With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Bull – The Crescent, York – Friday 24th September 2021 September 27, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:03 pm
Tags: , , , ,

A sell out gig at the Crescent in York? Yes I kid you not, the first sell out I have been to since before Covid and it feels damned good to be back to proper gigs. This was a delayed album launch tour from local heroes Bull who released their fabulous debut album ‘Discover Effortless Living’. But before the main attraction there were a couple of support bands that I need to tell you about. First it was the wonderfully named Fat Spatula. They put on an intense and powerful performance and they are clearly a tight band. But what are Fat Spatula actually like? Well the recipe for me was a few ounces of Talking Heads from David Byrne’s oversized jacket peak, a couple of fried Devo stock cubes. a hugely rich Modern Lovers sauce all served with the funkiest condiments you could imagine. I guess it was all mixed nicely using a fat spatula, right? Anyway, I like this band a lot and I will definitely be queueing up for second helpings sometime in the future.

Next it was the turn of a Hull band who are clearly not particularly enamoured by vowels, they are called bdrmm. They are a kind proggy shoegazey style but with extra added industrial sound and drone at times. Maybe there was even a bit of a Cure influence in there too. I think bdrmm are clearly accomplished musicians and they also feel like the sort of band I might listen to while smoking a fat one! I particularly liked the drums, although the drums on one track were very reminiscent of Toni Basil’s “Mickey” (thank you for pointing that out Eddie P).

Finally it was time for the main attraction, Bull. They are a 21st century Byrds with a distinctly heavier psych vibe than Roger McGuinn’s gang. Bull are a band that really know what they are doing and they do it supremely well. This was a local crowd for them and we were captivated by every note. Someone that I spoke to before the show described Bull as ramshackle, I disagree, I would say intense and informal, while never hiding their sense of fun. If this band do not become huge then the matrix or the multiverse (pick your cinematic universe) is broken. They were joined by an awesome brass section towards the end of the set which included singer Tom Beer on trombone. Get out and see this band and buy or stream their debut album, you need Bull in your life!

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

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

Sunflower Thieves and Epilogues – Songs Under Skies – National Centre For Early Music (NCEM), York – Wednesday 16th June 2021 July 5, 2021


This was the final show of 5 of the second series of Songs Under Skies (the last was September 2020) in the grounds of the iconic and frankly gorgeous York venue the National Centre For Early Music (NCEM). Tonight we had even more local talent proving once again that York and Yorkshire bloody rock it! Before it all started though, I had the opportunity for a long chat with the supremely talented Laura Kindelan. I am definitely looking to more music from her! (No pressure Laura!) First up was Epilogues a.k.a. Mikey who regular readers will have spotted on these pages before. By his own admission Mikey writes many sad songs, but he does fill them with truly stupendous lyrics. His second song of the evening was “Sixteen” from his new EP released a few months back, yes it was a sad song, but truly beautiful too. “The Gap” was absolute epic Epilogues, even with what Mikey referred to as a nightmare chord. I loved “Two Weeks” which I believe is about a broken relationship. Mikey gave us some idiosyncratic ad libs while tuning his guitar, including the line “and the crowd went mild”. I may have to borrow that in the future. My favourite song from this set was a new one, “I’m Just Glad That You Stayed”.

Next up were an act that I had not seen or heard before, Sunflower Thieves. They are purveyors of perfectly matched voices and heavenly harmonies. They kicked off their set with the sublime “Don’t mind The Weather” which was released as a single this year. It is the perfect song for a beautiful, balmy summer evening. They played a couple of new songs, apologies if I got the titles wrong. “34 Days” and “Going Out With You”. The latter has an early 70s US West Coast coffee bar vibe. It would have fitted perfectly in an acoustic afternoon session at the Troubadour in Los Angeles back in the day. I adore “Hide And Seek” which is about being carefree and being nostalgic for childhood. It evoked many wonderful carefree and youthful memories for me. They played a tune that they wrote with the multi talented Sam Griffiths of the Howl And The Hum, but I missed the title, but it was probably my favourite of the whole night. I also really love “Heavyweight” a song about social anxiety, which I suppose couldn’t be more topical right now. I definitely want to hear more from the Sunflower Thieves and I am sure that I will!

