 stages I was never going to be able to see everyone but I did see a fair few acts. I was there with my wonderful wife Catherine ak.a. Catwoman and our great friends John and Caron who brought their daughter and our Odd Daughter (that’s another story) Amelia with them. Amelia proved beyond doubt that she is indeed a 5-year-old dancing dynamo of perpetual motion. Anyway enough of us, who did I see?

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First up it was 4 Pint Milk in the Rick Witter tent. They are from Huntington School and seemed all of 16 (apologies if you’re older than that lads!). But they rock like they’re much older. The part of their set that John and I saw was cover versions, but damned good cover versions. Jake Bugg’s “Green Man”, the Smiths’ “This Charming Man”, Stone Roses “I Am The Resurrection” and my particular favourite, “Brianstorm” originally done by the Arctic Monkeys. I hope these boys succeed, they play really well and they have an excellent dour and dry northern wit.

Back at the main stage I only caught Fat Spatula’s last song. On the evidence of that I thought they sounded pretty good and I wished I could have heard more of them. I should add that Catwoman didn’t like them at all. Next on the main stage was the winner of this years Ainsty’s Got Talent contest, Beth Bryers. She undoubtedly has a great operatic style voice which she used over a number of dancey beats including Bastille. I get the appeal to some, however for me Beth is an acquired taste that I unfortunately didn’t acquire.

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Rime Suspex though were something else, absolutely brilliant in my opinion. A relatively simple set up of a guitarist, singer and rapper. They were also accompanied by a number of samples I think. Imagine if South Africa’s Die Antwoord came from Blackburn and had better rhymes, well that is Rime Suspex in my view.My particular favourites from their set were “Money” and “Sick And Tired”. Given the lyrical content I almost certainly support their sentiments and politics. They didn’t hit the spot for my friend John, but he has never been a fan of white rappers. But I’ll work on him! Anyway I would definitely pay to see Rime Suspex again.

Our first visit to the Access Music stage brought us Matt Philpot. For me he was a pretty average singer songwriter singing 70s with a mostly laid back 70s vibe. The highlight of his set was a reggaefied arrangement of Aha’s “Take On Me” which I enjoyed. Next we saw the Rusty Pegs who are a bit alt. country and come across like a slightly more Nashville version of Fairground Attraction. I quite liked them.

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On our return to the main stage the Happy Daggers were on. I missed the first part of their set but what I did see showed me that these fellows  are funkin’ good and I want more! Rupert Stroud was on next, he and his band were very tight and well rehearsed. He is a rock influenced singer songwriter and he is bloody good. Imagine James Blunt with bigger balls, well that is Rupert Stroud.

After that it was a quick hop across to the Access Music stage for the magnificent Barcode Zebra. I saw them play at last year’s Apollo Festival and they were very good then. This year they were even better. Soul, funk, rock, jazz all in a musical blender supported by a really skilful band and an immensely powerful vocalist. I certainly hope to see more of them.

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Now it was time for the wonderful Crybabycry on the main stage. They had been caught in traffic on their way, but believe me it was worth the wait. I saw them earlier this year in a tiny venue during Live In Leeds. On their performance then and at the Apollo Festival I will stick my neck out and say that I believe that they are one of the finest bands in the UK at the moment. Along with my other favourite UK bands; Avalanche Party, Colour Me Wednesday and the Tuts. Powerful three-piece Crybabycry deserve to be on bigger stages and if you don’t like them then I suggest that you pop out and get your hearing examined. Can we have them at Reading and Leeds please?

Awesome covers band the Mothers followed Crybabycry onto the main stage and they rocked their socks off. I danced near the stage for their whole set which included storming versions of songs by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, songs from the Stax back catalogue among many others. They were fucking brilliant and I might try to book them for my 60th birthday party, although that isn’t until January 2019. After that I paid a final visit to the Access Music Stage where Catwoman and I saw Armonia. They played some really chilled and laid back acoustic songs including a wonderful cover of Lordes’ “Royals”

Classic 90s scouse indie pop band Space were next on the main stage and they were blooming amazing. I had forgotten how many great songs they have recorded. Favourites like “Neighbourhood” and “Female Of The Species” were there along with some new songs and stuff that I have never heard before. There wasn’t a duff song in their set. My favourite is one that I hadn’t heard before, the rather fabulous “Boy In A Body Bag” which is a bloody fantastic tune.

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Finally it was time for the head-liners the supremely talented Inspiral Carpets. I had seen them many years ago and they were always a band whose new release I would always check out. No other band of their generation rocks the Farsifa like these blokes do. The have some excellent songs in their canon including “Dragging Me Down”, “This Is How It Feels”, “Spitfire” and one of my all time favourite songs from any band or singer “Saturn Five”. Quite an appropriate song for the Apollo Festival don’t you think? The Inspiral Carpets used to refer to themselves as ‘cool as fuck’ and in my opinion they remain so. If you get a chance to see them you would be foolish not to.

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Finally let me say a big, big thank you to the organisers of the Apollo Festival especially Mr Apollo himself Stuart Kelly. Also a big shout out to my good friend Simon Pattinson who is on the organising team. Everything was brilliant folks, including the weather. If you change anything for next year then I suggest that you increase the food outlets and vary them a bit. Can I also offer to volunteer to help with organising Apollo 2016?

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This really is the final finally! If you haven’t done so already please click here to vote for the Apollo Festival in the Yorkshire Gig Guide Grass Roots Awards. I have!

Well given the weather it seemed somewhat appropriate :-)

Well given the weather it seemed somewhat appropriate 🙂

Public service announcement – none of the media contained in this post was filmed or photographed by me.

 

 

“Dread blew off and made I laugh” – Advent day 10 December 10, 2013


6511486615_a4228ff0d8_zIt’s December 10th, therefore it’s day 10 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent blog posts for 2013. It is also only just over two weeks to the arrival of the fat bearded bloke in the red suit who will fly in on a sleigh laden with millions of presents and pulled by at least one large inebriated (well he has got a red nose) venison steak called Rudolph. So you have by now figured out that todays songs have the number 10 in their titles.

1293019_111015151402_double_exposure_ten_percent_fFirst song of the day today is a 70s disco smasheroo released by Double Exposure on the Salsoul label in 1976. It is called “Ten Percent” and was according to some music historians the first ever commercially available 12″ single. Personally I had always heard that it was either “You + Me = Love” by Undisputed Truth or “Black Is Black” from La Belle Époque. In those heady days of 1976 I was a fledgling mobile DJ in partnership with my good friend Glen Voisey. I actually had the 12″ vinyl singles for all three of those songs at the time! “Ten Percent” made it to number 54 on the US Billboard charts. The band began recording the album that would include “Ten Percent” 38 years ago tomorrow. The album, which was recorded at the famous Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia was also called ‘Ten Percent’. In the 60s the band were called United Image and recorded some songs for the Stax label. The band included James Williams, Joseph Harris, Charles Whittington and Leonard ‘Butch’ Davis who had sung together since High School.

21185124The second song for today is in my opinion a great deal of  double entendre riddled and innuendo driven slice of humourous smut, and I love it. It is part of a series of pop reggae tunes from Englishman Judge Dread a former DJ, Debt Collector (for Trojan Records no less),  Bouncer and bodyguard. Ladies and gentlemen and those of you who aren’t quite sure, I bring you “Big Ten”. This song reached number 14 in the UK charts in 1975, which is bloody good considering it was not allowed to be played on the radio. It was the last of six UK top 20 hits that the Judge had between 1972 and 1975. Judge Dread was actually Alexander Minto Hughes and he sadly died in 1998 aged just 52. When I was just a lad two regular Christmas presents that I was allowed to choose from my parents was one vinyl album and one vinyl single. being young and somewhat strapped for cash I always chose a double album as the album present; “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (Elton John), “Quadrophenia” (the Who) and “David Live” (David Bowie) were three of those choices. So I would like to publicly apologise to my Mum for being such a conniving little urchin. But more importantly I should apologise for choosing Judge Dread’s “Big Eight” as my single in at Christmas 1973. I was rather amused that my Mum had to go into the record shop and buy it without having any idea that it contained a whole selection of lewd and crude nursery rhymes. Sorry Mum!

 

“I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade” February 24, 2009


OK I’m going to open with a little experiment, the other day when I included a link to a fart joke on this blog I had three times the amount of the usual daily views I had been getting, many of which came from people searching ‘fart’ on t’interweb. I’m not going to get into why you would do that, it’s to each their own right? Anyway the experiment is that todays blog text will include a phrase which I suspect many people may search on, so here goes! Lily Allen Naked!!! Well let’s see how many views come to the blog based on that shall we? I would like to thank Tom W for coming up with that idea, top thinking mate! Incidentally if you arrived at this blog to see Lily Allen naked I’m sorry to disappoint you, but here is a picture of her anyway!

Lily wondered where she had hidden the torch again

Lily wondered where she had hidden the torch again

In case you didn’t see any news yesterday, Mr Springsteen has been confirmed as the Saturday headliner for this years Glastonbury Festival. That was the slot which was somewhat controversially filled by Jay Zed (copyright Karen McP) last year. well I say controversial, I mean Noel Gallagher was somewhat aggrieved by it! The strong rumours for the Friday and Sunday nights are Blur and Neil Young. Here is the Bruce news on the
Beeb

It’s also big congrats to ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ which swept up at the Oscars yesterday, winning eight in total including best film score and also best individual song for “Jai Ho“. Incidentally one of the other best individual song nominees was featured on this very blog just a few days ago, that was “Down To Earth” by Peter Gabriel from the wonderful ‘Wall-E’. How many of you have seen ‘Slumdog Millionaire’? I thought it was a superb movie. Funny, moving, serious, feelgood, great music, all in all a great combination of the best of everything. What did you think of it?

So without further delay let’s kick off with a birthday. Today is the 24th February and it is the 62nd birthday of Rupert, not the bear, but Mr Rupert Holmes. His biggest hit was “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” which was a massive hit in the US where it went to number one. Obviously at that particular moment we had a bit more taste in the UK as it only managed number 23 here! Rupert was born in Northwich, Cheshire in the UK although he grew up and has lived most of his life in the US. His Mum was English and his Dad American. It may seem unreal now but at the height of his Pina Colada driven success Rupert toured the world and the Marcos government in the Philippines even had to provide with a military escort when he was there. There is a very special distinction for “Escape” that as far as I am aware in US chart history didn’t happen before and hasn’t happened since. “Escape” reached number 1 in December 1979 then fell to number 2 in the first week of January 1980 (replaced by “Please Don’t Go” by KC and the Sunshine Band, before jumping back to the top spot the week after. It thus became the only song to end a decade at number one and climb back the following decade a real 70s/ 80s hit. Now that would be an interesting argument for the DJs that work 70s and 80s clubs (we have one of each in York). Maybe it wouldn’t though, because in my experience most DJs in those type of clubs are a long way from good! But of course I would say that as I am a very good Mobile DJ! I’m still taking bookings for this year if any of you are interested. Highlights in the coming months are weddings, 40th Birthdays, 30th birthdays and indeed a 70th birthday! I am happy to do gigs all over the planet, but please be aware that if the travelling distance from York in the UK is significant then so will the price be 🙂

Rupert didn't quite appreciate the difference between cufflinks and handcuffs

Rupert didn't quite appreciate the difference between cufflinks and handcuffs

Of course having discussed Pina Coladas I couldn’t leave you without the recipe, so just
click here! Mr Holmes has also said at various times “whatever else I do in my life my tombstone will be a giant pineapple!”

On this day in 1973 the final live appearance of the Byrds took place at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey. The Byrds are one of the acts, along with Jimi Hendrix, who recorded classic interpretations of Bob Dylan songs. The most famous of those Byrd songs is probably “Mr Tambourine Man” which you all know was written by Bob Dylan, but did you know that their version was produced by a chap called Terry Melcher, who is Doris Day’s son? Some radio stations apparently refused to play the Byrds “Eight Miles High” claiming that is was completely drug related. Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Gene Clark who wrote the song said that in fact it was about their experience of flying in a plane at 40,000 feet. How wrong can one be? 😉 My favourite song by the Byrds is probably “So You Want To Be A Rock N Roll Star” which was written by Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, supposedly about the manufactured and overnight success of the Monkees. The song was also groundbreaking in that it featured an African musician, Mr Hugh Masekala on trumpet. The observant among you will have noticed that there are two Byrd song links on this piece…… enjoy!

Upon arrival at the Police Station the boys realised that they had been framed

Upon arrival at the Police Station the boys realised that they had been framed

This day in 2004 saw the death of Estelle Axton who had helped to create Stax Records. She set up the Satellite Record label with her brother Jim Stewart. They were contacted by lawyers in 1960 and told that the name was already in use. They changed the name to ‘STAX’ which comes from the first two letters of each of their surnames. I guess ‘AXST’ just didn’t work out! Estelle was heavily involved with the selection and development of many artists on the label including Booker T & The MGs, Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas and the wonderful Mr Otis Redding. Stax was to Memphis what Motown was to Detroit. It is also interesting to note that whilst Stax specialised in soul, r &b and predominantly black music it’s two founders were white. This must have been seen as quite a brave move considering segregation was still widespread in the US in the late 50s/ early 60s. Here is the late great (see they’re still around) Otis Redding with the rather excellent “Try A Little Tenderness” from the Monterey Festival in 1967

Estelle Axton with her brother Jim Stewart

Estelle Axton with her brother Jim Stewart

The rather splendid Stax Records logo

The rather splendid Stax Records logo

And finally on this day in 1958 the classic song “Get A Job” by the Silhouettes was number one in the USA. It was recorded in October 1957 and is seen by many as the definitive doo wop song. It went on to sell a million copies and has been used in some great movies too. Notably ‘American Graffiti’ which starred a young Richard Dreyfuss and one of my favourite movies the excellent adaptation of Stephen King’s novella ‘The Body’ which was filmed as ‘Stand By Me’. The song is quite appropriate for many of us now too, given the current economic climate which those clever marketing people have re branded and made into the commodity we now know as ‘The Credit Crunch’ which in layman’s terms remains a recession surely?

The boys were frequently caught bragging about their many fishing trips

The boys were frequently caught bragging about their many fishing trips

 

 
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