With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Imelda May – Barbican, York – Tuesday 16th May 2017 May 22, 2017

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:30 pm
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The last time I saw Imelda May play live was at the height of her ‘Rockabilly Queen’ years at this very venue, York‘s Barbican back in November 2011. She was a powerful presence and explosive performer back then and frankly she still is, only now she has extra added diva power and so much soul. Her new album ‘Life Love Flesh Blood’ showcases just how great a vocalist she truly is. The fifties style dresses and skirts of Imelda’s past are replaced by a more sophisticated black number and that trademark pulled back, white streaked hair is now a gorgeous black straight style with bangs.

She recently reached a significant age that I passed many, many years ago and on top of that she is coming out of the break up of an eighteen year relationship. Has this played a part in how she pours her heart and soul into her new songs? Very likely I think. She opens the set with a delicate and sparsely backed “Call Me”. That and every track from her new album got an airing tonight which proves that she is not one to rest on her laurels. She obviously didn’t disappoint the longer term fans and delved into her back catalogue for rousing versions of “Mayhem” and “Johnny Got A Boom Boom” towards the end of the show.

As for the new songs it would be really difficult to find a dud, so I won’t even try. “Levitate” was stunning in this live environment and “Black Tears” I am sure brought tears to many an eye in the Barbican. Other highlights from the new record were, for me “Love And Fear”, “The Longing”, “Should’ve Been Me” and “How Bad Can A Good Girl Be”. I love “Human” and it is one of my favourite tracks from the album, but live it transcends its recorded version by a mile, a stupendous song.

The encore featured a fragile and beautiful acoustic version of “Girl I Used To Be” followed by a magnificent cover of the Shangri-Las “Remember (Walking In The Sand)”. Just when we thought the night had ended on a high the band powered into another new song, “Game Changer” and pretty much everyone was up and bopping to that. I hope that I don’t have to wait more than five years for my next Imelda May gig, because this lady gets better and better.

Just a brief word about the talented support act Irish singer songwriter Jack Lukeman. It didn’t take him long to have pretty much the whole audience participating in some great singalongs, a very brave move for a support act, but one that paid off incredibly well. His cover of Jacques Brel’s “Amsterdam” is one of the best that I have ever heard of that classic song. And finally a brief shout out to the sound in the Barbican, sometimes I have felt let down by the sound quality at this venue, but tonight I would give it an eleven out of ten.

Public Service Announcement – all the pictures were found via Google searches and the videos are all on YouTube. I took no pictures or video myself, because why would I miss such a stunning gig by hiding behind my phone?
 

“I was defeated you won the war” May 14, 2017


OK I would love to say that I was really disappointed to miss the Eurovision Song Contest, but I would be lying. I was at a thoroughly enjoyable Murder Mystery Night at a friends house in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care. I can confirm that I was not the murderer. Anyway I hear that this years UK entrant Lucie Jones, a former X Factor contestant, did very well. Fifteenth place with 111 votes for a UK entry is truly exceptional. In fact it is the best points haul since Blue in 2011. Well done Lucie. Incidentally Portugal won the contest with a somewhat dirgy ballad called “Amar Pelos Dois” by Salvador Sadal.

Given that us Brits treat the whole Eurovision thing with a healthy dose of irony and sarcasm I thought that it was worth pointing out that we, well our nation’s voting panels, are not very smart. Back in 1974 when Abba won the contest in Brighton with perhaps one of Eurovision’s finest winners, “Waterloo” the UK jury at the time gave them nul points. Yes although we took the Swedish pop maestros to our hearts afterwards, we never voted for them at the time. So maybe we are not as smart as we think we are! What do you think?

 

“I could see no maze to unwind” May 4, 2017

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 5:54 pm
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Procol Harum were allegedly named after their drug dealer’s Burmese cat. So where did the cat get it’s name from then? Well I understand that Procol is the breeder’s prefix. If you know more than that or different then feel free to comment!

 

Strawberries, the Howl & the Hum, Naked 6 and Violet Contours – Fibbers, York – Wednesday 19th April 2017 April 20, 2017


How can you go wrong with a ticket price of £5 (£7 on the door) for four bands? Well you can’t really can you? At Fibbers too. This was another gig recommended to me by the talented Mr Simon Pattinson, pity our poor communication meant he didn’t make it though because it was a proper pedal to the metal, balls to the wall rock night.

Violet Contours

Up first were Violet Contours with their jangly indie pop that carries a great northern edge. At times they channel Kings Of Leon and Orange Juice. “Electric Bodies” is a phenomenal début release. It is rich, vibrant and hangs around in your brain much longer than lesser songs.

Naked 6

Now Naked 6 is a band that I first saw a few months ago at the Crescent in York and I thought they were darned good then. I bought my ticket from the band’s bass player extraordinaire Caleb tonight. What a top bloke! Do you like your rock hard? Do you like some funk in your rock? Do you love a band that knows how to rock out and I mean really rock out? Well look no further than the mighty, magnificent music machine that is Naked 6. This is the 21st century Led Zep. How the fuck do three people make so much noise? They made my ears bleed, but in the best possible way. To top it all off I swear that their very metal version of “I Wanna Be Like You” is like nothing that you have ever heard before.

The Howl and the Hum

I must confess that I have never come across the Howl and the Hum before. What are they like? Think Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, the Doors without Manzarek and maybe the Villagers then you are part way to understanding this complex band with simple songs that sound like stunning and sharp icicles of left-field rock. They know how to build a song from a soft, laid back start into a pile driving crescendo. I reckon this lot could be the house band in David Lynch‘s ‘Twin Peaks‘.

The Strawberries

Now for the main attraction, how on earth could the Strawberries follow such a powerful line up? With aplomb, power, guts, swagger and some pretty tasty tunes. They are clearly one of the finest bands from Leeds at the moment. I’m gutted that I missed them on the Jack Rocks stage at the Leeds Festival last year, let’s hope they will be there again this year. They draw on the most psychedelic aspects of Primal Scream and they take the audience by the scruff of their dirty necks and slap them into submission with some amazing tunes. “Caramel Eyes” was a particular favourite of mine. This is the band that Oasis might have become had they not blown it after the first two albums. I bought the Strawberries EP with its individually hand crafted cover and it is a super charged 15 minutes from a band with a great future.

You really need to get out and catch any of these four bands playing live. You will not be disappointed whichever one you choose!

A public service announcement – all the pictures are from my nifty little Chinese phone and the videos are all courtesy of YouTube.

 

Crawl Space – Tei Shi March 24, 2017

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:19 pm
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Click here to read my review of the delightful new album from Tei Shi and a big thank you to those busy folk over at subba cultcha for letting me review it!

 

“He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack” March 23, 2017

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 11:12 pm
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The Voyager space probe has a golden disc which features sounds of the earth from nature, speech and music to enable  an alien race somewhere else in the universe to find out a little about us if they come across the probe. There is classical music from Mozart, traditional Bulgarian music from Valya Balkanska, Blues from Blind Willie Johnson and on top of all that there is the late, great Chuck Berry with “Johnny B Goode“. Apparently Chuck was included after EMI refused permission for the Beatles “Here Comes The Sun” to be a part of Voyager. Seriously EMI why would you do that? Amazingly Voyager 1 is now more than ten billion miles from earth, I wonder what our alien friends will make of Mr Berry?

 

 
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