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

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

Alice Simmons and Zak Ford – Songs Under Skies – National Centre For Early Music (NCEM), York – Tuesday 15th June 2021 June 22, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:36 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

This was show 4 of 5 of the second series of Songs Under Skies (the last was September 2020) in the grounds of the iconic York venue the National Centre For Early Music (NCEM). Tonight it was the turn of some musical talent that help showcase just what a wonderful hotbed of music York actually is. First to take the tiny stage was Zak Ford who has featured on this blog before as a solo artist and also as vocalist for This House Is Haunted. This was apparently his first gig in two years thanks to Covid. His first song, which I think was called “Use A Light” was very Jeff Buckleyesque in style and delivery. On his next song he unleashed some sublime guitar work which was reminiscent of Jonny Greenwood in one of his more mellow moments. I love “Healing Place”, it is a yearning, proto ballad with an underlying happy vibe. One of my favourite Zak Ford songs is “My Body” and tonight’s rendition maintained the songs haunting beauty. Zak did Bon Iver proud with a sublime cover of “Hey Ma”. Like many musicians Zak has continued to write and he played us a lovely tune called “Hopes And Fears” which he wrote in a very positive frame of mind during the first lockdown last year. I am looking forward to seeing Zak play live again, either solo or as a part of This House Is Haunted.

Next up is another artist who has been featured in these pages before, Alice Simmons. A very talented singer songwriter and performer who I believe has the talent and potential to go a long way. I spoke to Alice earlier in the evening and understandably she was nervous, as almost every artist probably is after a year or more of not being able to perform. But on stage there was not even a hint of nerves from Alice as she glided through a wonderful set with support from the guitar maestro known as Tim Downie. “Bridges” is a plaintive ballad over which Alice’s smoky vocal glides over the tune like a banished angel seeking a return to heaven. Next up was a stunning cover of James Brown’s “It’s Man’s Man’s World” which in the hands of a female vocalist transforms into a feminist anthem. Alice was on top form for this, she has a Winehouse sized talent. She readily admits that she writes mostly sad songs and maybe there is some truth in that, but when they have the depth and quality of the sublime, lilting ballad “State Of Mind” I don’t really mind at all. But for all the sad songs Alice is most definitely a happy person. Alice ran through a great cover of Paolo Nutini’s “Candy”, a song I must confess that I am not very familiar with, but she made it her own. Perhaps my favourite of Alice’s original songs is “Black Coffee”, it has depression, desolation and despair, proving again that she does write sad songs, but oh so very well. She closed her set with an inspired choice of cover, the 25 year old Blackstreet smash “No Diggity”. Alice performed the song like it was made for her, but the real star for this finale was the incredibly funky acoustic guitar sounds from Tim Downie. I recommend you explore both of tonights incredibly talented artists further, you will not be disappointed!

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

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

Katy J Pearson – The Crescent, York – Saturday 5th June 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:29 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

This Covid bastard has been hanging around too long, but we will get to the other side. Anyway there is still the occasional socially distanced gig to attend and this was one of those, from the wonderful Joe Coates of Please Please You. This would be my first experience of Katy J Pearson. But before that it was the turn of support act Elkyn. I have seen Elkyn, a.k.a. Joey perform before and I have also previously reviewed a couple of Elkyn singles. I am most definitely an Elkyn fan and I was looking forward to this set. However I was somewhat disappointed, there was a real lack of clarity on the vocals, particularly on the bottom end. It felt like the sound wasn’t mixed well for Joey’s voice. Did he get a sound check? Was he singing too close to the microphone? Was it just where I was sitting? I don’t think it was the latter because the sound for Katy J Pearson was great. I don’t know what it was, but I really felt for him, the crowd, as expected, were very polite. But overall I felt it didn’t really work. So sorry Joey, this is simply my opinion and I remain a fan. The next time will work better I am sure! But regardless of my opinion do check out Elkyn’s music, some other reviews of the night paint a very different picture. (If you want to check out my previous reviews of Elkyn click here, here and here!)

As I said I knew next to nothing about Katy J Pearson, other than she is from the West Country. This date was among a number that were lined up to continue to promote her rather excellent album ‘Return’. If you like US West Coast country rock from the early 70s, or Americana and alt. country nowadays then I reckon you will love Katy J Pearson. She has the slightly warped pop sensibility that Nick Lowe possessed in abundance. On the first song she rocked like a folk rock Clare Grogan. I suspect that for some her voice might be a little Marmite, in that you’ll probably love it or hate it. Personally I love it! “Beautiful Soul” was definitely a highlight for me, a stunningly gorgeous song. “Tonight” also has the makings of a great classic. The US West Coast vibe was most apparent on “Hey You” where Katy channelled Linda Ronstadt with a small vein of Imelda May. The band were incredibly tight and really seemed to be enjoying themselves. Give her album a listen and catch her live when you get the chance.

All the photographs and videos were found on line if one of them is yours and you would like me to credit you or remove it please let me know!

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

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

The Howl And The Hum – York Minster – Tuesday 25th May 2021 June 4, 2021


With proper gigs still a few weeks away I guess I will take live streams and socially distanced shows just to get my music fix. This particular show was of great interest to me for a number of reasons. The Howl And The Hum are a great band from my adopted city, York, their debut album is stunning and the venue was York’s truly iconic Minster. That building was completed around 550 years ago, even if I added my age to the combined age of the band it wouldn’t even come close to that number! Apparently the whole idea of the band playing the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York a.k.a York Minster, began as a joke. Initial suggestions were for the band to drop from the rafters or arrive via jet packs. I guess health and safety rules sadly put paid to that!

Sam Griffiths the Howl And The Hum’s venerable front man, nicely decked out in a cowboy style shirt adorned with skulls and roses, kicked off with a solo rendition of “Hostages”. He sounded like Thom Yorke playing to a tiny audience in an intimate venue. Well if you don’t count those of us watching via the stream it was a small, and I am sure very happy audience. Even watching via the live stream, which unlike Live At Worthy Farm was truly live and not “as live”, I could sense this was a very special show. The sort that people will speak of in reverential hushed tones for many, many years. Griffiths’ vocals were heavenly throughout, perhaps none more so than on “Remedy To Rust”. He was joined by a string section for this tune and I was also entranced by the Neil Young vibes that showed strongly. One of my favourites of the whole set was “A Hotel Song” which deals with suffering existential crises in hotel rooms. This was followed by “Until I Found A Rose” on which the celestial strings enhanced the song to levels even higher than the venue roof.

“Hall Of Fame” deals with the fall out and complexities of a faded, but perhaps not ended relationship. A tune that oozes sadness in a way that not many songs are able to. A lament that would moisten the tear ducts of anyone with even half a heart. For “Terrorforming” we were treated to stunningly beautiful choral support from a women’s choir led by Gina Walters. The song has become one of my most favourite tracks ever. It never fails to instil in me huge confidence and love for life, while at the same time shines a light on the inevitable fact that I now have less years left on this planet than I have spent on it so far. Is that what was intended for these lyrics? I have no idea, but that is how deeply it gets to me! Drummer Jack Williams joined Griffiths and guitarist Conor Hirons for a great run through of one of the Howl And The Hum’s classics, “The Only Boy Racer Left On the Island”. Next “Sweet Fading Silver” built towards a magnificent crescendo before a beautiful melancholy close. Sam Griffiths dedicated a new song, “Thumbs Up” to the bands bass player Bradley Blackwell who sadly missed the gig as he was unwell, I really feel for him, but this band will play huge gigs one day and he will be there for them. Does this song have the only lyric that has ever mentioned ‘Predator 2’? Either way it is a great song and once again I was reminded of Thom Yorke in Sam Griffiths incredible vocal style. I believe that even people who claim to have never heard, or heard of, the Howl And The Hum will know the song they closed the set with. It was “Godmanchester Chinese Bridge” and this was a full on mountainous performance with the band, strings, choir and pretty much everything but the kitchen sink! This is almost certainly the greatest live streamed gig ever! We really need a physical, especially vinyl, release of this monumental gig!

None of the videos are from the gig, but enjoy them anyway. Also click here if you want to see the show, it is only available for a very short time (until 23:59 UK time Sunday 6th June, and it will cost you hardly anything, just £5!

All the photographs and videos were found on line if one of them is yours and you would like me to credit you or remove it please let me know!

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

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

Avalanche Party – The Crescent, York – Friday 18th December 2020 December 23, 2020


Thanks to Covid this is only the third gig I have been to since March 14th, well that is if I count the Receivers set outside Vinyl Eddie’s for Record Store Day Drop 1 in August, and frankly I do count that one!. The second was an outdoor socially distanced show at the Centre for Early Music in York, Elkyn and Fawn played that one in September. But this is the first socially distanced indoor gig I have been to and huge praise and respect to Joe, Chris, Harkirit and all the staff who worked that night. It felt safe, drinks delivered direct to your table. Sure the rules on not singing, shouting and dancing were a bit weird, but it meant we were at a real gig at last. Special thanks and respect to the security guy who had to eject two people for blatant disregard of the rules. Even in these times some people are just dickheads!

Anyway on to the show, Avalanche Party are probably my favourite band in the world right now and 2020 should have been huge for them off the back of the release of their stunning debut album, ’24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ last year. But Covid and the ensuing shitstorm of a year has laid all the best plans to waste. I have seen Avalanche Party more than anyone except for Frank Turner and David Bowie so obviously I had high hopes for this show. I knew we wouldn’t get the usual raucous, sweaty, passionate, punky performance that we have come to expect, but I still had high hopes for the night.

They opened their first set with “Bugzy” with Jordan on keys and vocals, Jared on saxophone, playing in a very Bowie style and Harry from the Black Lagoons on acoustic guitar. This was followed by a magnificent electronic noisefest run through ace single “I’m So Wet”. “Johnny Dream” was like an outtake from ‘Lodger’ period Bowie. Some awesome bass runs from Joe on this one. Jared’s sax was also very Bowiesque too. Kane the drummer finally arrived for “Praise”, an older song, but one that remains epic and anthemic. Hot on the heels of praise was “Money” another true Avalanche Party anthem, and it seemed even more soulful and anthemic in this setting. It was turning into a wonderful Avalanche Party oldies fest as they closed the first set with “Let’s Get Together”, which makes me think that they have always had a bit of glam rock in them.

Perhaps the highlight of the second set were two cover versions, the Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows” and a stunning take on the gospel classic “Wade In The Water” that one gave me goosebumps. “Howl” is a stupendous song and perhaps the bands finest single to date, it was great to hear it in such a stripped back form. Jordan sang a couple of songs solo on stage with only his keyboard to accompany him, one of these was “Rebel Forever” I think. Those two songs really showcased what a fantastically versatile vocalist he is, the bloke oozes soul and passion. “Every Last Drop” featured Harry from the Black Lagoons on violin and Jordan joked that this was Harry’s GCSE violin exam. Next was another great almost doo wop style cover of “It’s A Sin” by Canadian artist Tonetta, check him out he is bloody good. The band out did the Flying Pickets and the Housemartins for their classy acapella skills on this number. They closed with a barnstorming, consider it was a stripped back show, take on yet another classic, “Solid Gold”

This is a band who improve every time you see them. They are still on an upward trend and a long way from reaching their peak. They proved tonight that they can perform in any environment and if this type of show is the future of gigs for the foreseeable future then Avalanche Party have it nailed. A true joy to experience, even my wife, who has never seen them before, and to be fair this is not her usual taste in music, absolutely loved it!

All the photos were taken on my cheap Chinese phone, with the exception of the set list which was taken by Avalanche Party’s Joe Bell!

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

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

Songs Under Skies – No. 6 – Elkyn and Fawn – NCEM, York – Thursday 17th September 2020 September 22, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:57 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Thanks to this vile bastard Covid-19 I went to my last gig more than half a year ago on Saturday 14th March, now 187 days later I am finally got to another gig. It is the sixth and final in the Songs Under Skies series of acoustic shows in the grounds of York’s National Centre for Early Music (NCEM). I had planned to attend two earlier shows the previous week, but illness, not Covid-19 thankfully, put paid to that. These shows were masterminded by the NCEM, the Crescent and the Fulford Arms with support from the Music Venues Alliance. I would like to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone involved, of all the things I have missed during lock down and beyond, it is live music that I felt the most. It was also great to meet up with so many great people from York’s fabulous music scene. Thank you Zac, Chris, Harkirit, Mikey and Marc to name just a few!

