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


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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.

 

 

Apollo Festival 2014 – York – Saturday 21st June June 30, 2014


 

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Unfortunately I was unable to attend last years Apollo Festival so I was quite excited about this one. On another unfortunate note for various reasons I ended up having to miss the set from Reverend and the Makers who headlined the day. But I did get to see absolutely loads of great music and I do hope to be back next year. This time for the full day!

I spent the day with my wonderful wife Catherine (regular readers will know her as Catwoman and our good friends Caron and John and their beautiful daughter Amelia. Catwoman and me are Odd parents to Amelia. the first stage we visited was the Access To Music Stage. Ruby was playing when we arrived, she looked very young, but she was also very, very good. Her own material had some very mature lyrics for someone so young and she even made an Olly Murs song sound good when she covered “Troublemaker”. We stayed in place to see the next act; Laura. Does nobody bother with surnames any more? Laura has an excellent voice and some great songs of her own. She also played two well-chosen and extremely well done covers. The first was the Beatles “Blackbird” and she finished her set with a storming acoustic cover of the Gnarls Barkley modern classic “Crazy”.

 

We wandered over to the Main Stage next where we saw We Could Be Astronauts last song. It was a pity that we weren’t able to see more because these guys sound bloody good! Redstar from Huddersfield were next and it would be difficult to find any fault with this superb band. Their playing is on the button and really tight. The vocalist has all the traits of a great front man and he backs that up with a great rock voice. Their songs are pretty damned good too. I reckon there may be some Kasabianesque influences in there and they made me think of what Beady Eye could have been had Liam retained any talent. But that is small stuff, they are very much their own band. The free CD album they handed out to us punters is brilliant and has been on heavy rotation in my car since the show. Chris Helme former singer of John Squire‘s first post Stone Roses project the Seahorses was next. he is clearly a talented bloke with a good voice but I found him a little dull.

It was back to the Access To Music Stage next where we saw the fabulous Barcode Zebra. probably the funkiest band of the day. A truly stupendous rhythm section and a vocalist for whom a description of awesome might not be quite enough. They are playing in York at a launch of their new EP in July and sadly I will be away that weekend. I would definitely pay to see this band again. also if you’re reading this good people of Barcode Zebra I would love to do an interview with you for this blog!

The Entertainment Co Stage was our next port of call where we found it impossible not to dance and sing along to the curators of that stage; The Entertainment Company! They don’t just play cover versions they own them! Are they the best party band ever?  Very probably! shall we book them for Catwoman’s 50th birthday party (yes she doesn’t look even close to 50 does she)? I hope they do private party bookings because I’d love them to play for us in September 2016!

After that it was a return to the Main Stage where we saw the Black Delta Movement. We didn’t catch their whole set but they come across as very accomplished rockers with a swampy blues rock feel. Not bad at all. Former Bluetones frontman the ‘Legendary’ Mark Morriss was on next with a rather brilliant acoustic set. He is wonderfully self-deprecating and even his new songs have an air of classics about them.

Next it was a quick jog back to the Entertainment Co Stage where we were hoping to see the highly recommended And The Hangnails (thank you Mr Pattinson). before they took to the stage those wonderful people from the Entertainment Company had allowed a young singer from LA to play a few songs. His name is Ben Caron and he is soulful and funky. A bit like Bruno Mars but with more of an R & B edge. He has a truly great voice with which he wowed the all too small crowd. I bought his album, a steal at £7 and he struck me as a really good bloke too. You really should check him out. And The Hangails came on the stage and it is fair to say that for just two people they make a massive noise. I don’t mean that in a negative way either, this pair know how to rock. I sensed some influence from the likes of the White Stripes, the Black Keys and the Strokes. Would I pay to see this mighty duo again? Hell yeah!

Target By Numbers were next on the Access To Music Stage. Good musicians and some ok songs, but they really didn’t do it for me. The last band we saw on the day was the Supermodels on the Main Stage. They are a covers band, but to simply say that really doesn’t do them justice. They cover some classic rock songs with such verve and talent that you could almost imagine you were listening to the real thing if your eyes were shut. Their cover of the Who’s “Baba O’Riley” would give Daltrey and Townshend a run for their money. I really want to see them play again. Sadly we had to leave just before the Supermodels left the stage. But although we missed the headliners we had a fantastic day! well done to the organisers and for all the money raised for an excellent cause; the Smiley Riley Fund!

 

 

“I don’t need to sell my soul, he’s already in me” December 30, 2013


BbswjVuIEAAwAqUHave you ever thought about having a garden gnome on display at your home but then thought that you were too cool to do it? Well think again, especially if you are a fan of a Manchester band that you may have heard a little about. Yes folks you can now buy a full set of Gnome Roses who look remarkably like the Stone Roses. You could create your very own Spike Island next to your garden pond. Check out the Gnome Roses on Facebook and purchase them here at Alternative Merchandise. If you have already bought yours or received them for Christmas feel free to send me a picture and I will definitely give you a mention on this blog!

JS30467290-2953621Creator of these little gems is Andrew McDermid and he has ideas to expand the range, starting with the Ra-Gnomes with the advertising strap line of ‘Hi Ho Let’s Go!’. He also plans to work on the Rolling Gnomes, Kurt Cobain and Queens Of The Gnome Age. What? No Bowie as “The Laughing Gnome“?

 

The Stone Roses : Made Of Stone – World premiere simulcast York City Screen Thursday 30th May 2013 June 2, 2013


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On Thursday 30th May I attended a simulcast of the world première of the new Stones Roses documentary ‘Made Of Stone’ at York City Screen. The cinema is part of the excellent Picturehouse chain and was one of 200 UK cinemas that were broadcasting the première which took place in Manchester. There was a live link to the activities on the red carpet for the first hour and personally I found that part terribly dull, not helped in my opinion by Edith Bowman‘s interview style. She seems to ask a high percentage of closed questions. The most interesting interview she did was with Shane Meadows, the director of the film. The interview with Mick Jones off of the Clash was embarrassing in my opinion.

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The film however was a million light years from being dull. I would say that it is probably among the best music documentaries I have ever seen. It didn’t set out to tell a chronological story of the band, although some of the montages which included previously unseen footage were excellent. Much of that material was provided by the band themselves directly to Shane Meadows. This included some grainy Super 8 ciné film of Ian Brown and John  Squire on motor scooters from the early 80s. The film is essentially split into three parts; The resurrection press conference and the Parr Hall in Warrington free show; Then the rehearsals and finally some stunning footage from the Heaton Park gigs.

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I really loved the rehearsal element. It showed just how close the band really are and it was incredibly intimate and insightful. Apparently some of the rehearsal footage was shot by Shane Meadows using a Super 8 App on his iPhone. Does that mean we’ll all be making films soon? The filming and editing of the Parr Hall show and the build up to it was wonderfully entertaining. Especially the sequences of the people queueing up to be among the lucky 1,000 attendees. I order to get a wrist band for the gig you needed to bring along some official Stone Roses merchandise or CD/ Records and obviously to be in the first 1,000 people in the queue. One bloke arrived still in his paint spattered overalls having not even bothered to lock up the house he had been working on.

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The finale of the film is truly amazing and culminates in some superb footage from the Heaton Park gigs. There must have been countless cameras used and I hope that the video includes much more footage of the shows. Some clips of the pre Heaton Park warm up shows were shown leading up to the big gig. You saw the band back stage in Lyon meeting one of their Manchester United (or Mani United) heroes; Eric Cantona. Is it just me or does he look like Grizzly Adams these days? I’m sure that Liam Gallagher, who made a brief appearance in the film wouldn’t have liked that part. The classic non encore from the Amsterdam is also included. This was where Reni threw a bit of a hissy fit following some problems with his ear monitors and went straight back to the hotel. Ian Brown then had to come back on the stage and announce to the disgruntled audience that this was no joke and that the drummer had gone home. This culminated in the classic line ‘What can I say? The drummer’s a cunt!’ To be fair that is a little rich coming from a soon to be middle-aged man who wears his jeans low enough to see most of his undercrackers!

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The posters and trailers for the film include the line ‘this film will make grown men cry’. Well I didn’t cry, but perhaps it’s just because it’s not my generation and not ‘my’ band in the way it is for the hardcore Roses fans. But even with my eyes remaining dry this was a five-star music documentary. I urge you to go and see it if you can or put the DVD (scheduled for release in October) on your letter to Santa Claus. But you know the drill by now; if you have to sell your Granny to get a ticket then say bye bye Gran today!

 

“You’re not down with who I am, look at you now, you’re all in my hands tonight” March 10, 2012


A white parka? Seriously?

XFM listeners recently took part in a poll to name the greatest front man of all time. So many great blokes to choose from and they went for Liam Gallagher. Now don’t get me wrong Liam has been very good in the past, particularly in the early days of Oasis, but the greatest front man of all time? I don’t think so. The full top 20 was;

1. Liam Gallagher
2. Freddie Mercury
3. Dave Gahan
4. Dave Grohl
5. Matt Bellamy
6. Brandon Flowers
7. Morrissey
8. Jim Morrison
9. Kurt Cobain
10. Alex Turner
11. Paul Weller
12. Mick Jagger
13. Tom Meighan
14. Eddie Vedder
15. Joe Strummer
16. Ian Curtis
17. Caleb Followill
18. Ian Brown
19. Thom Yorke
20. Chris Martin

A white double-breasted jacket? Seriously?

I agree with many of these, but I am surprised Robert Plant and John Lydon didn’t make the cut. Who do you think should have been included? Click here to read the report on nme.com.

Liam wasn't very happy with his dental work

 

“Dreams of war Dreams of lies Dreams of dragons fire” January 29, 2012


Apparently Hulk Hogan nearly joined Metallica as a bass player in their early days. He was once a session musician and a good friend of drummer Lars Ulrich. He is also a fan of the Stone Roses and used them as part of his workout soundtrack.

He also revealed mock anger at the fact that Kasabian check into hotels using his name. Click here to read the story on the NME site, which was sourced from the Sun. just a thought though, after their recent collaboration with Lou Reed maybe the next Metallica joint effort will be with Mr Hogan.

 

“Look out you city slickers, we’re gonna burn that bastard down” October 24, 2011


This post gives me an opportunity to publish the same one across two of my blogs. You are either reading this on With Just A Hint Of Mayhem or With Just A Hint Of Learning click on the name of the one that you’re not reading to check out more of my blogging collection. But they do have a slightly different title in keeping with the style of each blog.

I am sure that the majority of you are familiar with the famous (or infamous) Nokia ringtone. But how many of you know where it came from? Firstly before polyphonic sounds were available on mobile phones the Nokia tone existed in it’s more primitive form. The melody was chosen from a piece composed by a Spanish musician, Francisco Tarrega, in 1902. The age of the music meant that Nokia would not have to pay any royalties.

But it’s how the tone transformed into its polyphonic version that interests me. In the early 1990s a certain Mr Thomas Dolby was becoming fed up with the music industry and packed his bags and went to Silicon Valley in the USA. While there he set up a company that used polyphonic synthesiser software that enabled a computer to play not just one musical note but quite a combination including playing notes at the same time. His lucky break came when Nokia hired his company to produce a polyphonic update of the Nokia ringtone. That polyphonic ringtone synthesiser is now included in every Nokia phone along with many of the competitions devices. It is said that the, in my opinion, annoying ring tone can be heard more than two billion times each day. Now that is a lot of calls!

Thomas Dolby has now decided to make a comeback into the music world. He is touring soon and also has a new album; ‘A Map Of The Floating City’ out now. It is his first album for around 19 years, which is an even bigger gap between releases than the Stone Roses first two and Kate Bush’s last two combined. The album also features input from a number of other artists including; Mark Knopfler, Regina Spektor and Imogen Heap. The track listing is;

  1. Nothing New Under The Sun
  2. Spice Train
  3. Evil Twin Brother
  4. A Jealous Thing Called Love
  5. Road To Reno
  6. The Toad Lickers
  7. 17 Hills
  8. Love Is A Loaded Pistol
  9. Oceanea
  10. Simone
  11. To The Lifeboats

Below you will find some classic Dolby along with something from his new album. So put your headphones on and enjoy these songs and help block out those annoying ringtones that are probably going off all around you! You can also read the full article at the BBC by clicking here.

 

“Swept away on a wave of emotion, overcaught in the eye of the storm” October 21, 2011

Filed under: News,Rants — justwilliam1959 @ 10:40 pm
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At last Westlife are ready to cash in their chips

After the epic news earlier this week that the Stone Roses have reformed some even more epic news broke yesterday. Westlife are finally splitting up, which I must say that I find really sad. When I say sad I mean I’m really sad that it’s taken so bloody long for it to happen. It hardly registers on the same cultural scale as the Beatles break up does it? But incredibly Westlife have had 14 UK number one singles (that’s not far off the Beatles and Elvis Presley’s tally of 17 and 21 respectively) and have worldwide record sales of 44 million. Unlike the Beatles though these guys aren’t just breaking up, they’re embarking on a farewell tour next year in support of a greatest hits package to be released next month. For me they were all about the easy buck and the dumbing down of the music industry. So no surprise that the most worthless, talentless person to ever appear on TV or find employment in the entertainment industry, Louis Walsh, was behind them!

Personally I'm glad that someone took the stage away!

