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MAKE SENSE OF THE SENSELESS ! / QUESTION THE QUESTIONABLE ! / SHOUT ABOVE THE NOISE !

Sunday, 7 September 2014

KNOX - The Vibrators / Urban Dogs / Fallen Angels (*ARTICLE / INTERVIEW*)



The Vibrators at Bowes Lyon House, Stevenage 1984. Pic: Unknown
I first met Knox back in 1984 when The Vibrators played at Bowes Lyon House in my home town, Stevenage. I interviewed him and the rest of the band for a fanzine I had being doing on and off since 1980. Unfortunately the last issue was never finished as I got myself a job so the interview was never published (although it can now be seen here on The Vibrators website) I only went for the job interview because it was in London, and the Unemployment office (or Job Centres as they now call them) paid for my train travel, and I thought it would be a good excuse to visit the smoke and buy a couple of albums from Virgin Records (This was before Richard Branson took over the world with his 'friendly capitalism') The two albums I bought were The Fallen Angels (Knox's album he recorded with members of Hanoi Rocks) and The Vibrators Alaska 127. I remember this because, some things you just remember, like being thirteen and hearing Baby, Baby on the radio back in 1977 and seeing them play Automatic Lover on TOTP a year later. The Vibrators were just as important to me as The Clash back then, and they still are.

The Vibrators were never a never a 'hip' 77 group; too old, too much hair, bandwagon jumpers (never mind Knox had been preforming this shit pre 76) they were outsiders in a movement of outsiders. Their debut album Pure Mania is a classic, as is it's follow up V2. The original bass player Pat Collier left the band after the first album. Pat became a producer, and still twiddles the knobs in the studio for The Vibrators to this day, as well as having recorder a variety of old and new Rock'nRollers over the years. Garry Tibbs replaced him for V2, after poor sales of the second album John Ellis left the band and became a hired guitar hand for a variety of bands. There was never to be a third album, just one more single Judy Says, before it all fell apart. Eddie carried on with the name and a new line-up featuring ex members of Eater and The Electric Chairs, and released a couple of singles; Disco In Moscow and Gimme Some Lovin' good as they were, it wasn't really The Vibrators. The voice that gave the band their edge (in my opinion) wasn't there.....Knox had gone solo.
Knox and The Trailer Trash Orchestra at The Victoria, Hitchin 2011 Pic: Haddy Webb

During the 80's as well as playing guitar for Alex Chilton and releasing two singles Gigolo Aunt and She's So Good Loooking) Knox worked with several second wave punk bands, producing The Fits Last Laugh E.P and recording with Chaotic Discord.
He also released an album  on Razor Records; Plutonium Express, a lost gem that is due to be re-released soon by Cleopatra Records. Knox also had the Fallen Angels who released a couple more albums In Loving Memory and Wheel of Fortune, with slightly less Hanoi Rocks than the first one, and we mustn’t forget the Urban Dogs, a partnership with UK Sub Charlie Harper that is still going strong today, their last album Bonefield is a sublime slice of the Punk Rock Blues.

1982 saw the original line up get back together, releasing three, good but slightly patchy albums; Guilty, Alaska 127 and Fifth Amendment, before John and Pat left again, leaving and Knox and Eddie to soldier on with some new troops, mainly comprising of either Micky Owen or Nigel Bennett on guitar with a variety of bassists including Mark Duncan a fella called Nik and Robbie (now in The Derellas) Tart. Many studio albums were released along the way; Recharged, Meltdown, Vicious Circle, Volume Ten, Hunting For You, Unpunked, French Lessons With Correction, Buzzin' and Energise all of them are worthy of your attention.

For the last few years, the line up has been pretty stable, comprising Knox, Eddie and Pete, although due to health issues, since 2011 Knox has been taking it easy and hasn't been touring with the band although he has contributed songs and played on their last couple of albums; Under The Radar, On The Guest List and a new one which is due out soon. He's also collaborated with The Trailer Trash Orchestra, and recorded The Knoxville Boy album, the finest County Punk this side of St Albans. What's next for Knox? Well.... like I said there's a new Vibrators album on it's way a re-release of his only solo album Plutonium Express. and a new Urban Dogs single. He can also be found contributing vocals to one track on the recently released genre busting Rhythm and Punk Review album by The Mutants. 
The Vibrators at Bowes Lyon House, Stevenage 1984. Pic: Unknown
Anyway enough of the history and I didn't even touch on his paintings, here's a interview I did with Knox via a couple of emails a couple of months ago.

If you compiled a 12 track album of Ten Knox songs, what would they be? 
This is always changing I think. Anyway today (6 July 2014) the list is:
Modern World – it just does its thing, it doesn’t pander to an audience, and has nice production.
Nazi Baby – I love its intensity.
Juice On – sing-a-long and reliably nasty, could be the theme song for Deliverance 2 (if they make it!)
Houston Tower (Fallen Angels)
How Beautiful You Are
Baby Baby – of course!! When I play it I feel like I’m on a sunny holiday.
Moonlight
Birdland Is Closed
Prisoner In The Mirror
Brand New
Rock ‘n’ Roll Clown
Sleeping


Which do you enjoy more...Painting or Song writing? (I always think your songs are like aural paintings.)
I enjoy them equally I think. I really love painting, especially if I’m doing a stress-free painting, like sitting in the garden doing a painting of the garden, just putting on the paint. Portraits always have to look like the person, so quite early on you can’t just mess about with the paint, you have to really concentrate. As for song writing, fiddling about with the early free demo’s is great and can be very exciting, but again pulling the thing together and making a good demo can be really hard work. In the past I’ve spent days and days on a song, changing it a bit and re-demo’ing it. I don’t know if people realise the amount of work that can go into a song that sounds ‘obvious’ to them.

Should the Manic Street Preachers pay you some royalties for the guitar lick in No Mercy? (Motown Junk by the Manics has a very, very similar refrain.)
No Mercy was actually written by an old bass player, Mark Duncan.. The problem is if you hear a song, or part of a song, which sounds like it’s derived from someone else’s previous song you never know how much is plagiarism and how much is ‘in the style of’ (or a ‘tribute’ to an earlier song), and then it could just be someone else writing the same tune totally by coincidence, or perhaps unwittingly.

How did the Don't Throw It All Away collaboration in 1984 with Chaotic Discord come about? (Great song!)
I don’t remember the details of how it came about at all. I must have been asked to do it at some stage, and then I remember going down to record it in Bristol. It was their song, not one of mine. I was met at the station, I think then driven to the studio and was singing within a few minutes of arriving there. I missed the last train back and had to stay the night. (I was at art school for a while in Bristol years before and in those days the trains to London used to go all night. Not that night!)

Are all the songs of yours on On The Guest List new numbers, or old unrecorded/unreleased songs?
They’re nearly all old songs. I have loads of them, and I think at the time of making the album I was quite busy and thought, I know I’ll check out some of my old home demo’s and I really liked them, and thought the ones that were chosen for the album were good. When The Vibrators are making an album I’ll present the band with more songs than they need and they choose the ones they like. It’s become slightly odd as I write and sing most of the songs but am no longer playing in the band. I’m like a tiny version of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

What's next for Knox musically?
I’m not sure. It’s an ever-changing landscape out there. I worked on the most recent Vibrators’ album a few weeks ago, which should be coming out here in the UK on Captain Oi!, with a different mix of it coming out on Cleopatra in the USA. I was also helping with songs for a 60’s girl band project for Cleopatra recently. I’ve been thinking of making a ska album of the Vibrators’ greatest hits as that would be a nice project. I’ve got lots of songs so I will be looking at tons of projects. I need to live another few hundred years to fit it all in! My 1983 solo album Plutonium Express should be coming out in the US sometime soon, that sort of thing. And I was thinking of trying to get a rock ’n’ roll charity shop going in Camden, plus maybe having a small pub rock type band, only playing very locally in places with gear already there (no carrying the gear!!), just to keep my hand in as it were. And I’ve got to finish my nasty sci-fi novel I’ve been messing about with for years. And I sometimes think I’d like to re-record lots of old Vibrators’ songs, but spend a lot more time on them than we were able to when we first did them, as you’re always running against the clock in the studio because of the financial restraints. I was thinking of also re-recording some UK Subs songs, spending ages on them, (it’s probably against the whole punk ethos), but I’ve not spoken to Charlie about this!

Do you find people prefer the 'classic' 77-78 Vibrators songs to the ones you've done since then?
They generally seem to prefer the old songs, but I think it’s because they are the best known by our mainly punk audience. The newer albums are not bought in anywhere near the same numbers as the first couple of albums, and I think as a result there’s not the same sharing/consensus of opinion about the songs. The fans can’t talk to each other about the songs as they aren’t so familiar with them. Fan A may not have the same albums as fan B, that sort of thing. If we were a new band doing the newer stuff, and the old stuff had never existed, I’m sure they’d like it.

Any favourite musicians you've played/worked with?
I think the biggest highlight for me was The Vibrators touring as the support band for Iggy Pop when he had David Bowie playing keyboards. It would probably be impossible to top that. I haven’t worked with that many other people, but I like doing it as other people often contribute an extra personality to the recording. Though one time when I was making my solo album I thought I didn’t like some of Dave Birch’s guitar playing. Later when the album came out I found I really missed it! I enjoyed doing the Knox and the Trailer Trash Orchestra album, “The Knoxville Boy”, a country album. It was a different area for me and I liked the opportunity to do it and all the guys in the band. And I like working with Charlie Harper of course, when we do the Urban Dogs.
Knox and The Trailer Trash Orchestra at The Victoria, Hitchin 2011 Pic: Haddy Webb

Have the new technologies (Computers, The Internet, Digital and MP3's) changed the recording and releasing of music for the better? (Discuss)
Probably. It’s difficult to answer as there’s such a massive proliferation of styles of music that it’s not like in the ‘old days’ where you had limited styles and individual songs would have more impact. I like the idea of recording songs yourself and having more control, not having to put up with people who might not share your vision or ideas for a song. The danger is that you end up sort of spiralling into yourself. I think a lot of times other people’s input can be very enriching. Also when you’re in a band it is a band and not your solo project. I think the actual recording process has become a lot easier. You don’t have to endlessly do take after take in the studio ‘til you get a good one, so long as most of it’s OK you can generally patch it up on the computer.

What's Knox's vision of the future, how do you see the world changing in say the next 10-20 years?
I really feel quite pessimistic. I think there’ll be robot computer take-over. The computers don’t necessarily have to have evolved consciousness to effect this. They already have their own computer web where they talk to each other. If the wrong algorithms get written computers could cut off the money for instance, and society would break down very quickly a few days later. Also, with the increase in what an individual can do to kill people, governments might have to bring in some form of brain profiling. This would be to find people who could potentially be a danger, extremists, lone wolves, political people, etc. The knock-on effect of this might be some form of mass incarceration or culling. Hopefully people will have developed space-travel so we can go out into the universe and damage that to our hearts content! (The sooner we break it the sooner we can get on with fixing it!) There are a few future safeguards, like the Centre for the Study of Existential Threat, but if those people miss something.... Then again I might be similar to a child who likes having a story read to them with some scary things in it. I have to say the current news is terrible depressing. I think hundreds of years ago we wouldn’t know about most of the terrible things that go on out there in the world. (End of lecture.)

I'd just like to thank Knox for his time in answering my random questions.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

SCARS - Sessions/Demos/Live (*MPfree DOWNLOAD*)


Another band due a CD release, a retrospective compilation would be good, but until then this will have to surfice. 


Fear is formulated and facilitated before it is fuelled and then fed to people who will blindly accept anything if it takes away the fear that they have been made to feel.

DEADCUTS - Dark is The Night (*A Review*)

If the end really is the beginning, then deadcuts are finished, because their debut album Dark Is The Night is where it starts. Four musicians who have travelled through the Rock'n'Roll cities ripped back sides before in various bands, are now going down further dark entries and between them they have produced the best music of their careers on this album. Their past has shaped their present. Dark Is The Night is an alluring aural sculpture, as close to art as Rock'n'Roll gets. This is the sound of eighties post punk being dragged kicking and screaming back to the future, a pure and primeval sonic assault on the senses.
Fourteen fragile yet self assured howls from the heart, a gallery of intense insights into the human psyche. The words are spat and slurred out by a voice that could strip paint. Vicious guitars slash, strum and scrape, over a pounding and pumping rhythm section, which leaves the listener battered and bruised, but wanting more. This is addictive stuff, mean, moody and menacing, mellow and manic in equal doses. Pray For Jail, is a claustrophobic and cacophonic crescendo of a song. The pulsating and tuneful wall of sound that is Mary Disorder has added barbed wire thanks to additional keyboards by former Attraction Steve Nieve. Floods is a dark dirge of a duet between deadcuts singer Mark Keds and Beatrice Brown, which sounds like Charles Manson having a row with Shirley Manson. Beatrice makes another appearance, on her own this time and sounding more Kate Bush meets Patti Smith on the glamorously gothic and ghostly Ragged Star, a stripped to the bone acoustic number where the guitars pick and poke at scabs and scars....let 'it bleed!  
Deadcuts are a dirty, dangerous, discordant, distorted and disturbing beast; The bastard son of The Psychedelic Furs and Killing Joke with added Rock'n'Roll swagger. Dark is The Night is a spellbinding and sublime masterpiece. Ignore at your peril. Available from: Speedowax Records

Sunday, 24 August 2014

We're all going on a summer holiday!


No 'British combat boots' on the ground in Iraq, unless they are on the feet of alienated post-war on terror 'radicalised British Muslims' fighting for the Islamic State. Britain is reaping what it has sown....TOTAL TERROR!  

Thursday, 21 August 2014

FS1E - Once Upon a Time in Silkingrad (*A Review*)

Following on from their self titled debut single comes FS1E's debut album Once Upon A Time in Silkingrad. A 'concept album' (my words not theirs) of sorts, a record of reflection. The 10 tracks are poems, prose and raps from the past that have grown into the present. Tales of love and loss, lyrical journeys of lives lived and lives still being lived. Reflective but not regretful, emotive and uplifting, music that moves yer and takes you on a journey of discovery to different places. FS1E are beyond Reggae, beyond Punk, beyond Prog Rock, and certainly not middle of the road, they are riding their own musical path down the rock'n'roll highway, which takes you to nowhere you've been before. Vocals are sung and spoken as mournful bass lines meander along with solid and sound drums, acoustic guitars chime while the keyboards float in and out, leaving the listener engulfed and enveloped by the sound and songs.  This album is beautiful, it is haunting and harmonious, it skanks and rocks while swinging with traces of soul and jazz, it is quirky and poppy, but most of all it is brilliant. FS1E are camping outside the left field with a melting pot of musical influences bubbling and boiling on the fire. Join the gathering because “Divided we are weak, together we are strong.” Chill out music for people that should be angry instead of just chasing pound notes. You can find out more about FS1E and where to get the album here at their web site.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

THE FOLK DEVILS - Goodnight Irony.(*MPfree DOWNLOAD*)

This is the Third time I've posted this, about time someone got it together and issued it on CD, until then it's available here!

UK SUBS - Rarities Reissued and Reviewed.

It's been a productive past few months for Captain Oi's UK Subs releases, what with Stolen Property, Charlie Harper's solo album and the second Urban Dogs album No Pedigree, now they've gone and released another couple, more on them later but first up we've got the latest little gem from Time and Matter Recordings.
The UK Subs The Revolutions Here EP, was originally released in 2000, It's centrepiece is their Reggaeified version of Thunderclap Newman’s ode to revolution; Something in The Air, which contrasts beautifully with the in yer face punk rock anthems to revolution; Reclaim The Streets and The Revolutions Here, both these and the other tracks, Go Home, Metro, Party in Paris and Works have been re-mastered for this re-release, a gloriously coloured splattered yellow and red vinyl 10”, which also features sleeve notes by Nicky Garrett and a drawing by Charlie Harper. Be quick if you want a copy cos it's a limited pressing of 500, and is sure to sell out fast! Available from Time and MatterRecordings.
Now on to the latest Captain Oi releases, which are also limited to 500 copies. The Demonstration Tapes AKA Raw Material, is a what it says on the tin, demos and raw material, some real work in progress culled from Charlie Harpers collection of Subs recordings. Top quality embryonic stuff from the first couple of classic UK Subs line ups, circa 1980-82. This re-issue includes 4 bonus demos for their Endangered Species album, which didn't appear on either of the previous releases.
Live Kicks rewinds the UK Subs clock back further to The Roxy in London on New Years Eve 1977, where Live Kicks was recorded. Originally released by Stiff Records in 1980 by mail order only, its been re- released many times over the years, but this CD is the definitive version, including the encore, and as a bonus there are 4 tracks from their 1977 demo tape.
Both The Demonstration Tapes and Live Kicks are lovingly packaged and contain extensive sleeve notes by the Time and Matter lads, and some words of introduction by Charlie Harper. Both are available from Captain Oi. Fast forward to the future and we find the Subs have started work on their Y album, and there's a new Urban Dogs single in the pipeline.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

EAR WE GO....MOUTHING OFF AGAIN.


People have two ears and one mouth, so why then do some people talk twice as much as they listen?
I'll tell you why! It's because they don't wanna hear what you've got to say, they think they are right and you are wrong and that their opinions are more important than yours, they have no empathy, they are arrogant, self obsessed and egotistical. I've got a word for these sort of people....C**ts! The world is so fucked up because the people with the power (Politicians, Bosses etc) are C**T’s. One thing they seem to forget (if they ever even thought about it anyway) is, that.... without us they would be nothing. It's time for people to shout twice as loud in the work place or on the streets. Together we have the power to fuck the c**ts! Listen to what I'm saying and then tell me I'm wrong!?

Sunday, 3 August 2014

It's only a game.

The Commonwealth Games.....WHAT A LOAD OF SHIT! Worse than The Olympics! They are a competition for losers. England only does so well because the other nations are even shiter, well not exactly, it's just that the majority of the commonwealth have no wealth, Britain saw to that during the days of the Great British Empire, when it colonised and exploited nations across the world and imposed it's rule upon them and then took everything that belonged to the local indigenous peoples and made its self rich from them. Commonwealth, no.... Britishwealth, and then we have the bare faced check to rub their faces in it hundreds of years later by beating them at some pointless sports. What a bunch of losers!  

Saturday, 26 July 2014

ESSENTIAL EPHEMERA #6 (Set-lists)



From sometime in 1982 here's a list from
 ERAZERHEAD East Londons answer to 
The Ramones and The Lurkers.

Another one from 1982 this time its from 
Peterborough
 Punks THE DESTRUCTORS
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Friday, 25 July 2014

Untitled.

Near Tissington, Derbyshire
I was away camping in The Peak District a bit of r'n'r, only piece of technology I took with me was a transistor radio, and a camera, so I heard the news of the shooting down of the Malaysian plane over The Ukraine, and the continued blood shed in the Gaza Strip. Wrote a few notes down in my notebook and was gonna write a piece when I got home, but....have had such a nightmare week at work, where those at the top think everything smells of roses, when it's bullshit, and have their heads buried in the sand while the workers get fucked up the arse, and when the shit hits the fan they aint gonna be the ones getting covered in it. As a result of this I haven't had the mental energy to finish the piece, so here are the notes from my notebook that I started typing up last Sunday before the week from hell at work, but hey I'm not living in Gaza and have had no loved ones blown up so as the war in my mind goes on I shouldn't really grumble.

Another 'incident' involving a Malaysian Airlines plane, this one didn't disappear, it was shot from the skies above a war-zone, leaving the wreckage highly visible for the waiting media to broadcast to the world..

The world watches in condemnation at the treatment of the murdered passengers, the majority of whom are Dutch.

Evidence tampered with, bodies looted, access denied to investigators.

No responsibility, but plenty of denials. Russia's name keeps cropping up.

Calls for sanctions are met with a luke warm response cos Russian oligarchs money is aiding economic recovery across Europe, and many countries rely on Russia for energy supplies no one wants to bite the hand that feeds them even if it is covered in blood.

I bet arms deals are still being struck with Russia; Warfare makes the world go round.

I wonder what the response would be like if 200 Americans had been on board?

It's easy to forget that the Americans don't mind shooting down passenger planes, rewind to 1988 (I think) when they shot down an Iranian civilian airliner, killing all on board.

Israel....give the Palestinians their land. Britain, America, France get over the gas chamber guilt and then perhaps Hamas will stop firing their rockets. The numbers of dead says it all....more Palestinians than Israelis have been killed! Who cares who started it, it's time to end it!

No better than savages, just with more sophisticated weaponry. Warfare makes the world go round.

So there you have it....A bit of old news, somethings never change.


Sunday, 13 July 2014

ROSCOE VACANT - Article/Review/Interview, and MPFree Download!

Since I last wrote about Roscoe Vacant he has released a new album and a tape. For the album No Attack No Decay Roscoe has returned to his roots as a solo preformer. In 2008 he released the Escape From Doom Valley (Live EP) and a year later Nothings Gonna Change, but in 2010 he was backed by the Gantin' Screichs for the brilliant spikey and post-punk sounding Reckurdt. No Attack No Decay features several tracks from this, which stand naked and stripped to the bone. This is 'Acoustic Punk and Angry Pop!' full of passion and vitriol. Nine songs where the words mean something, these are songs about the small and big political picture; From domestic dysfunction to global drama; As Baghdad burns plates are smashed in the kitchen of a broken home where culture is delivered in shortbread tins to sanitised young lovers who bought it all from the liars and thieves who will not lead us anywhere because nothing is gonna change, not unless you make it! These are songs of love, pain and betrayal on several levels. If misery loves company then it needs Roscoe Vacant for a companion, because these are also songs of hope that are more real than likes of Frank Turner and Jake Bugg.

The tape finds Roscoe backed by Lo-Fi legends The No-Men, covering three songs by the arch avant garde glam/punkster that is Steve Treatment, who also contributes some of his own musings on the flipside of this brightly coloured yellow cassette. In a world of mass production and instant downloads It's good to see the ethics of DIY culture is alive and well, thanks to the good people at Topplers Records. It is also good to see that there are still artists out there pining their hearts on their sleeve and playing it for real. The album and tape are both available here, the limited number of lovingly hand crafted physical copies have all sold out, but they are sill available as downloads.

For a bit of background to No Attack No Decay, the demise of the Gantin' Screichs and how he found himself working with Steve Treatment, I emailed Roscoe, and this is what he had to say.

“Roscoe Vacant & the Gantin' Screichs started in 2010 and we released the album "Reckurdt" in 2011. Our lead guitarist Ross Gilchrist left in 2011 for personal reasons, but he and I are still really good friends. From then on we went in a different direction, moving away from grunge into more country punk type stuff. We got a fiddle player and a new guitarist in 2012 and put out a video for our first recording with that band in January 2013 "Conrad Brooks" (on Youtube just now). The band continued for a few months but it kind of petered out - again mostly personal and interpersonal reasons. I'm still really good friends with everyone in the band but none of us really want to do it again. Releasing the EP "No Attack/No Decay" in 2013 was an attempt to go back to basics and why people enjoyed my stuff in the first place - solo acoustic punk rock. It was also a means by which I could get the song that inspired the title out - "Exit Strategy". I split up with my fiancee of 9 years in Feb 2013, so that had a baring on the band too. Being able to get back on the horse and make some music was liberating."

“I've been a fan of Steve's for about 5 years. I knew Allan from the NoMen because we have mutual friends but also because he was in the legendary Scottish folk punk band Nyah Fearties from the late 1980s early 1990s. The Steve collaboration just came out of that. I wanted to cover some of his less well-known songs and songs he'd only really demoed or played with his band The Ticket Inspectors in the late 1980s, so I recorded the 3 songs on the cassette. It was very spontaneous.” 

For more info on Roscoe Vacant take a trip to his Facebook page and you can visit Topplers Records here. 

One last thing.... I thought I'd save the best till last....Here is an exclusive unreleased 4 Track collection of Roscoe's work selected by himself for your ears only! Enjoy!

Sunday.... Sermon/Scribblings/shit* (*Delete as appropriate)


From fiddling their expenses to fiddling with kids, some of our MP's past and present have no shame in abusing their power, or should I say the power that we the people give them. In a true and pure Democracy they would be there to serve us, not themselves, and certainly not to spy on people, behind a smokescreen of fear of terrorism. “If you've done nothing wrong then you've got nothing to hide.” Is that why dossiers re Child Abuse in Westminster have 'been lost' or can't MP's be trusted to look after any information securely. Anyway....Just who decides what is wrong? The people that control the machinery of the state, that's who! Our politicians, that's right the very same people who have a perverse view of right and wrong. So....when the politicians are on the 2015 General Election campaign trail pleading for votes and promising everything, don't believe a word they say, and don't let them kiss your children!

While shit goes down in Britain, over in the Middle East the Israelis and Palestinians bomb the fuck out of each other, where is the Peace Envoy; former Prime Minister Tony Blair? Sack this self serving cunt now! If he was on performance related pay, he'd owe us. Wait up he does....we are still waiting for an explanation as why Britain got involved in the war in Iraq, don't tell me that they've lost the results of The Chilcot Enquiry, or are they just re-editing it, because it's findings are right; Our leaders took us into an illegal war against a threat of terror which wasn't really there until they started bombing Baghdad, now there are terrorists everywhere and because of this policies and laws have been drafted and created that proport to protect our freedom when they actual take it away. Tony Blair shouldn't just be put on trial for war crimes, but also for crimes against human rights.

HEY HO ALL GONE!

The last surviving member of the original  Ramones line up died the other day.  R.I.P Tommy!

Monday, 7 July 2014

BAD BREEDING - *Article/Review*



Bad Breeding may apply to a lot of the yoof of today, but not to these four lads from my home of Stevenage, a place where in their words “nothing really happens except nothingness itself.” I can't argue with that. I've lived in Stevenage most of my live and the only things that have happened are when people have got up off their arses and made them happen. Respect! to Bad Breeding for keeping the musical match alight and giving the world another name (along side Fields of The Nephilim, Scum of Toytown and Chron Gen) to remember Stevenage by instead of just Lewis fucking Hamilton and a couple of football players whose names escape me.

Bad Breeding have already been featured in the NME radar page, and played on BBC Radio One by Zane Lowe. Their debut single Burn This Flag b/w Age of Nothing is released by Hate, Hate, Hate Records in August as a limited (300 copies) 7”Vinyl or Digital Download. 

Burn This Flag is a two minute Molotov cocktail of anger and frustration waiting to be hurled over the barricades and like a suicide bomber with a suitcase full of Semtex; it will blow your fuckin' head off! Age Of Nothing is a slightly longer assault that chops, changes and charges right at ya knocking you off yer feet then kicking you in the face. Bad Breeding are a blast of pure molten and brutal Punk Rock, in the vein of Discharge, Conflict and the UK Subs, but with a sound that is totally their own. This is angry music for angry times.

The single can be ordered here from Rough Trade Records and the band can be found here at their website.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

ELECTRIC RIVER - *Interview*


In a time where people are living for the now with little thought for the future; an age of all style and no substance instant access self gratification, Electric River are a storm of fresh air, they have taken their time, walked their own path and worked hard, as a result they have evolved into something very special; full of style and substance. Their album Faith and Patience is a life affirming and uplifting listen; pure and perfect, righteous rabble rousing Rock'n'Roll, they are on the cusp of greatness; with positive reviews of the album poping up in the pages of Kerrang, Classic Rock, Vive Le Rock, Big Cheese magazines, and even The Sun newspaper! Electric River are destined to be another band that really matters. Their time is now!

Enough of what I've got to say, It's time to read what Electric River's Vocalist/Bass player Sponge has got to say....  

What would you be doing if there was no Electric River?
I think it would be different for each of us, that’s what is great about being in a band together since being kids. We all lead our own lives outside the band but are very much like brothers, everyone has their own traits and; things they like to do. I’m pretty sure we’d all be playing music though,that runs through all of our veins.

Are you going to be revisiting any more of your 'old songs' for future releases?
Never say never, there are a lot of them! But right now we are concentrating on completely new material to follow up ’The Faith and Patience’. But it is very early days at the moment, we tend to write around 40 demos when getting an albums worth of material together.

Any more acoustic/stripped down versions of your songs planned?
Possibly… we’re going to be releasing some singles over the summer and have talked about what we are going to put on as b-sides/extras. Again a lot of the initial ideas for songs are written on acoustics when we are just trying to piece together what we call ‘flows’ or ‘rounds’, to make sure the melodies and basic skeletons fit together nicely for our songs.

Which ER song do you enjoy playing most? and what one goes down best with the audience?
I really like This Garden Will Grow as it has a personal connection with me and my life growing up in Ashford. I love the fast pace ending too, but there are so many. Watersong is a great one when the band is really in the zone, it's weird, it's like we are on some strange sonic level together. Obviously Keep The Engine Burning has been going down a storm and Hold Your Nerve seems to be the common ground with most audiences around the country but we just love playing, if the audience is going off, it just drives us even more.

Favourite films
I watched ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ recently and absolutely loved it, I am now a fully fledged Di Caprio fan. People probably think i’m mental but I’ve never really fully appreciated him as an actor before WOWS.

Favourite books
I read a lot of biographies, mostly music related but I also really like Ross Kemp’s books. I’ve just got ‘Things The Grandchildren Should Know’ which is E from The Eels memoirs, I’m really looking forward to delving into that. But it’s hard to pick a favourite, I think one of the greatest rock n roll books has got to be Ozzy’s, its so fucking funny.

Favourite albums
Literally couldn’t pick, there are way too many!

Favourite TV program
That's really hard, I think TV has changed so much over the last 5 years. I barely ever watch everyday TV but love a good series, some of my favourites have been Shield, Dexter and of course Breaking Bad and Sons Of Anarchy, but there are so many these days, its hard to find the time to catch em all!

Should Tony Blair be put on trial for war crimes? (Discuss)
I read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book recently and what was interesting to find out that at the end of the day there were so many things he wanted to do for California and how fucking surprising it was that though he was ‘the guvnor’ how many people around him had to clear his every move, how it wasn’t his soul decision and how one thing would effect another parties / company / states political gain/misfortune, so he was told no or forced to do things he didn’t want to really do. What I’m trying to get at is Tony Blair was probably a face to a lot of puppets, pulling a lot of very different strings. I’m not defending him, he’s a well educated person with his own brain and political interests but if he was put on trial, they need to bring in every single person that was involved with the Iraq war and trial them too and get the whole thing out on the fucking table. I was really too young to fully understand the full ins and outs of our fucked up dealings with the middle east at that time and I am not a historian neither politician, I play in a rock n roll band! The relationship we have with the middle east is completely fucked up and I know a lot of people out there are calling for Blair to go on trial. So I would say from the point of view that we are ‘Suppose’ to live in a democratic society and Blair ‘has nothing to hide’,what harm could it do? I think the general public would get some closure from it and they deserve that.

The Clash or The Sex Pistols?
The Clash for me, I love both but The Clash were around for longer and developed into something much bigger than the initial band. I would say London Calling was a pinnacle album that ER listened to in the early years and though true ‘Punk’ fans usually don’t admit liking that album, for me it was one of the best things to come out of that era. So many diverse influences on one great record.

Rolling Stones or Beatles?
So hard… of course The Beatles just have such a great catalogue of songs and I think most kids are introduced to The Beatles at such a young age, it almost feels like part of your heritage. But The Stones definitely had that more grittier darker thing going on, which generally I would dig more if those bands both came out tomorrow… Can’t really decide, its a draw gentlemen.

Has the response/reaction to Faith and Patience surprised you?
I definitely have been surprised at the reviews, I don’t really know what we expected. We just wanted to make an album we were extremely proud of, so the kind words have been a nice cherry on the top really. I’m just glad people are connecting with it and can’t wait to get back out and tour it.

Is Britain in a good or bad political, social and cultural place at the moment?
Britain is an amazing place. It’s a cultural melting pot, however, if we believed what we read in some of the papers, then I think we’d be inclined to feel scared of that. Our perception of the country however comes from travelling it in the back of a van and with that we’ve generally always met really good people. Class struggle still exists and up the other end of the scale so too does corporate greed and corruption. A political shake up is due and I think most people are now very aware of it…but that’s a healthy thing. There’s only so long apathy can last.

Will you be voting in the 2015 General Election?
If it means it will stop other parties like the BNP or UKIP getting a run at things then yes, but that’s about as much use as I can see from my vote the way things currently stand.

What are ER's plans for the future?
We’re currently working on a bunch of music videos, and hoping to tour later in the year. We’re also writing for our next follow up to our new record.

Have you got an Electric River manifesto?
It’s not really a manifesto but more of a saying - ‘You’re only as strong as your weakest link.'

All that is left to say is ....Thanx to Sponge for taking the time to answer my questions, and if you haven't done so already check out Electric River over at their Website or Facebook page, and get yerself a copy of Faith and Patience.

Saturday, 28 June 2014



Yesterdays news is still today's truth!


They only tell us what they want us to know.....An Anti Austerity Demo gathered outside the BBC headquarters in London the other weekend, before marching to parliament square, about 50,000 people attended, yet there was no mention of it on the BBC News, and scant, if any coverage in our so called free press. Why? Because we are living in a quasi fascist state where things are tolerated but highly moderated; Let the people have their say, but don't tell anyone what they are saying because the powers we let be don't agree with it, but more importantly they don't want more people knowing that there is an alternative to their present Liberal Democratic political system, which isn't working anymore. The big business corporate controllers know this which is why, in order to protect themselves the money men and women have been building a New Fascist World Order, before peoples eyes, which have been blinding for years with consumer celebrity get rich quick on credit culture; all style no substance, all image and no imagination. Make the people dumb enough and they'll believe anything they're told, and know nothing about what they're not told.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

NO ENTRY TO NAZIS!

EDL marching past Council Offices in Stevenage. (7/6/14)
“Whose streets....Our streets!” chanted the EDL foot soldiers as they marched through Stevenage on Saturday.  They weren't their streets though; as the vast majority of the relatively small number came from Grimsby, Clacton on Sea and other places , so the flags and hoodies said. Shame on you Stevenage Borough Council for allowing this event to take place, especially the day after the 70 year remembrance day for those that fought and died on the beaches at Normandy to protect our country from Nazis.
Democracy dies when messages of hate are allowed to be expressed and aired on the streets to Saturday shoppers. There was a sizeable counter demonstration, but, thanks to a large and no doubt costly Police presence neither side met, and everything passed off peacefully, before the EDL were escorted back to the station to board trains and coaches to take them back to their streets. Good bye and FUCK OFF! 
If the EDL want to come back to the streets of Stevenage again to try and stir up trouble I hope the Council tells them, that in a multi-cultural town they are not welcome with their Racist views. If they do return, then I can only conclude that certain members of Stevenage Borough Council are Nazi sympathisers, and it will be down to the people of Stevenage to take to the streets in unity against Fascism!




Wednesday, 4 June 2014

ELECTRIC RIVER - Faith & Patience. (*A Review*)

If you've been in tune with the program for the last couple of years you will already know what a great band Electric River are, and will already have got yerself a copy of Faith and Patience. If you've only just tuned in then you really need to listen to this album, it's a corker! Twelve tracks of pure power and passion filled with pumping fists and lighters in the air moments. It's a big and bold statement full of self belief (This Garden Will Grow) It's a call to arms (Calling Out) It's sensitive and soulful (Watersong) It doesn't just blow the doors off, it takes the roof off (In Your Name) It's about hope when all around there is despair. (Keep The Engine Burning) It's about life, the ups and downs, the good, the bad and the ugly. These are songs to sing when standing strong and staring into the face of adversity. This is an uplifting and life affirming listen. It is the result of over four years hard graft and holding their nerve by Electric River, whose faith and patience has been repaid, and accolades will be written in their name!

FAITH & PATIENCE Is out now on Cadiz Music. For 'fans' of not just The Alarm, New Model Army, Bruce Springsteen, The Gaslight Anthem and The Clash, but for anyone that likes their music to be loud, proud, real and honest!

Monday, 26 May 2014

FS1E - fs1e (*A Single / A Review*)

Back in the 70's and early 80's the 'Fizzy' or the FS1E as its Japanese makers Yamaha called it, was a bike popular with the teenage yoof of the day. In the year 2014 FS1E are a band of yesterdays youth refusing to grow old gracefully or otherwise. Their debut single and theme song, (if I can call it that) fs1e is a blast of pure post Brit pop prog punk. It roars down memory lane with a carefree fuck you abandon while also stopping and starting along the way. (rather like a ride on the back of a fs1e.) It's a road trip through the past and into the present with no rose tinted motorcycle goggles on for protection. It's got clever lyrics that observe and reflect, there's a great Jam reference were down in a tube station in the morning, full of City workers “there's no smell of brown leather, just the scent of money calling” It's three and a half sublime minutes of rather brilliant quirky, catchy pop music that could only be Made In Britain. For 'fans' of XTC, The Stranglers, Blur, The Kinks, and for anyone that fancies a blast of something fresh and completely different. Pay No More Than 79p. Available from I-Tunes and Amazon.

“Life is so short for everyone. Never mind! What might have been is what you've seen,what you've done. Life is so short for everyone. Get out there and have some fun!” - FS1E

ONCE AGAIN....THE LIGHTS START TO GO OUT ACROSS EUROPE!



KEEPING ABREAST OF THE ISSUES.



Sunday, 25 May 2014

CHARLIE HARPER and KNOX a couple of URBAN DOGS (An Article)


Charlie Harper and Knox, a couple of inspirational people to me, not just back in the day when I was a kid, nearer to fifteen than fifty, but also in the now. Through out the years they have provided a soundtrack to my life. For over thirty years they have kept the faith and the punk rock flame burning with their respective bands the UK Subs, The Vibrators and when they join forces as the Urban Dogs.

During the Nineties New Wave Of New Wave/Brit-Pop/Dance Culture when Rave was being called the New Punk, The UK Subs and The Vibrators soldiered on with campaigns on home soil and in foreign climes, keeping the real Punk Rock fire alight, when a lot of people had left the camp.
The whole New Labour Retro-Lution of re-branding, re-packaging and re-selling the past saw record labels releasing back catalogues and collections of demos and rarities by classic punk bands on CD, more fuel for the fire; as older Punk Rockers re-discovered their youth and a whole new generation of kidz picked up on the past and used it to influence their present.
During the Noughties both The Vibrators and UK Subs have released some of their best albums; Under The Radar and On The Guest List from the 'brators and Work In Progress and XXIV from the Subs, and lets not forget the sublime and superb Urban Dogs acoustic album Bonefield.

Thirty eight years since Punk Rock exploded in the faces of a generation of bored teenagers and boring old people the fire is raging bright; With new bands like The Reverends, The Derellas, Electric River, Deadcuts, The November Five, Continental Liasion all possessing the punk rock spirit sound or sentiment. We've also seen the return of bands like The Fits, The Outcasts and The Mob. Then there are new albums from veterans Chelsea and The Boys due out soon, and lest we forget GLM.    I'm only scratching the surface here, because there are also hundreds more bands young and old out there in bedrooms, garages and rehearsal rooms across this land bashing out a punk rock beat. One such young group are A-M-I who haven't just got the punk rock spirit and sound they have punk in their blood, as guitarist Marley Perez is Charlie Harpers grandson, who had a song Baby Marley written about him on the third Urban Dogs album Wipeout Beach. If A-M-I continue as long as the Subs or Vibrators than I'll slip into death or dementia happy in the knowledge that punk rock will never ever die.

Captain Oi Records, have been responsible for compiling and packaging many of the classic punk CD re-releases. A couple of their recent releases have been by Charlie Harper and the Urban Dogs. Charlie s 1982 solo album Stolen Property is what it says on the tin. A bunch of other peoples including Chuck Berry, Lou Reed, and Bo Diddley tunes plus a couple of Harper originals are given a dirty punk rock blues makeover. Timeless stuff!.
No Pedigree by Charlie and Knox's side project the Urban Dogs was originally released in 1985. Their self titled debut album was a full throttle Rock'n'Roll assault. No Pedigree is a darker, broodier Rock'n'Roll attack with the songs slowly throbbing and thumping their way into your head. Brilliant stuff!
Further proof that the past becomes the present can be heard on the fourth Urban Dogs album Bonefield (released in 2012) with its Stolen Property acoustic blues vibe. The 'experimental' phazed garage fuzz of No Pedigree can be heard on the Too Much Reality EP that Charlie Harper and Captain Sensible released in 2013..

Stolen Property and No Pedigree are available from Captain Oi Records, but be quick cos there are only 500 of each available. Bonefield by the Urban Dogs and Charlie Harper and Captain Sensible's Too Much Reality EP are available from Time and Matter Recordings, as is A-M-I' s debut album Anti Meat Head Inc. Respect to Captain Oi and Time and Matter Recordings for keeping the fire burning especially at a time when fuel prices are high. Given the choice of turning the heating on or buying a CD...I'd put another jumper on and pogo to keep warm!

DON'T GROW UP BEING BORED OR GROW OLD BEING BORING!