With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music reviews, gig reviews, fun trivia and extra added random stuff!

The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – March 2022 April 6, 2022


Here we go with the Mayhem Artist Top 20 chart for March 2022. Many of you know that I am a keen user of a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I achieved a level of 100% more obscure than other users in the UK. Although that has since dropped to 99%. Regular readers will know that it also lists my most obscure artists, (the top two of which have been there since I began doing these posts) which currently are;

Woke Up Dead (One of the two bands that have been ever-present in my obscure list and an excellent band to boot!)

Promethium (This metal bunch continues to fly the flag for great British rock and like Woke Up Dead have been ever-present in this obscure team)

PhonoMatiq – Billy Paul Williams’ a.k.a. Phonomatiq came to be here thanks to a rather strange tune called “Barbara Streisand” which I have listened to quite a lot

Heartsink -One of York’s best young bands and most definitely York’s best pop-punk band!

Muda – cinematic electronic synth-led modern classics from Ireland. I came across them purely by chance and what a find!

As for the March Top 20, only Dame David remains from the last chart, but he has been a bit of a constant from the start. Other classic artists include Barry White, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Vampire Weekend and R.E.M. But there is the first entry, straight in at number one, for the amazing Bang Bang Romeo, a band that I came to quite late. But I am so glad that I found them! They are an incredible rock band from Yorkshire and Anastasia Walker’s voice is in a league of its own! Here is that all-important top 20. There are quite a few appearances from artists that have never appeared before in addition to Bang Bang Romeo. These include Police Car Collective (I saw them at Leeds Fest last year, bloody stunning), Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip, (I was lucky enough to witness Mik in all his live glory in York a few weeks ago), Hattie Briggs (she was discovered by Alfie Boe busking at Paddington Station) and Koffee (new reggae star with great reverence for Robert Nesta Marley). Ukrainian band Antytila are in at number 16. They asked to have a live link slot at a recent Concert For Ukraine in the UK and I heard the organisers turned them down as it would have been too political!!!! WTAF???? There are even a few country artists too, Katy Hurt, Morgan Wade and Leah Blevins. At number 20 you’ll find an incredible York band, Vaquelin, check out their first album, ‘Where Dreams Hurt’! I would love to hear your thoughts on this chart. Oh and keep your eyes open for a new addition to the Mayhem Monthly Artist Chart. Very soon we will bring you the Mayhem Monthly Song Chart, almost like an old school top 20 singles chart! That one includes songs by eight of the artists in the March Artist Chart.

1 Bang Bang Romeo
2 Katy Hurt
3 David Bowie
4 Hattie Briggs
5 Vampire Weekend
6 Barry White
7 Police Car Collective
8 Leah Blevins
9 Koffee
10 Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip
11 Pink Floyd
12 Morgan Wade
13 The Surfing Magazines
14 A Will Away
15 Hard Feelings
16 Antytila
17 Led Zeppelin
18 R.E.M
19 Childcare
20 Vaquelin

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Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip – The Crescent, York – Saturday 5th March 2022 March 8, 2022


I was able to attend this gig with our newest writer, Juan Brooks, and just before the gig over a couple of hot coffees (we’re proper rock ‘n’ roll) we decided to do this review as a collaboration. So while it is written in the first person the thoughts and words are from both of us. This is a different approach for us and we hope that you like it! being back at the Crescent (a first-time visit for Juan) was great and Joe, Head Honcho of Please Please You, and one of the Crescent’s Kingpins had lined up a great show. Sadly one great band, Cowgirl, had to pull out thanks to that bastard Covid. First up were the Surfing Magazines a relatively new garage-rock group from Leeds. They are made up of two-thirds of The Wave Pictures and one-half of Slow Club. Their surf-style instrumentals were spectacularly good and on these the Surfing Magazines really came into their own. The Dick Dale guitar licks were brilliant. Their cover of Jonathan Richman’s “Egyptian Reggae” transformed the tune into something that would be perfect on a Tarantino soundtrack. In fact, the Surfing Magazines would make an excellent choice as a bar band in a Tarantino film. Their country rock vocal harmonies were incredibly powerful and at times were reminiscent of the Everly Brothers, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and even Beatlesesque in some parts. The guitarist was supremely versatile going from the aforementioned Dick Dale, some Bo Diddley riffs, and the intricacy of Television’s Tom Verlaine. Even the broken guitar string didn’t phase the ace axeman. A powerfully good band!

We had both listened to some tracks from the headliner, Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip before the gig and neither of us could put them into any specific genre. Mik has elements of observational comedy across a great rock sound. But that is only part of what and who he is. Both of us had perma grins for the whole set, if you failed to smile during Mik’s set then you need your happy muscles checked. Mik is a very funny bloke and a great observer of the minutiae of human life. Almost every song has some everyday references from Dad muscles, playing horsey, betting shop pens, stuff you find down the back of the armchair and libraries. Indeed “Libraries” is an awesome track. Mik appears to be completely chaotic, but clearly knows what he is doing and that just plays to him putting on a great performance and a wonderful show. His energy is boundless, is he really 66? While he uses the spoken word approach a lot he does possess a fabulous singing voice that flits from punk, to rock, to folk, and onto ballads. There were so many highlights, “The Zumba Sign’s Come Down” and “Acoustic Synthesiser” are weird, wacky, and wonderfully hilarious. Meanwhile “DB Was A Funny Man” is a song of genius about the Dame himself, Mr. Bowie. Mik weaves in a few excerpts from Bowie hits into it too, notably “run for the shadows, run for the shadows” and “whop whop whop” from Bowie’s “Golden Years”. He also manages o get some Van Morrison elements in there too. The main highlight for both of us was “Sweet Leaf Of The North”, the whole introductory preamble and story, and then the song itself. Apparently Iggy Pop chose this as one of his highlights of the last decade. Sounds like he’s a big fan. Mik creates a sense of northern belonging and togetherness with his followers and has great fun with the audience. His affectionate and heartfelt mickey take of Vinny the sound guy was excellent too. It is worth pointing out that his band, particularly the guitarist Jonny Flockton are blessed with huge musical talent and are the perfect foil for Mik’s performance. Juan perhaps summed up Mik in one sentence by saying “for me, he is a modern-day Northern Ian Dury“! So difficult to argue with that. Both Juan and I have become Mik Artistik evangelists and will be telling everyone we meet that they need to see Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip live!

Written by Bill Adamson and Juan Brooks

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