There were two acts on each of the six nights. Gates opened at 6:30pm and the first act was on at 7pm with a 30 minute break at 7:30pm while the final act took the stage at 8pm for a 30 minute set. My evening was kicked off by the delightful Elkyn with their weird, wonderful and warm folky sounds. Set opener “Seventeen” was built on Simon and Garfunkel style harmonies, soft acoustic guitars and a harmonic drone in the background. Is it even possible to have a harmonious drone? I don’t know, but this bloody well was! All of Elkyn‘s songs were quite special, “Change” was underpinned by a more harmonic almost orchestral drone. It is a new song that had never been played live before, it is a truly gorgeous melancolic chill out tune. They played the lead single from their new EP ‘Beech’ it is called “Yue” (I think). This sublime song, which rippled with raw emotion, was probably my favourite Elkyn performance. There was an extended guitar tuning session, which the band should have introduced as a strange avant garde classical guitar movement, we would have been impressed. After this we arrived at “Stupid World” which was overshadowed by the noise from the bottle bank next door being emptied. But Elkyn did not let that get them down, they are real troupers, and, wait for it, they didn’t bottle it! Lyrically the song is very powerful, with lines like “where can I go from here, I can’t flee from that” which for some reason made me think of the hardships so many of us have endured in the past six months. Check out Elkyn on Spotify by clicking here, you will not regret it.

In a rather nice twist of fate the second and final act tonight were Ilana and Crispin better known as Fawn. Why was that a nice twist of fate, well Fawn were on the bill at my last gig on March 14th. That was at the Fulford Arms where they were supporting Julia Bardo. Kitty VR was also on the bill that same night and she made her own Songs Under Skies appearance the previous week. Ilana’s vocals throughout were exquisite and very Joni Mitchellesque on the first song. “I Know Nothing” is a song all about making dumb decisions in your youth. Ilana’s voice carried a supreme range of emotion on this song, the same breadth and depth that a young Linda Rondstadt could do so well. In the middle of the set headless guitarist Crispin (he was a little tall for the small stage) left Ilana alone for a stunning, immensely beautiful song about uncertain times, a perfect theme for 2020. Her yearning vocal and deep lyrics took the evening to a real peak. “Romans, Vikings And Knights” is a song that Ilana wrote about her then home city, York. This was many years ago when she worked at the Fulford Arms. Crispin provided some spot on slide guitar on this track. Another song was an ode to another former hometown of Ilana’s, “Sleeping Giant” tells of a mountain near her old home town in the US. The story of this particular peak is that it is in fact a giant taking a very long sleep. The legend says that if the giant wakes up the world will end. But as Ilana pointed out despite the apocalyptic feel of 2020, the giant is still asleep. Click here to get some Fawn in your life, you know it makes sense!

All photographs were taken by the hugely talented Marc McGarraghy of Yellow Mustang Photography

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

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

Skylights – The Crescent, York – Friday 28th February 2020 March 6, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:55 pm
Tags: , , ,

This would be the sixth time that I have seen Skylights in 18 months. These boys keep getting better. But more of them later, first there were a couple of support acts to talk about. Kicking proceedings off were Mad Leisure from Leeds. They are clearly great musicians and a pretty tight band, the vocals are good too. But for me, their songs are all a bit derivative of Oasis and other Brit Pop sounds and lack a real spark. I would like to see Mad Leisure take a step higher and expand their horizons musically. If they don’t then I fear they will never stand out from the crowd.

The second act to hit the stage was something on another level entirely. I am talking about Sounds Like A Storm, also from Leeds. They are classic rockers for the 21st Century and I believe that they have a great future ahead of them. Most of this crowd was probably at the venue for the headliners but that did not bother Sounds Like A Storm in the slightest. They went for it and drew a lot of punters away from the bar with their heady mix of punk, classic rock, great tunes, and immense sass. There is a raw garage rock element to their sound which underpins the passion and honesty in their lyrics. Sounds Like A Storm acts like a band that was born for the live arena and I intend to get more of them into my life!

In 18 months Skylights have had some huge success and 2020 will see them become even bigger. These lads are massive Leeds United fans and like their team they have the potential to move up to the rock music premier league. Their musical roots run deep into British music history to the Small Face, slate 70s punk, Johnny Marr at his Smiths peak, Oasis when they were good and the Inspiral Carpets. But it is not just these roots, Skylights have their own unique talent that makes them more than just another indie rock band. They are possibly one of the tightest bands around. Jonny and Myles provide a rhythm that purrs like a finely tuned Rolls Royce while Turnbull throws magnificent guitar hooks, riffs, and shapes across every song that moves from psychedelic to moody shoegaze and covers every base in between. On top of that, you have Rob’s classic vocal performance with a powerful command of the stage. He has the manic 1,000-yard stare of all the best frontmen and he pulls it off far better than Liam Gallagher. But a band needs more than that to be successful and what Skylights have in abundance is an incredible collection of songs with a future as classics. We heard plenty of them at this gig. Particular highlights for me were “YRA” and new single “Enemies”. Later this year they will be headlining the rejuvenated Apollo Festival in York and supporting York legends Shed Seven in June in Halifax. I even got to meet Turnbull’s Mum, what a top lady she is!

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap Chinese android phone or by Eddie Parkinson (a.k.a. Vinyl Eddie) on his far more expensive phone! Eddie took the Skylights shot! The videos were all found on YouTube if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know. 

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

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Presents A Gig For SASH – The Crescent, York – Friday 3rd January 2020 January 7, 2020


This is not really a review in the truest sense, more of a little tale as to how, as With Just A Hint Of Mayhem, I promoted my first gig. The idea gelled quite a while ago, I had wanted to do something to celebrate my own 60th birthday (1st January 2019) and the tenth birthday of my With Just A Hint Of Mayhem blog (9th February 2019). But for various reasons I took a lot longer to get things moving so, in reality, I suppose the gig celebrates my 61st birthday (January 1st, 2020) and the blogs eleventh anniversary next month (9th February 2020). One decision I made early was that this first, and possibly only, gig would be for charity. Mostly because I felt that if it went belly up then people might be more forgiving. I chose SASH as it is a charity close to my heart for far more reasons than I have time to go into here. SASH is a youth homelessness charity that works across York, North and East Yorkshire. They provide invaluable help to young people aged 16-25 who are facing homelessness.

The Receivers – Picture-Copyright – Charlie Kirkpatrick

After that all I had to decide was which bands I wanted on the bill, easy peasy, right? Well not quite, one band I was keen to have play agreed to be there and then had to pull out for logistical reasons, sadly the band broke up towards the end of last year too. So that left three out of four to secure for the night. A year ago I said to Rusty, the singer from Lost Trends that I was planning a charity gig, with no prompting he said: “we’re in!” With a stern straight face, I replied: “I haven’t asked you yet!” But obviously Lost Trends then became the first band to be pencilled in. Would I be able to secure the next two bands? Well, that part wasn’t too difficult and from initial conversations, it was clear that the Receivers and My Wonderful Daze were very keen to help and to play at the Crescent on 3rd January. After some advice from people who know their stuff (thank you Joe Coates and Simon Pattinson) I dropped my original wish of four bands on the bill to three. So now all was set and I embarked on a social media campaign of promotion. I was concerned that upfront ticket sales were low, but everyone kept telling me that there would be plenty of walk-ins on the night. Thankfully all those people were right and we had I think something like 80 – 90 people there on the night.

My Wonderful Daze – Picture-Copyright – Charlie Kirkpatrick

The running order was decided by online vote after the Receivers chose to open the show (they have a number of headline gigs coming up). In a close-fought vote, Lost Trends pipped My Wonderful Daze to the headline spot. So it would be doors open at 7:30, the Receivers at 8, My Wonderful Daze at 9 and Lost Trends at 10. I wanted to be there for all the preparation so I arrived at the Crescent at 4pm, before any of the bands ready and waiting to witness the soundchecks. Even that was exciting for me and by then I was running on pure grade adrenaline. All three bands were on top form at soundcheck aided and abetted by ace soundman Stu Bellis. The team at the Crescent were superb and I learned a lot from them for next time (yes I am sure there will be more from me!). Suddenly it was time for the doors to open and I stood by the ticket table waiting for the punters to flood in! It was more of a trickle at first but a relentless trickle which continued at quite a pace for the next hour or so.

Lost Trends – Picture-Copyright – Charlie Kirkpatrick

Before the bands came on Matt Messias told the crowd about all the great work that SASH do to help prevent youth homelessness. Every band played like they were headliners which made it a blistering night of fabulous music. The Receivers played crowdpleasers like “Saturday” and showcased a couple of new songs. Guitarist Alex had some instrument issues towards the end of their set but improvised with some maniacal Bez dancing. Flowers a.k.a. Chloe the obscenely talented frontwoman of My Wonderful Daze had an awful cold but did not let that deter her or the band from pulling off an incendiary set. The crowd had been up for a party and were wearing their bopping shoes and dancing trousers and showing their best moves all night. That culminated in the whole room grooving to those famous indie dance punkateers Lost Trends. It was a great night of punk, funk, psych, indie, metal, glam, and ROCK. It was LOUD and I loved it. Everyone that I spoke to loved it too. All three bands looked to be having great fun on stage as well. The Receivers and My Wonderful Daze offered much of their merch sales to SASH. I know that Lost Trends would have done the same but they are currently “the band with no merch”! So thanks to all the paying punters (many of whom gave their change to the charity), merch sales, all the bands turning down a rider and a discount on the venue hire fee we raised more than £400 for SASH. That is beyond my wildest expectations and it will fund 21 safe nights sleep to young people facing homelessness in our community. I cannot thank you all enough for what you helped us achieve. With Just A Hint Of Mayhem will definitely be doing more gigs!

Matt & Bill – Picture-Copyright – Charlie Kirkpatrick

As a postscript, there was an after-party of sorts at the Priory for shameless Karaoke. But while there were some true legends made into the early hours via Abba songs, Cyndi Lauper tunes and a couple of the Dame’s greatest hits, what went on at the Priory stays at the Priory. Although if you would like to pay me a fiver which I will give to SASH I will tell you as much as I can remember!

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by Charlie Kirkpatrick of Kirkpatrick Photography please do not share or use without permission. You can find Kirkpatrick Photography here and on Facebook. There are a few more excellent pictures from Charlie just below the following public service announcement, including some great crowd shots. I recognise quite a few of those punters! Incidentally, the gig poster was designed and made by me! The videos were all found on YouTube if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know. 

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

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

King Kurt – The Crescent, York – Sunday 24th November 2019 December 1, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:22 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

The 80s mental madcaps King Kurt are back together again! Originally formed in 1981 the band split up in 1988. There have been a few sporadic reformations since then, this one is quite special as it includes four original members. Do these Psychobilly monsters still have what it takes? You will need to read on to find out as there is first the little matter of a rather good support act to talk about. That support act was one of York’s best-known bands, the Snakerattlers, a psychobilly, garage, trash, thrash power duo with Naomi on drums and vocals and Dan on vocals and Link Wray style guitar duties. It is quite a while since I last saw them and believe me they have gotten so much better in that time. They are truly a live force of nature the way they attack their songs. Dan uses his sometimes comedic, often horror style of gurning to draw the audience in and frankly we were drawn in quite easily at this show. They have a couple of albums under their rattlesnake buckled belts and we heard a great selection from both. They have a great set of band themed songs too; “Do The Rattle Rock”, “Snake Rattle Rock, Snake Rattle Roll” to name just a couple. Dan and Naomi played a blistering set that had us bouncing around from the off. Highlights for me were “She’s Strange” which Dan dedicated to Naomi and a mountainous “All Heads Will Roll”. Another incredibly talented band from the fine city of York, my adopted home!

Back in the early 80s after original King Kurt member, Jef left the band they decided to give him a proper send-off by turning him into a cake by covering him in flour, eggs and shaving foam. The legendary ‘messy’ gigs that followed were a result of fans doing something similar at every gig. Nowadays all King Kurt gigs are clean unless stated otherwise. My good friend Ian and I were warned as we entered the Crescent that this was a clean gig. A small part of me was disappointed, however, I am glad that I didn’t go home covered in crap! The band took to the stage in a uniform of red onesies, the type with the button flap on the arse. Are there any other bands that would dare to play a gig dressed like that? Probably, but definitely not many. King Kurt is usually billed as a psychobilly band and while that is certainly a part of what they are, I believe that they are so much more. Their songs and performance also have power pop, punk, glam rock (in sound if not in appearance) and a very British humour that has its roots in the like of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Smeg’s vocals were first class and Thwack’s guitar rocked like a bastard. All the big songs were there in a set that felt like it was over way too soon, but that is because time flies when you are having so much fun, right? All the hits and favourites were there and my particular highlights were “Destination Zululand” and “Do The Rat”. Sometimes I see bands reform and think to myself, why did you bother, but with King Kurt all I have to say is welcome back and what took you so long?

All the photos apart from the gig flyer were taken on my cheap android phone. The videos were all found on YouTube, if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know.

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

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: