With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Jordan Mackampa – City Screen Basement York – Tuesday 20th September 2016 September 20, 2016


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Here I am at yet another gig put on by my good friend Simon Pattinson. He has never let me down yet, will he keep his 100% record? Read the whole review to figure out the answer. (No pressure Mr P!). This was a gig that the delightful Catwoman (a.k.a. my beautiful wife Catherine) joined me for and unlike the Gary Numan debacle from a few years ago she really enjoyed it, as did I.

First up was a young man called Mikey who appeared under the name Epilogues. He is a singer songwriter with some really good songs and an excellent and savvy use of technology including playing through his phone some elements that he had recorded earlier. He had some problems with his G String and before you go all Carry On Films on me I mean on his guitar. He overcame that and a slight bit of nervousness with aplomb and played a great set. To me he came across as a more folk based and influenced multi instrumentalist along the lines of Jack Garratt. Mikey also possesses a great voice, this bloke has a lot of potential. Incidentally I need to apologise to Mikey as I didn’t get a picture of him for this post, sorry mate!

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Crispin Halcrow

Crispin Halcrow was next up, I first saw him supporting Adams French back in January at this same venue. He was good then and he has also improved too. He has some beautiful songs some of which are easily on a par with Billy Joel‘s “So It Goes” which he covered tonight. One of Crispin’ s compositions “Say Goodbye” (at least that is what I think it was called) was a wonderfully sad song that also contained great beauty. Maybe I’m mad here, but I reckon Rod Stewart would make an excellent cover of that song. Crispin from Kendal remains reminiscent of the likes of Seth Lakeman for me. He is most definitely an artist with great potential.

Amy May Ellis

Amy May Ellis

The next act to take the stage was Amy May Ellis accompanied by her ukulele. She is a great talent with a haunting and siren like voice which weaves the words of her songs with a soaring grace. I reckon she would be one of the few artists that I have seen that could also do her whole set acapella with no detrimental effect. She readily admits to being no comedian, but here jokes (one about a polar bear and the other about snowmen) were pretty good. As for the swearing song, was it called “Existential Life Crisis”? That was brilliantly and wickedly funny. Amy is a prodigious talent and someone that I would definitely pay to see again.

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Jordan Mackampa

Now it was time for the main man, Jordan Mackampa on what was the seventh show of his first UK headline tour. He is a proper and very talented showman. Imagine how John Legend might sound if he sang behind a guitar rather than a keyboard. Jordan plays and writes supremely soulful and emotional folk rock music. I also really enjoyed those woo woo backing vocals he had us in the audience performing too. Catwoman and I harmonised really well, at least I think that we did! “Colours” is an amazingly poignant song. It brought tears to my eyes and made me think of two people very close to me that are currently battling that evil bastard of a disease known as cancer. You both know who you are and I want you to know that I love you and I will always be there for you. Jordan has some immensely inspirational songs which really touch our simple human emotions. I can see myself listening to him a lot in future.

 

 

 

Amy – The Girl Behind The Name – City Screen York Tuesday 7th July 2015 July 7, 2015

Filed under: Film,Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:53 pm
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I had looked forward to seeing the Amy Winehouse documentary and I really hoped that it would be good. Well in my opinion it was a marvellous documentary of a modern tragedy. It portrayed what I would imagine was the real Amy Winehouse; a very talented and very vulnerable girl. I was moved to tears on a couple of occasions. The recording of the song “Back To Black” was one and hearing her take on fame was another. It was an emotional roller coaster because I also felt great anger at the way the scummy, tabloid paparazzi hounded this poor troubled woman when she was possibly at her lowest ebb.

Amy Winehouse

Tabloid journalists (is that an oxymoron?) and the paparazzi ought to be ashamed of themselves, although I doubt that they are. It felt to me that apart from her two friends since childhood, her first manager and her bodyguard she had no ‘real’ friends. Plenty of people who wanted a piece of her but not many who truly loved her. I may be doing them a disservice, but her parents seemed at best misguided about how to handle her. As for her final gigs, which she clearly didn’t want to do, who the hell made the decision to bundle her on a private jet to do the gig in Serbia? She was wasted and lost and clearly in no fit state to perform. Amy also had a lifelong issue with bulimia. A former girlfriend of mine died as a result of that horrible disease many, many years ago and I can still recall how awful that was.

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Amy Winehouse had what seemed to be a natural talent. Tony Bennett said that she was one of the best jazz singers that he had ever worked with. Her death is a tragic end to such a talented life and it has stolen a massive and enduring talent from the music world. Amy was not only a talented singer and interpreter of songs she was also an exceptionally talented songwriter. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I would urge you to do so.

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Lisbee Stainton – York City Screen Basement – Friday 15th March 2013 March 17, 2013


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Catwoman and me have a friend called Jo Bagshaw is a truly creative designer of some really superb jewellery. She designed the jewellery for our wedding in September 2011; including an excellent pair of cufflinks which take pride of place in my collection. It was through Jo that we came to be at a gig by the abundantly talented Lisbee Stainton on Friday night. Jo knows Lisbee as she has recently designed some fabulous jewellery pieces based on the award-winning angel wings/ guitar logo used by Lisbee. Click here to reach Jo’s website.

So how was the gig? Well first I have never been to such a packed house at the Basement in City Screen. It is a very small venue but there must have been more than 50 people there. There were two support acts starting with Lauren Varley who played a set of her own songs, including “Mr Cold Feet” and she also added two superb covers one of Johnny Cash and the second an inspirational and soulful version of “House Of The Rising Sun“. Lauren is York based and I would definitely go and see her again. Great voice, great songs and smart and brave choices for cover songs. Click here to hear more of her and click here to find her on Facebook.

The second of the support acts was Aimee J Ryan. When she said that she did ‘go on a bit’ between songs she was right! Aimee has some good songs but her sound didn’t seem to be very clear. This was surprising given that the vocal sound quality for both Lauren Varley and Lisbee Stainton was crystal clear. But she definitely has talent so click here to check her out on Facebook.

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So now we get to Lisbee, from who we were expecting great things. It would be fair to say that she met our expectations. She not only has some excellent self penned songs, she plays guitar well and is a very accomplished singer. Her rapport with the audience is far better than some more established artists that I have seen playing live. She opened by walking straight into the audience from the dressing room to provide many of us with percussion instruments. I used mine throughout the show.

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She also had us singing some multi part harmonies, well I say singing but…… at least we tried!  I really loved “Girl On An Unmade Bed” along with a couple of new songs which may, hopefully, find their way on to her next album. Her band is also incredibly talented. I believe that Lisbee has the talent for greater success and if you get a chance to see her take it, you will not be disappointed. Click here to find Lisbee’s official website and make sure you check out the video for the wonderful song “Sidekick” which she also played on Friday. You can also find her on Facebook by clicking here. If you have been to any of the gigs on Lisbee’s tour I would love to hear from you.

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“And I know what you’re thinking, you still think I am crap” July 4, 2011


So it appears that I now live in the place that everyone else in the country would like to live, according to a recent survey. I live in York, an obvious jewel in North Yorkshire’s and indeed the UK’s crown. I’m not sure it was the most popular place when I moved here in 2007 so I suppose I could assume that it has become so popular because I live here. What do you think? Anyway I really enjoy living in the north, in my opinion it is a million times better than London. But in fact that could be said of most other places in the UK. So what do I think are the best reasons to live in York, apart from the obvious one for me which would be my fiancée Catherine aka to regular readers as Catwoman. I will try to complete this as a top ten, but in no particular order.

The history – walking the wall is always a wonderful experience when you consider the thousands of years of history below your feet. Vikings, Romans and the Scots have all occupied York at some time or another

The Maltings – in my opinion the best pub with the best beer in York

Dusk – in the daytime a rather excellent coffee bar and at night a rather unique club (This is definitely not a view shared by Catwoman)

The Mediterranean Barbers – The only place in town you can get a full wet head shave (Just the thing for those of us, like me, that are follically challenged)

The Minster – I am not a religious person at all but the magnificence of this building transcends religion. Obviously I ought to mention Archbishop John Sentamu here, a truly wonderful character

Guy Fawkes – in my opinion probably the last person to enter parliament with honourable intentions and he was born in York

Rafi’s Spice Box – all the ingredients (apart from the meat or veg) and instructions that you need to make an excellent curry

Castle Museum – always something new and with a brilliant recreation of a Victorian Street (the National Railway Museum and the Yorkshire Museum are worth a visit too)

Travelling Man – it may be the only comic shop in York, but even if it wasn’t it would still be the best. Staffed by a great team who keep me supplied with the best Marvel has to offer!

Cedar Court Grand Hotel – this building used to be the railway offices which is where I worked when I first met Catwoman. It has been a hotel for just over a year and last October we went for a meal in the restaurant there, where I did the traditional popping the question on one knee. To complete the circle we will be getting married there in September. Does that mean I will become Mr Catwoman?

Apologies to the places and things I have missed. I could easily have come up with ten more. (Notable omissions which make up that additional 10 are; York City FC, Rowntree Park, Fibbers, The Duchess, Oak Street, Little Betties, The Blue Bicycle, City Screen, York Library, the Vinyl Record stall outside M & S) I would love to hear what your favourite things about York are whether you live here or not. If you’ve never visited this wonderful city yet then pull your finger out and get yourself along here. I may even meet you in the Maltings for a swift one! But I am half Scots so don’t expect me to buy you one! I have said on many occasions before that this is a music blog so let me finish with a few songs that are about city life.

Obviously there is a real dearth of songs about York itself, although there are thousands about it’s young offspring from across the pond. You know the place, so good they named it twice? Well my city is so good it only needs one name and that is York!

“Big City” – Dandy Livingstone

“In The City” – Eagles

Paradise City” – Guns n Roses

“In The City” – Jam

“Dancing In The City” – Marshall Hain

 

Wolf Gang – York City Screen Basement 16th November 2010 November 17, 2010


Having received the regular newsletter from Man Is Slapped recently I found that for the first time in ages I was able to attend one of his gigs. This would be the second time I have seen him at the York City Screen Basement, but more of him later. When I arrived I was greeted by the wonderful sound of Tom Waits playing over the house PA, including the fabulous “Hoist That Rag”. That just made me feel that this was set to be a good night and for once my instincts weren’t wrong, it was a great night.

