With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

The Velts – Fulford Arms, York – Thursday 26th July 2018 August 1, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:29 pm
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You can’t beat a gig showing four bands for four quid can you? Especially when it is at the Fulford Arms in York and even more especially when you know and love three of the bands playing; thank you Glass Traps, Honours and Tax! The gig was set up to launch a new York record label, Safe Suburban Home (SSH). The label specialises in releasing exclusive seven-inch vinyl singles by up and coming bands. This gig was to support the launch of the first SSH single by Maltese band the Velts. It is a shame it wasn’t a local band, but I am sure that will come. But before the Velts hit the stage there was the little matter of three fabulous support bands. Before I tell you about them I have to air a little gripe; the sound and mix at times was utterly atrocious. Was it atmospherics caused by the extreme heat or was the sound man having a particularly bad day? I am not sure what the sound was like from the monitors, but I got over the worst of it by standing closer to the stage.

Glass Traps

First up were the Glass Traps, they are quite a young band and they have tons of potential. At times a little Beatlesesque and Byrdsian with a smattering of Tom Petty. The Beatles thing was compounded by the bass player using what I think was a Hofner bass, but not just that, he was also left-handed like Macca! The Glass Traps have some excellent songs, but like all of tonight’s bands the sound let them down a little.

Honours

The second band to take the stage were the mighty Honours, without a doubt one of Yorks finest young bands. Even with the issues with the sound this bunch were fucking awesome. The sound was definitely better closer to the stage, perhaps we got a bleed from the monitors. Honours have the potential to be their generation’s Oasis, only better. Jordan has more stage presence than Liam Gallagher as a front man. Meanwhile Struan’s guitar playing at times hits the majesty of Mick Ronson at his peak. “Freedom” and “Duchess” are outstanding tunes and “Higher Than A Mountain” is heading that way too. It doesn’t matter whereabouts on the bill Honours are, they always play like a headliner!

Tax

I had the pleasure of reviewing the ‘Averageism’ EP from another great York band, Tax, back in January. So I was looking forward to finally seeing them play live. It feels like their sound has developed immensely in those few months. Not just Space Cadets, but proper spaced out cadets! There is definitely a whiff of Tom Verlaine and Television about them while the Mark E Smith influence is also clear. But they are influences and Tax are very much a band mining their own eccentric seam of great music.

The Velts

Headliners were the Velts from Malta here for the launch of their exclusive seven-inch release “Rollercoaster” b/w “Rattle The Cage” which is also the first release on Safe Suburban Home Records. It was a real shame that the bulk of the crowd had disappeared by the time the Velts arrived on stage. Those that left early missed a treat, well apart from the poor sound mix which never really improved the whole night. The Velts are to me what the Beatles might have been like if they had arrived on the scene in the late 90s with a fully formed more modern take on ‘The White Album’. George Harrison would have been proud of some of their left field wig outs! Both tracks from the single were played and they have some other great songs too.

So in summary this was a good gig that might have been great if the sound was better and the crowd was bigger. I hope the safe Suburban Records is a very successful venture and maybe they should try out a few releases from local bands in the next few months. I feel pretty sure that would pull bigger crowds and more sales. But I am the very proud owner of the single, mine is numbered 11 of 250!

All photos were taken by me using my cheap Chinese android mobile phone, hence the quality!

 

 

“Averageism EP” – Tax January 21, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 1:21 pm
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Sometimes you have to make a choice as to which gig you want to go to when there is a clash. Last Friday I went to see Absolute Bowie at Fibbers in York, sadly this meant that I missed a great line up put together by Northern Radar at another fabulous York venue; the Crescent. Who did I miss? The Televangelist, Dvsk, Tax and the Honey Smugglers, that’s who. But I did meet up with Northern Radar Head Honcho Simon Pattinson after the show along with some of Tax, including the drummer and Millie (with an i, e) who isn’t their manager but perhaps should be! Millie gave me a copy of the new Tax EP ‘Averageism’. I promised to take a listen to it and maybe review it for this blog. What some of you don’t know is that if any singers or bands give me some of their music to review I will always listen to it, but I will only review it if I like it. Personally I don’t think it is fair to lumber upcoming bands with a negative review. But this is most definitely NOT a negative review!

This five track EP is without a doubt, bloody awesome. It was produced by Liam Watson, and as many of you know his cv includes the White Stripes. Tax, from York, are refreshingly original, but in terms of influence I can hear some heavy punk and post punk vibes, the Adverts, PiL, the Fall, the New York Dolls and early 70s Glam Rock. The EPs title track is probably my favourite after the third listen, any song that mentions James Last, Ian Brown, Burt Bacharach and uses the words moron and twat in the lyrics is alright with me. Aside from the tightness of the band what really impressed me was the lyrics; “Out For Lunch” has a brilliant couplet in “I’ve got a handshake like an earthquake”, play the track loud enough and it might even move the gauge on a Richter scale recorder. “Clone” sounds like something the Adverts TV Smith might have recorded in the late 70s, very LoFi but with more balls than the usual LoFi sound. The EP is completed by the excellently titled “Piss” and “I’m A Presenter On The TV”. If you haven’t seen Tax or heard them then I suggest you do something about that right now! But careful how you search for them, you might end up reaching some pretty dull accounting sites! Click here to find them on FaceBook and click here to find them on Soundcloud. Personally I can’t wait to see this lot play live now!

 

 

 
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