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
Tags: , , , , , ,

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

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

‘Passions’ – Thirst September 7, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:41 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Thirst is talented York musician Dom White who spent a number of years as the drummer for metal band the Family Ruin before returning to his home city to form This House Is Haunted, a rather ace alt.rock band. Dom is also the genial owner of the rather splendid FortyFive Vinyl Café in York. This is his first solo album and is an eclectic and enthralling collection of tunes. For me it has a feel of a British 1960s concept album, perhaps more the Zombies or the the Pretty Things rather than the Who. Opener “Memory Lane” initially has a really ambient feel to it before it builds into an understated power ballad for the 21st Century. If you like dreamy, dark (almost) power ballads you will love “Runaway”. That is the tune that stayed with me for quite a while beyond my first listen. First single “Afraid Of The Dark” had me imagining Henry Mancini collaborating with Ian Broudie, it has a real cinematic feel to it, as does much of the production on this collection. The “Afraid Of The Dark” video is well put together too, a collection of great clips from old horror films. I love the lyrics on the wonderfully piano led “Who I Am”. Dom’s voice is original and it is hard to find any obvious comparisons, but on “Foundling Wheel” it reminded me at times of David Bowie’s take on Bracht’s ‘Baal’ and the harmonies have their roots in classic British folk music.

Dom seems to have a knack for nailing the cinematic feel and scope in the instrumentation on this album, “Breather” really showcases as it is an instrumental would fit perfectly into the soundtrack of spooky French film, maybe alongside something by Mogwai. “Danse Macabre” has an almost nursery rhyme music box element in it’s main theme and I mean that in a good way and like the previous track is crying out to be used on a soundtrack for a noble dance of death scene. The deeper keyboard notes give a strong bass ambient feel to “Welcome Home”. After a few spins “All Of Them Witches”, the second single. is probably my favourite song on the album. The drum and percussion sound throughout has a languid glam rock feel, the sort of track that might have enhanced an album by maybe the Sweet in the mid 70s when they were trying to rid themselves of their manufactured pop band label. The overlaid vocals are superb. Album closer “Hand Of God” is the closest to a traditional rock song construct and like all great albums it enables a great crescendo finish. This first album from Thirst is a grower, give it a few listens and you will continue to go back to it, trust me!

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

‘Cowgirl’ – Cowgirl September 3, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:24 am
Tags: , ,

Cowgirl are a great live band and after a slew of one off releases over the past few years they have finally got their debut, eponymously titled, album together. This York band draw their influences from a number of places, but for me this album evokes many classic New York artists; Velvet Underground, Jonathan Richman and the Strokes. They recorded these tracks with Euan Hinshelwood at his Vacant TV Studio in London early last year. The album is out in physical form and on all major streaming platforms today via Safe Suburban Home Records.

Opener “Better With You” has a dirty Garage Rock feel with a neat power pop undertone. As with all the tracks the guitar work here is first class. “Something I Needed To Do” is laid back in a Neil Young and Crazy Horse kind of way and the bass drives it along perfectly. A slowed down power pop vibe and fuzzed up vocals are to the fore in “Time Moves Along” which for me has a real Velvet Underground feel to it. My favourite track on this record after quite a few listens is definitely “Is What It Is” which evokes the Strokes at their finest, the riffage and rhythm section on this tune is immaculate. There is a real sunny disposition to “Figure It Out”, well for the tune anyway. The lyrics are much darker and remind me of Jonathan Richman at his less whimsical moments. Cowgirl nail their garage rock credentials to the wall with the wonderful “Without You”. The album closes with “I Can’t Help It” and it has a feel of the rockier tracks produced by Lukas Nelson and the Promise Of The Real.

If I have one criticism it is that at just under 20 minutes in length this is more a mini album or long EP. But to be fair this is all killer no filler with every track having the potential to become a classic. I love this record and I think you will to check it out. Cowgirl are playing a number of dates to promote the release over the next few days (Check their social media for the dates and details), get yourself along to see them, you won’t be disappointed.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

Heartsink – Fulford Arms, York – Sunday 8th August 2021 August 10, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:14 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

After such a long period deprived of gigs thanks to Covid this was my second in three days. I have listened a lot to Heartsink, but this was to be the first time that I saw them live, in the headline slot too. But more of them later, there were also three fine support acts. The evening kicked off with Friday Night Lights, to me they are pop punk with a much heavier and classic punk undercurrent. They have some great songs and the shared lead/ counterpoint vocals add real depth. My one small criticism is that they felt a little under rehearsed. But to be fair that is probably the case for many bands after the last 18 months we have lived through. I bought their CD, for a quid, now that is a bargain. On top of that the CD has some cracking tunes too.

Friday Night Lights

Next up were Covent, the name means Church or Monastery apparently. This lot are very heavy with an added dash of prog rock thrown into the mix. The lead singe has a brilliantly gruff vocal which conveys emotion really well. The drummer could give Animal (from the Muppets) and Keith Moon a run for their money. The break down on “Colour Drain” shows a softer, more soulful side to Covent. They also win the evenings best beard award which I award to the bass player in honour of the late, great Dusty Hill.

Covent

Shark Bait from Leeds were next and what a supremely tight band they are. Some amazing songs with a heavy take on kitchen sink dramas in the lyrics. “Drip”, about a leak in a crap house they shared in Doncaster, is a particularly good example of this. The front man/ lead vocalist is clearly also a great entertainer who really understands the crowd. The cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” was an inspired and exceptional choice of a cover. It was everything a cover version should be, very different and not just some bland boy band facsimile. The rhythm is an absolute powerhouse, the bass player even makes the full Lemmy pose when playing. How the fuck have I not come across this band before now?

