With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Pennine Suite – The Crescent, York – Friday 21st January 2022 January 30, 2022


This was a rescheduled show from that slack period between Christmas and New Year and I was so pleased it was rescheduled as otherwise, I would have missed it. It was also amazing to catch up with so many old friends, maybe, just maybe, we are getting back to some kind of normal. This was going to be my first opportunity to see the headliners, Pennine Suite. But before I talk about them there were three support bands who were rather spiffingly good!

The first band to take the stage was Honeytrap who I first saw back in November 2021 at the Fulford Arms when they supported Seagoth. Back then I described their set as fucking awesome! I stand by that for this show too, although I will add one word to the original two and say that they were super fucking awesome! I can sense an ancestral link with some of the finest British bands, including the Verve and the Small Faces. Kell Chambers’s vocals suggested he could give Steve Marriott and Richard Ashcroft a run for their money. His voice is soulful, passionate and at times shows he can make delicate sounds just like Kurt Cobain in the quieter Nirvana moments. Will Daniels’s guitar work is among the finest of his generation and has at least some roots back to Jonny Greenwood, John Squire, and Bernard Butler. Bassist James Butterworth kept the band ticking over with his finely tuned Rolls Royce bass lines. Meanwhile, drummer John Gilbert was absolutely on fire. This was a near-perfect set, but if you made me pick my favourite part under threat of death then I would plump for “Renegade” which was stunning. If you haven’t seen or heard Honeytrap yet then you need to rectify that immediately!

Next, it was the turn of Trueman and the Indoor League who I first saw back in October at the Crescent when they were supporting Avalanche Party. In those few months, the band has upped their game even further. Trueman is a real showman who puts across his kitchen sink, soap opera, everyday life stories like Jarvis Cocker on speed. Lyrically they are perhaps bedfellows with early Suede, the Arctic Monkeys, and Pulp, which is good company in my opinion. The band has a saxophonist this time and that broadens their sound wonderfully. As a result, they came across like a Poundland E Street Band (and I mean that in a good way) with a shot of 80s live Bowie!

¬†Tonight’s penultimate band was Pavilion. I last saw them back in those heady pre-Covid days of February 2020 at the Victoria Vaults in York when they supported the Golden Age Of TV. They were good then and they are even better now. Definitely one of York’s finest bands. The set tonight sounded at times like a stripped-down Cream with the odd injection of Inspiral Carpets. Olly’s guitar was at times sublime, while Noah’s vocals were first class. Even more impressive was that Olly and Noah had also played as a part of the Indoor League just before.

This was my first opportunity to see Pennine Suite live, I had seen their previous incarnation the Receivers, who are sadly no more. The band retains Nick, Louis, and Harry from that band and now they have become a five-piece with the addition of Louise and Moses. Would they just be the Receivers 2.0? Most certainly not, the expansion to a bigger band has enhanced the sound magnificently. Nick was a good frontman in the Receivers and now he is a great frontman his confidence, swagger, and voice have grown at an explosively exponential rate! There were some Receivers songs in the set, “Only Human” and “Impatience” were particular standouts. The band showed their added versatility with Louise taking vocal duties for one tune. Pennine Suite have hit the ground running and tonight they played with the firepower of a Saturn V rocket. Particularly Louis who played the drums like the fate of the planet depended on it! The Receivers are dead, long live Pennine Suite!

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Avalanche Party – The Crescent, York – Sunday 17th October 2021 October 27, 2021


Finally, real gigs are coming back and on a regular basis too. This was the first full-on Avalanche Party gig I have seen since Covid hit, although they did do a great socially distanced show at the Crescent last December. Anyway, it is now official that I have seen this great band more times than I ever saw David Bowie, but a couple less than I have seen Frank Turner. But before I say more about Avalanche Party there were a couple of great support bands. First up was the Hazy Janes who exploded onto the stage like a two-man Led Zeppelin. Drummer Bron and guitarist and singer Ellis formed during lockdown and are clear proof that some good things did happen during the darkest of Covid days. Very regular readers might recognise Bron from previous mentions of Hunter-Gatherer and Ellis from previous mentions of Freek. Bron’s drumming huge and Ellis’s guitar skills have a lineage back through classic British rock to the Yardbirds. Meanwhile, his voice could compete with Paul Rodgers, Robert Plant, and many more. Next, it was the turn of Trueman whose songs are soap opera kitchen sink dramas that cover topics like cold calls, Flares (the awful nightclub chain where your feet usually stick to the floor), and boredom to name just a few. The frontman is like a very angry Ian McNabb at times, and I do mean that in a good way. The band is an incredibly tight unit, but what stands out most are the great tunes, especially the lyrics!

Those magnificent, sumptuous, unmatchable, mighty, matchless, sublime, peerless, resplendent, swanky, clinquant delinquents of Avalanche Party, probably the best band on the planet right now, took to the stage with moody menace and the crowd was singer Jordan’s from the first note. To steal a quote from a good friend (thank you Simon P) “there ain’t no party like an Avalanche Party” and this was a spectacular call to arms from a great band. The boys tore the roof off the Crescent and left us all feeling happy and high. Jordan was on great form and no one does that 10,000 yard stare better than he does, if you think differently bite me! Every song was a highlight from set opener “I’m So Wet” all the way to “Dream Jonny Dream”. But if you forced me to pick the highlights it would have to be “Million Dollar Man”, “Rebel Forever” and an absolutely glam storming version of “Howl”. In a parallel universe “Howl” has been at the top of the singles chart for three years. The sophomore Avalanche Party album when it arrives will be something very special!

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