With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Paul Draper – The Crescent, York – Wednesday 21st November 2018 November 23, 2018


Mansun’s ‘Attack Of The Grey Lantern’ has remained one of my favourite albums since its release back in 1997. I was also lucky enough to see Mansun twice at the Reading Festival back in 1996 and 1998.  So the prospect of seeing Mansun main man Paul Draper solo in my adopted home city, York was exciting. Made even more interesting having reviewed Draper’s solo album, ‘Spooky Action’ and the reissued ‘Attack Of The Grey Lantern’ earlier this year for those wonderful folk over at 3 Songs & Out. Mr Draper is currently winding up his first ever solo acoustic tour aided by the mega talented guitarist Ben Sink. But before I tell you about that dynamic duo I need to update you on the rather spiffing support act Flo Perlin and her band. If I had to put Flo into any genre I might opt for modern folk singer. However her voice is that of an angel and has some of the crispness and clarity of a young Karen Carpenter. She is also a skilled multi instrumentalist, this evening she showed her prowess on guitar, ukulele and keyboards. Her songs feel like they are written from the depths of her soul and seem to be very much about her life. I was really keen to meet her afterwards and buy her album, ‘Cocooned’, but sadly by the time I went to the merch stand later in the evening she had left. her parents were in the audience tonight and I am sure they are very proud of Flo. Rightly so too, this was a classy and heartfelt performance. In addition to Flo’s excellence I should also mention the supreme contribution of her band on beautiful harmonies, violin and understated but perfect percussion. You really should check her out.

Paul Draper and Ben Sink hit the stage at around 9:30 by which time what had looked like a relatively small audience had grown considerably. The balance was probably around 70% Mansun songs and the rest from Paul’s solo career. When you hear some of these songs played in such a raw form it shows you just how bloody brilliant they are. “Friends Make The Worst Enemies” and “Jealousy Is A Powerful Emotion” were highlights from Draper’s solo repertoire. From the Mansun years it was “Dark Mavis” and a song that is among my most favourite ever by anyone, “Wide Open Space”. It is so hard for me to recognise that the latter two songs are more than twenty years old. But I guess that just defines the word timeless! The complexity and emotion of his songs is immense. Draper’s vocals were spot on the whole night, even if he surprised himself by hitting some of the higher notes. Musical backing was Paul Draper with highly effective acoustic guitar playing and an almost ethereal electric guitar performance from Ben Sink. His gorgeous musical motifs swept in and out throughout each tune enhancing what you might have believed could not have been enhanced. His style was for me reminiscent of Bernard Butler in the early days of Suede. Mr Sink also plays guitar with the Anchoress among others. His prog like creativity is the perfect foil to Paul Draper’s wonderful delivery of his often incredibly deep lyrics. Paul handled one particular über fan very well addressing being heckled with a great sense of humour. This just made me ponder how difficult it can be for performers when they face their “number one fan” (to quote Stephen King). Listening and watching tonight’s performance made me realise what a very special songwriter Paul Draper is and I do not believe he gets the recognition that he deserves. But now with a masterpiece of a solo album and a better back catalogue than may of his Brit Pop peers maybe he will.

Public Service Announcement: – All photographs (except the gig flyer) were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.

 

The Blinders – The Crescent, York – Friday 2nd November 2018 November 9, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:40 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Last Friday I had the honour and the pleasure of being at the fabulous York venue the Crescent for a headline gig by one of the best bands in Britain right now, the Blinders. But before I tell you about them let me spend a little time on the rather spiffing support bands. First up was York band Faux Pas. This lot are an absolute riot of energy, a bouquet of passion and posy of punk. They rip into your very being and leave you wanting more. Singer guitarist Ru Cowl wears a very big heart on his sleeve and has more balls than many singers by wearing a summer dress and the hand written ‘RUNT’ across his chest and laying down a passionate challenge to gender stereotypes. Their new single “Shame” was released last week and while it sounds good in its recorded form it becomes a towering behemoth of a song when played live.

 

Next to hit the stage were Brighton five piece White Room who look like they just dropped in from an early 80s Duran Duran video shoot via some kind of pop time travel gizmo. But this bunch are far more talented than Duran Duran in my opinion. For starters Jake Smallwood is a far better vocalist than Simon Le Bon. White Room plough grooves that are sharp enough to cut your ears as they enter your head. They have an immaculate sense of stage presence and how to play to an audience. White Room also have a new single out, entitled “Shoot” and back in the days when the charts really meant something it would be a key contender for number one.

Finally the time had arrived for perhaps the finest band in the UK right now. This was an electrifying set from this staggeringly good three piece from Doncaster. They are touring on the back of their magnificent debut album ‘Columbia’ which was released back in September. Vocalist and guitarist Thomas has a towering, menacing, piercing eyed stare stage persona which matches that of Blinders compadres Avalanche Party’s Jordan Bell. ‘Columbia’ is an incredible album and the songs when played live are moved from earth bound tunes to full on Norse God hymnals from Valhalla. I love a band that is well read and the Blinders are clearly fans of classic dystopian fiction by George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. “Brave New World” and “The Ballad Of Winston Smith” attest to that. Not every generation throws up a British band that could be called the band of their generation. In my opinion the Beatles were, as were the Sex Pistols, the Stone Roses and to some perhaps the Arctic Monkeys. I believe that this is what the Blinders are destined to become, the band of their generation. They have honesty, bravery, intelligence, extreme talent and on top of all that they play together like they were born to do it. Particular highlights from this pile driving set for me were “Hate Song”, “Brutus” and “L’Etat C’est Moi”. This is the second time I have been lucky enough to see the Blinders, I think there will be many, many more for me. I have a feeling that they will be around for a long while!

 

Public Service Announcement: – All photographs were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.

 

“TV” – Alleyways October 16, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:26 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leeds/ York based Alleyways have released another exquisite slice of sublime pop rock with the sublime “TV”. Apparently the song is about living the moment and not immersing yourself in technology. I hope fans take heed at live shows and actually experience the gig through their human senses and not through a tiny phone screen. The song has echoes of some of the finest 80s pop music, I hear elements of Altered Images and Aztec camera here. It doesn’t take much more than the first listen for “TV” to take root in your brain and boost those endorphins off the scale! If you like this then you really need to check out Alleyways other stuff, including three other great songs; “Naked”,  “Bubble Gum” and “Gucci”. They will be playing a number of headline shows in support of “TV” in the next few weeks. This follows some great support slots with Fickle Friends and Glass Caves to name just a couple. The band have begun working with Chalk Pit Records from Leeds and this I am sure will result in some great new things from Alleyways in 2019. Stay tuned people, this band has so much to offer!

 

‘Rise Not Fall’ – Jess Gardham October 14, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:37 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Sometimes you come across good music purely by chance, well that is my experience. Recently I attended the tenth anniversary dinner for the wonderful York children’s charity the Island. It was a fabulous evening in every way. One of those ways was the musical entertainment, Jess Gardham. She played in the lobby as guests arrived and even with all the noisy hubbub and low volume she sounded like she had something special. Then just before we ate Jess kicked out a stunning acoustic version of the Black Eyed Peas “Where Is The Love” that was full of soulful emotion and anger at the world. Every guest that evening received a gift bag with information about the Island including a flash drive, chocolate and many other things. But my favourite give away was a copy of Jess Gardham’s CD ‘Rise Not Fall’.

Jess at times sounds a little like Joan Armatrading, but her yearning, soaring vocal style give her a very clear identity that is Jess Gardham. All six songs on this CD were written by Jess and she plays percussion and acoustic guitar. I get a sense that some of the lyrics are autobiographical and she sings them like she really mean it. I certainly would not like to be the protagonist of “Caught Out”. The title track “Rise And Fall” is my favourite tune here after a few listens. I especially love the positive emotions displayed and the determination that Jess conveys so easily. She has played support for an amazing array of artists including; Paul Carrack, Martin Simpson, David McAlmont, Wilko Johnson and KT Tunstall to name just a few. Her talent is not just that of a great singer songwriter though, Jess is also an actress and has appeared in stage productions that include ‘Hairspray’, ‘The Buddy Holly Story’ and ‘Ghost: The Musical’. To cap all that she was also a quarter finalist in BBC One’s MasterChef 2018! Check this talented woman out now, you will not be disappointed!

Public service announcement. I found all the pictures included here via Goggle and the videos via YouTube. If they are your pictures or videos and you would like me to credit you or take them down then give me a shout!

 

Laura Kindelan – Forty Five Vinyl Cafe – York – Friday 14th September 2018 September 17, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:19 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

This was the third time I have seen Laura Kindelan playing live in just over a year and I hope there will be plenty more opportunities to catch this incredibly talented singer, musician and songwriter in the future. Laura is off to Uni in Leeds very soon so this was her last hometown gig before that. It was at the fabulous Forty Five Vinyl Cafe on Micklegate in York. If you have never been there then you really ought to get yourself there soon. This was probably the first time I have ever visited and not bought any vinyl, although I did buy a couple of CDs from one of the excellent support acts. So let me start with those support acts. First it was Lands (a.k.a. George) a staggeringly good vocalist. He makes his voice soar and he has some really good original material, however were he totally smashed it tonight was with an inspired choice of cover songs. Most notably with Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire” on which he came pretty damned close to bossing the Boss. But even more so with his version of Radiohead’s “Creep”, covering Thom Yorke is a brave move and one that is often difficult to pull off, but Lands owned the song and poured himself into it. I expect to see much more from him either as Lands or some of his other projects (I will be checking Leodis with which he partners with his buddy Archie soon).

Lands

Second on the bill was Nottingham lad (now based in Leeds) Joseph Knight. I had the honour of seeing Joseph sound check for the show and he captivated what at that time was a very small audience. When he took the stage for real he proved what a great talent for songwriting he has, he is quite a tasty performer too. “Have You Seen The Sky Tonight” was performed with sonic beauty, but sadly Joseph told us that up to now he has never find the right way to record the song and probably never will, but a good reason to catch him live though. He explained that “Hold On To Me” had originally been recorded as a duet but obviously he had to play it solo on the night. It is a great song that would grace any pop chart in the world. I am not a fan of manufactured boy bands, but “Hold On To Me” would add class and credibility to a pop act. Maybe Boyzone should sign off with a classic song like this. Joseph played “Nervous” which he explained had been written when he was just fifteen. The song’s sentiment and message about having to love yourself before you will find love must still hang true with all of us. My favourite song from him from tonight’s set was as perfect lyrically as it is possible to get and it is called “Missing Piece”. I can tell you that the words brought a tear to my eyes, especially the line “I didn’t know that I was broken until you fixed me”. Thursday I had never heard or heard of Joseph Knight, Friday I saw and heard him and became a fan!

Joseph Knight

From the first time that I saw Laura Kindelan play live back in July 2017 I felt that she was in possession of a rare and raw talent that doesn’t come along very often. My opinion on that has only got stronger over time. Indeed Laura’s performance this evening was even better than the previous live sets I have seen her do. She has a wide range of influences and her style of singing and playing covers a wide array of genres; jazz, blues, folk, rock and pretty much everything in between. She was brave enough to do something that not many artists would, she opened her show with an unfinished song, “Take A Little Time”. Well it sounds pretty damned spot on right now so what the hell will it evolve into when she finishes it? When introducing “Spiders” Laura described it as the most intense song that she has ever written and listening to the acerbic lyrical flow it would be hard to disagree with that assertion. She is working on a cello based version of the song which I believe could sound truly epic!

Laura Kindelan

The first time that I ever heard the jazz standard “Good Morning Heartache” was in 1972 via Diana Ross’ version. That cover paled into insipid insignificance when I eventually heard Billie Holiday’s 1946 recording of the song. Some people say that certain songs are untouchable sacred cows but I don’t agree and I am pleased to say that neither does Laura in this case. Laura makes fine use of her looping talents to give us an eerie, ethereal and moderately menacing arrangement and take on the song. It makes mincemeat of most of the other recorded cover versions of this song. Laura makes it sound sonically like something from a parallel universe. If David Lynch revives Twin Peaks again then he has to feature Laura Kindelan’s version of “Good Morning Heartache” in at least one episode. Laura’s younger brother Euan joined her on the drums for the last few songs of the set and he proved that he is a skilled and very understated sticksman with massive potential for the future. “Take Your Time” was developed from a drum pattern that Euan created. I have previously compared Laura Kindelan to Jeff Buckley. I was among the lucky few to witness Buckley’s towering but way too short set some twenty-four years ago at the Reading Festival in 1994. I would love to hear Ms. Kindelan cover a Jeff Buckley song one day. I reckon she could definitely add her personal stamp to “Lover You Should’ve Come Over”. Laura’s songs sound far more mature than her years. She is a musician that seems to want to never stop learning and developing her  craft and that will keep her continually fresh ahead of the curve musically. Most of you have no doubt heard the apocryphal tales of the great old bluesmen ‘selling their souls at the crossroads’ to be gifted with supreme talent by the devil. Has Laura Kindelan sold her soul at the crossroads? No of course not, this woman does not need to, she has pure, latent, natural talent in abundance!

Laura & Euan

Laura Kindelan

Public Service Announcement: all photos are from my cheap android phone from China. Videos are all found on YouTube. If you wish to be credited for any of the videos or would like them taken down please let me know. N.B. Fawn were replaced by Lands on the bill.

 

An Interview with Jim Quinn owner of Safe Suburban Home Records – Thursday 6th September 2018 September 11, 2018


Jim sets the controls for the heart of the Safe Suburban Home!

Last week I had the delightful pleasure of catching up with Jim Quinn owner of a new record label in York, UK. The label is Safe Suburban Home and their début launch came a few weeks ago with the release of a limited edition seven-inch vinyl single by the Velts from Malta. I am looking forward to future releases and now that I own the first I may have to become a collector! Jim answered a range of questions for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem, take a read and feel free to add a comment. Jim has also chosen some rather excellent tracks for the videos at the bottom of this post!

Safe Suburban Home? Where does the name come from?

This is a strange one according to Jim. He, his partner Emma and their daughter needed a safe suburban home, so they got one. Their living room became a studio which they named Safe Suburban Home! <and there was me looking for deeper meaning!> 

What is your favourite record label(s) and why?

 California’s Burger Records which according to Jim has an underground feel and always seemed pretty cool. His aim is to create that kind of vibe with Safe Suburban Home. Back in the early 2000’s he would also buy anything released by Household Name Records.

 Do you foresee having a roster of acts on the label ultimately or will you carry on with exclusive releases?

This is way too far ahead. Jim would love to work with more local bands and might consider going down the singles club release route. He would absolutely love to record York band Tax <Guys if you’re reading this just do it!> Acts that sign up for an exclusive release on Safe Suburban Home Records sign a 4 month contract, after that they can put their track on other platforms and media.

 Will you expand beyond vinyl?

Jim says that is possible but it would have to maintain some kind of physical tangible purchase too. Say buy a T Shirt, pin badge or something and receive a free digital download of a song.

 Who is your biggest musical influence and why?

There was no hesitation or thought time for Jim’s answer here, immediately he responded with Damon Albarn. He says, and I agree, that everything Damon has done is different and that he is undoubtedly one of the great British songwriters.

 Musically do you have any of what you might consider guilty pleasures, if so what are they?

Like all of us Jim has some guilty pleasures when it comes to music. Notably 80s Pop, Deacon Blue and Prefab Sprout. His guilty pleasures anthem is “Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves. <personally I don’t think Prefab Sprout are in this category, but then one persons classic band is another persons guilty pleasure, right?>

Name three things that you simply cannot live without (not including family)?

  1. Good coffee – definitely not the instant rubbish
  2. His music collection
  3. His push bikes, he has five!

 What is your favourite confectionery item? Is Die Hard a Christmas film? Who is richer, Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne?

Jim took a shot at all of these;

  • His favourite confectionery item is a Boost Bar
  • Die Hard is not a Christmas film
  • As for whether Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne is the richest, like many people, Jim has no idea!

 

Graeme Clark – National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) – York – Wednesday 5th September 2018 September 6, 2018


Thanks to those excellent people at showfilmfirst myself and the wonderful Catwoman a.k.a. Catherine had the opportunity to see Graeme Clark off of Wet Wet Wet at the National Centre for Early Music in York for just a quid each! We arrived in plenty of time to see the talented Mr Finn Paul who was the support act. Finn has a self-deprecating, engaging personality and he also has some great songs. I sensed a few influences; maybe a bit of Hozier and on “Treat Her Fair” there was definitely a trace of Finlay Quaye. My favourite song from Finn’s set was “The Watcher” which is obviously very deep and possibly quite dark too. He also included a rabble rousing cover of “The House Of The Rising Sun” and an Eddie Vedder song from the ‘Into The Wild’ soundtrack.

Then it was time for the main man of the evening Graeme Clark, former bass player and songwriter from 80s and 90s Scottish pop Titans Wet Wet Wet. Graeme is not only a great singer songwriter and an excellent performer he also excels as a raconteur. His stories about how his songs came to be and his life with Wet Wet Wet were amusing, heartfelt and very honest. It is 31 years since Wet Wet Wet broke into the UK charts with “Wishing I Was Lucky” in 1987. Their debut album ‘Popped In Souled Out’ topped the UK album chart that same year. Graeme has just released a mini album titled ‘Radio Silence’ and he showcased most of the songs from that collection here. Everyone one of them was introduced with an origin story which had the audience captivated. “Polaroid Luv”, “Fall To Pieces” and “Caledonia Soul” are gorgeous songs but none can top the power and emotion of the emotional “Ghost” with the kind of lyric that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, in a good way. Graeme’s vocal style has echoes of Bono’s softer side and even a feel of Robbie Williams without the histrionics. A very special mention to the outstanding fiddle playing of Fiona Cuthill who added great depth to many of Graeme’s songs.

Obviously Graeme was not going to leave us without playing any of the old Wet Wet Wet hits and he began with “Goodnight Girl” a UK number one from 1991. If you thought you needed Marti Pellow’s blue-eyed soul vocal to make this song work, then think again because Mr Clark smashed it and all of us in the crowd were singing along at full volume. He told us about his love for Pellow his friend from school days as he introduced “Somewhere Somehow”. He believes that when the song was recorded it featured Pellow’s finest ever Wet Wet Wet vocal performance. I think you might be able to guess the song that Graeme closed the show with, yes it was 1994 mega smash hit, number one in the UK for fifteen weeks, “Love Is All Around”. For the record Clark said that he still loves the song. He invited the audience to join him on stage to sing along with him and about a dozen people did. It was a more than fitting finale for a really enjoyable and intimate show in a beautiful venue.

Public Service Announcement: all photos are from my cheap android phone from China. Videos are all found on YouTube. If you wish to be credited for any of the videos or would like them taken down please let me know.

 

 
Laura N Books

Book Blogger | Cat Mother

Halfway 2 Nowhere

Yorkshire music blog

CLUE RECORDS

Leeds based independent record label

Transmaniacon

Heavy Progressive Sci Fi Stoner Rock

Gary Bainbridge

A Website By The Above-named Writer

Los Angeles feedback film festival

A monthly event... LAFeedbackFilmFestival.com

Written Word

My thoughts, my words and the story of my life.

captainocd's Blog

music, comics, geek TV, nostalgia.

LETS MAKE MONEY

Tips and tricks to start your business from home

myvinyldreams

Vinyl recordings from the 80's & 90's

Music to die for

one man's musical odyssey

Jocknroll Ain't Noise Pollution

Music and musings from Scotland

Conventional Records

The kind you find in a second hand store

Manic Pop Thrills

Alternative (sic) music of the last 30 years

The Sound of Being Ok

Music. Life. Stories. But mainly music.

SHOUT LOUDER

A music zine for punks who don't like papercuts

I Am Incorrigible

Libidinous curmudgeon & faux intellectual snob. Fighting injustice and exposing media driven political hypocrisy. Evidence not ideology. Merit not money. Neither red nor blue. Blog best viewed at 125% (based on 19" monitor)

%d bloggers like this: