With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Crow Black Chicken – The Crescent, York – Monday 11th April 2022 April 18, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 6:31 pm
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Until this show, I had never seen Crow Black Chicken before, but I have seen both the support bands before. First up was Sweet May who I saw for the first time just over three weeks ago back in March. This is a power trio whose music comes screaming out of the bleeding, still-beating heart of 70s rock. Think Thin Lizzy, Free, Bad Company, and maybe even Rainbow. Will, Piers, and Al are supremely talented in their own right and they come to more than the sum of their parts as a sublime hard-rocking unit. I want to single out one of the band for a big shout out though. There are poor drummers, there are ok drummers, there are good drummers and every so often there is a great drummer. Step up from your drum stool and take a bow Al Perry, you really are a great drummer! Particular highlights of Sweet May‘s set for me were “Deep Space” and “Insane”. The latter had the power and passion to take the roof off the venue. Thankfully that didn’t actually happen and I am very pleased to say that the Crescent remains intact.

Sweet May

Next up it was Doghouse Derelicts, another band I was witnessing for just the second time, the first was just over four weeks ago. They sounded like early Doobie Brothers with Joe Walsh on guitar and some classy Eaglesesque harmonies at times. This really feels like a band at the top of their game, although I suspect they have a fair bit more in the tank too. “Wasted” and “Where I’m From” were early highlights in a great set. At one point the band introduced a rapper, Dandy, to join them on stage. Now on paper that combination really doesn’t sound like it would work at all. But on stage, it was a fucking masterstroke. Dandy enhanced a couple of already great tunes, particularly set closer “I Don’t Care”. Given that the crowd was quite sparse, well it was a Monday night, this was a banging, brilliant set from Doghouse Derelicts.

Doghouse Derelicts

Finally, it was time for the headliners Crow Black Chicken who gave us some ace fuzzed up, bluesy, swampy, funky, dirty US deep south rock. The band is in fact from the deep south …….. of Ireland! Think Lynyrd Skynyrd, Canned Heat, ZZ Top and Creedence Clearwater Revival with an undertow of Little Feat and that might give you a little of what Crow Black Chicken sounds like. Lead singer Christy O’Hanlon has a rough-edged, raspy, soulful voice that was made for blues-rock. His guitar work was incredible too. The band is a real live force of nature. Bassist Stephen McGrath gurns every note that he rips out of his bass guitar. He plays notes that many other bass players couldn’t. The way he partners seamlessly with drummer Gev Barrett in a rhythm section reminiscent of John Bonham and John Paul Jones is sublime. It really is hard to tell sometimes that Crow Black Chicken is not an authentic deep south US band, but that does not make them copyists. They really are a fine original band that knows how to rock. I loved the song about Oliver Cromwell and the tribute to Weather Report’s late great Jaco Pastorius. But my favourite of the whole evening was a tune about cults and in particular Jim Jones. Every song was a blinder though, Crow Black Chicken‘s set was definitely all killer, no filler! Check them out NOW people!

Crow Black Chicken

All pictures, except the gig poster, were taken by me using my very cheap Chinese Android phone. The videos were found on YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be removed please let me know.

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Vaquelin – Fulford Arms, York – Friday 18th March 2022 March 23, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:43 pm
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This was my first Northern Radar gig for a while, but would it be fair to say that Head Honcho Simon P put on a good show, after all, he has never let me down yet. You’ll need to read on to find out how he did with this one though. Unfortunately, original headliners, Sick Joy had to pull out owing to illness, and on top of that only two-thirds of Please Remain Calm were able to make it for similar reasons, their drummer and bass player were missing This meant that Please Remain Calm took the stage first for an acoustic set. But this was no subdued, quiet acoustic set, it was a stunning tour de force. Chloe’s voice has become a towering force of nature with hints of both Amy Lee and Bjork. The guitarist was spectacular while maintaining the cool, calmness, and style of Bernard Butler in his Suede prime. “Smoke And Mirrors” has the makings of a classic future anthem, as does “Fall Apart”. Their cover of the Howl and the Hum’s “Hostages” was sublime, emotional, soulful, and made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, truly a beautiful take on a fantastic tune. I am so looking forward to experiencing a fully amped-up electric set from Please Remain Calm soon!

Please Remain Calm

A new band to me, Sweet May was up next. This is another great band with a resurgent 70s rock style. The lead singer/ guitarist made me think of Paul Kossoff, both visually and through his splendiferous guitar licks. His voice was more Paul Rodgers than Paul Kossoff though. There is hard rock, blues, and a sprinkling of funk in Sweet May‘s sweet sounds. The funk element is courtesy of the superlative drum and bass partnership. On some of the more extended wig-outs, I sensed maybe a Uriah Heep vibe going on. Set closer “Insane” was truly insane, but in an astonishingly good way! I definitely want to see this band again.

Adrian – Vaquelin

Finally, it was time for headliners Vaquelin to storm the stage. After a few feedback issues during their opening number the band moved into a solid heavy rock groove playing songs from their stunningly good debut album, ‘Where Dreams Hurt‘. The band were headlining tonight as Sick Joy had to pull out. But one of the many things that I love about Vaquelin is that they seem to play every set like a headliner, personally, I would hate to be in a band that has to follow them! Callum told me later that he couldn’t hear his guitar for the whole show, presumably fall-out from the earlier feedback issues. But frankly, his playing was up to his usual Jimmy Pagesque best. Adrian was on fire in the vocals department and we need new song, “Broken Windows” to be recorded and released as soon as possible, that was a set highlight for me. Once again the bands showed that Led Zeppelin ‘Hammer Of The Gods’ power with a rhythm section forged in the depths of Asgard! I could watch this band again and again and so could their passionate fans who I previously named Vaquelinians. Well, I suppose I am a proud Vaquelinian too! Did I hear a rumour that they have another album in the pipeline? I hope so!

All pictures, except the gig poster, were taken by me using my very cheap Chinese Android phone. The videos were found on YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be removed please let me know.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

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