With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘The Hunmanby Gap Sessions’ – Soma Crew April 6, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:02 pm
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I have loved the resurgence of vinyl as a medium for music again these last few years. It has also given rise to some cottage industry-style releases and label setups. One of the latter is the label created by what is probably the best record shop in Yorkshire, Vinyl Eddie in York. The label, unsurprisingly, is called Vinyl Eddie Records and is preparing two release their next two slabs of vinyl, two collections by York’s laid-back, psyched-out, grungy noiseniks, Soma Crew. Two volumes of rather delightful tunes from this very talented band. The two volumes will be issued under the main title of ‘The Hunmanby Gap Sessions’. Volume 1 is subtitled ‘Out Of Darkness’ and Volume two will be ‘Into Light’. The out-of-darkness and into-light stance may relate to the terrible year we have all been through, but I am not sure all of these tracks were written post-Covid. But either way, there are some fantastic tunes here which will certainly help lift the mood into something more positive. Soma Crew are almost mysterious as there is not much information available about them online. They formed in 2013, and were initially called Muttley Crew Is that a pun on Motley Crue or an homage to Dick Dastardly’s sidekick? . It came about after a few friends got together after regular attendance at open mic nights in York. There seems to have been an array of members over the years (including those featured on the album sleeves). Si Micklethwaite, singer, songwriter, and guitarist has certainly been ever-present and maybe some of the other members have, but the internet is really short on bio data for this rather excellent band.

Volume 1 opens with “Phantom” an intriguingly hypnotic slice of melodic shoegaze with added drone. I love it! Next up “Wishlist” continues the perfectly executed drone rock with a rumbling bass that hits you right in the chest when you play it loud. This one has a nice injection of Velvet Underground style. If Jonathan Richman had joined the aforementioned Velvet Underground I think they might have produced something like “You’re So Cool”. I can imagine this supported by a video-heavy on the use of an oil lamp projector and psychedelic filters. “Half-Life” is majestically chilled, with a steam train drone and some stunning use of organ as it builds towards a huge crescendo of an ending. This track made me think of Spiritualized, which given that Soma Crew state one of their influences as Spaceman 3 I am not surprised. This song made me want to spliff up and lie in a hammock in the sunshine! I have no real idea why, but “Mighty Forces” was reminiscent of John Squire, in a world where Squire was a member of the Grateful Dead. This is probably my favourite track on volume 1. This first disc closes with “Happening” a Soma Crew song you could almost dance to, well at least frug around a bit.

“Hey Sister” kicks off volume 2 and it has a great psyched up 60s Pink Floyd vibe going on, Syd Barrett would have been proud of this one. “There’s A Fire” flies off the blocks like a proper rock bastard and I reckon a Jason Pierce remix of this would be ace. Next up we are treated to the more chilled side of Soma Crew again with “Broken Matches” a really understated tune driven by a rhythm on top form. The band showcase their more electronic sound on the intro to “Machines”, although guitar, bass and drums still feature heavily as the track progresses. I love the distortion on this one, it is an amazing track to listen to on headphones. Simon’s vocal is almost choral in style here. On “Seven” they sound like a warped alt.country band who trespassed into the KLF’s White Room. It definitely crosses the Weirdsville City Limits as it builds into an other worldly anthem. This is potentially my favourite of the whole collection. “Nicotine Drum” certainly owes a debt to Spaceman 3, but it is a great song in its own right. I am so looking forward to getting my hands on both these LPs. I am also looking forward to the opportunity of seeing Soma Crew live sometime soon.

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A Christmas Message From The Receivers December 21, 2020


I am really enjoying the numerous Christmas messages that some of our favourite bands have put together for our readers. This one is from yet another great band from York, yes we are a hot bed of musical talent up here 🙂

Thanks to social distancing it is singer and guitarist Nick who is giving the message on behalf of the band, but the sentiments are shared by all the other Receivers. This band have released a couple of awesome tracks this year. You can check them out below the Christmas message. While you do click here and buy yourself some great vinyl and T-Shirt Receivers merch. Hot off the press the boys have secured a support slot with The Royston Club at the Victoria Vaults in January, click here to get yourself a ticket, this will be a sell out!

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“Impatience” – The Receivers December 10, 2020


This is the 8th time the mighty Receivers have featured in the virtual pages of With Just A Hint Of Mayhem and this time it is because they have a new single out now. Well technically to those of us who purchased their “Only Human” single on striking magenta vinyl earlier this year it is not so new, as it was the flip side of that fine 7 inch release on Vinyl Eddie Records. But now “Impatience” is available on all major channels and you can still grab a copy of the vinyl single too, just click here to grab one for yourself or as a Chrimbo pressie for your Nan.

I loved “Only Human” but also felt that an even better track lurked on the B-Side and it is great to see “Impatience” begin to get the airplay and recognition that it deserves in it’s own right. It is a psyched up slab of atomically charged garage rock. The magnificent, mesmerising and magical guitar riffs and licks from lead guitarist Alex give the song a dark edge which is supported by a megaphonic Stygian, almost shouted vocal from Nick. Meanwhile the finely tuned rhythm section of Louis and Harry drive the track like a freshly serviced Rolls Royce. I think that his is a step away from the Receivers comfort zone and personally I love a band or artist that is prepared to step over the line and out of the box. This is a stunningly catchy shadowy punk-infused, apocalyptic indie anthem bodes so very well for a Receivers album when it arrives!

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Record Store Day 2020 August 31, 2020


Well Covid-19 has just about fucked up everything this year hasn’t it. Record Store Day (RSD) 2020 was postponed from April to June and then when June was cancelled it was split into three ‘drops’: August 29th, September 26th and October 24th. The first of those was last Saturday and featured most of the big releases including David Bowie, Mansun, the Cure and Gene among many others. I had the honour of helping out in my fantastic local record shop, Vinyl Eddie’s on the day. My pay for that task was the sheer pleasure of doing it and the two Bowie releases!

The pandemic meant that it was a long way from a typical RSD, with only four customers allowed into the shop at any one time and persuading those customers to focus on just the RSD releases with no browsing options. I was outside managing the queue while Vinyl Eddie himself and his Dad, John made sure all the sales went without a hitch. We were also treated to a short set by ace local band the Receivers who had released their new single, “Only Human” the day before. Having expected an acoustic set I was more than pleasantly surprised to see them bring amps and the full band. They set up on the pavement with drummer Louis setting up his kit pretty much in the road! With a few plays of the new single, some other new tracks and some Receivers classics I am counting this as my first gig since March 14th. Sadly the video that I thought I had taken on my phone, didn’t work 😩

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who turned up and bought vinyl, to the Receivers for a great set, to Richard Saker the Guardian/ Observer photographer (check the Guardian RSD piece by clicking here, I was gutted my own picture didn’t make it) and most of all to Eddie and John Parkinson for giving me the opportunity to help them out on the day! While I am looking forward to RSD 2020 part 2 and part 3 I am hoping for big things and a degree of normality for RSD 2021. Long Live Vinyl and Keep The Faith!

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“Only Human” – The Receivers August 26, 2020


Those dashing, dapper, debonair, daring, discerning, dynamic, dynamite, devil-may-care dudes the Receivers are back with a bang. Well in fact they are back with a banger in the shape of their new single “Only Human”. From the opening riffage you are lifted into the world of a band that is very much at the top of their game. This song is made for freaking out and going somewhat slightly mental to in a muddy festival field.

Probably the best vocal performance yet from lead singer and guitarist Nick. Meanwhile the rhythm section formed by Harry’s thunderous bass boom and Louis’ mountainous drumming purrs like a nicely run in Rolls Royce engine. On top of that add the sublime riffs and licks performed by lead guitarist Alex. The Receivers are coming out of the other side of COVID fully fit and ready to fight their way to the top. They might be only human but this is a single with super powers! These lads eat Kryptonite for breakfast!

You only have a couple of days to wait for “Only Human” to hit the streets, it is out on 28th August. But if you want to pre order it click here for the bands website. There is a fabulous 7 inch vinyl version from Vinyl Eddie Records available and that is the one I am hoping to get!

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‘Seaside Donkeys’ – PERCY April 14, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:57 pm
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West Yorkshire Super Heroes Percy are back with a new album next month, the much anticipated follow up to 2018’s ‘Sleeper’s Wake’. I loved that last album, how does ‘Seaside Donkeys’ shape up to it? Well pretty well actually. The album kicks off with what may be a statement of intent, “Back In The Swing”. It has a sixties garage rock feel to it but with more classic post-punk vocals. I can also feel the presence of the ghost of the Velvet Underground too. Next up is “Rubbernecking In The UK” whose organ-like keyboard intro and refrain comes across like a demented Inspiral Carpets with whiney John Lydonesque vocal. A very, very British song that is as good recorded as it is in the live setting. There is an underlying menace to “Carpe Diem” which appears to be a satirical look at the worst of consumerism and living off of credit cards. My current favourite song on the album, perhaps driven by having seen it performed live a few times is “Will Of The People” which I believe is a future single. The rhythm section of Andy Wiles on bass and Jason Wilson on drums are on overdrive while giving the track a pulsing beat. It has the perfect cynical punk takedown of Brexit, is it still relevant? Of course, it bloody is and it is also a song that had he still been alive Mark E Smith would have cut his hand off to have written!

The soft almost US East Coast rock acoustic feel to “The People Who Drank Themselves To Death” makes you think of the Eagles but with Television’s Tom Verlaine playing the guitar and producing. “Love Song” is and as the sixth track, of ten, may be the one that opens side two of the vinyl copy. It was bundled with the first single released earlier this month. It has another John Lydon PiL vibe with elements of Rock Druid Julian Cope in Colin Howard’s vocals. This will drive the moshpit mental! I can hear Dr. Feelgood, Ian Dury and Magazine in “A Little Trouble In Big Lils” the song almost oozes the smell of stale beer and fags underpinned by keyboards from Paula Duck worthy of Dave Greenfield at the peak of his Stranglers career. Colin even gets a semi yodel in toward the end. You don’t hear that sort of thing very often these days. Jason brings his full Keith Moon to the drum stool on “Rictus Grin” as he seems to follow the fuzzy warped guitar of Colin Howard. This tune will be a wonderful drunken singalong at future Percy gigs.

Talking of drunken singalongs next song to arrive is effectively the title track “Seaside Donkey”. It has an even more acoustic feel than “The People Who Drank Themselves To Death”. The song features a laconic elegiac violin motif which gives it the feel of being a drinking song, although perhaps a rather maudlin drinking shanty. Album closer “A Better Life” has a loose early Pulp feel to its sound and is somewhat uplifting in a strange way.  Percy are most definitely back with a bang. ‘Sleeper’s Wake’ was good but ‘Seaside Donkey’ is a whole new level. Punk, post-punk, US Garage, UK pub rock is all rolled into those menacing, satirical, maniacal, dark and twisted tales of life that Percy fans have come to know and love! If you miss out on this album then you really are a seaside donkey! NEWS FLASH: You can buy the vinyl album now! Click here to place your order!

 

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“Preach To Me” – SegrĂ«gates March 21, 2020


SegrĂ«gates are a self-confessed Motörpunk band from York and they have a new single, “Preach To Me” out now from Vinyl Eddie Records. If you like thrash, punk, and Motörhead you will almost certainly love this. However, if you are a died in the wool Motörhead fan you may think that this crosses the line between being influenced and aping the sound, they even have an umlaut on the second vowel in their name. But these boys know all that and it doesn’t appear to bother them at all. But whatever your thoughts on their channelling of Lemmy and his cohorts you cannot deny that they are talented rock ‘n’ rollers. I love how they describe themselves in a kind of old school punk way on their Facebook page; Smell – Holds a bass guitar and shouts, Dr. J. Horn – Guitar and musical talent, Davros De La Nutter – Drums and lies.

The single is called “Preach To Me” and I love the anti organised religion sentiment of the lyrics. It is a classy slice of thrash musically, but for me, it veers far to close to Motörhead. The B -side, “Sands Of Time” is more of the same although not quite as strong lyrically in my opinion. The physical 12″ single itself is a beautiful thing to behold. The sleeve is well put together with the lyrics on the back cover and a stunning painting from Charlie Harper on the front. Then of course for vinyl nerds, collectors, and aficionados it is in pillar box red vinyl. The video to accompany the single takes the lyrical theme and will undoubtedly upset a few stiff collared Christians if Mary Whitehouse must be spinning in her grave and that can only be a good thing! I was lucky enough to see Motörhead a couple of times back in the late 70s and live they were a thrash Metal behemoth, maybe SegrĂ«gates can become that and maybe they do when they play live. But I would like to see them stretch their talent and their horizons and step away from that identikit Motörhead sound.

All the pictures were “borrowed” from the bands FaceBook page, We are happy to credit the photographer. The videos were found on YouTube and again we are happy to credit you if it is yours!

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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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An Interview with the Receivers May 23, 2019


Here is the second ever With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Podcast. This time it is an interview with one of York’s finest young bands, The Receivers. I hope you enjoy it. I would love to hear your comments!

Click here to find it on SoundCloud.

The Receivers

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Vinyl Eddie Records Label Launch Show – Fibbers, York – Sunday May 5th 2019 May 11, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:19 pm
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Tonight was the launch party for the brand new label started by what is probably York’s finest Record Shop Vinyl Eddie. No prizes for guessing that it will be call Vinyl Eddie Records. The first two releases are from two fabulous York bands; The Receivers  with the six track ‘There’s More To The World’ and Violet Contours with a self titled four track EP. I now own both of these records, so you might already have a view of what I think of my view on the two bands who were co-headliners for the Fibbers gig. But before I get to them there were another two support bands before the main events. First up were York trio Fear and Loathing who showed absolute fearlessness and no visible loathing. They have a really chilled jazzy, bluesy guitar sound with the kind of hooks that can be found in Nick Cave’s more commercial songs. On the slower parts to their tunes the vocals, for me, showed elements of the best of Scott Walker interpreting Jacques Brel. Some of their tunes have an underlying tone of menace and when they rock out Fear and Loathing are bloody funky indeed!

Fear & Loathing

The Vedettes were next and they are yet another talented band from York. These boys make a mesmerising, frenetic and frankly, stunningly gorgeous noise. When they get their funky groove on the sound reminds me of early Spandau Ballet, circa “To Cut A Long Story Short” and “Musclebound”, before they went soppy with the likes of the sugary, insipid “True”. Kell Chambers vocals come across like he is fronting a punk band that knows how to create dance-able anthems and let’s face it that is what the Vedettes are; punky, funky and slamming dance all rolled into one. Can the Vedettes be contained in one genre? Probably not, unless that genre was Manic Hyper Disco Punk from another galaxy! Check them out and see and hear for yourselves.

The Vedettes

Next it was time for the first of the two joint headliners, the Receivers. This is an incredibly talented band who get better every time you see them. They are a well honed and incredibly tight band who have a knack for writing some great tunes across a range of styles. “Saturday” is probably their most mainstream and accessible song and it has some immense pop hooks and style. Add to that the unavoidable urge forced upon you to sing along to the chorus. Then they vent their anger in possibly the best way since the heady days of UK punk in “That’s What They Told Me”. The songs from the new release are close to perfect; “Leave The Right Marks”, “Rimshot” and a supremely emotionally charged “Grand Central” proved that and there was a palpable sense of delight and excitement in the crowd throughout the band’s whole set. But even the old songs are something special, “A Thousand Times” is an anthemic banger that makes you want to move your body, for me it feels a little like the Stereophonics at their peak. Nick’s vocals were spot on in this set and Alex is developing into one of the best guitarists around, he also seems to possess more energy than the Duracell bunny. But underpinning the whole receivers sound is the Rolls Royce of rhythm sections from Louis on drums and Harry on bass. The Receivers are definitely one to watch and I am looking forward to seeing them live again soon!

The Receivers

Completing the line up and showcasing more of what is great about the York music scene were joint headliners Violet Contours. Just like the Receivers they have a fabulous record to promote. They have an effervescent, bright and happy sound that has the power to get even the most lethargic people on the floor. There are Vampire Weekend influences in their African style guitars and perhaps some Stone Roses although Ben Henderson’s vocals are probably better than Ian Brown’s in a live setting. Their brand of indie with jangly guitars and funky bass inspired by Orange Juice are a treat for the ears. The band are a solid and tight unit although they have only been around since 2016. One thing I really love about them is how much they seem to be enjoying themselves on stage. I am not properly familiar with all their song titles yet, (although “Pixar” and “Airstrike” are mint) but as I travelled home my head was full of Violet Contours rhythms, melodies and the sheer exuberance that oozes from their songs. Vinyl Eddie Records are off to a great start with initial releases from two of York’s finest bands; The Receivers and Violet Contours. If we don’t here a great deal more from both bands then I might have to eat my hat. Check them out!

Violet Contours

 

 

 

 
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