With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“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

 

La Petite Mort, Bull, Avalanche Party and Asio’s Eyes – The Duchess, York – Friday 31st July 2015 August 1, 2015


Yet another gig recommended by my good friend Simon Pattinson and yet another one that he has got absolutely spot on. I am sure that he might get it wrong one day, but he certainly didn’t this time. It was also good to catch up with Mike Harrison as well. Once again it was a bargain, no more than five quid for four bands. How good is that?

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First up were the magnificent Asio’s Eyes. Imagine Pink Floyd with a lot more punk and funk, perhaps joined by members of the original Parliament/ Funkadelic troupe, a couple of the Damned, add into this the Beatles at their most experimental, are you still with me? Good! Now all you need to do is add a massive dose of psychedelia. Stick all that in the blender, mix it with a few narcotics of some kind and you might well get Asio’s Eyes. Either way I have to say that this band is truly brilliant. It would be fair to say that I have never seen a more psychedelic band (perhaps until later into this gig at least!). I you have never seen them I suggest that you get off your arse and seek them out.

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Next up were a band that regular readers of this blog will be very familiar with, the majestic Avalanche Party. One day I will watch them play and walk away thinking that they were far better the last time I saw them. Today was most definitely not that day! How the fuck does a band manage to get so much better every time I see them? I don’t know the answer to that, you’d better ask the boys in Avalanche Party. They were ably assisted tonight by a very talented guitarist from tonight’s head-liners Le Petit Mort. The old classics like “Mountains” were there along with new classics like “Money”. They played a great new song (apologies guys but I didn’t catch the title) and Jordan made another of his excellent incursions into the audience. If you still haven’t seen the amazing Avalanche Party then you haven’t been listening to me. Listen now and get out and bloody see them. That is an order!

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Bull were on stage next and their membership includes two members of Worm, whose EP launch I saw at the Inkwell in Gillygate a few weeks back. Simon said that he thought that they sounded a little like the Strokes. He might be right but I saw much more than that. I think there are definitely elements of Frank Black and Bob Mould and even the more experimental R.E.M. tracks. A really exciting and punky band. I would definitely pay to see them again and I urge you to do the same. They are very tight with a really crisp sound and their musicianship is exemplary. Check them out now people!

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OK so up until this point Asio’s Eyes were probably the most psychedelic band that I had ever seen. But then came the amazingly bizarre La Petite Mort. When people describe a band or someone as being “out there” I don’t think that they truly grasp what they are saying. But trust me, if there is an “out there” thermometer then La Petite Mort would blow the mercury right out of the top of it. Even if I wanted to say something negative about this band (and I don’t) then I would have to lie. Their playing and their stage presence is something to behold. This is a band that would be perfect for closing the Festival Republic stage at Reading/ Leeds. Are you listening festival organisers. La Petite Mort pull out everything in putting on a show. Guitars, bass and drums obviously. But also saxophone and sitar. On top of that they were joined by members of Asio’s Eyes for a proper bonkers final couple of songs. They finally left the stage after the drums were kicked over and a guitar was hung from one of the lights. If you like your music psychedelic and your bands somewhat mad then La Petite Mort are right up your street. They are definitely on my street and frankly I would go and see them again tomorrow if the opportunity arose. Can I compare them to any other acts or can I slot them into a genre? Nope I don’t think I can. But I can say that they are easily among one of the best bands that I have ever seen!

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Finally it’s the public service announcements. None of the videos were filmed by me (all were available on YouTube) and all of the pictures were taken by me on my Nokia Lumia (can I have a new phone for the shout out please Nokia?). Also I had a chat with Tom, the bass player off of Asio’s Eyes and he is a top bloke. To the boys in Avalanche Party, sorry I didn’t get to spend a bit more time with you and where is my physical copy of the EP? 🙂

 

“Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie” March 25, 2015


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I reckon there are plenty of links between the Beatles and Pink Floyd. But here are a couple that I heard lately. The till (or cash register to my chums across the big pond) that you can hear on the Fab Four’s “Yellow Submarine” was the same one that the Floyd used on “Money” from ‘Dark Side Of The Moon‘.

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But my favourite relates to the drawing by a very young Julian Lennon that inspired the Beatles’ “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” is now owned by Pink Floyd’s guitar genius, Dave Gilmour!

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Reading Festival 2013 – Day 2 – Saturday 24th August August 25, 2013


We’ve made it to day 2 once again and so has the rain. But it wasn’t too bad when we arrived and we have never let the weather dampen our spirits before so we won’t this weekend either. We had earlier decided to spend most of the day in the NME/ Radio 1 tent; not because of the weather though. It was what looked like a great line up that drew us in. Was it a great line up in reality? Well you’re going to have to read on to find out aren’t you.

Sadly we missed Childhood (that’s the band and not our formative years). But we arrived in plenty of time to see the very fresh and very funky Theme Park. If you owned a giant blender that blended music you would need to add Talking Heads, Haircut 100, Fine Young Canibals and a dash of x factor to create this excellent band. I mean the true x factor, not the shit peddled by ITV in the disguise of a talent show. I can feel a Theme Park download or two coming on when I get home.

Then from New York we had the very original Darwin Deez. From their boy band/ Motown formation funky dancing routine interludes to their gutsy, funky, dirty rock sound they were tremendous. The crowd, including me and my good friend Nick loved them. If you have not heard them yet then you really should check them out because deez boyz are good. (Sorry I couldn’t resist that). Deaf Havana were the next band to arrive and oh boy did they arrive with a bang. Their lead singer told us at one point that they made honest music, i.e. without backing tracks. So for today these are my first  does what it says on the tin act. They have energy, funk (we have seen a lot of that this year so far), style, great songs and a really tight band. Their album comes out next month and I for one will be downloading it. Deaf Havana; not deaf, not from Havana, but for being such a great live band they deserve the finest cigars Cuba can offer.

Were Deaf Havana referring to Modestep when they talked about honest music and not using backing tracks? Possibly not but Modestep did use a lot of preprogrammed backing and samples. But let me clear this is not a band into lip synching. They had the deepest bass sound of the festival so far. It was so deep you could feel your internal organs start to melt. They were also incredibly loud. They really used the full power of smoke and pyrotechnic flame bursts too. For me they ought to be in the Guinness Book of Records for the most mentions of Reading in their interaction with the crowd. If I had to describe their sound I would say it suggest the kind of noise you might hear if the Prodigy had a bum sex orgy with Enter Shikari while being filmed by Lemmy Kilminster. Incidentally they seem to have a fanatically loyal following and the tent was packed very tight. Especially when the circle pits broke out. They were very good, but not the sort of band I would listen to outside the confines of a festival. But they probably had the most energetic crowd of the day too. Interestingly like many bands appearing in recent years they used to come to this festival as punters.

The Palma Violets were lively and punky and were clearly up for a good time and they gave us all a great time. Similar to Modestep these guys were festival goers who in fact met here four years ago at camp site Yellow 7. Is there anyone there this year who will be on stage in a few years? If they are this good then let’s hope so. You would n,t see this bunch as a blues band but I was interested to see that one of their vocalists was sporting a B B King t-shirt. You don’t get many of those at Reading do you? I would advise you to check out the Palma Violets, you won’t be disappointed. Can I ask who is Harry Violet please?

One of the acts I had been looking forward to this year was Johnny Marr, or according to a t-shirt I saw Johnny Fucking Marr. This was does what it says on the tin moment number 2 for me today. Although Johnny has a much bigger tin to draw from than many others. His new solo stuff sounds pretty fresh and vibrant. He also played a great cover of “I Fought The Law”. But of course this crowd was by far the most middle-aged of the day and there were mass outbreaks of Morrissey-like Dad dancing throughout the set especially when Johnny played a few songs from a band he once was in. You might have heard of them, they were called the Smiths! He played a number of Smiths songs including “Stop Me If You Heard This One Before”, “Big Mouth Strikes Again”, “How Soon Is Now”, “This Charming Man” and the set closer was a really heartfelt version of the delectable “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”. This had us all singing along at the top of our lungs. On the count of three now, ‘if a double-decker bus crashes into us…….’

How had the Imagine Dragons had passed me by up to now I do not know. But I am glad I have found them now. They could be the most percussive band on the planet right now. There are elements of Arcade Fire and the Killers in their sound. They are in fact from Las Vegas just like the Killers. Their songs are powerful, catchy and memorable. I may just have to download their album as well. I would definitely pay to see these guys again as you should! What can I say about Tame Impala? They certainly seemed to channel Pink Floyd with a blend of dance music. Their psychedelic screen shows were brilliant. Their lighting almost suggests that they don’t really want to be seen. Their sound is based around extended psychedelic wig-outs wer excellent but it does make you wonder how the hell they rehearse their stuff. A fab band though.

Someone else I was looking forward to seeing, having seen him in York earlier this year was Jake Bugg. He did not disappoint he played a great selection from his first album and a couple of new songs that will probably form a part of his second. His acoustic version of “Broken” was emotional and incredible. Was there anyone who was not singing along? I doubt it. He also played a storming cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My”. Which magnificently made up for Neil cancelling on me last weekend. I am looking forward even more to Jake’s second album even more now. If you have never heard Jake Bugg, then where the bloody hell have you been?

Just after Jake Nick and I were joined by a woman who we believe was very much under the influence of something; more likely substance than alcohol. Her name was Amy and she decided that Nick and I were her new best mates. Her 14-year-old daughter and her niece were also at the festival but she seemed to have no idea where and no idea as to how to contact them. Nick was going to stay to watch Alt-J (and incidentally he tells me they were fantastic, really energetic and the crowd loved them) and I was going to the main stage for Eminem. Amy wasn’t going anywhere on her own and I drew the short straw as she accompanied me to see Mr Mathers. In fact she stayed with us until we left the arena; we left her at the taxi rank. Amy we hope that you got home ok. Anyway back to the music. I missed the first part of Eminem’s set as it clashed with Mr Bugg. But what I did see was fantastic. When I saw him here in 2002 I was a little disappointed and I felt that he could have been better. He was so much better this year. All the hits were there; including a great version of “Stan” with an appearance from Dido to reprise her previously sampled vocal live. The pinnacle of Marshall’s performance though was the encore and closer “Lose Yourself”. How good is that song? So we’re now two-thirds of the way through the 2013 festival and it has been superb so far. Bring on day 3.

 

“Who takes all the glory and none of the shame” April 8, 2013


I won’t say much about the death of the grocer‘s daughter, I will just let the music speak for itself!

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WOW – A Celebration of the Music and Artistry of Kate Bush – Grand Opera House York – Thursday 7th March 2013 March 8, 2013


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I can count on one hand the amount of tribute acts I have seen in my lifetime. Before last night it was just two; The Bootleg Beatles and The Wall a Pink Floyd tribute band. Both were very good. However in my opinion both were surpassed by the excellent show I saw at the Grand Opera House in York last night. It was titled ‘WOW – A Celebration of the Music and Artistry of Kate Bush’. The fact that Kate Bush is such an original and unique solo artist means that any attempt at a decent tribute to her would be difficult. However 36 year Maaike Breijman from Holland pulled it off impeccably well.

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She has a resemblance to Kate and a similar vocal style. She is also an excellent all round performer and she proved this by singing, dancing and playing the night away. She didn’t only focus on Kate Bush’s greatest hits although most of them were there. The overall show, including a brief interval, was close to two hours long. I lost count of the costume changes Breijman undertook but every one of them worked. Her band was superb as were the two male dancers that accompanied her for most songs.

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She seemed to draw her influence for the performances from film of Kate’s one and only tour and the videos for the later songs. The show included a terrific light show and some excellent projections and props. Including the weather machine from the ‘Cloudbusting‘ video. I particularly loved her performances of “The Wedding List”, “The Big Sky”, “Wow” and “Babooshka“. She also brought things a little more up to date with an excellent version of the 2005 hit “King Of The Mountain”. The theatrical staging of “Breathing” from inside a womb was pretty impressive too.

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The two most exceptional moments for me were her wonderful rendition of “this Womans Work” whilst accompanying herself on the piano and the obvious choise for closing the show, the incredible “Wuthering Heights”. It is highly unlikely that we will ever get to see the real Kate Bush play live now, although to be fair whoever thought David Bowie would release a new album? But in the absence from the stage of Kate Bush I can definitely recommend Maaike Breijman. The only disappointment for me was how few people there were in the audience. When she tours again I order you to do your utmost to see her. Sell your Granny, send your kids to sweep chimneys, do whatever it takes just make sure you are there for Maaike’s next tour. That’s an order ok! Click here to find the WOW website.

 

“I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon” November 29, 2012


Based upon information released recently it is alleged that the US Government had planned to blow up the moon in the late 50s as a means of intimidating their nemesis in the Cold War, the Soviet Union. After the Russians effectively took the lead in the Space Race with the launch of Sputnik in 1957 it was apparently believed that a show of strength like blowing up the moon would really scare the Russians. Apparently it was called ‘A Study of Lunar Research Flights’ or ‘Project A119‘. Even that sounds a little James Bond like doesn’t it?

It really does seem like a crackpot scheme and it is unlikely at the time that anyone possessed enough in their nuclear arsenal to actually complete the task. At best it might have left the man in the moon looking more like the elephant Man and the satellite’s surface covered in high levels of radiation. In addition any debris that fell to earth would almost certainly have been radioactive as well.

I wonder if this idea came from the same think tank that thought of the idea of using an explosive cigar to blow up Fidel Castro or to rig the voting in Florida in 2000 in favour of Dubya. Ooops wait a minute that second one was true wasn’t it? had it happened then Neil Armstrong probably wouldn’t have been there to utter his famous ‘one step for man’ line. But then again maybe it did happen and didn’t work very well other than to make the moon radioactive. That would certainly give more credence to those people who believe the moon landings were faked and took place in a film studio directed by Stanley Kubrick.

I’d love to know what you think of this incredibly stupid, yet potentially real plan of  Eisenhower’s government. Bearing in mind that his Vice President was Tricky Dicky Nixon, maybe it isn’t surprising! Anyway as I have said many times before so here are a few songs that may not have happened or certainly wouldn’t have been the same had the moon been blown to smithereens, feel free to add your own moon related songs.

Apologies but there are two kiddie fiddlers for the price of one on this next one!

And finally a special Billy Bonus, my favourite track from Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark side Of The Moon’; “Brain Damage”

 

 
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