Finally it was time for Heartsink, playing their first gig since March 2020. Badge this lot as just another pop punk band at your peril. Sure they have a lot of pop punk elements but they are so much broader and deeper than that. The acoustic tune was very special. This band has definitely not reached their peak but they are clearly on a very fast trajectory to get there. It is seeing bands like this, who are clearly having fun, which makes me realise how much I have missed gigs during these awful Covid times. All the bands on the bill tonight were very god and some were very tough acts to follow. But I reckon Heartsink smashed it, although Shark Bait were a very close second.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

Tommyrot – York Vaults – York – Friday 6th August 2021 August 9, 2021


This was my first proper non-seated gig for 18 months and it felt great, a little weird, but great nonetheless. First on stage were Where’s Slater? These guys formed while at York University and on their social media they say that they “could be defined as a band, we prefer ‘search party'”. Personally I reckon they are a good band, I have no evidence to say how good a search party they are though. Although I think they were missing two band members so maybe they aren’t ready to be a search party just yet. Anyway they played a barnstorming set the forefront of which was the great vocals from their singer who has a touch of Kurt Cobain spliced with a pinch of Jim Morrison. They did some great covers including Nirvana and Queens Of The Stone Age. But the highlight for me was their quirky and brilliant cover of XTC’s “Making Plans For Nigel”.

Where’s Slater?

Unfortunately YouVee were unable to make it so their last minute stand in was Leeds band Flat Moon. The hit the stage like they owned it. The drummer is one of the finest that I have heard in a long while. That added to booming and choppy bass and Billy Whizz funky guitar made a sound like Parliament/ Funkadelic fronted by Nile Rogers but with a deep rock vibe. Their cover of the James Brown classic “Sex Machine” was off the scale and through the stratosphere. I loved the way they had so much fun with it, even changing it briefly to a funky love song about a washing machine! One of their own compositions, “Demise” I think was late night jazz club in style, and my good mate Eddie Parkinson remarked that the band could do a great take on the theme tune to any Pink Panther remake. Their Hendrix cover was hard heavy and oozed funky blues. So if George Clinton had P-Funk I reckon Flat Moon have F-Punk with their funk sounds supported by a punk attitude. I am now a huge Flat Moon fan!

Flat Moon

Pleasure Centre from Sacrbados were next and at the start I thought they sounded a bit proggy, but I mean that in a good way. I think the band have great potential but I don’t think they are quite there yet, not for me at least. The guitarist and the drummer are extremely bloody good at what they do. I felt the vocals were mixed a little low down tonight, which was a shame as it felt like the singer had a good voice, which was more apparent standing near the stage. and I need to explore some of the bands recorded output to get a better feel for them. I mentioned Prog earlier but maybe they are a bit shoegazey too. A hard band to put into a specific genre box.

Pleasure Centre

Finally it was time for Tommyrot who formed while at the Access Creative College in York. I have reviewed a few of their singles before and everyone of them has been great. They are a truly eclectic band who looked like they were having great fun while they were on stage. I once described them as “Weird, wacky, wayward, waggish, witty, wonky, whimsical, wonderfully eclectic, stylistic nut jobs” and having finally seen them live I stand by every word of that. They transfer their recorded work to the live environment incredibly well. The highlight for me was my favourite Tommyrot song “Drugs”, even if you don’t do drugs you need to do that song and you need to become a Tommyrot fan!

Tommyrot
Drummer Rhys focussing really hard while hand writing the Tommyrot set lists!

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

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!

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

“Funky Feeling” – Tommyrot February 20, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:10 pm
Tags: , ,

Those roguish rapscallions of rock known as Tommyrot have recently unleashed a new song on the world. It is called “Funky Feeling” and begs the question, can white boys play da funk? Well these boys can! They have clearly tightened the tourniquet and injected themselves with the funk, some punk and some classic British early 70s rock. But just enough to get a rock ‘n’ roll high. The languid chilled and obviously funky bass line is particularly addictive and Tommyrot prove that as well as being a great band they are also cunning linguists as they introduce some French into the lyrics. After last years singles, “Drugs” and “The Happy Ending Song” it is totally transpicuous that this band have many talents and are adept at avoiding being stuck in one particular genre box! Will there be a Tommyrot album sometime? I hope so, but in the meantime I reckon they will be a lot of fun when we get back to proper gigs.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

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!

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

“The Happy Ending Song” – Tommyrot June 4, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:05 pm
Tags: , , ,

Weird, wacky, wayward, waggish, witty, wonky, whimsical, wonderfully eclectic, stylistic nut jobs Tommyrot have released a new single hot on the heels of “Drugs” their debut from last month. It is called “The Happy Ending Song” and it is a wicked out there lo-fi tune that brings back memories of Jonathan Richman and also the Moldy Peaches. It is the perfect song to listen to while sitting around a campfire drinking a cold beer and smoking good weed. I think the lyrics are about how you should make your own happy endings in life, as opposed to the type of happy endings offered by some backstreet massage parlours. It is remarkably different from the band’s first release and this has to bode well for their album when they eventually get around to it!

Click here to hear “The Happy Ending Song” on Spotify.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

Pink Floyd in New Earswick? May 13, 2020


One of our ace writers Tom also has his own blog, Scruffy Theory, and recently he has posted some great investigative stuff about a gig that Pink Floyd allegedly played at the Folk Hall in New Earswick in York back in 1967. It has been difficult to find much evidence about the gig online, but Tom has found his inner bloodhound and donned his deerstalker hat to discover more. Is it true or not? Read Tom’s rather interesting posts (in sequence) to find out! If you know anything about this gig feel free to get in touch.

Legendary Gig or “Suburban myth” – Pink Floyd @ New Earswick Folk Hall, 1967

Pink Floyd in New Earswick Update

Pink Floyd in New Earswick: second update

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: