With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Apollo Festival 2014 – York – Saturday 21st June June 30, 2014


 

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Unfortunately I was unable to attend last years Apollo Festival so I was quite excited about this one. On another unfortunate note for various reasons I ended up having to miss the set from Reverend and the Makers who headlined the day. But I did get to see absolutely loads of great music and I do hope to be back next year. This time for the full day!

I spent the day with my wonderful wife Catherine (regular readers will know her as Catwoman and our good friends Caron and John and their beautiful daughter Amelia. Catwoman and me are Odd parents to Amelia. the first stage we visited was the Access To Music Stage. Ruby was playing when we arrived, she looked very young, but she was also very, very good. Her own material had some very mature lyrics for someone so young and she even made an Olly Murs song sound good when she covered “Troublemaker”. We stayed in place to see the next act; Laura. Does nobody bother with surnames any more? Laura has an excellent voice and some great songs of her own. She also played two well-chosen and extremely well done covers. The first was the Beatles “Blackbird” and she finished her set with a storming acoustic cover of the Gnarls Barkley modern classic “Crazy”.

 

We wandered over to the Main Stage next where we saw We Could Be Astronauts last song. It was a pity that we weren’t able to see more because these guys sound bloody good! Redstar from Huddersfield were next and it would be difficult to find any fault with this superb band. Their playing is on the button and really tight. The vocalist has all the traits of a great front man and he backs that up with a great rock voice. Their songs are pretty damned good too. I reckon there may be some Kasabianesque influences in there and they made me think of what Beady Eye could have been had Liam retained any talent. But that is small stuff, they are very much their own band. The free CD album they handed out to us punters is brilliant and has been on heavy rotation in my car since the show. Chris Helme former singer of John Squire‘s first post Stone Roses project the Seahorses was next. he is clearly a talented bloke with a good voice but I found him a little dull.

It was back to the Access To Music Stage next where we saw the fabulous Barcode Zebra. probably the funkiest band of the day. A truly stupendous rhythm section and a vocalist for whom a description of awesome might not be quite enough. They are playing in York at a launch of their new EP in July and sadly I will be away that weekend. I would definitely pay to see this band again. also if you’re reading this good people of Barcode Zebra I would love to do an interview with you for this blog!

The Entertainment Co Stage was our next port of call where we found it impossible not to dance and sing along to the curators of that stage; The Entertainment Company! They don’t just play cover versions they own them! Are they the best party band ever?  Very probably! shall we book them for Catwoman’s 50th birthday party (yes she doesn’t look even close to 50 does she)? I hope they do private party bookings because I’d love them to play for us in September 2016!

After that it was a return to the Main Stage where we saw the Black Delta Movement. We didn’t catch their whole set but they come across as very accomplished rockers with a swampy blues rock feel. Not bad at all. Former Bluetones frontman the ‘Legendary’ Mark Morriss was on next with a rather brilliant acoustic set. He is wonderfully self-deprecating and even his new songs have an air of classics about them.

Next it was a quick jog back to the Entertainment Co Stage where we were hoping to see the highly recommended And The Hangnails (thank you Mr Pattinson). before they took to the stage those wonderful people from the Entertainment Company had allowed a young singer from LA to play a few songs. His name is Ben Caron and he is soulful and funky. A bit like Bruno Mars but with more of an R & B edge. He has a truly great voice with which he wowed the all too small crowd. I bought his album, a steal at £7 and he struck me as a really good bloke too. You really should check him out. And The Hangails came on the stage and it is fair to say that for just two people they make a massive noise. I don’t mean that in a negative way either, this pair know how to rock. I sensed some influence from the likes of the White Stripes, the Black Keys and the Strokes. Would I pay to see this mighty duo again? Hell yeah!

Target By Numbers were next on the Access To Music Stage. Good musicians and some ok songs, but they really didn’t do it for me. The last band we saw on the day was the Supermodels on the Main Stage. They are a covers band, but to simply say that really doesn’t do them justice. They cover some classic rock songs with such verve and talent that you could almost imagine you were listening to the real thing if your eyes were shut. Their cover of the Who’s “Baba O’Riley” would give Daltrey and Townshend a run for their money. I really want to see them play again. Sadly we had to leave just before the Supermodels left the stage. But although we missed the headliners we had a fantastic day! well done to the organisers and for all the money raised for an excellent cause; the Smiley Riley Fund!

 

 

Reading Festival 2012 – Day 2 – Saturday 25th August August 27, 2012


 

We arrived a bit late for the secret set from Green Day which began at 11 o’clock, but by all accounts it was blisteringly good. So day 2 kicked off for us with a song from Los Campesinos. An excellent band and even the sun came out to enjoy them! Theme Park were very fresh and funky with a singer that looks like Mr Cole a.k.a Cashley. They sound like David Byrne on ecstasy and was that Prince Harry on guitar? Probably not as he had his kit on! We saw Citizens next. They have been produced by Alex Kapranos and seem to be channeling Edwyn Collins. A very good band.

The usual visit to the comedy stage gave us Jimmy McGhie and Reginald D Hunter. Both were very funny, especially McGhie’s mugging story about Ewoks in hoodies! Grimes was next and she gave us some wonderful ethereal trance tunes  and a topless blonde dancer too…. he was quite good! We made it to the NME/ Radio 1 stage for Dry The River. They have a very chilled US  west coast sound with added psychedelic wig outs and up until that point the weather was Californian too.

Santigold was pure class but what the hell had she made the band wear? Her set had everything; the audience on stage, costume change and a pantomime horse (probably the first time I’ve ever seen one of those on stage at Reading)! We went back to the Main Stage for late afternoon and the Shins were the perfect choice! After the Shins it was the mercurial Enter Shikari. It’s now 4 years in a row at Reading for the Shikari boys who in my opinion are one of the finest bands to grace the main stage. They owned the place!

Some vaccines cure but the Vaccines rock! They are future headliners I think. Florence & the Machine best so far by mile and she did it in heavy rain. Heavy is an understatement, it was pissing down! Not only talented but a trouper too. Ms Welch has a heavenly voice. I am sure that she will be back to headline in the next few years. We watched the first two songs from Kasabian. I think they are far better live than on record but I would still describe them as Leaden Zeppelin. We caught just one song from the bouncy Katy B before a mini tour of the remaining headliners; At The Drive-In were on supreme form and it’s good to see them back, Metronomy provided us with some laid back late night dance grooves and finally we caught a bit of the DJ set from Bassnectar. For that all we were missing were a couple of tabs of E and some glow sticks. And so ended a relatively chilled and slightly damp day 2.

 

 

Reading Festival 2012 – The Preview August 7, 2012


We are now just over two weeks away from the start of the 2012 Reading Festival. Since I moved north to York in 2007 this has become my annual pilgrimage back south where I meet up with my good friend and festival buddy extraordinaire Mr nick Horslen. Undoubtedly soon to qualify as the oldest rockers in a field in Reading (our combined age is definitely over one hundred!) we have attended the world’s number one rock festival for many years. Although I live nearer to the Leeds end of it I won’t be going there until I can only move by Zimmer frame as I have always seen Leeds as the snotty young brother of Reading.

I have mixed feelings about some of the headliners this year. The Foo Fighters are always awesome an I doubt that will change this year. The Cure, who headline the main stage on the Friday night haven’t played the Reading Festival since 1979 so I’d like to think they’ll have something special up their sleeves for this year. It’s Kasabian that really concern me, I find them a little predictable and almost Spinal Tapesque, like someone said today I’m going to invent a rock band. I may be convinced otherwise but for me they come across as Leaden Zeppelin, Slightly Dark Sabbath or Shallow Purple. I am sure that there are plenty of you out there that disagree with that opinion, so feel free to comment.

There are some great acts lower down the bill on the Main Stage that for me are ‘must see’ performers. Those are; Florence and the Machine, Paramore, Eagles Of Death Metal, Cancer Bats and the truly stupendous Enter Shikari. The Kaiser Chiefs are third on the Main Stage bill on the Sunday, which I find a bit surprising. They have been lacklustre at best lately in my opinion, what do you think?

I am disappointed that I will probably miss Justice in the NME/ Radio tent as they are on the same time as the Foo Fighters. But there are a number of other bands and artists that I want to see on the NME/ Radio 1 stage; notably the Horrors, the Joy Formidable, Hadouken, the Hives, At The Drive In (who are on at the same time as Kasabian) and most of all Graham Coxon.

On the other stages I will do my best to watch Less Than Jake, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Azealia Banks and Grimes. But of course I can’t ignore the often excellent BBC Introducing stage where Nick and I often pick a band with the wackiest name to see, but we are also open to recommendations too! So I’m currently considering Wet Nuns, Fish Tank, Dingus Khan and Attention Thieves.

Nick and I often meet some really interesting people at the festival and last year was no exception. In fact last year we met a great bunch of people, mostly South African, but with a smattering of Brits. One of the South Africans was a hilarious bloke called Jason Steyn. (Jason if you’re reading this let me know if you’ll be there this year). They shared their booze, we shared our food and supplied me with a Prince Charles mask! if those guys are back again this year and indeed if you want to meet me and Nick we will be just to the left of the front of the lighting/ mixing tower as you face the main stage, although obviously not if we’re at one of the other stages. You can’t miss us, Nick is very tll and grey haired and his festival nickname is Silver Dude. I am somewhat shorter, slightly older and have hardly any hair, my festival nickname is Billy Baldust. (Actually I just made that one up, but there will be a prize for anyone who comes up with a better one!

Anyway that’s enough wittering on from me. I would love to hear your comments on this post or indeed on any of my posts. I would also love to meet you at Reading and would be more than happy to give you a name check on my posts from the festival! Whetehr I see you or not I hope you enjoy yourself!

 

“You’re not down with who I am, look at you now, you’re all in my hands tonight” March 10, 2012


A white parka? Seriously?

XFM listeners recently took part in a poll to name the greatest front man of all time. So many great blokes to choose from and they went for Liam Gallagher. Now don’t get me wrong Liam has been very good in the past, particularly in the early days of Oasis, but the greatest front man of all time? I don’t think so. The full top 20 was;

1. Liam Gallagher
2. Freddie Mercury
3. Dave Gahan
4. Dave Grohl
5. Matt Bellamy
6. Brandon Flowers
7. Morrissey
8. Jim Morrison
9. Kurt Cobain
10. Alex Turner
11. Paul Weller
12. Mick Jagger
13. Tom Meighan
14. Eddie Vedder
15. Joe Strummer
16. Ian Curtis
17. Caleb Followill
18. Ian Brown
19. Thom Yorke
20. Chris Martin

A white double-breasted jacket? Seriously?

I agree with many of these, but I am surprised Robert Plant and John Lydon didn’t make the cut. Who do you think should have been included? Click here to read the report on nme.com.

Liam wasn't very happy with his dental work

 

“Dreams of war Dreams of lies Dreams of dragons fire” January 29, 2012


Apparently Hulk Hogan nearly joined Metallica as a bass player in their early days. He was once a session musician and a good friend of drummer Lars Ulrich. He is also a fan of the Stone Roses and used them as part of his workout soundtrack.

He also revealed mock anger at the fact that Kasabian check into hotels using his name. Click here to read the story on the NME site, which was sourced from the Sun. just a thought though, after their recent collaboration with Lou Reed maybe the next Metallica joint effort will be with Mr Hogan.

 

Brits Special “I’m On The Right Track, Yeah I’m On To A Winner” February 17, 2010


It’s February 2010 (the 16th to be precise) and ‘With just A Hint Of Mayhem’ is coming to you live from the Brit Awards 2010. Well ok almost live and actually not really there but just in front of the telly! Just like last year really, if you want to relive my post from last years Brits click here

This years awards were hosted by the rather spiffingly talented Mr Peter Kay (Garlic Bread?) Interestingly the ad breaks featured a Master Card advert which was the story of last years Outstanding Achievement award winners the Pet Shop Boys doing a concert at someone’s house! Who would you choose to do a gig at your house? I would opt for David Bowie or Kate Bush!

First up to perform was the delectable Lily Allen. She sang “The Fear” with quite a strange cast of dancers; Pram Pushers, Men in Bowler Hats, Suits with no trousers and Union Jack Boxer Shorts and also some Umbrella Parachutists (is that a word?) dressed in pink camouflage gear. truly spectacular indeed! Lily was wearing a black hot pants type outfit, which I rather liked but Catwoman definitely didn’t! Hmmmmmmm I wonder why?

The first award was presented by Page 3 and ‘I’m A Celebrity’ veteran Sam Fox. She was introduced by Peter Kay as Sam Fleetwood, Mick Fox, Sam Fox in reference to the debacle that was the Brits presented by Sam and Mick Fleetwood off of Fleetwood Mac in the late 1980s. She presented the Brits Memorable Performance of the last 30 years. It seemed we were expecting a list of nominees, but there didn’t appear to be one. The award was given to the Spice Girls and was collected by Scary and Ginger or Mel B and Geri Halliwell as they prefer to be known these days

The next award was for Best British Male Artist and was presented by Andy Serkis who played Gollum in Lord Of The Rings and most recently played Ian Dury. The award went to the hugely entertaining Dizzee Rascal, thank god it wasn’t Robbie Williams! After this we endured JLS performing “Beat Again” they arrived on stage on strings, which confirmed my suspicions that these pop muppets are indeed puppets!

Mel B returned to the stage to present the next award to Jay Z or Jason Zed as Peter Kay called him. He won Best International Male Solo Artist. He spoke of his Glastonbury appearance and mentioned (tongue in cheek methinks) how he was influenced by the Spice Girls.

Noddy Holder off of Slade presented the best album of 30 years of the Brits award to Liam Gallagher for the Oasis album What’s The Story Morning Glory. Obviously Liam swore because the sound disappeared and the ‘audio has been muted’ appeared in the corner of the screen. As he left the stage he threw the microphone into the crowd and allegedly also threw the award into the crowd as well. Peter Kay referred to him, rightly so, as a knobhead when he did leave the stage.

Kasabian then played live and for me they were somewhat lacklustre, what did you think. I thought the flames at the front of the stage were more exciting.

The next award, the Breakthrough Act, was presented by Geri Halliwell (was this a Spice Girls take over?). Geri had to apologise for her earlier failure with Mel B to thank the other Spice Girls! It went to, shamefully in my opinion JLS. Pixie Lott, La Roux and Friendly Fires were all also nominated and missed out to the aforementioned muppets!

Courtney Love presented the Critics Choice Award to the delightful Ellie Goulding, I think I may have to download her album very soon.

Next to perform was the fantastic Lady Ga Ga. In my opinion she is a true star and a real mold breaker. She wore a kind of lace mask, fright wig and a body stocking that seemed to reveal more than it covered. A great performance and someone I would love to see in concert. She also dedicated her first song to the late, great and sadly departed Alexander McQueen.

Idris Elba off of London’s Burning (who he?) presented the Best British Group Award to Kasabian. Personally I felt it should have gone to Muse. Incidentally up to this point I had guessed every winner correctly!

Cat Deeley presented the first of Lady GaGa’s awards for International Breakthrough Artist. This was followed by a fantastic and inspired duet from Dizzee Rascal and Florence off of Florence and the Machine. It was the classic and one of my all time favourite songs; “You Got The Love” which was originally by the Source featuring Candi Staton.

There followed a short film clip of Prince Harry extolling the virtues and wonderful charitable work of the Brits Trust. He came across as quite amusing and very human and showed that one is down wiv da kidz! Which coming from someone like me who is very anti royal is big praise indeed.

über Knobhead Jonathan Ross presented the Best International Female award to (no surprises here) Lady GaGa. her second of the night so far!

Dame Shirley Bassey presented the Solo British Female award, one which she herself actually won in 1977. It went to one of my current favourite singers, Lily Allen. Lily wore a red wig, which she claimed was to make it hard for the cameras to pick her out for that ‘disappointed’ shot had she not won. Incidentally she clearly seemed surprised and very giggly!

Jay Z and Alicia Keys then duetted on a storming “New York State Of Mind”. Mr Z is my second favourite rapper after Eminem and Alicia possess one of the finest soul voices of her generation.

Mika presented the Best International Album Award to Lady GaGa, her third and final Brit of the night. I believe the new Queen Of The Brits deserved every one of them!

Cheryl Cole then performed “Fight For Your Love” amidst a cast of a thousand dancers. For me the dark glasses and dance moves suggested our Cheryl is something af a Janet Jackson wannabe. I didn’t spot Cashley in the crowd though, perhaps he texted her earlier!

Alan Carr had the honour of giving the Best British Single Award to JLS, well that one was voted for by Sun readers so what do you expect?

Tom Ford (is he a fashion designer?) presented the Best British Album Brit to Florence and the Machine for the brilliant album ‘Lungs’. Florence gave a very gracious acceptance speech. ‘Lungs’ is one of my favourite albums of recent years I also loved her set at last years Reading Festival

Finally the winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award who also had the honour of closing the show was Robbie Bloody Williams. He performed a medley of hits, including a song which I really do not like, “Angels” As regular readers might have guessed the appearance of Robbie was definitely not a highlight for me.

So in summary 3 Brits to Lady GaGa and sadly 2 to JLS and in my opinion that is 2 too many!

 To finish here are a few Brit News links for you;

Sky News

The Guardian

 

“No sitting down on your butt, the world don’t owe you” October 2, 2009


So after all those rumours from Blogland that Mr Bowie would come out of retirement and headline New Zealand’s Big Day Out Festival next year it has finally been announced that he was apparently ‘never really an option’. In other Bowie news I can report that his has a new album released in January 2010, well you can guess how excited I was when I read that only to find that it is not a new album but a double CD compilation drawn from shows on the Reality Tour from 2003………. Oh well one can always hope! Incidentally if you’re interested in the line up for the Big Day Out here is a summary of the biggies; Muse, Dizzee Rascal, Lily Allen, Kasabian, The Mars Volta, Rise Against, Peaches, Horrors, Girl Talk and Mastodon.

Lily Allen follows the advice of this blog or probably not!

Lily Allen follows the advice of this blog or probably not!

On the subject of Lily Allen those regular readers among you will be familiar with this blogs ‘Lily Allen Naked’ experiment. The objective of which was to expand the number of blog views by attracting people who were searching for ‘Lily Allen Naked’. Obviously I have felt guilty about this for some time as there were never any naked Lily Allen pictures here, despite the fact that more than 600 people had arrived here seeking them. Although of course it might have been one person arriving 600 times, come on Tom own up! So if you’re among that group or you are that person or if it was you Tom then please accept my apologies and let me also give you some good news. Lily was clearly influenced by our experiment because she recently completed a rather tasteful nude photo shoot for GQ magazine. Click here to see a selection of those, rather good, pictures. I would also like to mention the countless other searches for naked pictures of; Eminem, Sting, Kate Bush, Katy Perry, Ronan Keating, Bryan Ferry among others and perhaps most bizarrely of all a handful of people arrived here while searching for Meatloaf naked…………….I mean COME ON! That is so wrong in many ways…………..WHY????? So in my humble opinion that brings the ‘Lily Allen Naked’ experiment to a close. So now all we need to do is think of what the next experiment will be. Any suggestions? I have a few on my mind;

1) Calvin Harris Underpants (Acceptable In The 80s)

2) Sugababes lingerie (Get Sexy)

3) Mick Jaggers Athletic Support (Let’s Work)

Mick Jagger, very much in touch with his camp side

Mick Jagger, very much in touch with his camp side

4) George Michael flashing (I Want Your Sex)

George flashes his ring ;-)

George flashes his ring ;-)

Although to be fair the last one has probably been done to death already! Anyway I do look forward to receiving your own ideas. I would also like to state categorically that I really haven’t been thinking about these for long. While you ponder them why don’t you enjoy the fabulous Lily Allen with “It’s Not Fair” Lily I know you have some very strong and indeed valid views abot downloading, but whatever your thoughts I and many others would rather you carried on recording!

As this is somewhat of a random post let me continue with a jolly good link that was passed to me by my good friend Nick H from the parish of Marlow. It’s a piece that the NME are running on line about the best gig you ever saw. Now that’s a really tough one for me. Obviously I would select at least one Bowie gig (probably 1976 at Wembley) plus Radiohead (at Lancashire County Cricket ground in 2008), Suede at the Reading Rivermead (hmmmmm when was that? Late 90’s methinks), Gene (the Old Trout in Windsor 1994). But if my life depended upon it I would have to say Parliament/ Funkadelic at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1978 a truly unforgettable concert experience! George Clinton and Bootsy Collins two cast iron geniuses in my opinion! Anyway to check out the NME link click here. What was the greatest gig you ever saw, I think we’d all like to know, wouldn’t we?

And finally for today I must draw your attention to the rather excellent C’Mon Son posts, if you click here you can see number 4 and boy does he deal brilliantly with uber twat Mr Kanye West for barging into into Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech recently! What do you think?

 

 
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