With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

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.

 

Martha Reeves & the Vandellas – Fibbers, York – Tuesday 13th December 2016 December 21, 2016


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I last saw Martha Reeves many years ago, maybe late 70s or early 80s I guess. Probably in some cheesy nightclub in Luton or Dunstable. No doubt it was accompanied by chicken in a basket. While my memory of that night is not too clear I do recall that her singing voice was superb. So the opportunity to see her again in my adopted home town was not one that I was going to miss, especially at Fibbers which is a fantastic little venue. But before I talk about the magnificent Miss Martha Reeves let me tell you about the very talented support act. Eve Simpson is a singer songwriter from Newcastle with a collection of heartfelt, heartwarming and powerful songs. She sang them beautifully accompanied just by her acoustic guitar. I was captivated by this exceptionally bright performer. She put on a great show in spite of some of the audience being more interested in talking throughout her set. I always find it strange when people ignore a support act, but hey to each their own. Those talkers missed a treat! I was lucky enough to speak to Eve and her Mum and they are both lovely ladies. I bought a copy of Eve’s EP ‘Shelter’ and I have played it at least a dozen times already. You really need to check out Eve.

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Anyway so the main event is clearly what everyone was here for Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Martha was making music from around the time that I was born and had their first chart action when I was still only four years old. If I have half the energy that Martha has when I am 75 I will be ecstatic. She was on stage for around 90 minutes, with the Vandellas who are now made up of two of her sisters; Lois and Delphine Reeves. The band was a really tight and skilled unit too. Martha really knows how to work an audience and her between song chat was highly entertaining.

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All the classic Motown hits were on show including; “Come And Get These Memories” and “Nowhere To Run”. My particular highlight was a stunning version of my favourite Martha and the Vandellas song, “(Love Is Like A) Heatwave”. But “Dancing In The Street” was a very close second. To hear Martha sing that song live really exposes how embarrassing the Bowie and Jagger version was in 1985. The audience pretty much danced the whole night long, I certainly did, spending most of my time right in front of the stage. The song that brought out the best ‘dance like nobody is watching’ moment in me was definitely “Jimmy Mack” and their superb run through of the Jackie Wilson classic “Higher And Higher”. Their version of Marvin Gaye’s gorgeous “What’s Going On” was beautiful in its extended jazz jam style too. The most emotional point was, I think, the stunning and soulful “No One There” which was written by Johnny Bristol.

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At the end of the show Martha, Lois and Delphine came out to meet the fans and sign some photographs and CDs. Obviously I wasn’t going to miss that. I had them all sign the two CDs and group picture that I bought. I was also able to have a little chat with Martha herself. I thanked her for the show and told her how impressed I was that she was drinking a pint of Guinness. I also told her that I have always felt that her version of Van Morrison‘s “Wild Night” is in my opinion the best ever cover of a Van Morrison song. She gave me a big smile for that! I for one will definitely being going to see Martha the next time she tours in the UK and I suggest that you do the same. You will not be disappointed!

 

Buzzcocks – Fibbers, York – Thursday 6th October 2016 October 7, 2016

Filed under: Review,Uncategorized — justwilliam1959 @ 12:56 pm
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I love bringing people together at gigs especially my friends that haven’t met before. At Fibbers tonight I was joined by my good mates John Williams and Simon Hernaman for an excellent night of great music and punk nostalgia. I also got to meet a fellow blogger, a lovely young lady named Louise who wants to be a music journalist. Well based on her blog I think she has a good chance. Click here to check ot the marvellous stylusblog. La Bête Blooms from Hull were the support band and what a darned good warm up act they proved to be. Obviously with their name they are clearly from the posh end of Hull, well if there is one. But hopefully La Bête Blooms are a great pointer for what’s in store for Hull in its tenure as city of culture next year. they showed the influence of many great bands; Eddie and the Hot Rods, Magazine, Joy Division and even the Who. Their sound is a bit new wave, post-punk with a twist of more modern pop punk. The band’s engine room of drum and bass was a complete powerhouse and overlaid on that was the excellent vocals and guitar work from the other two band members. They really looked up for this gig and they seemed to be really enjoying themselves too. This is definitely a band to watch and one that I will certainly pay to see again. Click here to check their SoundCloud page out.

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Whilst the support were bloody good we were there for a punk band that has now been around for forty years. Does that make me feel old? Of course it bloody does, I was only seventeen when they formed. The band in question is of course one of Manchester’s finest, the magnificent Buzzcocks. I have only seen them once before and that was back in 1978 or 1979. For a band of this maturity you’d think that the energy levels might be a little low, but they were off the top of the scale. From when they hit the stage it was a relentless assault of many of their finest moments with no let up until they took a short pre-encore break after an hour of solid playing. The highlight in that first section for me was a truly dazzling rendition of “Autonomy”

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One thing that became very clear to me early on is that old punks never die, they just get older, dress like they always did and turn up for gigs like this. It really is a heart warming sight to see so many old school forty/ fifty something punks pogoing as if their life depended on it. While Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle are the mainstays of the band given that they have been around for so long it would be mean not to mention the excellent rhythm section of Chris Remmington on bass and Danny Farrant on drums. The pair have been with the band for eight years and ten years respectively and they underpin the excellent songs incredibly well. Like all of us who have been on the planet for so long Shelley and Diggle are definitely part of my generation, both are 61. But age does nothing to diminish their power and stage presence. Whilst Steve Diggle has aged incredibly well he seems to have morphed into a Postman Pat lookalike. (Thank you to John Williams for putting that thought in my head, now it won’t leave!)

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As for the Buzzcocks encore, it was simply stunning consisting of “What Do I Get”, a magnificently rousing (please note that I said rousing and not arousing ok) “Orgasm Addict” and obviously they were never going to get away with not playing “Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)”. That one came close to bringing the house down and many of us thought that perhaps it was all over for the night. But it wasn’t as the band laid waste to the audience with mightily stupendous version of “Harmony In My Head”. Fibbers is a great venue and the Buzzcocks remain a great band which makes a great combination for a great night!

Apologies about the evil, but thankfully dead, bastard who introduces the next video.

A brief(ish) public service announcement. All the photos apart from the first one were all taken on my shittly little Nokia Windows Phone. The first picture was helpfully supplied via a Goggle search and all the videos are courtesy of YouTube including the reasonably good quality adience recorded one from the actual gig!

 

 

 

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!)

 

China Shop Bull – Fibbers, York Thursday 28th January 2016 (Subba-Cultcha) January 29, 2016

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:42 pm
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Click here for my review of a set in York last night by the fabulous China Shop Bull from Leeds. I loved them and I hope that you do too.

 

Public Image Limited (PiL) – Fibbers, York – Tuesday 22nd September 2015 September 22, 2015


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To see a band like PiL is a great experience whatever the venue, however to see them somewhere as intimate as Fibbers is awesome. The crowd was perhaps mostly 40, 50 and 60-somethings including a couple of old punks that clearly haven’t moved on sartorially since 1977. But Lydon had all 600 of us in his hands whatever our age or fashion sense. He is a magnificent front man and someone who is impossible to imitate, although many have tried.

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The show kicked off with the two opening songs from the new album “Double Trouble” and “Know Now”. The band also played “The One” and an incredibly powerful version of “Corporate” from that same album. The band played supremely well and great credit must go to Lu Edmonds, Bruce Smith and Scott Firth. John Lydon himself was also on his absolute top form. He comes across like a punk librarian spliced with the genes of a Dalek and I mean that all in a good way. (How about John Lydon for the next Doctor Who?) His engagement with his audience is brilliant and his put down of a heckler was hilarious. Incidentally why do people pay to come to gigs and then heckle the band? But as Lydon said to him ” We’ve got your money, now fuck off”!

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Plenty of classic PiL cuts were played; “This Is Not A Love Song”, a stupendous run through “Death Disco“, “Poptones”, an inspirational “Warrior”and an excellent and funky rendition of “Deeper Water” from the ‘This Is PiL’ album. Quite a few times Lydon mentioned how hot it was on stage and I can certainly believe him because it was steaming in the audience. The band left the stage for five minutes before the encore and it was an encore worth waiting for. Kicking off with “Religion” followed by “Public Image” and closing with a rousing stomp through “Rise“. Was there anyone in the crowd that didn’t sing along to the last two? I don’t think so. Anger is an energy but there was far more energy than anger in the crowd. I’ve said this a lot recently, but this truly was one of the best gigs I have ever seen. Surpassing by a mile the last time I saw Public Image Limited in 1978 or 1979. If you have never seen PiL then I suggest that you rectify that now!

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Public Service Announcement (could that be a parallel band to Public Image Limited?) none of the pictures and video were taken by me at the gig because I watched it through my eyes and not through my mobile phone screen!

 

 
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