First up were Detronik. Imagine a large serving of 80s Sheffield electro a la Human League and a couple of spoonfuls of the Stone Roses and Madchester at it’s 90s peak. Are you there? Well that’s how these guys made me feel. They were bloody good and if they were around in the 80s they would have cleaned up completely. I really loved their set, especially closing number “Death To The Disco”. Check out the band on MySpace and the original lineup on YouTube.

Man Is Slapped

Man Is Slapped was the second of three acts and this will be the third time I have seen him play. If you put down what he does on paper (or perhaps in a blog post) you would surely think that this shouldn’t work. But it does work and it works so very well. He played a few new songs from his new EP; Socially Inept which as a fan I obviously purchased. He also di his usual thing of sampling his own sound and vocals in order to provide backing for his songs. Is there anyone else about that can actually do this? Even if there are I doubt that they would be better than Mr Slapped. he even expanded his sound on a couple of songs by using a guitar. Perhaps the next EP will be ‘Man Is Slapped Goes Punk’? He also played a brief electro interlude advertising his web presence and CD for sale. He should be much, much bigger, make it so dear readers! Check him out on MySpace here and also on YouTube here.

Wolf Gang - but this is clearly not a lion and it's clearly not in a cage!

Finally it was the turn of the headliners, I must confess that until tonight I had never heard them and whilst Detronik and Man Is Slapped were excellent I think Wolf Gang surpassed them. They were truly stupendous and excellent band, especially the drummer. The vocalist was also very, very good. The blurb on the gig poster suggests that they go some way to mashing together Talking Heads and Empire Of The Sun. I wouldn’t disagree with this but I would also add that there was an element of early Simple Minds in there too, back in the days when Jim Kerr‘s boys were actually good. I would certainly pay to see this band again and if they’re playing near you it would be foolish and negligent of you to miss them. The next couple of weeks will see them play Glasgow, Sheffield, Brighton, Birmingham, Southampton, London, Bristol and Manchester. I hope they play at the Reading Festival next year. They finished their set with their new single “Lions In Cages” which is released on 22nd November, buy it and make them a happy band. Then they will then be just like me for I went home a happy man! Check them out on MySpace by clicking here and their own website by clicking here and then enjoy a couple more Wolf Gang videos below;

 

The Social Network October 15, 2010


Last weekend I accompanied the beautiful Catwoman to a free preview of the new film ‘The Social Network‘ at City Screen in York courtesy of the Guardian. It is based on the book ‘The Accidental Billionaires‘ which recounts the story of the birth of Facebook.

The script is tight, pacey and at times very, very funny indeed. The film’s strap line is ‘You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies’ and this is the focus of much of the film, particularly all the legal wranglings about whose idea it was. This largely focuses on the relationship between Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and his former partner Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and his other battle with the Winklevoss brothers who he refers to rather amusingly as the Winklevi.

I never realised the part that Sean Parker, the guy who created Napster, played in the early days of Facebook. He is played incredibly well by none other than former Mickey Mouse Club star Justin Timberlake.

I suggest that you get yourself off of Facebook right now and go and see this movie, you won’t be disappointed! I can also confirm that JUSTWILLIAM1959, WITH JUST A HINT OF MAYHEM and CATWOMAN all ‘Like’ this movie.

As usual this is indeed a music blog so let’s mention some of that. The actual soundtrack was composed and performed by Trent Reznor (off of Nine Inch Nails) and Atticus Ross and it works really well. There are some excellent songs used during the film and you can find a few of them below;

Dreadlock Holiday” – 10cc

Ball And Biscuit” – White Stripes

Like A Bad Girl Should” – Cramps

California Uber Alles” – Dead Kennedys

Crazy Baldhead” – Bob Marley & The Wailers

Baby You’re A Rich Man” – Beatles (although I think it’s a cover version used in the film)

 

Cemetery Junction April 21, 2010


I was at the cinema at the weekend, in fact it was York City Screen, a truly wonderful venue. I popped out with Catwoman to see the new Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant movie ‘Cemetery Junction’ It’s essentially about three young guys growing up in Reading in the early 70s in a real dead-end part of Reading (Cemetery Junction! …….. geddit?). It resonates quite well with me because I entered my teens around the time the film was set; 1973.

In my opinion it was a good film, but not a great film. I would watch it when it is shown on TV but I doubt that I’d buy the DVD. The acting is pretty good though, especially the three lead characters and Ricky Gervais also makes a cameo appearance as the father of one of them.

The funniest line for me was when one of the lads says to his parents that he is going to Paris and his Mum responds with this “Paris? There’s parts of Reading you haven’t seen yet!” Classic!

I did really love the soundtrack though. Click here to see what Ricky Gervais had to say about the film and the soundtrack in a recent interview in the Guardian.

And to finish here are a couple of songs from the soundtrack.

“Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” – Elton John filmed live in 1974

“Amazona” – Roxy Music – Taken from their third album ‘Stranded’

 

 
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