With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

The Damned – Fibbers, York – Wednesday 3rd August 2016 August 4, 2016

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 5:11 pm
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Wow, two Fibbers gigs in eight days. Not bad for an old bloke, well two old blokes actually as I was joined by my good friend Simon Hernaman for Ash (supported by Tax The Heat) last week and the Damned (supported by Dohnut) this week. Let me start with tonight’s very different and majestically magnificent support band Dohnut (formerly known as Eating Disorder). What can I say? Well if you like a bit of politics and a bit of an edge to your music then look no further. This band are true performers who seem to enjoy themselves immensely on stage. I’m not familiar enough to name all their songs but I have bought their album ‘Eat More Cake’ and on first listen that sounds bloody good, so much so that I am now really looking forward to their new album ‘I Scream You Scream’ due out in October. I also bought myself a Dohnut tea towel, how many bands have that in their merchandise collection eh? “We Are Dohnut” is a fabulous song with a resonance similar to Devo’s “We Are Devo”. It is a reworking of a Die Antwoord song and it works incredibly well. At times they reminded me of one of my favourite bands of all time, the KLF. You really ought to check Dohnut out.

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So on to the main event, the Damned, long running UK punk stalwarts. I first saw them in 1977 and last saw them in 1978. That was so long ago that I was still in my teens. For all the gigs that I have seen in my life I don’t believe that I have ever seen so many middle-aged men in a mosh circle. Incidentally that didn’t include me; not because I’m not middle-aged, just because I’m not sure I could take such a beating anymore! The personnel have changed since I last saw them. The only original members are Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible. Brian James and Rat Scabies left some time ago. But this really doesn’t diminish their power. They are a band who knows how to play really well and perhaps more importantly they know how to work their largely fanatical audience.

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All the old favourites were played, I especially enjoyed the early set rendition of “Love Song“. Then we had “New Rose” and “Neat, Neat, Neat” obviously, because how can they not play those two? Both songs have retained their power and freshness for around forty years. Their 1986 hit cover of Paul and Barry Ryan’s sixties classic “Eloise” is a phenomenal live attraction. Part of their encore was another sixties cover, this time “Alone Again Or” by the sublime Love, Arthur Lee’s little combo. The Damned make the song very much their own on the night. This is a band that in the case of the Captain and Dave Vanian have known each other a lifetime and that is very much apparent by their humorous on stage banter. But more recent members Monty Oxymoron on keyboards, Bass player Stu West and Pinch on the drums fit in perfectly and make them a really tight and well rehearsed unit. They took the Fibbers roof off with a stunning version of “Smash It Up” to close the show. It is clear that the Damned still have it and it was a great night for everyone there, even the woman who was a dead ringer for Theresa May. Except for a woman behind us who was disappointed with the show. Really? Personally I think there must be something wrong with her!

 

Tax The Heat (supporting Ash) – Fibbers, York – Tuesday 26th July 2016 July 29, 2016

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:12 pm
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tth

Click here for a link to my review of Tax The Heat in their support slot for Ash a few days ago. Thank you to those lovely folk at subba-cultcha for giving me the opportunity. I hope that you enjoy the review but even more I hope you explore Tax The Heat a bit further. I am sure that you won’t be disappointed. It was also good to catch up with my old mate Simon Hernaman for the gig! Look out for the two of us old blokes at another Fibbers event very soon (The Damned next week!)

 

Latitude Festival 2016 Day 3 Sunday 17th July July 27, 2016


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The final day at Latitude, really? Where on earth did the time go? Wherever it went I had a great time, even on day three. Catwoman went to have a massage today, yes a massage, that is how diverse this festival is. Meanwhile I visited the comedy tent to see Spencer Jones. He is like an adult Punch and Judy show. Whilst he has some very clever visual comedy I personally think that his act was incredibly over long at thirty minutes, but the crowd seemed to love him. I met up with Catwoman and some of the gang for a wander across to the Cabaret tent for one of the highlights of the weekend. Tina C – Herstory; redneck, white trash (it ain’t a colour thing it’s a state of mind), country and western hoe down comedy. Who knew a drag act could be this good? Give me a HELL YEAH!

