With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Apollo Junction – Victoria Vaults, York – Wednesday 8th September 2021 September 17, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 1:31 pm
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This was one of the many Revive Live gigs sponsored by the National Lottery and the Music Venue Trust and it brought the fast rising and magnificent Apollo Junction back to a small intimate venue. But more of the Apollo Junction set later, there was also a rather interesting support slot from York band YouVee. They say that you realise you are getting old when policemen seem so young. But for me it’s when the bands you go and see look like they are barely out of short trousers. But put that youthful appearance aside, because YouVee are bloody good. Musically their first song was like Blur with an added Madchester vibe. Speaking of Blur, YouVee’s guitarist has the potential to be every bit as good as Graham Coxon. “Sunshine State” is an ace song that feels like an epic anthem in waiting. Meanwhile “Gunner” flies like an Arctic Monkeys take on heavy metal. How could you not like the languid, heavy, classy indie rock of “Broken Baby” which will be released as a single later this year. They closed with what was their first release on Spotify, “Ultra Violet” which is a fine slab of heavy indie dance, on which I determined a nifty Prodigy influence. I am looking forward to hearing much more from YouVee!

YouVee

Apollo Junction are definitely among my favourite current bands and these Leeds lads are getting bigger and I believe they will be huge someday. “Sometimes” from the soon to be released new album did everything it could to blow the roof off the venue, a real banger. The crowd were a bit subdued though, is that a post Covid thing? “Light Up The Sky” does exactly what it says on the tin and will prove to be another Apollo Junction epic when it appears on the new album. It has an authentic and truly awesome glam rock feel, especially the drums. Another new tune, “Two Car Family” is a sublime slice of post punk power pop which, rather appropriately, will sound majestic blasting out of your cars stereo. “Born For Now” is one of the bands finest, especially in a live environment. Lead singer Jamie roamed through the audience for most of the track and put on a great vocal performance in this awesome rabble rouser of a tune. Was that a bit of Underworld’s “Born Slippy” that snuck into the song? Current single “When We Grow Up” a great song, is enhanced hugely when played live. Click on the song title to check out the video, I am proud to say that I make a brief appearance in it too. In “This Could Be The Day” they have the perfect remedy for those post Covid blues. They closed the set with three classics, “Always Remember”, “Begin” and “Together”. Apollo Junction proved once again tonight that they are a feel good band that know how to make you feel better. I left the gig with a beaming smile which lasted for ages. If you don’t depart an Apollo Junction show without a smile then I suggest that you seek help!

Apollo Junction

Photos, apart from the gig poster were all taken using my cheap and tacky android phone from China! Videos were all found on YouTube

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Access Creative College York Showcase – York Vaults – Thursday 24th June 2021 August 8, 2021


I attended this rather wonderful gig more than a month ago and it may well be my final socially distanced gig. I certainly hope so! Why is the review so late? Well I only went and lost my note pad, but now it is back and here comes that long overdue review. The show highlighted the immense talent that exists and is nurtured by the Access Creative College in York. First up was Kieran of excellent local band Tommyrot. He is a talented, idiosyncratic and original songwriter and performer who at times reminded me of Jonathan Richman in his prime. The ‘sad song’ was something special and the penultimate tune was a proper happy take on life even though, as we all know, life isn’t perfect. Kieran was joined by another member of Tommyrot, Felix for the final song.

The mega talented singer songwriter Ruby Addy took the stage next armed with just a keyboard and a heavenly voice. She brought a late night, smoky, New York City jazz club vibe to proceedings. Is anything more exceptional and extraordinarily stunning as Ruby’s songs? Well I can only think of one thing more exceptional and that is Ruby’s voice! Could anyone write a more heartbreaking song than “Lady Jane”? Possibly but not many could achieve that level of sadness in a song. Ruby played her gorgeous and ethereal new single “St Philomena” and that performance convinced me that I had seen the future of torch singers and that future is named Ruby Addy! Just to prove how multi talented she is Ruby was joined by her friend and fellow student Dyl and the pair performed some rather excellent children’s songs which they had written and for this part they are called Pickleshark. There was “An Agitated Shrew Sounds Like A Digeridoo”, who knew that? Along with a song about Tom The Lizard. I love the line “I know I’m a lizard, but I wish I was a cool guy”! It won’t only be kids who fall in love with these songs.

The rather excellent Alice Simmons was next and this was pretty much the same set as I saw her do at the Centre For Early Music for the Songs Under Skies series of shows. But that does not take anything away from it. Alice was again on top form vocally and her guitar work shines. But once again I have to mention the talented Tim Downie who provided some stunning funky fretwork, particularly on the cover of “No Diggity”. On paper and acoustic cover of that song should not work, but Alice and Tim take it not just to another level, but also in a completely and refreshingly new direction! “Bridges” and “Black Coffee” were particular stand outs for me.

Michelle Jade graced the stage next with more great guitar accompaniment from the talented Mr Dowie. I heard their soundcheck earlier of and I was quite excited as that included “Freefalling” and I was right to be excited Michelle performed a stunning cover of the classic Tom Petty tune. Apparently she used the John Mayer arrangement, which was new to me. Michelle performed some of her original songs along with a few more covers. Her original tunes showcase that she has a great future while the covers amplify and enhance that raw talent. The Shinedown cover was very special indeed. She has an incredibly powerful voice, I am definitely a fan!

Next up was another talented woman with a great voice, Lily Honey. Her delivery has a clarity that is on a par with Karen Carpenter. She opened with a song called “Now You’re Gone”, at least that is what I think it was called. I think it is a break up tune and it has the makings of an epic. Lily also treated us to an unfinished song which she only started writing a few days before this gig. It is an emotionally charged, yearning love song and I loved it. Lily’s choice of covers was smart and the highlight of those for me was Baby Queen’s “These Drugs”. She proved how broad her talent is by closing with a few house tracks, including a cover of Monica’s “Shoulda Known Better”. Lily’s hosue vocals have a lilting, lamenting feel of Tracey Thorn about them and that makes these tracks very special. She played a song, written during lockdown, and released last year called “Leaving All My Love” which I think is awesome. This whole gig was a magnificent showcase for the Access Creative College in York, which is clearly oozing with supremely talented people. A big shout out to the sound guy too, another student and this was his first big gig manning the sound desk, great job!

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The Golden Age Of TV – Victoria Vaults, York – Thursday 20th February 2020 February 27, 2020


This looked like yet another great gig in York, presented by those wacky and wonderful folk from Vinyl Eddie Records. It was at the Victoria Vaults which is now in the top three York venues along with the Crescent and the Fulford Arms. There were four acts on the bill and it was all kicked off by the obscenely talented Kitty VR. This woman not only knows how to write a great song she knows how to perform a great song too. She gave us a lot more background than I have heard before about her composition “My Kind”. A true history of the song which mostly stems from her time living in a converted church. I loved the band version of “Whirlpool” when I first heard it, acoustically it is a different animal indeed, but still very beautiful but in a different way. Kitty was very nervous about doing one particular cover. It was a cover of Tim Buckley’s “Once I Was”, it is a song she first came across from a video clip of Tim’s son Jeff playing it at a celebration of his father’s life in 1991. I was lucky enough to see Jeff Buckley live once. I have been lucky enough to see Kitty VR twice now and I expect to see her play plenty more shows before I leave this mortal coil!

Next up were a relatively new band, this was their third ever gig, Grapefruit Eyes. They formed from the ashes of Neon Salmon, another great York band. They are a bit jazzy, a bit prog, a bit Radiohead with some proper funky guitar chops. I still get a sense of Orange Juice and Edwyn Collins in there, although perhaps a little less than I did with Neon Salmon. I really loved Neon Salmon, but this lot are even better. I am still not sure about the name, but frankly, the Beatles was a pretty crap name and look what happened to them. This band knows how to put on a show and dressed for the occasion with Finn the drummer in a sparkly glitter jacket while George and Isaac donned Kimono style drape jackets which had a kind of Showaddywaddy in the 25th Century. Not sure about George’s front mini man bun, but who cares, the music was bloody awesome!

York has some fabulous bands and the next one to tread the boards is no exception. I am talking about Pavilion, who are fine purveyors of very funky keyboard-driven indie dance. Keyboards provided by the daughter of one of York’s Royal Rock family, Shed Seven. This is a very good band, but the keyboard sweeps and fills make them a truly great band. They come across as a band that is really confident in what they do and so they should be. The music is really tight and the vocals soar mightily over a powerful soundtrack. Definitely, a band to watch out for. As an added bonus they also had Kitty VR on stage with them for a magnificent duet.

Finally, it was time for headliners The Golden Age Of TV from Leeds. This five-piece has been described as an alternative guitar band. I think that they are so much more than that, made up of punk, indie, funk, psych, and exultant pop tunes. Bea Fletcher’s vocal style is sometimes reminiscent of Siouxse Sioux in her prime but she has more range in my view. Some of their tunes are close to full-on funk a la Average White Band but played with a gnarly punk attitude. Their energy appears boundless. New Single “Me, You And A Dog” ticks all the boxes required of a great song; perfect hooks, rifftastic guitar work, great vocals which veer towards a hybrid of Chrissie Hynde and Kate Bush at times. This is a band that deserves much more exposure!

All the photos apart from the first picture (which was “borrowed” from The Golden Age Of TV’s FaceBook page) 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! 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. 

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Lost Trends – Victoria Vaults, York – Thursday 18th July 2019 July 23, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 5:53 pm
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This gig marked my first ever visit to the famous Victoria Vaults (a.k.a. Vicci Vaults) in York. It would also be the fifth time that I have had the chance to experience the mighty Lost Trends, one of Yorks finest bands, playing live. But before I tell you about Lost Trends there is the not so small matter of the two rather spiffing support acts. First on stage was Borderline, another local band who interestingly have no guitarist. But honestly, you really don’t notice that with the heavy, synth-laden, beautiful racket they make. At times I detected a synth, indie, Brit Pop style with shades of New Order and Dave Gahan. The highlight of their set for me was the delightfully titled “The Duchess Dies Tonight”. But that was a close run thing with “In A Vacuum”, which bled with the pumping heart of Heaven 17. But a Heaven 17 from a parallel universe where the never had a fractious split with the original Human League. Steve Gillies vocals occasionally hit a rich seam of Gary Numanesque style and delivery. The aforementioned lack of guitar was rendered invisible by the rhythm section that provided the power of more than just two people. James Brown on drums and bass player Tome Brown were totally in sync with each other throughout the set. Borderline are an excellent band that you really need to check out.

Borderline

Scarborough band the Feens graced the stage next and what an outfit they are, riding on the crest of some excellent airplay on BBC Six Music, BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio they hit the stage with a truckload of energy and great tunes. Think Talking Heads with Johnny Marr on guitar duties, yes Sam Dowling is that good! Freddie Schmuck one of the Feens dual lead vocalists has a feel of Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig about him. When the other dual lead singer, bass player Adam Lodge gets going it’s like being hit by a massive injection of Arcade Fire. The Feens are a highly talented and truly brilliant band that promises so much more. I believe this bunch can go all the way!

The Feens

At last, it was time for the mighty Lost Trends, easily one of York’s best bands from the last five years. It was probably George Clinton or Bootsy Collins who coined the phrase Funkateers, well I believe Lost Trends are true Funkateers, on top of that their outlook and attitude suggest Punkateers too. This is a rock band that thinks it’s a funk band, a funk band that thinks it’s an indie band, an indie band that thinks it’s a punk band. The truth is they are all of those genres, and more, combined into a musical package that will blow your socks off and blow your mind. Every song they have is a dance floor banger that would be perfectly at home pumping from the main stage of Reading/ Leeds. We were treated to some great cuts from their EP “Time” launched earlier this year and some old classics, including “DJ” which is a song about crap DJs. I have said this of Lost Trends before but their stuff would be amazing if featured on a dance remix album by the likes of the Chemical Brothers or Soulwax. As usual Pete Knaggs’ guitar never lets up as it shimmers across the magnificent sounds emanating from a rhythm section that would grace any top band. Rusty’s vocal performance was once again immense and full of power and passion. This band deserves to be huge and if you haven’t seen Lost Trends yet, then you had better rectify that very quickly, otherwise, I will have to come around and sort you out! I know where you live!

Lost Trends

Rusty off of Lost Trends

 

Public Service Announcement: All pictures, apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap android phone. All videos were sourced from YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like me to credit you or take it down please let me know.

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