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:


Send your answer, name and address to

Good luck!

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


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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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 –

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)



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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)

Raw garage blues from Northern Irish duo.

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

(Cherry Red)
Great package from underrated ‘77 punks.

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

(Fierce Panda)
Do blues and hardcore punk mix? Well The Computers make it!

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

(Bad Taste)
Further rock greatness form Canadian legends.

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

(Bad Dog)
Melodic Celt-punk from Melbourne.

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

(Let It Rock)
Impressive debut from bass-bothering Welsh trio.

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

(Line Out)
Bleak as you like industrial rock.

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

Devilishly sexy female-fronted rockabilly.

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

Barrel scrapings with redeeming qualities.

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

Great stuff but it all sounds familiar.

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

(Crazy Love)
One of the top ten rockin’ albums of the year.

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

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

The Chicago boys are still going strong.

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

Quite colourful, and rather good, early anarcho types.

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

(Bad Dog)
The new Sham re-do the old classics.

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

(Cherry Red)
Belfast’s finest caught in action.

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

(I Scream)
No surprises on debut solo effort from Agnostic Front guitarist.

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

(Abstract Sounds)
The Supersuckers return to further demonstrate the evil powers of rock n’ roll.

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

(Crazy Love)
The tartan psychobillies kick you in the chops.

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

Against Me! frontman goes back to his solo roots.

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

Rockin’ surf instrumentals – the antidote to winter.

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

A primal rockabilly audio-visual workout by Voodoo Vince.

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

(Violent Change)
Impressively raging hardcore punk retrospective from UK outfit.

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

(I Scream)
They sound like they’ve been drinking and you made them angry.

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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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

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

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

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 Middle East
Cambridge, Massachusetts
October 16th

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

The Nike Theatre
Los Angeles, California

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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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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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…

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.

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."

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?

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."

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.

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."

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.

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."

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.

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

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."

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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December 22nd was the 10th anniversary of his death so Vive Le Rock featured the man himself on the cover of our current issue (no. 10, click HERE to get your copy) maps out the musical timeline of the legendary JOE STRUMMER.

Fiery, honest, original. Three words that sum up Joe Strummer. Punk as fuck would be another three. For, while Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols captured the ire and attention of the nation thanks to shock tactics, it was the late great Joe Strummer and The Clash who pushed boundaries, shattered preconceptions, broke rules and quietly crushed the old guard of the ’60s and ’70s into dust. Born John Graham Mellor in Ankara, Turkey, on the 21st of August 1952, the legacy of Joe Strummer is one that continues to inspire to this day, from the lowliest toilet circuit band to stadium headliners. With the recent release of Julian Temple’s ‘Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten’, we thought it high time to look at Joe’s musical life.

A young Joe visits the second-ever Glastonbury Festival. Mind suitably blown, he becomes a life-long vegetarian and gets himself a criminal record for robbing a pint of milk from a South London doorstep the same year.

Bitten hard by the music bug, a young Joe tries his hand at busking on the London Underground where he starts to feel his way around the frets of a guitar. By Christmas he would find himself living in Newport of all places.

Forms his first band, playing with The Vultures while staying in Newport before moving back to London and throwing himself into the squat scene of the time.

Abiding at 101 Walterton Road, it was no great leap when it came to naming his next ban, The 101ers, who would later be seen as one of the most impacting of bands in the pub rock scene were born, with the aim of raising funds for other squatters.

Playing practically the length and breadth of London and sandwiching in as many benefit shows as they could, the 101ers start to receive glowing reviews in the press.

With momentum building on the back of debut single ‘Keys To Your Heart’, the 101ers play the Nashville Rooms in London, supported by a bunch of little-known street urchins called the Sex Pistols. It was to be another life-changing moment for Strummer. One month later and, following an offer from Bernie Rhodes, Joe had joined The Clash.

The Clash sign to CBS Records and release incendiary debut single ‘White Riot’ and album ‘The Clash’ (Strummer and drummer Topper Headon would later get nicked for spraypainting the motif on a hotel room wall). After heading out and staying out on tour since May Day, Strummer and guitarist Mick Jones decamped to Kingston, Jamaica, deeply immersing themselves in reggae.

Eighty thousand people turn out in London’s Victoria Park for Rock Against Racism and The Clash steal the show, ploughing through a set including numbers from the newly released ‘Give ‘Em Enough Rope’.

The Great American Assault begins, as Strummer and company hit the United States running for the ‘Pearl Harbour’ and ‘Take The Fifth’ tours before unveiling their career-defining opus and love song to the city that spawned them, ‘London Calling’.

Released in December, the triple album ‘Sandinista!’ splits Clash fans right down the middle as both an overblown exercise in grandiosity and a melting pot of dub, reggae, rock, hip hop and world music.


The Clash play an unprecedented seventeen sold-out nights at Bond’s in New York’s Times Square, while Joe takes a break from music to run and complete both the London and Paris Marathons.

Topper Headon leaves the band, replaced by Terry Chimes for the straightforward ‘Combat Rock’.

With Mick Jones having also parted ways with Joe and co., chopping out his last riffs for the band in Bristol the year before, there is however light at the end of the tunnel for Strummer and partner Gaby, when the couple’s daughter Jazzy is born.

Touring the UK, Europe and the US with a new Clash line-up, Joe visits the grave of Spanish Civil War poet Federico Garcia Lorca.

Playing their final live show in Athens, the release of ‘Cut The Crap’ is followed shortly after by the official announcement that The Clash were completely done.

Presumably burnt out on life in a band, Joe instead explores the medium of film, appearing in Alex Cox’s ‘Straight To Hell’ and ‘Candy Mountain’ in the same year, as well as writing the soundtrack to ‘Walker’. Gaby and Joe’s second daughter Lola is born.

When Pogues guitarist Philip Chevron is taken ill, Joe joins Shane McGowan and company for the Irish songstrels’ UK and US live dates.

Performing live as Joe Strummer and the Latino Rockabilly War before moving to America to start work on his solo album, Strummer also found the time to write a handful of songs for the movie ‘Permanent Record’, which starred a young Keanu Reeves.

Releases debut solo album ‘Earthquake Weather’ and appears alongside Steve Buscemi in Jim Jarmusch movie ‘Mystery Train’.

Stepping into the producer’s chair, Joe mans the desk during the recording of The Pogues’ ‘Hell’s Ditch’ and even takes over vocal duties live when Shane McGowan leaves the band.

Clash best-of ‘The Singles’ is released. Joe and the rest of The Clash reject the obvious cash cow of reforming the band.

Joe splits his time between London, a home in Hampshire and sojourns to Almeria, Spain.

He marries Lucinda, mother of his step-daughter Eliza and becomes enamoured with British musical festivals, soaking up the atmosphere at Glastonbury and Womad and birthing the concept of ‘campfire’ and Strummerville. Also plays piano on The Levellers’ ‘Just The One’.

Joe records new music for the soundtrack to ‘Grosse Point Blank’ and hooks up with Black Grape and Keith Allen for a Top Of The Pops storming performance of ‘England’s Irie’.

Finding a new base in deepest Somerset, the Strummerville campfire launches the Fuji Rock festival in Japan. The idea of The Mescaleros is fermenting while Joe contributes backing music to ‘Kicks Joy Darkness: A Tribute To Jack Kerouac’.

In between rehearsing with The Mescaleros and DJing at various festivals, the radio show ‘Joe Strummer’s London Calling’ begins on BBC World Service, with Strummer as The Controller rolling out everything from ’50s rock ‘n’ roll to Cuban party songs for a worldwide audience who would lap it up for the next four years. Also appears on ‘South Park’ tie-in album ‘Chef Aid’.

The newly-minted Mescaleros, a vehicle for Joe to channel his eclectic band of influences from folk to world music by way of London squats, embark upon their debut tour on the back of album ‘Rock, Art And The X-Ray Style’, culminating in a rousing performance at Glasto.

Strummer makes a further mark on popular culture when seemingly the majority of films and TV shows featured music, be it Clash, solo or Mescaleros, from the man himself, including ‘Billy Elliott’, ‘Complicity’, ‘Daria’, ‘Hanging Up’, ’28 Days’ and ‘Coyote Ugly’.

Inking a deal with Rancid’s Tim Armstrong’s Hellcat Records, the Mescaleros set about second album ‘Global A Go-Go’, and mix up their live set by throwing in a cover of Ramones classic ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’.


The Mescaleros play a benefit show for striking London firefighters at Acton Hall in November that culminates with former Clash wingman Mick Jones taking to the stage with the band for Clash classics ‘Bankrobber’, ‘White Riot’ and ‘London’s Burning’, the first time the duo had played together since 1983. Less than a month later, Joe Strummer dies peacefully in his home in Somerset, the victim of an undiagnosed heart defect at the age of fifty, leaving behind a life and a legacy unmatched.

‘Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten’ is out now on DVD


Created by the friends and family of Joe a year after he passed away, Strummerville is a charity that provides new opportunities for aspiring musicians, offering support, resources and places to play, with the first official Strummerville resource located at London’s Roundhouse ( With plans afoot to open more rehearsal spaces and Strummerville offering quarterly showcases for up-and-coming bands, you can find out more over at

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With their striking uniforms and energy domes, mind-bending American new wave music and kitsch sci-fi and surrealist lyrics, DEVO changed the face of modern music and influenced scores of bands along the way. Vive Le Punk digs beneath the strange surface to reveal an intelligent, subversive and exciting band…

Gawkily at odds with the outlaw stance of their punk-scene contemporaries in the late 1970s, Devo’s robotic-corporate-jerk schtick was arguably a hundred times more subversive than any hollow-cheeked black-leather nihilism. Certainly, these Ohio oddballs’ social critique was more carefully thought out; mercilessly satirizing US culture and conformity, Devo undermined the foundations of ‘normality’ with their theatrical stage act and infiltrated the charts both sides of the Atlantic with their itchily memorable electro-rock. While the band’s surface ‘wackiness’ afforded instant commercial appeal, beneath their novelty-act gimmickry, Devo had some controversial and occasionally disturbing points to make.

Devo’s philosophy hinged on the concept of ‘De-evolution’ – the idea that mankind regresses rather than progresses, and is in the process of reverting to an underdeveloped state. This theory was more than mere sloganeering; Devo’s worldview of regression and enforced social conformity was directly influenced by band members’ witnessing of the Kent State shootings in 1970, in which state marksmen had opened up on demonstrating students causing a number of fatalities.

Devo – whose lineup centered around long-term members Gerald and Bob Casale and Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh – honed their act on the underground circuit a few years until a short film they’d produced on the notion of de-evolution attracted interest from Iggy Pop and David Bowie, which landed them a Warner Brothers contract and the production skills of Brian Eno on their first LP, ‘Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!’ Their spastic deconstruction of Rolling Stones staple ‘Satisfaction’ from this record grabbed the public’s attention, as did the provocatively themed ‘Mongoloid’.

The punk period proved a highly productive phase for the band, garnering critical praise and good sales with their 1980 classic ‘Whip It’ making a dent in the top 40. By this point, Devo’s stage show had reached its full level of theatricality, a boiler-suited, flowerpot-hatted troupe giving consumerism and corporate homogeny a thorough lampooning.

Extending their efforts to visual media, Devo’s ventures into music video made for some groundbreaking entries into that field. One early promo introduced the ‘Booji Boy’ character, a grotesque representation of infantile regression who remains in Devo’s live show to this day; a disturbing apparition played by a squeaky-voiced Mark Mothersbaugh in a rubber mask, Booji’s first act as a Devo figurehead was to jam a fork into a toaster in an unsettling don’t-try-this-at-home video clip.

Although the band’s success had slumped by the mid 1980s, Devo’s various members stayed active in musical fields, particularly soundtracks, and the band would reconvene at intervals; a spot on the 1996 Lollapalooza tour was enthusiastically received, and the dates they’ve played this year around a prestige appearance at the ‘07 Meltdown Festival have similarly generated much excitement. While their ongoing influence is proclaimed far and wide, the evidence for De-evolution appears to be all around us at present, so it’s doubly fitting that Devo have cracked out the boiler suits, Booji Boy prosthetics and ‘energy dome’ hats one more time. Devolution is real, spuds!

Hugh Gulland


‘Q: Are We Not Men? A; We Are Devo!’ (1978)

‘Duty Now For The Future’ (1979)

‘Freedom of Choice’ (1980)

‘New Traditionalists’ (1981)

‘Oh, No! It’s Devo’ (1982)

‘Shout’ (1984)

‘Total Devo’ (1988)

‘Smooth Noodle Maps’ (1990)


Download the following…

‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ (‘Q: Are We Not Men?…)
‘Mongoloid’ (‘Q: Are We Not Men?…)
‘Jocko Homo’ (‘Q: Are We Not Men?…)
‘Devo Corporate Anthem’ (‘Duty Now…’)
‘The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprize’ (‘Duty Now…’)
‘Girl U Want’ (‘Freedom of Choice’)
‘Whip It’ (‘Freedom of Choice’)
‘Freedom of Choice’ (‘Freedom of Choice’)
‘Beautiful World’ (‘New Traditionalists’)
‘Love Without Anger’ (‘New Traditionalists’)
‘Peek-A-Boo!’ (‘Oh, No! It’s Devo’)
‘That’s Good’ (‘Oh, No! It’s Devo’)
‘The 4th Dimension’ (‘Shout’)
‘Are U Experienced?’ (‘Shout’)
‘Some Things Never Change’ (‘Total Devo’)
‘The Shadow’ (‘Total Devo’)
‘(Walk Me Out In The) Morning Dew’ (‘Smooth Noodle Maps’)
‘Devo Has Feelings Too’ (‘Smooth Noodle Maps’)


The Aquabats
Weird Al Yankovic
Rage Against The Machine
The Groovie Ghoulies

(taken from

1. Be like your ancestors or be different. It doesn’t matter.

2. Lay a million eggs or give birth to one.

3. Wear gaudy colours or avoid display. It’s all the same.

4. The fittest shall survive, yet the unfit may live.

5. We Must Repeat.

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The BUZZCOCKS have spoken to the News of the World newspaper to take about their history and that they plan to write a new album, due out before the end of the year. Guitarist Steve Diggle explained,

“We’re still here trying to make real music for real people,” insists Steve. “In fact, I feel more fire now than I did when I was 20. What’s the alternative? Snow Patrol and Coldplay? They’re not rock revolutionaries — they’re Blue Peter presenters with guitars. You tend to be so busy writing, recording and playing gigs that you don’t appreciate how much impact your music is having. It wasn’t until Bruce Springsteen told me how much our music meant to him that I began to think about that stuff.”

“It’s crucial for us to keep going forward. Some people like to remember the past. Me? I like to say, ‘Remember the future’.”

Touring the UK in January and Europe in February and March, its expected the band will start writing the highly anticipated new album when they return.


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The final line-up for Berlin’s PUNK & DISORDERLY FEST (20th-22nd Feb.) has been announced. See below:



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The death of founding Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton has led to his bandmates paying tribute. They said,

"We are shocked and shaken by the news of Ron’s death. He was a great friend, brother, musician, trooper. Irreplaceable. He will be missed. For all that knew him behind the façade of Mr Cool & Quirky, he was a kind-hearted, genuine, warm person who always believed that people meant well even if they did not.

As a musician Ron was The Guitar God, idol to follow and inspire others. That is how he will be remembered by people who had a great pleasure to work with him, learn from him and share good and bad times with him."

Former bassist Mike Watt (also of The Minutemen) told the LA Times,

"As a musician, he was a pioneer — very singular, very unique. To get to be onstage with him was incredible for me. We all looked up to Ronnie with that guitar sound. Man, it was a sound, but especially in those days in the early ’70s. Then the punk scene comes, and the Stooges was the common ground. That scene, which was not very popular here in Southern California, was just all these different weirdos from different places. The one thing in common was the Stooges. […] I loved being his bass player."


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RON ASHETON, guitarist for THE STOOGES has been found dead in his Ann Arbor, Michigan home today (Jan. 6th), aged 60. A cause of death is yet to be confirmed but early reports suggest a heart attack. Detective Sgt Jim Stephenson told a local paper that Asheton was discovered on a living room sofa and had been dead for several days. Police are not treating the death as suspicious.

Asheton founded The Stooges with his brother Scott Asheton (drums), Dave Alexander (bass) and Iggy Pop (vocals). He wrote the famous riffs of their garage rock classics, such as ‘No Fun’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ and ‘Down On The Street’ before moving to bass for the 1973 album ‘Raw Power’. When ‘Raw Power’ was a commercial failure, Asheton left The Stooges to play in a number of bands, including The New Order (not to be confused with the UK band), Destroy All Monsters, New Race and, more recently, with Mike Watt, J. Mascis and Mark Arm for the soundtrack to the film ‘Velvet Goldmine’. Asheton also acted in three films.

In 2000, alongside brother Scott and Mike Watt, he played shows under the moniker ‘The New Stooges’. Iggy saw them perform and they decided to reform The Stooges properly. They played their first reunion show in 2003 and went on to release a new album in 2007, titled ‘The Weirdness’, with Asheton back on lead guitar. That year they were the highlight of Glastonbury Festival, causing a mass stage invasion.

Asheton is ranked as number 29 on Rolling Stone’s ‘100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time’.

Vive Le Punk’s condolences go out to Ron Asheton’s friends and family.

Ron Asheton 1948 – 2009

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Australian alt-rockers THE DRONES are set to release their fifth album  ‘Havilah’ on Feb. 16th through ATP Recordings. The four-piece  combine influences such as Neil Young’s guitar spasms and Velvet Underground and Suicide’s scuzzy pop.

The tracklisting is:

1) Nail It Down
2) The Minotaur
3) The Drifting Housewife
4) I am The Supercargo
5) Careful As You Go
6) Oh My
7) Cold and Sober
8) Lucky in Odd Numbers
9) Penumbra
10) Your Acting’s Like the End of the World

The album will be available on CD, 2 LPs and digital download.


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Tommy Tee, the popular manager of New Model Army has died suddenly on Dec 26th , aged just 46. Tommy had been with the band from the early days when he started out driving the band. In later years he went on to manage the Almighty, before returning to manage NMA in the 90s, and with the advent of the vinternet, he pushed the band into setting up its own label. He will be sadly missed and leaves a wife and children. Vive Le Punk send our condolenses.

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