I dropped by the Lake Stage and caught most of a stunning set from Martha Ffion. It was like Orange Juice had been blended with Altered Images and dusted with some 21st century sparkle. Bloody brilliant! I may have only been there for a short part of Laura Mvula’s Obelisk Arena set, but oh boy this lady oozes class. Jamie Woon was next at the recommendation of Claire (thank you!). He sings very modern R & B that is clearly rooted in old skool soul music. At times he reminded me of the Groove Corporation. Does anyone else remember them? I often go and see a band whose name I like, even if I have never heard of them before. That is why I found myself at the Sunrise Arena again. This time for Little Green Cars. They are a great American band who play highly charged and often emotional rock songs with pitch perfect harmonies. A little like Vampire Weekend but without the African style guitar sound. The BBC 6 Music stage hosted someone who I haven’t seen live for quite a few years, Roots Manuva. He is living proof that British Rap works, especially with such a tight band behind him.

Then it was off to pay my final visit to the Obelisk Arena a.k.a. the main stage. The Lumineers were on. I thought that they were pretty good although perhaps a little too ‘safe’ for me. I also feel that the Lumineers could be one of those bands that is far better live than on record. They were followed by M83 (is it eight three or eighty-three?). I saw them some years ago at the Reading Festival and they are clearly a very good band. But personally I was surprised that they were so high up the bill. M83 are a very original band who may be influenced by the likes of Coldplay. In the meantime I believe that Imagine Dragons and Bastille among others may just owe a little debt to them. The evening was wrapped up, for me at least, by a stonking set from soon to be scouse superstars Clean Cut Kid at the Lake Stage. Can we see them on a bigger stage next year please? So then it was back to our canvas mansion for cheese, wine and a major mosquito attack, okay maybe it was horseflies but they certainly pack a nasty bite (or sting or whatever). In summary I actually enjoyed camping, I loved the great company and I love this splendid festival even if I am working class and therefore technically shouldn’t fit in. Catwoman and I will be back next year provided that the rest of our gang believe that we passed the audition and the initiation!

 

Latitude Festival 2016 Day 2 Saturday 16th July July 26, 2016


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I think I enjoy camping, and camping it up as well, obviously! The lack of a shower over this whole weekend was not something I looked forward to, but one lives with it and let’s face it, it is very much a first world problem. After another delightful breakfast with the gang we set off to the main site where I started the day with a delicious Dirty Chai. If you haven’t read my previous posts I should point out that this is nothing perverted, it is simply a Chai Latte with on or two shots of Espresso added to it. Many of us kicked the day off in the Literature tent for an overview of ‘The Life Project’ by Helen Pearson. It is about a study that began in 1946 that included all the babies born in a particular week in March and staying in touch with them to understand their development throughout the years. The exercise was repeated every twelve years with two notable exceptions; 1982 and 2016. The reasons for those gaps in the study seem largely to be the Thatcher government and current austerity measures respectively. Nonetheless this remains the biggest study of its kind ever.

Oh wait? Did I not tell you that Latitude has pink sheep? (Photo courtesy of my delightful, delovely wife Catwoman a.k.a Catherine)

Oh wait? Did I not tell you that Latitude has pink sheep? (Photo courtesy of my delightful, delovely wife Catwoman a.k.a Catherine)

After that I thought I needed a musical interlude so I wandered off to the Sunshine Arena for Pumarosa. They delivered a very festival friendly summer sound. A kind of dreamy hypno-trance. Is that a new combo genre? I really don’t know. But if you want a reference point I found them musically reminiscent of the Beloved. Pumarosa’s lead vocalist is a supremely talented singer and a musical whirling dervish to boot. I look forward to seeing this band again some time. Being British the next thing I did was very stereotypical. I saw a queue near the Alcove stage and joined it thinking I was lining up to go into the Alcove. However I was wrong I was one of the lucky folk to visit the DIY Den for a brilliant acoustic set from the singer and mainstay of Frightened Rabbit. A really intimate set, I loved it and I think I might have become a Frightened Rabbit fan as a result.

frightened rabbit

I popped into the Comedy tent next where I caught a proper laugh out loud Aussie comedienne, Felicity Ward. But it was time for more music after that so I dashed across to the BBC 6 Music stage where I was hoping to see Ratboy, however the programme timings were wrong so I missed him. I did see the DMAs though who were bloody good. They offer a sunny indie pop sound with some great earworms in their sing along choruses. Back to the Sunrise Arena which I do believe is my favourite stage. Here I saw The Very Best. Now if you call your band The Very Best you either have to be very confident in your abilities or stupidly arrogant. This lot are most definitely not stupidly arrogant. Are they as good as their name suggests? Definitely and possibly even a bit better. They are made up of Swedish, British and Malawian musicians and as a result they take the best of Swedish Pop, the best of African music and they mix it up with an inherent ability to party. They handled a brief loss of sound immensely well with a quick switch to acoustic delivery. I loved their song “We Okay” which in my opinion deserves to become a festival anthem.

I made my first visit to the BBC Introducing stage after that to catch an excellent set from Vincent Burke a highly recommend friend of Barbara (one of our festival gang). He even got a decent round of applause for his sound check. I loved his songs and he has a great voice. He seemed a little nervous but clearly won the crowd over. I doubt that anyone walked away from his set disappointed, I certainly didn’t. His songs are terrific. “He Paid To Have Himself Murdered”is a truly excellent and quirky story song. He also has a truly moving protest song in “Remembrance Day”. It feels like Vincent comes from a long line of great British singer songwriters from Cat Stevens, through Clifford T Ward, Billy Bragg and many more. Next it was a must see for me in the Film and Music tent. This is one that I had really been looking forward to. Cassette Boy vs. DJ Rubbish, a comedy disco that was clever, topical, political, entertaining and truly bloody hilarious. I danced solidly for more than an hour. Can Latitude ever top this? I doubt it. All together now “all the dinner ladies, all the dinner ladies”.

vincent burke

Rob Auton’s Sleep Show was a highly rated event in the Poetry tent. It certainly succeeded in sending me to sleep. Th first few minutes were okay, but after that it was like watching paint dry. Thankfully there was still the Cabaret stage to come. This time for a fabulous set from Johnny Woo – The Glory. This was alternative, comedy entertainment at its best, especially the death of Princess Diana sketch. So the further demise of Diana it was time for the sun to set on another excellent day at Latitude and back to our tent corral for cheese and wine. Yes this is a truly brilliant festival, albeit a tad middle class!

 

 

Latitude Festival 2016 Day 1 Friday 15th July July 24, 2016


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So after my first night sleeping under canvas in forty years how did I feel? Pretty bloody good actually, but to be fair Catwoman and I do have a six man tent for just the two of us. On to day one of the Latitude Festival. First activity was a group breakfast with the whole crew and at the risk of sounding like a Trumpton role call that is; Catwoman, Andy, Rachel, Rachel, Sarah, Jo, Claire, Barbara, Allie and Mac. We all then walked to the main festival site for a group coffee and to my delight I found somewhere that could supply a really decent Dirty Chai (for the uninitiated that is a Chai Latte with a shot or two of Espresso). Until now I hadn’t perhaps realised the massive breadth of this festival. Everything from music to dance to theatre to cabaret to comedy to poetry to literature and more!

My first visit was to the Literature tent for a preview of an upcoming V & A exhibition; ‘You Say You Want A Revolution: Records and Rebels 1966-1970’. I am so looking forward to this exhibition which starts in September and runs through to February next year. Next came our first visit to the Cabaret tent for an act recommended by one of our gang, Rachel Vernelle. It was an all female comedy sketch act featuring three clearly very talented women. They are called Massive Dad (actually that would be a good name for a band wouldn’t it?) and I particularly enjoyed the sketch that very cleverly poked fun at the TV advertising industry. A few of us then rushed across to the comedy tent to see the highly rated Nick Helm. Quite who rates him this highly seems debatable to me. Personally I thought he was bloody awful. Listen Nick if you are going to litter your act with c-bombs and f-bombs then make it a little more smart and clever than you did. Even with our pathetic puerile schoolboy humour I believe that myself and my school friends back in the 70s were way more funny than you seem to be in 2016.

Next was my first visit to what was to become one of my favourite stages of the festival, the Sunrise Arena. I dragged Catwoman along with me to see the rather wonderfully named band Let’s Eat Grandma. I had never heard them before but in my opinion their name called out loudly that I should see them. I wasn’t disappointed either they have some great pop tunes wonderfully woven with electronica and orchestral sounds. An excellent festival band. One act that I had been particularly looking forward to was Canadian comedienne Katherine Ryan. I first got into her quite recently when she wrote a regular column for the NME. She did not disappoint. Her stories covered dead pets, Boris, Cheryl Cole a.k.a the nation’s sweetheart, circumcision, kids and the fourth best ass-hole. She was bloody brilliant with plenty of laugh out loud moments. Nick Helm watch and learn!

Next I was put into a proper mellow mood in the Alcove by the marvellous HANA. The hit you with gorgeous, chilled and soulful electronic music. Hana is effectively Montana native Hana Pestle. She is a gifted singer (and I mean oh boy can this girl sing!), songwriter and producer. She could already count Lorde as a fan and now she can count me as a fan too. I stayed in the Alcove to catch most of a set from another very talented songstress, Frances. I last saw her during Live In Leeds last year. She was good then and she is even better now. Her album which is due soon will, I am sure, be truly amazing. Halfway through day one before my first visit to the main stage a.k.a. the Obelisk Arena. I had wanted to see Aussie Courtney Barnett for some time having listened to her regularly on-line and having purchased a Record Store day vinyl release by her earlier this year. She fronts a really powerful trio who put immense muscle into the songs that support her lyrics which seem largely drawn from her life experiences. Courtney rocks big time!

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Then I found myself in the Film and Music tent where I caught a few Irish short film comedies. One of them featuring the aforementioned Katherine Ryan. Some excellent stuff. I had gone to this tent to see Adam Buxton‘s BUG special on David Bowie. Being a big Bowie fan myself I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. In fact I missed Father John Misty to see it. Adam provided a heartfelt and at times hilarious memorial to the sadly missed Dame. Adam, like me and millions of others, is clearly a big Bowie fan. The silent video of the awful Bowie Jagger Live Aid collaboration was priceless. After this I found myself back in the Literature tent with Catwoman for a talk, interview and book signing by Brix Smith off of the Fall and Adult Net among others. She has recently had her memoir published. What a fantastically honest, self-deprecating and amusing woman she is. Obviously I bought the book, had it signed by Brix and posed for the obligatory photo with her! After Brix it was the turn of comedienne Shappi Korshandi who was launching her first novel ‘Nina Is Not OK’. Shappi is a very amusing, very intelligent and very smart woman. I like her a lot. I didn’t buy the book this time, but Barbara Jennings did. After this it was back to our corralled tents for cheese and wine. That’s not too middle class is it? Anyway what surprised me most about day one was how little music I took in. There was simply so many other things to do.

 

Latitude Festival 2016 Day 0 Thursday 14th July July 22, 2016

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 8:45 pm
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I need to let you into a little secret dear reader, well a few secrets actually. This is the first time that I have ever been to the Latitude Festival. Did I enjoy it? Well you’ll need to read this and the next few posts to find out. Despite attending my first festival in 1975 (Reading and I remember Osibisa and also crawling under the fence to get in for free) this year at Latitude was the first time that I have ever camped at a festival and there have been many. But luckily enough I always had somewhere to stay or could drive there and back. I’ve camped it up a bit at festivals previously though, obviously. In fact this is the first time that I have camped for forty years.

So on to Latitude, why is this post day zero? Well the business end of the festival doesn’t really start until the Friday does it. Myself and my delightful wife Catherine (a.k.a. Catwoman) set out in the morning for what became a five-hour drive having packed our tent, which was potentially among the biggest on site and far too many wet wipes and books! Thursday was largely an orienteering day where we discovered the delights that the festival site would hold for us in the next few days. We were invited here by our great friends Rachel and Andy who have been regulars at Latitude for at least five years. We were joined by a wider group of fabulous people in addition; Mac, Allie, Sarah, Rachel (another one), Jo, Claire and Barbara. What a fab bunch of people this lot are, it was a pleasure to be a part of such a great group.

Despite it only being day zero we did get to see some acts. Firstly some incredible dancers. We may have been attracted to see them by the sadly unfounded rumour that they were naked. In fact they were fully covered in silver body suits. The sort of attire that if worn by me would make you think there was a silver blob on site! Catwoman and I ended the evening In The Woods (it was a stage, nothing weird ok). We went to see and listen to Mucho Soul and Size Doesn’t Matter Present the Vinyl Frontier. In effect a DJ sound clash using only vinyl. I had hoped for loads of really old skool 60s and 70s soul, but maybe that came along after we left. But then I did get to hear Warren G‘s “Regulate” again. That tune is now twenty-two years old which I guess means that it really is old skool and I am even older skool! I love this festival so far!

Look out for more posts about my time at Latitude soon!

 

Good Charlotte – Youth Authority

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 5:48 pm
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Youth_Authority

Click here to read my review of Good Charlotte’s new album ‘Youth Authority’ This review was made possible by those lovely people at subba-cultcha.com. I hope you enjoy it!

 

 

 
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