But of course every Yin has a Yang, every Kit has a Kat, every A-Side has a B-Side, every day has a night, every messiah has a Judas, every rose has a thorn, every Bon has a Jovi and every dog has a Shit. It sadly comes in the wake of a Steps reunion. So just as we lose an insipid, karaoke style hit machine in the guise of a boy band we regain one of pop music’s most annoying manufactured happy clappy combos. As a quick aside check out the BBC’s rather amusing comparison of the reunion of Steps vs. the reunion of the Stone Roses by clicking here. As regular readers will know I will not even be going in sniffing distance for shows by either Westlife or Steps.

Westlife never really mastered Madonna's Vogue dance

But I would like to say something in favour of the genuine fans of all the acts I have mentioned in this post; Stone Roses, Westlife and Steps. This is a message to all you ticket scalpers out there – “Give it up you money grabbing bastards and let the real fans get the tickets!” How come that within minutes of tickets going on sale they suddenly appear on E Bay at vastly inflated prices? Greed that’s how come! As for ticket exchange sites like Viagogo I personally wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole, they’re just like licensed touts. Apologies for that, I needed a bit of a rant, I really don’t like touts and scalpers, especially those who do it in a corporate guise!

 

“I couldn’t ever bring myself to hate you as I’d like” October 18, 2011


Finally after all the speculation of the last week or so the music world’s worst kept secret is official. The Stone Roses are back together for two shows in Manchester next summer and an ‘extensive’ world tour. I really hope they’ll be one of next years Reading and Leeds headliners as well. It was pretty obvious from the moment the press conference was announced that this was on the cards wasn’t it? But it’s still a pleasant surprise given the animosity there appeared to be between them (particularly Ian Brown and John Squire) at times.

Apparently there will also be some new music from the band. I’m really looking forward to that, I always felt that their demise meant that they had plenty of unfinished business musically. It’s also been speculated that Ian Brown’s expensive divorce is another reason for the band getting back together, or at least for him agreeing to it. Sadly I didn’t have a Stone Roses to reform to pay for mine.

Read about the band’s announcement at their press conference today on NME.com by clicking here.

 

Wolf Gang – York City Screen Basement 16th November 2010 November 17, 2010


Having received the regular newsletter from Man Is Slapped recently I found that for the first time in ages I was able to attend one of his gigs. This would be the second time I have seen him at the York City Screen Basement, but more of him later. When I arrived I was greeted by the wonderful sound of Tom Waits playing over the house PA, including the fabulous “Hoist That Rag”. That just made me feel that this was set to be a good night and for once my instincts weren’t wrong, it was a great night.

First up were Detronik. Imagine a large serving of 80s Sheffield electro a la Human League and a couple of spoonfuls of the Stone Roses and Madchester at it’s 90s peak. Are you there? Well that’s how these guys made me feel. They were bloody good and if they were around in the 80s they would have cleaned up completely. I really loved their set, especially closing number “Death To The Disco”. Check out the band on MySpace and the original lineup on YouTube.

Man Is Slapped

Man Is Slapped was the second of three acts and this will be the third time I have seen him play. If you put down what he does on paper (or perhaps in a blog post) you would surely think that this shouldn’t work. But it does work and it works so very well. He played a few new songs from his new EP; Socially Inept which as a fan I obviously purchased. He also di his usual thing of sampling his own sound and vocals in order to provide backing for his songs. Is there anyone else about that can actually do this? Even if there are I doubt that they would be better than Mr Slapped. he even expanded his sound on a couple of songs by using a guitar. Perhaps the next EP will be ‘Man Is Slapped Goes Punk’? He also played a brief electro interlude advertising his web presence and CD for sale. He should be much, much bigger, make it so dear readers! Check him out on MySpace here and also on YouTube here.

Wolf Gang - but this is clearly not a lion and it's clearly not in a cage!

Finally it was the turn of the headliners, I must confess that until tonight I had never heard them and whilst Detronik and Man Is Slapped were excellent I think Wolf Gang surpassed them. They were truly stupendous and excellent band, especially the drummer. The vocalist was also very, very good. The blurb on the gig poster suggests that they go some way to mashing together Talking Heads and Empire Of The Sun. I wouldn’t disagree with this but I would also add that there was an element of early Simple Minds in there too, back in the days when Jim Kerr‘s boys were actually good. I would certainly pay to see this band again and if they’re playing near you it would be foolish and negligent of you to miss them. The next couple of weeks will see them play Glasgow, Sheffield, Brighton, Birmingham, Southampton, London, Bristol and Manchester. I hope they play at the Reading Festival next year. They finished their set with their new single “Lions In Cages” which is released on 22nd November, buy it and make them a happy band. Then they will then be just like me for I went home a happy man! Check them out on MySpace by clicking here and their own website by clicking here and then enjoy a couple more Wolf Gang videos below;

 

 
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