MICHAEL DAVIS (MC5) GIGS IN FEB.

Michael Davis of MC5 will play a couple of gigs in the UK in February with tickets costing between £8 and £10.

Friday 13th Feb.
Dirty Water Club, Gorilla, Lysergics
London Boston Arms

Saturday 14th Feb.
The Coolerclub, Lysergics
48 Park Street, Bristol

 

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MOTT THE HOOPLE ROCK AGAIN

MOTT THE HOOPLE
40th Anniversary Reunion Shows

Hammersmith Apollo
October 2nd & 3rd 2009 – SOLD OUT!
New Show added due to demand, October 1st

‘A roaring, racing, raving machine with all systems go, Mott The Hoople are on the rampage and don’t ya forget it!’ – Sounds

– The return of one of the best loved Rock & Roll bands of all time
– 40 years since the highly influential Mott The Hoople formed in 1969
– The first time the original line-up has played together for over 35 years
– Mott The Hoople return to The Hammersmith Apollo – scene of near riots following their shows in ’73 and recorded for the legendary ‘Mott The Hoople Live’ album

‘Mott The Hoople pack power.. an extraordinary spectacle’ – Melody Maker

Formed in 1969 when Ian Hunter joined Verden Allen, Dale Griffin, Overend Watts and Mick Ralphs – Mott The Hoople released their eponymous debut album that same year.
By 1971 they were selling out and trashing the Albert Hall – rock bands were banned for years afterwards – but just 12 months later, after on-stage punches and insults were thrown, Mott The Hoople were ready to quit, but stayed together thanks to longtime fan, David Bowie. He gave them ‘All The Young Dudes’ the first of a string of hits including the Ian Hunter-penned songs ‘Roll Away The Stone’, ‘All The Way From Memphis’, ‘Honaloochie Boogie’ and ‘The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll’. Despite the success and accolades, Mott The Hoople’s demise was surely inevitable and by 1974 the band had split.
‘If Mott The Hoople had carried on they seriously could have taken the world’
– Kris Needs, Mojo

It is fitting that the 2009 shows are at Hammersmith Apollo – this is where one side of the famous ‘Mott The Hoople Live’ album was recorded in 1973 and was the venue they had to play twice in one day to satisfy ticket demand, the second show ending in near riot when the curtain came down on their final encore. The other side of this legendary album was recorded during Mott’s week-long residency at the Uris Theatre on Broadway, the first time New York theatreland had played host to a rock band; support on these shows came from the little known Queen.
‘Mott The Hoople turned the Uris Theatre into a screaming hotbed of English-style Rock & Roll frenzy’ – Rolling Stone

Who knows what will happen this time but these are sure to be historic gigs. Thanks to name-checks from Rock & Roll stars over the last 40 years and regular plays on radio, TV and film (‘All The Young Dudes’ is the lead song on the ‘Juno’ soundtrack and features in many more), Mott The Hoople’s audience is getting younger. Whatever age expect an audience which has an unshakeable belief in Rock & Roll.

In an era of band reformations, it will be still be shocking to their legions of fans that Mott The Hoople have decided to reform, with their original line-up, to celebrate their 40th Anniversary. Shocking but thrilling to fans who include Primal Scream, Morrissey, The Clash, REM, Queen, Blur and more..

Tickets on sale January 22nd 2009 priced £36.00 and £42.50, available from:
www.ticketmaster.co.uk

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SUSPECT PARTS-CHECK EM OUT!

Dear friends  of good music, another cool new band is coming to conquer the world. Justin from the Clorox Girls, Chris from The Briefs, Smail from The Shocks and James from Ripchord know each other since quite a while, and when you read the Bands they’ve been in, you get the idea, what they sound like.
 
Please spread the word and do not miss the shows! 
cheerz Marita
 
Tourdates and Info below-
www.myspace.com/suspectparts <http://www.myspace.com/suspectparts>
 
Spain:
Feb 19 2009 – Wurlitzer Ballroom / Madrid
Feb 20 2009 – Estraperlo / Badalona
Feb 21 2009 – Magazine Club / Valencia
Feb 22 2009 – Bukowsky / San Sebastian/Donosti
 
UK
Mar 19 2009 – 12 Bar / London
Mar 20 2009 – Dirty Water Club @ Boston Arms, London
Mar 21 2009 – rising Sun Arts Centre / Reading
 
"When I was a kid I thought I was Jesus"

Combining 60’s pop and bubblegum with late 70’s California beach punk, Suspect Parts have something brewing that can’t be ignored.  The Seeds, the Kinks, Wire, and the Buzzcocks can be heard, as well as a little Franz Ferdinand or Rezillos, a little Protex or Undertones, but with a modern touch.  Backward looking but forward thinking indie pop with a punk edge.
 
Apocalypse Pop, waiting for the apocalypse to…drop.
Suspect Parts are the brainchild of two exiled Americans who managed to tame their inner demons with buzzsaw indie pop, a candy floss meets razorblade concoction that goes down surprisingly smooth.
 
Justin Maurer, singer, guitarist, and principal wordsmith is a native of rainy Portland, Oregon. Justin founded Clorox Girls, a sleek and combustible do-it-yourself punk band who played one minute thirty second odes to their heroes Buddy Holly, Angry Samoans, and the Germs. After six years of worldwide touring at breakneck speeds, twelve singles, three albums and numerous lineup changes, Clorox Girls went on "indefinite hiatus"

Chris Bell, drums, is a native of the desert badlands of New Mexico, USA. Chris moved to post grunge Seattle and,with three other guys, started a new wave punk band called the Briefs.  The Briefs ignited a northwest "new wave" movement based around indie label Dirtnap Records, that included bands like Exploding Hearts and Clorox Girls. The Briefs were briefly signed to Interscope Records, and with their continuous barrage of media and momentum toured nonstop for nearly a decade.

James Sullivan, guitar and backing vocals was raised in the midlands of Shrewsbury, England and grew up on Britpop. Along with a friend Phil Wallbank, they started an indie band called Ripchord who were quickly signed to James Endeacott’s 1965 Records.  They released two singles to critical acclaim.

Smail Gerhard, bass, was born in post war East Berlin where he was forced to escape to the West as a teenager to avoid the compulsory military service in the East German army.   After the wall fell, he founded a punk band called The Shocks who have since become staples of the Berlin punk rock scene and have released a number of singles and three full length albums.

Apocalypse Pop. MGMT or Ramones? Kings of Leon or New York Dolls? When oil runs out a major line is going to be drawn.  Which side are you on? Which tribe are you willing to die for? 
 
Pop’s chosen warriors will rule the apocalypse.
 
Drop, waiting for the apocalypse to…pop.
 

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MORRISEY NEWS

MORRISSEY “WRESTLES WITH RUSSELL”
 
 “YEARS OF REFUSAL” DELUXE EDITION WILL FEATURE
EXCLUSIVE RUSSELL BRAND INTERVIEW

New studio album “Years of Refusal” released 16th February 2009 on Polydor
Preceded by single “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris” on 9th February
 
Exclusive Radio 2 live performance on 11th February
 
Sold out UK tour in May
 
Morrissey’s new studio album “Years of Refusal” will be released on 16th February 2009 on Polydor, preceded by the single “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris” one week prior. 
 
The Deluxe edition of the album will feature a DVD with exclusive content including “Wrestle with Russell”, a revealing 20 minute filmed interview with Russell Brand recorded at the comedian’s home in LA in November ’08.  The friends talk candidly about music, lyrics, image, fame and hair in a piece that is both serious and highly entertaining. Morrissey’s performances of “That’s How People Grow Up” from Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and “All You Need Is Me” from Later With Jools Holland will also feature, as will the video promo for the single “All You Need Is Me”.  iTunes have an exclusive digital booklet for those who purchase the standard album version via their site.
 
“Years of Refusal” was completed in 2008 at Conway Studios in LA with the late Jerry Finn, producer of Morrissey’s acclaimed 2004 UK No.2 album “You Are The Quarry”.  Morrissey describes the new album, the follow up to 2006’s “Ringleader of The Tormentors” (a UK No.1), as his strongest work to date. The 12-track album includes a clutch of new songs played live in recent months including “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris”, “Something Is Squeezing My Skull”, “Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed” and “One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell”.  Long time band members Boz Boorer, Jesse Tobias, Matt Walker, and Solomon Walker play on the album, which also features a contribution from Jeff Beck on the track “Black Cloud”.
 
 

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DAILY NEWS!!!

Daily news, daily news-read all about it!! Daily News is not only a top song from the Exploited-but you can also expect your usual Daily news updates on Vive Le Punk again-as we are now all back from our holidays!! So if you have any news at all-please send to us at info@vivelepunk.net   Cheers!!!!!!!!

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SNUFF ARE BACK!!!

After bumping into Snuff on the way to work today-we can exclusively reveal that the UK punk legends will be playing some ‘interesting’ UK shows soon!! Having just played 3 sold out Japanese reformation gigs it looks like the boys are back. Stay tuned for more news on those wacky Snuff boys soon!

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DURUTTI COLUMN NEW ALBUM

Artist: The Durutti Column

Album: Love In The Time Of Recession

Release Date: April 20, 2009

Label: ArtfulCD64

Live Dates:

31/01 Met, Bury
16/02 Baby Blue, Liverpool
19/02 The Cluny, Newcastle
21/01 Brudenall Social club, Leeds
25/02 Komedia, Brighton
26/02 Thekla, Bristol
27/02 Firestation, Windsor

The Durutti Column return with a new album Love In The Time of Recession, due out on April 20, 2009, the second to feature new vocalist Poppy Roberts who also plays electric piano on several of the tracks.

The album opens with the ‘In Memory of Anthony’ which is inspired by Vini Reilly’s long friendship with Factory Records impresario, Tony Wilson who died in 2007. ‘He always encouraged me to follow my instincts,’ says Reilly. ‘And that’s still how I work. All the new songs are a very true reflection of my life and that’s all I want any album to be.’

‘Wild Beast Tamed’ is one of several tracks co-written with Reilly’s girlfriend, Poppy Roberts who also partly inspired the title of the album (a romantic nod to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel, Love In The Time Of Cholera).

However, Reilly’s long-term friendships with Bruce Mitchell (himself the subject of an instrumental tribute, ‘For Bruce’), Keir Stewart and Laurie Laptop were just as important in making the album possible. ‘Without all of them I don’t know how I would be able to carry on, on any level,’ explains Reilly. ‘And as musicians there’s no one else I would rather work with.’

It’s now 30 years since Factory Records released the band’s debut album The Return Of The Durutti Column in 1979. Produced by Martin Hannett, this edgy, primitive LP showcased Vini Reilly’s ‘honey wrapped in sandpaper’ guitar playing and set the tone for a career of meditative and fearless music. Reilly has drawn on influences as diverse as Fats Waller, ambient and heavy metal; experimented with samplers and chamber music, and collaborated with other Manchester luminaries such as Morrissey and Peter Hook from New Order.

 

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MOTORHEAD NOVEMBER UK TOUR

MOTORHEAD will return to the UK for their traditional annual tour in the Autumn of 2009. The band led by legendary frontman Lemmy Kilmister featuring Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee are supporting their critically acclaimed 2008 release ‘Motorizer’. 2009 also marks guitarist Phil Campbell’s 25th anniversary with Motorhead.

Looking forward to the forthcoming tour, Lemmy Kilmister said:
‘Here we are again boys and girls, come and get your fu**in’ head blown off! – in the best possible taste’

UK 2009 TOUR DATES:

NOVEMBER 2009

Wednesday         11th               Plymouth Pavillion
Thursday             12th               Bristol Colston Hall
Friday                    13th              Newport Centre
Sunday                 15th              Swindon Oasis
Monday                16th              Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
Tuesday               17th              Newcastle City Hall
Thursday             19th              O2 Academy Glasgow
Friday                   20th              O2 Academy Leeds
Saturday             21st              Manchester Apollo
Monday               23rd              Cambridge Corn Exchange
Tuesday              24th              Southend Cliffs Pavilion
Wednesday        25th              Portsmouth Guildhall
Friday                   27th              Bournemouth Solent Hall
Saturday             28th              HMV Apollo Hammersmith
Sunday                29th              Wolverhampton Civic Hall

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday 30th January 2009 and are priced at £25 regional/£30 London and can be booked through www.livenation.co.uk  (all tickets subject to a booking fee)

 

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THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND 1974 UNRELEASED ALBUM

THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND’s full previously unreleased studio album recorded in 1974 finally gets released 35 years later on March 30th 2009!

The production master tapes of a previously unreleased full-length studio album, ‘Hot City – The 1974 Unreleased Album’, by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, recorded in 1974 and hitherto discarded, have been unearthed, dusted down, fully re-mastered and lined up for release on March 30th on the MLP label, distributed by RSK Entertainment.

‘Hot City – The 1974 Unreleased album’, which has been fully authorised and approved by the band, features 9 great quality tracks, and comes in a deluxe digi pack sleeve which includes a separate inner sleeve and a 20 page high quality booklet with rare photos and extensive liner notes from the band, with track by track comments and opinions, plus an introduction by SAHB author and ex-manager Martin Kielty.

By 1974, the SAHB steamroller was working at full power. Their first album, ‘Framed’, had promised great things, the follow-up, ‘Next’, delivered them, and now the group were planning to record their upcoming third album. The band had been constantly touring and were well rehearsed when in late January, they went into Advision studios in London with legendary US producer Shel Talmy (The Who/The Kinks) to record their biggest album to date. By April, the sessions were finished and the album was mixed.

However, after completion, the band and management had a rethink about the overall sound and amazingly, they decided to scrap the entire album. Shel Talmy then returned to Los Angeles with his tapes. Most of the song titles were later re-recorded and eventually showed up later that year on the official album ‘The Impossible Dream’ with a different producer on board and the songs changed dramatically.

You can now hear how the album sounded with the original versions of these songs. SAHB fans will be totally surprised and amazed at the different styles, delivery and lyric arrangements of well known favourite songs such as ‘Vambo’ and ‘Man In The Jar’, ‘Anthem’ and ‘Tomahawk Kid’ and there is a previously unreleased song ‘Ace In The Hole’ which has not been heard even by the band, since those studio sessions in 1974.

Alex Harvey, who tragically died of a massive heart attack in 1982, aged 46, was renowned for his charismatic persona and daredevil stage antics, and, above all, his astonishing, passionate, demonic vocal delivery. Nowhere is this better captured than on ‘Hot City – The 1974 Unreleased album’, a treasure trove of re-discovered musical gems.

 

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WIN JACKSON UTD ALBUM & NOSTALGIA BIG CHEESE!

Vive Le Punk has three sets of a copy of JACKSON UNITED’s (Chris Shiflett of the FOO FIGHTERS’ other band) new album ‘Harmony and Dissidence’ and a copy of Big Cheese, issue 104, a nostalgia special with features on coverstars THE CLASH, THE ADICTS, THE STRAY CATS, THE SEX PISTOLS n’ more! It even has a free CD!

To be in with a chance of winning one of three sets of these two great prizes, just answer this easy question:

Q: IN WHAT YEAR DID THE CLASH RELEASE ‘LONDON CALLING’?

Send your answer, name and address to info@vivelepunk.net

Good luck!

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POLL RESULTS

VIVE LE PUNK reveals the results of last month’s poll…

WHAT IS THE BEST UK ALBUM OF 2008?

JACK RABBIT SLIM ‘From the Waist Down’ 51.1%

ARGY BARGY ‘The Likes of Us’ 32%
THE JIM JONES REVUE ‘The Jim Jones Revue’ 6.4%
GOLDBLADE ‘Mutiny’ 5.2%
THE DAMNED ‘So Who’s Paranoid?’ 4.5%
THE SCOURGE OF RIVER CITY ‘The Scourge of River City’ 0.8%

With over half the votes, UK ‘sleaze-a-billy’ favourites Jack Rabbit Slim prove they’re the kings with the 14 sin-filled tracks of third album ‘From the Waist Down’. With their infectious, low down and dirty mix of rock ‘n’ roll, surf rock and rockabilly, it’s no surprise that it was VLP readers’ favourite album of 2008. Petrolheads and bikini bull-riding babies rejoice!

Vote now for your favourite hardcore band of all-time…

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AK 79 COMPILATION REUNION GIG

AK79 – NEW ZEALAND PUNK SPITS AGAIN!

While Australia ‘70s punk hit the UK with the arrival on these shores of the mighty Saints and Radio Birdman, maybe not enough was ever heard of some of the great bands coming out of the New Zealand punk scene. Bands like the pop punk raw of TOY LOVE, the Stooges loving ANDROIDDS, the industrial strength GORDONS (all hailing from Christchurch),THE (X-Ray Spex styled) SUBURBAN REPTILES, plus the entire cast of the AK79 (Auckland punk comp) album are all worthy of you checking out.

And so, 30 years after AK79’s release, a few of the bands got back together to give it one more whirl, with 2 sold out shows in NZ’s queen city. The Spelling Mistakes, Scavengers, Features, Terrorways and Proud Scum all rolled back the years with songs from AK 79 like ‘Short Haired Rock N Roll’, ‘I am a Rabbit’ and ‘Hate Me Hate Me’ proving these timeless slices of kiwi punk still reverberate.

You should really check out the AK 79 album – and to find out more about the NZ punk scene go to the site of the man who released the original album – Simon
Griggs and his excellent punk filled site –
WWW.SIMONGRIGG.INFO
or
TOY LOVE at WWW.MYSPACE.COM/TOYLOVENZ

And look out for a future Vive Le Punk feature on New Zealand’s second wave of punk acts Desperate Measures, Flesh D-Vice and No Tag.
Eugene Big Cheese

See below for photos from the reunion gig. (All photos by Steve Andrews)

PROUD SCUM

PROUD SCUM

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BADSEEDS FOUNDING MEMBER LEAVES

MICK HARVEY, one of the founding members of NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS announces he is leaving:

"For a variety of personal and professional reasons I have chosen to discontinue my ongoing involvement with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. After 25 years I feel I am leaving the band as it experiences one of its many peaks; in very healthy condition, and with fantastic prospects for the future. I’m confident Nick will continue to be a creative force and that this is the right time to pass on my artistic and managerial role to what has become a tremendous group of people who can support him in his endeavours both musically and organizationally. It was a fantastic experience to finish my touring days in the band with the recent shows in Australia and the unique events that took place in conjunction with All Tomorrow’s Parties, especially Mt. Buller, which was one of the many highlights of my involvement with the band throughout the years. I shall continue working on the Bad Seeds back catalogue re-issues project over the coming year and look forward to the new opportunities I shall be able to accommodate as a result of my changed circumstances."

Mick Harvey, 22nd January 2009

 

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JANUARY RECORD REVIEWS (24 new reviews inside)

THE BONNEVILLES
GOOD SUITS AND FIGHTING BOOTS
(Motorsounds)
Raw garage blues from Northern Irish duo.
4/5

This is proper ‘sell your soul to the Devil at the crossroads’ blues in its rawest form (none of that glossy, watered down stuff the likes of Clapton and Cray peddle these days) played with a garage punk sense of urgency. The obvious comparison to make would be Jon Spencer or Seasick Steve, although they’ve also been compared to the Black Keys and Rory Gallagher’s early work. Choc-full of songs about God, Satan, fighting, drinking, cars, sex, love and revolutionaries and with great titles like ‘One More Nail Outta Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Coffin’ and ‘The Belgians Are Coming’, they’ve hit on a winning formula.
Lee Cotterell

THE BOYS
PUNK ROCK ANTHOLOGY
(Cherry Red)
Great package from underrated ‘77 punks.
4/5

Of all the original punk bands, the Boys are perhaps one of the most underrated and forgotten. Releasing their first single ‘I Don’t Care’ way back at the start of 1977, they were really there at the start when punk began. And, as usual, Cherry Red have done a great job in putting together this 2 CD, 47 track anthology. They always did a nice line in power pop/new wave and classic tracks like ‘Brickfield Nights’, ‘Kamikaze’ and ‘Livin’ in the City’ still sound great today. Having just played a couple of London shows, catch their Christmas alter ego the Yobs at December’s Rebellion Festival because they are still a great live act.
El Prez

THE COMPUTERS
YOU CAN’T HIDE FROM THE COMPUTERS
(Fierce Panda)
Do blues and hardcore punk mix? Well The Computers make it!
4/5

Well the strap line says it all really. Hailing from Exeter, The Computers have really hit a niche that’s never really been explored before. A curios mish-mash of ‘80s hardcore, aka Black Flag and MC5 style garage punk and rock n’roll, riffed up with some classic twelve bar blues and you have, well, The Computers. It sounds like it wouldn’t work on paper but tracks like opener ‘Teenage Tourettes Camp’ have a groove and stomp about them the likes of which I haven’t heard in a long time. It’s raw and abrasive – everything punk and rock n’ roll was meant to be!
Miles Hackett

DANKO JONES
NEVER TOO LOUD
(Bad Taste)
Further rock greatness form Canadian legends.
5/5

Danko Jones just don’t quit, and it shows in how tough and lean their music is. Their fourth album is stripped down musically, it sounds live and is simply recorded. It still packs one hell of a punch though. ‘City Streets’ has the astute melody and romance that Thin Lizzy were so good at, whilst ‘Still In High School’ is all dumb kid jokes set to riffs that chop like AC/DC. Danko Jones are so good at documenting, basically, a man’s life. This isn’t to say it’s chauvinistic – ‘Take Me Home’ is clearly them dying to go home (“take me home, to where my records are”) and is set to country harmonies and QOTSA guitar riffs. This album rocks, period.
Jonathan Falcone

THE GO SET
A JOURNEY FOR A NATION
(Bad Dog)
Melodic Celt-punk from Melbourne.
3/5

The Celtic punk genre seems to be enjoying a bit of a renaissance at the moment, with contemporary acts like Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys and Neck flying the flag and veterans The Pogues still selling out venues the world over. The latest name to add is Australian quintet The Go Set, who having built up a following down under, look set to do the business in Europe. Rather than opt for a raucous, Guinness-soaked approach they’ve opted for a more subtle sound, recalling The Levellers or Dexy’s Midnight Runners circa ‘Come on Eileen’. Billy Bragg is cited as an influence and his ‘Waiting for the Great Leap Forward’ is covered here. A good set of uplifting tunes all round.
Lee Cotterell

GRAVEYARD JOHNNYS
STREETBLOCKS AND CITY LIGHTS
(Let It Rock)
Impressive debut from bass-bothering Welsh trio.
4/5

This is an impressive debut mini album from the young Welsh trio, already making a name for themselves on the live circuit. This is hard rockabilly-inspired punk with attitude, and aptitude to boot. The classic formula for this stuff is pretty much followed – rattling guitar and chugging double bass with sparse drumming – but the Graveyard Johnnys have that something else. There is a freshness about this debut that bodes well for the future. Stand-out track is ‘Holloway’ with a stomping beat, sing-along chorus and atmospheric presence. Look out for these fellas.
Simon Nott

HISTORY OF GUNS
ACEDIA
(Line Out)
Bleak as you like industrial rock.
2/5

History Of Guns describe their sound as ‘Dark’ and they’re not joking. Opening track ‘Born Brutalised, Bought then Buried’ builds up ominously with a tinkling piano before a harsh voice barks “Welcome to the world, little cunt!” over a metal riff. It’s the musical equivalent of watching Ben Kingsley’s malevolent gangster in ‘Sexy Beast’. ‘It’s Easy to Go Blind’ is just as cheerful sounding, like Joy Division’s Ian Curtis providing vocals for Therapy? The musical backdrop owes much to the likes of Killing Joke and Nine Inch Nails. It’s very well executed but the overbearing nihilism wears you down after a while. Mind you, it’d make great stocking filler for the miserable goth in your life.
Lee Cotterell

IMELDA MAY
LOVE TATTOO
(Ambassador)
Devilishly sexy female-fronted rockabilly.
5/5

It sure is nice to see some females re-emerging in the rockabilly world – a scene that these days seems largely male-driven. Hepkittens like Wanda Jackson and Jean Chapel were frontrunners of the genre, even nurturing its birth, but when the revival came, so the ladies went. Imelda May is here to change things. As genuine as the 2000’s will allow, ‘Love Tattoo’ marries the smoky attitude of classic ‘50s rockabilly with the jaw-dropping sex appeal of piano-top jazz in an equal mix of ballads and bad boy bass. Topped off by Miss May’s honeyed vocals, that aren’t without their fair share of bee stings, ‘Love Tattoo’ is a deliciously devilish sophomore solo effort from this burlesque singing sensation.
Tom Williams

JOHNNY THUNDERS
BOOTLEGGING THE BOOTLEGGERS
(Jungle)
Barrel scrapings with redeeming qualities.
3/5

Originally released in 1990, a five year gap from Thunders’ last album of original studio material, this ragbag of live cuts was received at the time as the stalling tactic of a washed-up punk legend, with at least some justification. You’d have to be psychotically obsessive to find any merit in a sloppy medley of ‘In Cold Blood/Stepping Stone/Hit the Road Jack’, nevermind the regrettable ‘banter’ between tracks. Even so, there’s a few goodies tucked away amid the dreck; ‘MIA’ easily betters its studio version and the acoustic renditions of Dylan’s ‘Joey Joey’ and The
Stones’ ‘As Tears Go By’ are genuinely soulful, touching moments. It’s hardly the definitive Thunders document, but since it’s going out low-price, who‘s to argue?
Hugh Gulland

LET ME RUN
MEET ME AT THE BOTTOM
(XOXO)
Great stuff but it all sounds familiar.
3/5

This has all the ingredients that are needed to make a great melodic punk album. There are excellent lyrics, rumbling bass lines, heartfelt vocals and a full and swirling production. The trouble is, when hearing something great here, my head kept screaming ‘Gaslight Anthem’, ‘Alkaline Trio’, ‘Hot Water Music’. The bits that would normally make a good album a great one were popping up over and over again, but to my ears they were ideas cherry-picked from other bands. Saying that, it is a very good album. It’s just that so little of it is original.
Simon Nott

THE LUCKY DEVILS
GOIN’ MAD
(Crazy Love)
One of the top ten rockin’ albums of the year.
5/5

This album simply mashes you into a quivering splodge of rockin’ rolling pulp from the opening bass line, and boy, oh boy, this is bass amp busting stuff. This is rockabilly/psychobilly of the highest order. There is very little original, but every element of it is 100% top notch and there are some additional musical flourishes. They take on some brave covers that work well, but to my ears the strength is in the originals. This is one of the best rockabilly-flavoured albums of the year so track it down.
Simon Nott

PRONG
BEG TO DIFFER/ PROVE YOU WRONG/ RUDE AWAKENING
(SPV)
Fancy digipak re-issues from New York’s finest metal three-piece.
3/5 / 4/5 / 2/5

Back in the early ‘90s when Prong were in their heyday they were second to none in the offbeat noise/metal stakes. These re-issues chart their 2nd, 3rd and 5th albums respectively. ‘Beg To Differ’, their major label debut, is a joyous rhythmical affair which saw the band assert their sound into left of centre style. Following on was the mighty ‘Prove You Wrong’ a groove-laden affair that started to introduce samples into their crunchy metal mix. By the time ‘Rude Awakening’ hit the streets the trio were a force to be reckoned with as Raven from Killing Joke joined their ranks and the band were on the crest of a wave resulting in a bit a trendy industrial reworking. The groove and crunch however fell to the way side in favour of a machine like chug which leaves this album uninspiring and dull. Sadly not all good things come in threes, so grab the first two for some definitive Prong.
Miles Hackett

RISE AGAINST
APPEAL TO REASON
(Interscope)
The Chicago boys are still going strong.
4/5

There are so many bands that are so insistent in shoving their ‘message’ in your face that they sacrifice the quality of their music. This is definitely not the case with Rise Against. Sure, they’re doing their bit by using recycled paper and vegetable inks on their CD packaging, but opening track ‘Collapse’ is absolutely amazing. The lyrics are political, but you can’t deny it’s a fantastic song. Future single ‘Re-Education’ contains a shout-along chorus that will lodge in your head for days. ‘Saviour’ is a great love song, unexpected given the general seriousness of the rest of the album. Proving you can have purpose and write great songs, Rise Against are amazing.
Tracey Lowe

RUBELLA BALLET
ANARCHY IN THE U.V.
(Overground)
Quite colourful, and rather good, early anarcho types.
4/5

In punk terms, Rubella Ballet founding members Gem Stone and Pete Fender had something of a privileged upbringing, as their mother was none other than Vi Subversa, singer with anarcho legends the Poison Girls. This set is the first of two that will round up all the band’s output, this one spanning 1979-1985 – from two previously unreleased tracks from early 1979, ‘The Night Russia Died’, and ‘Napalm’, to the decidedly more commercial-sounding ‘Money Talks’ single, with Zillah sounding more than a little like Siouxsie. Not a bad thing, of course. Rubella Ballet were as political and committed as anyone else on the anarcho scene but delivered a pleasing tuneful and powerful, if sometimes doomy, sound.
Shane Baldwin

SHAM 69
SERIOUSLY ULTIMATE
(Bad Dog)
The new Sham re-do the old classics.
3/5

Not unnaturally, many people wondered how Sham 69 would fare after parting company with founding motormouth Jimmy Pursey a couple of years ago, but in fact they seem to have gone from strength to strength. Now led by guitarist Dave Parsons – not strictly speaking a founder member, but the one that wrote and played on all the classics – the band have proved to be a much more active Sham incarnation than we’ve seen in many a year. Here you get the new line-up re-recording jaunty renditions of 23 of the band’s finest compositions, which, while sometimes lacking the bite of the originals, bode well for future live shows.
Shane Baldwin

STIFF LITTLE FINGERS
LIVE AND LOUD / FLY THE FLAGS
(Cherry Red)
Belfast’s finest caught in action.
4/5

This two CD release is pretty much a live ‘Best Of’ collection as it includes versions of Stiff Little Fingers’ finest moments, including ‘At The Edge’, Nobody’s Hero’ ‘Suspect Device’, ‘Alternative Ulster’ and ‘Wasted Life’. Disc one is from the band’s reunion tour of 1987 and features their classic line-up and a greatest hits set. Disc two is from a sell-out show at Brixton Academy in 1991, by which time The Jam’s Bruce Foxton had been recruited on bass. The recording quality is crystal clear and, whilst it doesn’t have the urgency of their seminal ‘Hanx’ live album, it’s a good starting point for new fans and a nice addition for die-hards.
Lee Cotterell

STIGMA
NEW YORK BLOOD
(I Scream)
No surprises on debut solo effort from Agnostic Front guitarist.
3/5

It’s taken 28 years in Agnostic Front for founding member Vinnie Stigma to get around to releasing his solo album, and I doubt anyone will be surprised by the fact that much of this album sounds an awful lot like his ‘day job’. As such, much of ‘New York Blood’ is characterised by fast-paced, boisterous street punk edged hardcore that’s really a lot of fun. Unfortunately, while the half of the album that sticks to the AF blueprint is great, the other half fails to hit the spot. There are more than a few uninspiring mid-paced numbers which do little to stick in the memory, while the handful of bar-room sing-alongs are reminiscent of a pub rock outfit – not good. One for staunch fans of Agnostic Front.
Nick Mann

SUPERSUCKERS
GET IT TOGETHER
(Abstract Sounds)
The Supersuckers return to further demonstrate the evil powers of rock n’ roll.
3/5

You know exactly what you’re going to get when you put a new Supersuckers album in your stereo. Anthemic, straight forward, American rock n’ roll (unless it’s one of their country albums). Eddie Spaghetti and company are experts in creating fist-pumping, good time rock and ‘Get It Together’, their first album in five years, certainly shows that the band aren’t losing their touch. Highlights are numerous – the slightly melancholy ‘She Is Leaving’ is great while the more up-tempo ‘I’m A Fucking Genius’ is sure to go down well at gigs. It isn’t exactly revolutionary but when you can create rock n’ roll this good, why bother changing?
Paul Hagen

THE TERMITES
KICKED IN THE TEETH
(Crazy Love)
The tartan psychobillies kick you in the chops.
4/5

It took almost 20 years for The Termites to come up with a follow-up to their now considered classic slab of psychobilly and debut album ‘Overload’. They have had a chequered past that has included a fair bit of booze and a liberal spanking of violence. The songs have been given a Celtic feel, with the addition of a frantic fiddler, but, that aside, this is the original line-up and they continue pretty much where they left off. The subject matter is often violent and sexual with no thought of taboo. This is tough but hugely enjoyable stuff.
Simon Nott

TOM GABEL
HEART BURNS
(Sire)
Against Me! frontman goes back to his solo roots.
3/5

Tom Gabel is the next in a seemingly endless line of successful band frontmen to come out with a solo offering, although that’s how Against Me! started. As also seems to be the normal in these cases, the 7-track EP was pretty much knocked out in a couple of weeks, with sparse instrumentation and guest vocals from Matt Skiba and Chuck Ragan. But are these albums vanity projects or essential additions to the output of their respective bands? This is well written, but is it going to be an all-time favourite or just keep you going until the next Against Me! release?
Simon Nott

VARIOUS ARTISTS
IT CAME FROM THE BEACH
(Ace)
Rockin’ surf instrumentals – the antidote to winter.
5/5

This is just what is needed to brighten up a miserable winter’s evening – 26 rockin’ surf and hot rod instrumentals from the golden era of the style. Forget the Beach Boys, this is the stuff the hardcore draggers and surfers would have been listening to. As you would expect with an Ace release, this comes with a hugely informative booklet so you can read all about the bands that laid these tracks down. Have it ready for the car to play on your first trip to the beach next summer, all honking sax and twang for your thang you can almost smell the sex, wax, petrol and nitrous oxide.
Simon Nott

VINCE RAY AND THE BONESHAKERS
ZOMBIE RADIO
(Raucous)
A primal rockabilly audio-visual workout by Voodoo Vince.
4/5

This is the best of Vince Ray’s releases. This album really does capture the eerie B-movie feel you get from his artwork, though I’m sure that wasn’t the priority. It bounces along like the Elephant’s Head on a Saturday night. The rhythm section take no prisoners, while Vince’s guitar is sparse but more than enough to send this little beauty into orbit. There are thirteen voodoolicious tracks, including a superb version of ‘What’s Inside A Girl’. The blues get a bit of a look in too, but this is mainly stompingly good in your face rockabilly from the darkside. There’s even a free poster.
Simon Nott

VOORHEES
THE FINAL CHAPTER
(Violent Change)
Impressively raging hardcore punk retrospective from UK outfit.
4/5

Durham’s Voorhees may have died a death back in 2001, but they’re still talked about in reverential tones within the UK hardcore and punk scene. This 21-song collection, bringing together their contributions to a host of split EPs, shows just why. Their confrontational brand of in-your-face, fast and furious noise drew on the blueprint laid down by Discharge but also brought a definite hint of some Negative Approach worshipping to their short, sharp shocks. And, while there’s not much in the way of diversity or studio sheen here, there is plenty of pure, unfettered hardcore rage. That’ll do just fine.
Nick Mann

THE WELCH BOYS
DRINKIN’ ANGRY
(I Scream)
They sound like they’ve been drinking and you made them angry.
3/5

Tough street punk with a message relayed by growling vocals, sing-along choruses and lots of blood and thunder is what you get from this Boston five-piece. They have toured with the Dropkick Murphys and there are obvious similarities, not least the aggression with which the songs are delivered. You get the feeling that they mean it in all eighteen tracks. This is great stuff, I’m sure that they would all be great blokes to go out on the lash with and that the gigs would be a scream. The only drawback is that some of this sounds just a bit too generic. Great boozy nonsense but not essential.
Simon Nott

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JANUARY ISSUE LIVE REVIEWS

REBELLION FESTIVAL
London Forum
December 13th

On a day when many experienced massive travel difficulties, arrived to catch the last thrashings of THE RABBLE (4/5), prior to a typically serene GOLDBLADE (4/5) performance; John Robb spending the entire set perched on a barstool, smiling demurely from behind his coiffed fringe. Oh, okay then, it was the usual full-throttle, bare-chested broadside from Blackpool’s favourite punk rock son. A lot of people have made a real effort to see THE SHAPES (5/5) reunite, and revisit those dole snoop-dodging pseudonyms of yesteryear (Seymour Bybuss is still an all-time favourite). That man stage left is Brian Helicopter, and he’s on vacation from the day job (champion skydiver). How cool to hear ‘Batman In The Launderette’ again… Won the sweepstake on how old Andy Ellison of the Radio Stars is (112 officially) but nobody seems to have told him, and he’s soon doing a Robbster, disrobing and taunting the audience with his man-sweat. Next up is the similarly ageless and ever-engaging TV SMITH (3/5). I’ve always preferred him in smaller venues, generally, but he’s never knowingly undersold any audience I’ve been part of. This is the best I’ve seen Charlie Harper and the UK SUBS (4/5) for a while; excellent energy, a thumping ‘Warhead’ that sees the venue really light up for the first time late afternoon, some of my all-time favourite B-sides, and a lot of smiles. YOBS (4/5), the Yule-tidey reincarnation of THE BOYS, were great too; wonderfully appropriate season’s fare if you like a dose of vulgarity with your roasting chestnuts. Had to laugh at one on-stage introduction: “This one’s called . . . ‘C**t’.” The real highlight, though, is catching PENETRATION (5/5) in fine form. They apologise self-consciously for peppering the set with new material from their current Damaged Goods release, but pretty much all of it sounded great. Pauline, Rob et al seem to be having a ball and it’s not too slouchy from where I’m standing, either. After years of under the radar cultdom, kitchen porter colossus JOHNNY MOPED (3/5) has been a practical tart of late; perhaps he’s getting better at giving wife Brenda the slip. When they finally sell him off to medical science and dissect that gladiatorial physique, they’ll find rock ‘n’ roll running through his spine like a stick of rock. Travel anxieties preclude a fuller report of THE DAMNED’s performance, sadly; though I’ll be catching up with them shortly anyway and the new album is as pleasing as everyone is saying.
Alex Ogg

RANCID
THE LAST RESORT, JACSON UNITED
London Astoria
November 16th

It’s been two years too long since the second wave’s biggest punk rock band graced our chilly shores, and on this, their third London show and the last of their sold out UK winter tour, hopes are that they’ll be going out with a bang.
With differing support acts for differing cities, tonight’s show opens with new Deck Cheese signers JACKSON UNITED (5/5). On the second night of their own UK tour, Chris Shiflett’s boys receive a warm welcome from the ravenous crowd, rocking their newly acquired faster-edged sound to its full potential.  A set comprised predominantly of tracks from their recent ‘Harmony And Dissidence’ release, including the future classic single ‘21st Century Fight Song’ and solid moshing songs  ‘White Flag Burning’ and ‘The Land Without Law’, Jackson United leave the audience pumped, but not panting, proving themselves as the perfect warm up band for the evening.
THE LAST RESORT (4/5) take the middle slot of the bill, joining other seminal punk legends GBH, The Exploited and the UK Subs who have filled it on various dates of the tour. True up-starters of the Oi! Movement, The Last Resort are old school through and through and their loud, proud hooligan anthems soon have fists flying en masse. Cropping up lyrically in ‘The Ballad Of Jimmy & Johnny’, a classic track from the headliner’s Let’s Go release, it’s hardly surprising these guys were asked to join the tour, but the raw and belligerent deliverance of tracks like ‘Working Class Heroes’ and ‘Held Hostage’ paints a clear picture of where the Hellcat punx themselves learned the ropes of punk rock.
With little delay, RANCID (5/5), the guys we’re all here to see, take to the stage and if the years have taken their toll on these punk rock megastars, it sure ain’t showing.  All members, including new boy Brandon Steineckert, are on top form and judging by the mash of crowd and size of the circle pit, their fans haven’t grown tired of the tunes either.  A generous set featuring a nice mix of tracks that span their discography, from no-brainers ‘Radio’, ‘Old Friend’ and ‘Roots Radicals’ and ‘Ruby Soho’ to more obscure, often forgotten Life Won’t Wait tracks like ‘Hoover Street’, ‘There’s Something In The World Tonight’ and ‘Who Would’ve Thought’. As per usual Matt Freeman outperforms any pre-recorded effort and as his fingers fly in the ‘Maxwell Murder’ solo, nobody watching can deny Lars when he declares him as ‘the greatest fucking bassist in the world!’ Although no new material is let loose from next years anticipated release, nobody is left disappointed by a set full of sing-alongs.  Rancid is one live band that cannot be faulted and if this performance is anything to go by, then the upcoming stuff is going to be one hell of a riot.
Tom Williams

BIG CHEESE SPONSORED
GOLDBLADE
ARGY BARGY, THE GRAVEYARD JOHNNYS, THE RABBLE
London Camden Dingwalls
October 19th

A real eclectic mix of stuff to warm up a Sunday night started off with an excellent set by New Zealand’s THE RABBLE (3/5) who blasted their way through a set encompassing their relatively short career. They did in a manner that made the look and sound like old professionals with attitude as they didn’t let a sparse Sunday opening band crowd bother them, but rather gave it to them with both barrels. Those that missed it lost out big style. THE GRAVEYARD JOHNNYS (3/5) were buoyed up and ready to go after their recent airplay on Mike Davies’s Radio One Punk Show and didn’t let the crowd, that had been swelling by the minute, down. Their ‘no quiffs’ attitude on their take on psychobilly had led to some recent online banter about ‘Emo Cowboys’ so they took this opportunity to let their doubters have it right between the ears in the manner of a fairly short sharp rocking shock as stinging as bassist Joe’s fingers appeared to be in a full-on psychobilly for the noughties assault. ARGY BARGY (4/5) are pretty much the best street punk/Oi! band around and they blasted the crowd with an enjoyable set made up  from songs from their very fine new album ‘The Likes Of Us’ before getting Cocksparrers’ Colin onstage to end with an encore of their signature tune ‘Argy Bargy’. GOLDBLADE (4/5) had a fair bit to follow but if anyone can rise to a challenge it’s John Robb, and there is barely a better sight in rock ‘n’ roll than him going absolutely apeshit onstage. Stripped to that waist and in full piledriver mode, he fronted Goldblade through a crowd-pummelling set of all-time favourites mixed in with the best off the new album ‘Mutiny’, which left those at the front not knowing what hit them.
Simon Nott/Eugene VLP

EASTPAK ANTIDOTE TOUR
London Astoria
November 5th

As smoke and coloured lights burst in the sky over London this November 5th, fans can be guaranteed that tonight’s Eastpak Antidote Tour is jam packed with enough fireworks to satisfy the most destructive punk rock pyromaniac’s appetites. High spirits are all round following the morning’s election results and as Hellcat punx TIME AGAIN (3/5) open the display, the beers are already flowing fast and frequent.  Tales of ugly shoes accompany other true stories from both their namesake debut and this year’s ‘Darker Days’ release and although the crowd is small, a fast and thunderous effort in tracks like ‘Day Like This’ and ‘Cold Concrete’ soon have them spinning in circles.  The set may be short, but it’s still nice to see Dan Dare and his crew again before their upcoming hiatus.
The ‘Star Spangled Banner’ blasts in the background as their label mates STREET DOGS (4/5) take the stage and it’s clear from the sweat in the air and the swell of the crowd that is going to be a rowdy performance. A ‘Not Without A Purpose’ opener receives a meaty response and immediately fists are pummelling the air. Rambunctious jigging soon ensues and after more props to Obama and a quick lesson in pogo dancing, Mike McColgan finishes with a solo spoken version of U2’s ‘MLK’, the ex-fire fighter’s own personal dedication to the new president elect.
Tribal drum pounds guide Newport’s SKINDRED (5/5) onstage, an innovative choice for the tour, but definitively a popular one with the teeming audience, who are caught under Benji Webbe’s spell within seconds.  Unleashing a brutal performance that sees limbs and bodies hurled in all directions to the ragga metal riddim’, Skindred are truly the definition of raw energy.  Tracks from both their ‘Babylon’ debut and new album ‘Roots Rock Riot’ are served up in generous portions, including volatile tracks ‘Pressure’, ‘Trouble’ and a ‘Nobody’ ending that leaves the crowd infected with a furious primal rage.
It’s doubtful if FLOGGING MOLLY (4/5) could ever put on a poor performance and tonight’s effort does nothing to dampen their spotless reputation.  As violins, banjos and squeezeboxes arrive onstage, the crowd begins to chant, still pumped from the hectic former performance and as the seven-piece take stage, the thrall begins.  With everyone’s favourite redhead Dave King delivering Celtic charm in excess, the dancefloor soon becomes a full-blown Irish céilí.  A boisterous set of the best paddy punk money can buy, songs like ‘Swagger’, ‘Drunken Lullabies’ and ‘Devil’s Dance Floor’ prove that Flogging Molly really are one of the liveliest and most fun live acts out there.  Signing off with ‘What’s Left Of The Flag’ and ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ this has possibly been the most explosive Guy Fawkes night since 1605.
Tom Williams

THE BRONX
CLOUDS, DOOMRIDERS
The Middle East
Cambridge, Massachusetts
October 16th
4/5

THE BRONX started soundcheck just as the Red Sox were rallying back in the ninth inning in an elimination playoff game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Unfortunately for the Los Angeles-based band, they were playing in Bean Town and they’d have to wait a good twenty minutes before the audience could tear their attention away from the bar’s small television.
As soon as the Sox won the game, The Bronx hit the stage to the clanking of beer bottles and uproarious celebration. Wasting no time, the band treated the crowd—who by now had been accustomed to the plodding experimental rock stylings of openers CLOUDS and DOOMRIDERS – to their brand of fast, gritty punk. Then came the first chords of fan-favourite ‘Heart Attack American’ accompanied by vocalist Matt Caughthran’s signature opening scream and all hell broke loose. Fuelled by a set list that included ‘Knifeman’, ‘Shitty Future’ and ‘History’s Stranglers’, the previously tame Cambridge crowd whipped itself into a frenzy as Caughthran bounced around onstage like a madman, constantly in danger of hitting his head on the East’s exposed ceiling pipes. The band debuted an untitled song off their upcoming ‘Bronx III’ release and it fit right at home with the controlled chaos playing out in front of the small stage. A couple of songs later it was all over. Few bands do this genre justice live anymore, and The Bronx are definitely one of them.
Kevin Sirois

CRO MAGS JAM
The Nike Theatre
Los Angeles, California
5/5

Original Cro Mags vocalist John Joseph made his long awaited West Coast appearance with his all-star CRO MAGS JAM band at the ‘Radio Silence: A Selected Visual History Of American Hardcore’ book release show. A packed room eagerly awaited the appearance of the tattooed frontman to throw down the old school hardcore jams, and he, along with the band, definitely did. The band, featuring guitarist A.J. Novello (Leeway), drummer Mackie Jayson (Bad Brains, Hazen Street, Madball, Cro-Mags), and bassist Craig Away (Sick Of It All) delivered the goods, punching away at all of the classic tunes and keeping the crowd moving throughout their set. Joseph introduced many of their long-time friends in the crowd, including Lord Ezec (Skarhead/Danny Diablo) and Toby Morse (H20), dedicating songs to them and speaking about the positive message behind hardcore. They played many favourites including ‘We Gotta Know,’ ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ and ‘Hard Times’, with Morse and friends joining in the fun. Showing that despite the drama behind some of the members’ relations, the Cro Mags were definitely a huge part of shaping hardcore and heavy music in today’s scene, nobody should ignore this.
Rei Nishimoto

 

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RON ASHETON TRIBUTE

RON ASHETON
1948 – 2009

STOOGES guitarist Ron Asheton, the man whose thuggishly primeval guitar sound pointed the way for aspirant punk rock axemen the world over, was found dead at his Detroit home on the morning of January 6th 2009. Ron was 60 years old and had been at long last reaping the benefits of his immense influence with the re-formed Iggy and the Stooges.

Ron began musical life playing around his Ann Arbor locale in various high school bands, which included a brief stint with The Iguanas, whose drummer Jimmy Osterberg appropriated an abbreviated nickname from that outfit. Iggy soon abandoned the drums in favour of vocals, joining forces with Ron and his brother Scott and bassist Dave Alexander to form ëThe Psychedelic Stoogesí. Inspired by the bluesí primordial simplicity as well as the no-rules free jazz of Pharoah Sanders, James Brownís cat-on-heat strut and down-and-dirty teenage disenchantment, these neighbourhood greasers were prototype punk both in look and sound. Early gigs were cacophonous exercises in sonic confrontation, the bandís minimalist musical chops  meshing into something exciting, raw and new, a rallying call for social outsiders and highly unpalatable to the mainstream. While lunatic front man Iggy contorted his unbelievable physique and goaded audiences to the limit, Ron provided the appropriate sonic backup with his drumfire power chords, open-string drones and withering wah wah excursions. The guitaristís fondness for Nazi uniforms – symptomatic of his interest in history rather than any ideological wonkiness – only added to the bizarre sense of spectacle and did little to broaden the Stoogesí commercial pulling power.


The Stooges – Ron Asheton (second from left)

After the failure of two astonishing albums for Elektra, the original Stooges lineup folded.  However, when David Bowieís management courted Iggy as a solo artist, the Asheton brothers were called upon to complete a new Stooges line up, this time with new boy James Williamson on guitar and Ron effectively demoted to bass duties. Although this rankled, Ron was at least glad of a gig and together with his brother formed one of the worldís deadliest rhythm sections for 1973’s Raw Power album. However, Asheton became increasingly disenfranchised, a fact that was exacerbated by the rest of the band’s descent into heroin use.  When it finally fell apart in 1974, Ron accepted the news with something approaching relief.

From then on out, Asheton took his guitar to the clubs and slogged away at it, on a low-key level, for decades. He first hooked up with ex-MC5 personnel for the New Order (pre-dating the other New Order by some years), then teaming up with the vampish vocalist Niagara for Destroy All Monsters, and later touring Australia with various former Radio Birdman members as New Race. By this point, the Stooges influence had flourished into a worldwide punk rock explosion, the Sex Pistols famously covering their ëNo Funí and legions of wannabes borrowing Ronís style and licks. Ron saw little financial kickback for all this however, and branched out into small time movie roles.


The Stooges – Ron Asheton (far right)

Ron’s eventual reunion with his fellow Stooges came about through his association with Dinosaur Jnrís J Mascis and former Minutemen bassman Mike Watt. Taking Ron along with them on Jís 2001 tour as The Fog, the group would encore with a brace of Stooges classics. This would develop into a full-length set of Stooges numbers, around which point Iggy broke a long silence in inviting Ron along to play and co-write a couple of tracks on his Skull Ring album. A proper reunion seemed the logical next step and in 2003, the Stooges played their first gig together for nearly 30 years.  At long last, Ron could translate cult status and critical acclaim into decent-sized sold out shows.

Ron Asheton will be remembered as a sweet-natured man with no rock star bullshit about him; possibly he was just too much of a nice guy for the music business. Having trawled the small clubs for years after the original Stooges split, for little more money than his high-school groups earned him, and with precious few royalties from Stooges sales in that time, he carried no bitterness about this when asked about it in recent years.  Ron was generous with his time with Stooges fans, and  never lost touch with the brutal power of that trademark guitar sound.

Hugh Gulland

 

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MOTORHEAD

On the eve of the release of MOTORHEAD’s twenty third album, ‘Kiss of Death’, back in 2006 Vive Le Punk caught up with the living legend himself: LEMMY…

Entering the Kensington hotel room that is Lemmy’s lair can be a somewhat intimidating experience. Dressed completely in black and already on his second bottle of Jack Daniels of the day ("I don’t get pissed anymore. I just drink it because I like the taste"), the Motorhead frontman is strictly from the no bullshit school of rock. He says what he means, he says it once and you either get with the programme or get out! Luckily for me, discovering the ‘Overkill’ album at an early age and an overall knowledge about all things Motorhead saves me any embarrassment…

TALES OF GLORY
Lemmy has certainly paid his dues. What is the worst job the rock legend has ever had? "Making parts for washing machines in a factory. It was unbearable, I just screamed my head off ’til they fired me."
Since the ’60s he’s been living his rock ‘n’ roll dream but his early bands such as Opal Butterfly, Sam Gopal’s Dream and The Rockin’ Vicars were a very different, less aggressive style than what he is famed for. A stint as roadie for Hendrix in ’67 must have been quite an experience too. He then went on to join and enjoy success with the seminal space rockers Hawkwind in ’71.
After being kicked out of Hawkwind in 1975 for "taking the wrong drugs", he formed Bastard, who would quickly be humorously renamed Motorhead, the last Hawkwind song Lemmy wrote. Taking on vocal and bass duties this was his band and would see a list of musicians come and go. The classic early eighties line-up, that saw Motorhead at the peak of their success, was Lemmy (bass/lead vocals), Fast Eddie Clarke (guitar/backing vocals) and Philthy Animal Taylor (drums).

Numerous members, including Brian ‘Robbo’ Robertson and Taylor were kicked out at various times because they couldn’t play or didn’t learn their parts. "That’s the unforgiveable", Lemmy states bluntly: "Robbo got the sack because he couldn’t fucking play. For whatever reason, as it happens it was because he was drinking too much, he couldn’t deliver his gig. You can do what the fuck you like, you can snort fucking Harpic for all I care as long as you can deliver on the stage."

Lemmy settled on the current Motorhead line-up of Lemmy, Phil Campbell (guitar) and Michael "Mikkey Dee" Delaouglou (drums) in 1995. His unstoppable musical juggernaut would define the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll with fast, heavy and raw tales of debauchery and carnage.

BUILT FOR SPEED
Back in the late ’70s and ’80s, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC and the mighty Motorhead were only a handful of bands that were accepted by both metallers and punks.
"It was because we sounded like a punk band but looked like a heavy metal band! That’s why we were called heavy metal, because we had long hair. Otherwise we’d have been put in the punk bracket. The Ramones managed it. Some people call them heavy metal. I thought we had a lot in common with The Ramones. There was three of us, four of them. None of them had red hair. (laughs)"
As well as his closeness with The Ramones, Lemmy was good friends with The Damned too and he guested on bass on the band’s 1979 cover of ‘Ballroom Blitz’. "The silly rock ‘n’ roll brothers. The Damned were extremely silly, no, well Captain (Sensible, singer/guitarist) was extremely silly. A couple of their bass players became silly or had silliness thrust upon them."

ON YOUR FEET OR ON YOUR KNEES
With the recent release of the anthology ‘Lemmy- Damage Case’, some of the best tracks spanning his entire career have been compiled. Lemmy has stuck to Motorhead’s classic sound, despite the rising and falling of numerous trends in music.
"I never paid any attention. I was only interested in my band, the rest of them can go fuck themselves. You have to be like that or you can’t survive it. We never move far out of the mould, we just do the occasional freak out. But we had a good idea at the beginning, why fuck with it? About every eight years it becomes okay to like Motorhead again you know? We seem to be in the middle of one of those little lifts."
In a musical climate where bands shoot themselves in the foot by exploring too many different styles and not managing to develop their own sound, you know where you are with Motorhead. Lemmy doesn’t think much of bands that jump on bandwagons.
"Well you see all these bands that do that and they always fuck up. People just leave them." No one leaves Motorhead, fans are fans for life. Despite this, Lemmy flatly states, "nearly all of our albums are fucking underrated". Who can argue with that?

DEAD MAN’S HAND
A track that got them credit was the 100mph punk/metal hybrid and rock classic ‘Ace Of Spades’, released in 1980. "It was just all about gambling. A lot of my songs are like that. Think of a title and then all the clichés I can get in there. I never thought it was anything special that song but everyone else did."
Although when he wrote the song, it didn’t strike Lemmy as being one which could blow up like it did, the 1980 single would go on to become their most famous song. "We were lucky that we got famous for a good song. We got stuck with a good ‘un. Imagine being The Bay City Rollers and having to play those shit songs for the rest of your lives."

TALKING HEAD
With their lyrical content ranging from womanising, gambling and rock ‘n’ roll to anti-religion anthems, Motorhead songs are always about the excessive, sleazier and darker sides of life. "Well it’s no fun singing about the light side," Lemmy reasons. As regards to songs about women and his numerous encounters he simply jokes, "It’s my dearest closest thing, you know? It’s my career actually, music is just a sideline."
His ‘sideline’ has made him an iconic figure and a rock ‘n’ roll hero. "I just happen to be the last one," he claims, smiling.

ALL THE ACES
Lemmy’s own heroes are from a very different era of rockstar. "I go all the way back, I remember Elvis’ first record coming out. That was my first." It didn’t upset the young Lemmy too much that Elvis never played the UK. "He got off a plane in Glasgow for an hour, got back on it and fucked off. Elvis wasn’t the best of them, he was just the best looking. He defined the look of rock ‘n’ roll but we never thought he was the end of it all as far as records went. Little Richard was magic."

SHOOT YOU IN THE BACK
Self-proclaimed anarchist Lemmy is still very suspicious about the music industry and is aware that great talents and artists can be conned if they aren’t careful. "This is the only business where you can get cheated this bad by the record company or the management. Although, if it does go wrong, they’ll keep managing you and see if they can get anymore out of you. The Musician’s Union in this country isn’t worth fuck all." Fuck the business, for the booted man in black, it’s all about the music… and the women.

FAST AND LOOSE
Lemmy has never been one for the white picket fence and 2.4 children. The call of rock ‘n’ roll is just too loud and appealing for him to ever turn his back on. Has he never thought of settling down with a special lady?
"I’ve thought about it. I didn’t do it though. It looks like hell to me. I get bored real swift. I can’t be sitting there looking at the same face over the cornflakes for the rest of my life. I just can’t imagine it. I’m not going to get married and pretend because that’s bollocks. If you get married, fucking stay that way. I’ve just never found anybody who makes me stop looking at all the other birds basically."

LIVE TO WIN
Winning a Grammy in 2004 and celebrating their thirtieth anniversary last year has only pushed Lemmy to keep striving for more. One of his tattoos reads, ‘Born to lose- live to win’. There’s still fire (or should that be whiskey and smoke?) in Lemmy’s veins. Thoughts of calling it a day have never crossed his mind.
"No. Never. If you knock it on the head you’ve definitely got fuck all. Stay together and you’ve got a chance."
‘Kiss Of Death’, Motorhead’s 23rd album to date (yes, you read that right) is out this month and sees Lemmy, Campbell and Mikkey Dee back on top form with some classic Motorhead blitzes and a few surprises, such as the whiskey soaked ballad, ‘God Was Never On Your Side’.
With Motorhead’s new album ready to rip, he’s not even taking a breath: "Well I’m doing a solo album right now which has two tracks with The Reverend Horton Heat, two tracks with Skew Siskin, two tracks with The Damned and a track with Dave Grohl. I’ve got another couple to do yet." The as yet untitled solo album is sure to see him doing what he does. Lemmy is rock ‘n’ fuckin’ roll.

NO SLEEP ‘TIL BRIXTON
Although the power rock trio can now tour in comfort, Lemmy remembers the days of piling into the back of a van for months on end. "I did my van thing. In the back in my sleeping bag with the fucking flash light shoved in your gob trying to read."
Lemmy’s itching to head out with the new material and with more classics than a Ferrari collector. "About seven months a year we tour. I like it. I spend more time on the road than I do in my house so it’s fair I suppose."
"It’s a great life and I recommend it. The taxman can’t find you and the fucking woman with the bad news can’t find you."

And before we know it our time is up and as eight members of a BBC camera crew sheepishly creep into the room to film yet another interview with Lemmy, he wishes me farewell with "Take it easy Eugene". The man is a legend. Long may his glass remain full.

‘Kiss of Death’ is out now on SPV. Motorhead’s most recent studio album, last year’s ‘Motorizer’, is out now on SPV.

Eugene Big Cheese

TEAR YA’ DOWN
Deluded do-gooder frontmen and lying politicians make Lemmy’s blood boil…

"Bono is the most insincere motherfucker I’ve heard for a long time. Actually I take that back. I think he’s sincere but misguided. A guy having dinner with George Bush is not my idea of a good lad. Fucking hell. You can find better ways of helping the poor in the world than talking to George Bush. He’s never going to do anything for anyone. Neither is Tony Blair for that matter. That fucking smiling twat. I hate all politicians. From the far left to the far right and everything in between- they’re all lying bastards. It’s like the Irish say, it doesn’t matter who you vote for, you always end up with the government. As soon as they become the government they change."

HAMMERED
A brief history of the legend that is Lemmy Kilmister…

1945- Born in Stoke.
1967- Worked as a roadie for Hendrix for six months.
1971- Joined London space rockers Hawkwind.
1972- Hawkwind reach No. 3 in the UK charts with the ‘Silver Machine’ single.
1975- Lemmy is thrown out of Hawkwind for copious amphetamine use. Forms Motorhead.
1980- Motorhead’s ‘Ace Of Spades’ reached No.15 in the UK singles chart.
1981- Live album ‘No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith’ hits No.1 in the UK charts and Motorhead reach the peak of their mainstream fame.
1982- Motorhead release a cover of the Tammy Wynette classic ‘Stand By Your Man’, with Wendy O. Williams and The Plasmatics. This lead to the departure of Fast Eddie Clarke who felt it was a compromise of the band’s principles.
1984- Motorhead played ‘Ace Of Spades’ on an episode of the sitcom ‘The Young Ones’. Drummer Taylor left after the recording and was replaced by former Saxon sticksman Pete Gill.
1991- Lemmy writes lyrics for the Ozzy tracks ‘Desire’, ‘I Don’t Want To Change The World’ and the hit ‘Mama I’m Coming Home’. Mmm, royalties.
1992- Motorhead release ‘Hellraiser’, co-written by Ozzy and used in the film ‘Hellraier III: Hell On Earth’.
1995- Guitarist Wurzel leaves and Motorhead revert to a trio rather than a quartet for the first time in over a decade and were re-energised. Lemmy celebrated his 50th birthday.
2001- Motorhead’s song ‘The Game’ from the album ‘Hammered’ is started to be used as WWE wrestler Triple H’s intro music.
2004- Lemmy guests on Dave Grohl’s Probot side-project on vocals and bass on the track ‘Shake Your Blood’.
2005- Motorhead pick up their first Grammy Award. It is for their cover of Metallica’s ‘Whiplash’ and wins them ‘Best Metal Performance’. The same year Motorhead and Motley Crue perform a joint encore in Perth Australia of The Sex Pistols song ‘Anarchy in the UK’.
2006- ‘Lemmy- Damage Case’, a compilation spanning Lemmy’s career, and ‘Kiss of Death’, Motorhead’s 23rd studio album, are both unleashed on the world. Lemmy gets stuck into recording a new solo album with a number of special guests

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