With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Cry Baby at the Crescent, York Friday 14th October 2016 October 18, 2016


It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to attend another Northern Radar show put on by good friend, the very talented Mr Simon Pattinson. I have attended many gigs that Simon has either put on or recommended and he has not let me down so far. At four quid for four bands did he let me down for the first time tonight? Well dear reader you will have to read on to find out.

kram

The first band on were Kram with a Grunge-like take on Royal Blood. The singer/ guitarist, knowingly or unknowingly, gave a nod to the late, great Kurt Cobain by taking to the stage in a dressing gown. A bit like Cobain did at the Reading Festival back in 1992 when he came on stage wearing a hospital gown. I was actually there for that too. But enough trivia and comparison, Kram are an excellent band. A versatile and skilled guitarist who possesses a great rock voice more than ably backed up by a drummer who really knows his way around a drum kit.

losttrends

Next up were Lost Trends from my adopted home city of York. How the hell have I not seen these blokes before? This mob sound really well rehearsed and watching them play I felt that they really knew rock history. Chatting to them afterwards about everything from the Beatles to Bowie and the Shadows to Radiohead it is very clear that they do. Lost Trends are very difficult to slot into a specific genre. They have a bit of indie, a touch of classic rock and are most definitely a band that you can dance to. They have the potential to become one of my and I hope your favourite bands. If I had left after their set I would have gone home happy. Oh and their excellent single “DJ” has been featured on racing ads on Channel 4, check it out at the end of this post.

nakedsix

The penultimate band of the evening were the Naked Six. If you like classic rock with a twist of 21st Century then this is definitely a band that you must see. Riffs reminiscent of Jimmy Page and vocals could grace many classic bands. Their songs were all incredibly powerful and the playing was stupendous. Given the right breaks the Naked Six have the potential to surpass the success of two of their famous fathers. Thank you for letting your boys get into a band Biff off of Saxon and Finley Quaye. If I had left home after the Naked Six I would have gone home bloody ecstatic. A mega monster of a band and one that I will definitely pay to see again.

crybaby

I didn’t envy Cry Baby having to follow three very talented and stunning bands. But they did it incredibly well and with great aplomb. The great thing about all of tonights bands is that they are all very different. Cry Baby perform classy indie rock n roll with influences from many sources; the Killers, Razorlight and the Arctic Monkeys. They have some well crafted songs and know how to put on a show. I am sure that I will see this lot again. I suggest that you, dear reader, should check out all the bands that I saw at this gig you will not be disappointed. Talking of disappointment, did Simon let me down tonight? What do you think? Of course he bloody didn’t this was yet another awesome Northern Radar show!

The usual public service announcement, all the pictures were taken using my shitty little Nokia phone and the video is courtesy of YouTube.

 

 

“The trial was a pig circus, he never had a chance” February 3, 2016


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The other day I decided to take a quick count of all the artists in my album collection where I have at least 10 albums by a single artist. I included CDs, LPs and cassettes (although the only non compilation cassettes that I have are David Bowie bootlegs). Oh and while I’m on bootleg recordings obviously I have included them whether they are live, studio outtakes or simply unreleased stuff. I have not included digital recordings. I was surprised to find that there are 4o artists where I have at least ten releases by them. The list is below, (artist followed by the number of albums) there are no real surprises for me, are you surprised at any on this list? Have you ever done anything similar? I have also added a song from each of the top ten artists 🙂

David Bowie 141
Bob Dylan 30
Johnny Nash 26
Bruce Springsteen 26
Beatles 25
Neil Young 25
Elton John 19
Bob Marley 19
U2 19
Rod Stewart 18
Pink Floyd 17
REM 17
Elvis Costello 15
The Eels 15
Prince 15
Paul Weller 15
Ryan Adams 14
Led Zeppelin 14
Madonna 14
The Clash 13
Elvis Presley 13
Radiohead 13
Kate Bush 12
Oasis 12
Lou Reed 12
Stevie Wonder 12
Morrissey 11
Tom Waits 11
ZZ Top 11
Jeff Buckley 10
Julian Cope 10
Johnny Cash 10
Michael Jackson 10
John Lennon 10
Manic Street Preachers 10
Kylie Minogue 10
Iggy Pop 10
Rolling Stones 10
Frank Turner 10
The Who 10

 

Black Lagoons, Broken Skulls, Mall Rats & Blind Eye – The Crescent, York – Friday 22nd January 2016 January 23, 2016


I once again had the pleasure of attending a gig set up by the fabulous Northern Radar a.k.a Simon Pattinson. It was at the Crescent in York a new community venue that I have not been to before. As usual with Simon’s shows the quality was top-notch. I have been to many gigs arranged by Simon and so far there has not been a bad one. No pressure for next time then Simon! Tonight’s bill featured two bands that I have seen before and two that were new to me. Incidentally it was great to catch up with Jordan Bell off of Avalanche Party, Mike Harrison, Joe Alexander and obviously Mr Pattinson himself.

blindeye

The proceedings were kicked off by the majestic power trio known as Blind Eye who I have seen before, the boys were fresh from recording their EP at a studio in Manchester. They gave us a couple of new songs that in a few years I am sure will be seen as Blind Eye classics; “Stained Glass Windows” and “Vultures”. Along with some of their older songs they also performed one of their customary covers, this time it was a thunderous run through of the Beatles classic “Come Together”. They even managed to incorporate a few lines of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” into the song. This band is truly fucking awesome, their EP I am sure will be off the scale good.

mallrats

OK now I want you to imagine a band that is a cross between the Velvet Underground with all of Andy Warhol’s arty-farty stuff removed and then crossed with Nirvana. Can you picture that? Good now think of that band’s drummer being a reincarnated John Bonham (not because they look the same but that they share the same pounding power. Do you have the picture in your mind? Can you imagine the sound that such a band would make? Excellent because that band Ladies and Gentlemen is the Mall Rats. A brilliant band whose closing song “Plunge Pool” was one of the most moshtastic of the whole evening.

broken skulls

The third act on tonight was another York band that I have seen before, the truly stupendous Broken Skulls. These two brothers come across like the Kings Of Leon genetically spliced with Royal Blood and then injected with a massive testosterone booster. How can two people make such a loud but beautiful noise? I really don’t know but they do. Maybe we need to ask them how they do it. Anyway it would be fair to say that they really owned the stage during their set.

blacklagoons

I have not had the pleasure of witnessing a show by the Black Lagoons before tonight so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Even more so when I cast my eyes on the band for the first time. The majority of them have probably never seen a razor. Not because they are hirsute with resplendent facial hair but because I don’t believe that some of them have started shaving yet. But don’t let that put you off, for whatever age they are, and frankly I don’t care, they are a stunning live act. What do they sound like? That is a difficult question to answer, but it is almost as though they have invented a new genre of music which I will call Prog Punk (or possibly Punk Prog). These lads can only get better in my opinion and they are very damned good already. I tried to imagine the Queens Of The Stone Age as a school band and that captured a degree of what the Black Lagoons are. On top of that they have a reborn Keith Moon on drums and the coolest, most serious faced bass player since John Entwistle. I recommend that you check out all of tonight’s bands. No wait I don’t recommend that you do it, I order you to do it!

Public Service announcement all the pictures were taken by me and the videos are courtesy of YouTube. However I couldn’t find a Mall Rats video, so if you can send me the link to one then feel free to do so 🙂

 

 

Apollo Festival York 2015 – Saturday 27th June 2015 July 2, 2015


apollo-festival-2015

Sadly I missed the first Apollo Festival back in 2013 and then last year I had to leave early so I missed the headliner. However this year I was there for the day and what a bloody good day it was! With something like 50 acts across 5 stages I was never going to be able to see everyone but I did see a fair few acts. I was there with my wonderful wife Catherine ak.a. Catwoman and our great friends John and Caron who brought their daughter and our Odd Daughter (that’s another story) Amelia with them. Amelia proved beyond doubt that she is indeed a 5-year-old dancing dynamo of perpetual motion. Anyway enough of us, who did I see?

apollo-york-2015-4-pint-milk

First up it was 4 Pint Milk in the Rick Witter tent. They are from Huntington School and seemed all of 16 (apologies if you’re older than that lads!). But they rock like they’re much older. The part of their set that John and I saw was cover versions, but damned good cover versions. Jake Bugg’s “Green Man”, the Smiths’ “This Charming Man”, Stone Roses “I Am The Resurrection” and my particular favourite, “Brianstorm” originally done by the Arctic Monkeys. I hope these boys succeed, they play really well and they have an excellent dour and dry northern wit.

Back at the main stage I only caught Fat Spatula’s last song. On the evidence of that I thought they sounded pretty good and I wished I could have heard more of them. I should add that Catwoman didn’t like them at all. Next on the main stage was the winner of this years Ainsty’s Got Talent contest, Beth Bryers. She undoubtedly has a great operatic style voice which she used over a number of dancey beats including Bastille. I get the appeal to some, however for me Beth is an acquired taste that I unfortunately didn’t acquire.

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Rime Suspex though were something else, absolutely brilliant in my opinion. A relatively simple set up of a guitarist, singer and rapper. They were also accompanied by a number of samples I think. Imagine if South Africa’s Die Antwoord came from Blackburn and had better rhymes, well that is Rime Suspex in my view.My particular favourites from their set were “Money” and “Sick And Tired”. Given the lyrical content I almost certainly support their sentiments and politics. They didn’t hit the spot for my friend John, but he has never been a fan of white rappers. But I’ll work on him! Anyway I would definitely pay to see Rime Suspex again.

Our first visit to the Access Music stage brought us Matt Philpot. For me he was a pretty average singer songwriter singing 70s with a mostly laid back 70s vibe. The highlight of his set was a reggaefied arrangement of Aha’s “Take On Me” which I enjoyed. Next we saw the Rusty Pegs who are a bit alt. country and come across like a slightly more Nashville version of Fairground Attraction. I quite liked them.

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On our return to the main stage the Happy Daggers were on. I missed the first part of their set but what I did see showed me that these fellows  are funkin’ good and I want more! Rupert Stroud was on next, he and his band were very tight and well rehearsed. He is a rock influenced singer songwriter and he is bloody good. Imagine James Blunt with bigger balls, well that is Rupert Stroud.

After that it was a quick hop across to the Access Music stage for the magnificent Barcode Zebra. I saw them play at last year’s Apollo Festival and they were very good then. This year they were even better. Soul, funk, rock, jazz all in a musical blender supported by a really skilful band and an immensely powerful vocalist. I certainly hope to see more of them.

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Now it was time for the wonderful Crybabycry on the main stage. They had been caught in traffic on their way, but believe me it was worth the wait. I saw them earlier this year in a tiny venue during Live In Leeds. On their performance then and at the Apollo Festival I will stick my neck out and say that I believe that they are one of the finest bands in the UK at the moment. Along with my other favourite UK bands; Avalanche Party, Colour Me Wednesday and the Tuts. Powerful three-piece Crybabycry deserve to be on bigger stages and if you don’t like them then I suggest that you pop out and get your hearing examined. Can we have them at Reading and Leeds please?

Awesome covers band the Mothers followed Crybabycry onto the main stage and they rocked their socks off. I danced near the stage for their whole set which included storming versions of songs by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, songs from the Stax back catalogue among many others. They were fucking brilliant and I might try to book them for my 60th birthday party, although that isn’t until January 2019. After that I paid a final visit to the Access Music Stage where Catwoman and I saw Armonia. They played some really chilled and laid back acoustic songs including a wonderful cover of Lordes’ “Royals”

Classic 90s scouse indie pop band Space were next on the main stage and they were blooming amazing. I had forgotten how many great songs they have recorded. Favourites like “Neighbourhood” and “Female Of The Species” were there along with some new songs and stuff that I have never heard before. There wasn’t a duff song in their set. My favourite is one that I hadn’t heard before, the rather fabulous “Boy In A Body Bag” which is a bloody fantastic tune.

carpets

Finally it was time for the head-liners the supremely talented Inspiral Carpets. I had seen them many years ago and they were always a band whose new release I would always check out. No other band of their generation rocks the Farsifa like these blokes do. The have some excellent songs in their canon including “Dragging Me Down”, “This Is How It Feels”, “Spitfire” and one of my all time favourite songs from any band or singer “Saturn Five”. Quite an appropriate song for the Apollo Festival don’t you think? The Inspiral Carpets used to refer to themselves as ‘cool as fuck’ and in my opinion they remain so. If you get a chance to see them you would be foolish not to.

apollo-yellow-mustang-inspiral-carpets-2

Finally let me say a big, big thank you to the organisers of the Apollo Festival especially Mr Apollo himself Stuart Kelly. Also a big shout out to my good friend Simon Pattinson who is on the organising team. Everything was brilliant folks, including the weather. If you change anything for next year then I suggest that you increase the food outlets and vary them a bit. Can I also offer to volunteer to help with organising Apollo 2016?

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This really is the final finally! If you haven’t done so already please click here to vote for the Apollo Festival in the Yorkshire Gig Guide Grass Roots Awards. I have!

Well given the weather it seemed somewhat appropriate :-)

Well given the weather it seemed somewhat appropriate 🙂

Public service announcement – none of the media contained in this post was filmed or photographed by me.

 

 

“I just don’t know where my home is anymore” May 6, 2015


errol brown

Hot Chocolate‘s lead singer Errol Brown has died from liver cancer at his home in the Bahamas, aged just 71. That is really sad news, Errol was an iconic figure from my youth. For me Hot Chocolate were a superb singles band, particularly back in the days when singles were all I could afford. I would always do what I could to buy any Hot Chocolate single as it came out. I once even bought a single that they released on the Beatles Apple label. I can even tell you were I bought that one, in the Harrods sale in 1976.

hot-chocolate

Their hits are pretty much all classics and the majority really haven’t dated at all. Even the non-hits are pretty darned good. In the mid 70s I bought a Hot Chocolate single called “Blue Night”, it wasn’t a hit. But the B-Side (ask your grandparents if you don’t know what a b-side is) is a song you might know; it was “You Sexy Thing”. It looks like the record company may have got it wrong when making that a B-side initially.

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Errol Brown and Hot Chocolate were a great band that were loved by many people. My thoughts go out to Errol’s family, friends and fans. Errol Brown RIP.

 

 

“Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues” April 17, 2015


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In 1996, Ringo Starr off of the Beatles (peace and love, peace and love) appeared in a Japanese advertisement for apple sauce (or was it apple juice?), which is apparently what “Ringo” means in Japanese.

Funny-pic-of-Ringo-with-glass-eyes-ringo-starr-18924031-229-221

 

“Looking through the bent backed tulips to see how the other half live” March 27, 2015


keep-calm-with-the-beatles

John Lennon was originally intending to give the name Glass Onion to a band that had been signed to the Beatles Apple record label. That didn’t happen and the band went on to become Badfinger. Oh well no matter….what! Oh and “Glass Onion” went on to become a song on the Beatles’ classic ‘White Album‘ from 1968. The song references at least five other Beatles songs too; “I Am The Walrus”, “Fool On The Hill“, “Fixing A Hole“, “Lady Madonna” and “Strawberry Fields Forever

badfingertop

lightsaber-beatles

 

 
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Mary Contrary

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Change of Thoughts

You become what you believe

Kendall F. Person

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