GENE LOVES JEZEBEL PLAY LONDON SHOW!

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With glam-goth legends GENE LOVES JEZEBEL set to release their first new album in 14 years, they’ve lined up an intimate London gig next week.

Produced by legendary producer Peter Walsh, Dance Underwater was funded through a PledgeMusic campaign and finds original frontman Jay Aston joined by James Stevenson, Chris Bell and Pete Rizzo. It’s set for release on 30 June through Westworld and is available to pre-order here.

Gene Loves Jezebel play the Black Heart, Camden on Monday 26 June. Tickets priced £15 are available here.

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Gene Loves Jezebel on Facebook

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RODENTS RETURN!

The wonderfully named YORKSHIRE RATS return with a new video for the the lead track from their new EP.

‘Alone Together’ is taken from the appropriately titled Yorkshire Rats EP which was released last week. It also features the tracks ‘Where Do I Sign?’, ‘No Way Out’ and ‘Better Days Will Come’.

Recorded at Innersound Studios in York by Sam and Joe Graves (ASKING ALEXANDRIA, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE) and released through their own Northern Ruff label, it’s available to download now from the band’s website.

Formed in Pontefract in 2004 by Don Mercy of BILLY NO MATES and ABRASIVE WHEELS fame, Yorkshire Rats released a single and EP and toured with RANCID before taking an extended hiatus, returning with a full-length album Sea Of Souls in 2015. The line-up is completed by guitarist Matt Lee, bassist Josh Clarke and drummer Chris Furness.

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Yorkshire Rats on Facebook

Pic by Carl Arnfield

 

 

 

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RUTS DC HEADLINE WESTWORLD CALLING!

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THE RUTS DC are to headline a very special Westworld Recordings night in London this autumn.

Westworld Calling scheduled to take place at the O2 Academy in Islington on Saturday 2 September and will also feature sets from original ’77 punks CHELSEA, UK82 favourites CHRON GEN and retooled Bradford goth-punks 1919.

Tickets priced £20 go on sale on Monday 19 June here.

Having cruelly suffered the death of original singer Malcolm Owen in 1980, followed by that of guitarist Paul Fox in 2007, bassist Segs Jennings and drummer Dave Ruffy regrouped with guitarist Leigh Heggarty to release Music Must Destroy last year, their first new rock album in 35 years. Universally acclaimed, it was subsequently awarded Album of the Year in Vive Le Rock!

Check out the video for the single ‘Psychic Attack’.

Westworld have has been building up an impressive roster over the past couple of years, with new albums from all of the above plus GENE LOVES JEZEBEL, PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT and DEPARTMENT S.

They’ve also been responsible for a series of classic reissues from the likes of  DISCHARGE, EXPLOITED, TOY DOLLS, VICE SQUAD, GBH, EXTREME NOISE TERROR, GREEN DAY, ANGELIC UPSTARTS, UK SUBS, BAD BRAINS, POISON IDEA, DOA, THE DAMNED, STIFF LITTLE FINGERS, 999, SPEAR OF DESTINY, THE FALL and many more….

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Westworld Recordings on Facebook

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MIRACULOUS MULE SHARE NEW TRACK!

London punk-blues trio MIRACULOUS MULE issue a new 3-track download single this week, and they’re sharing one of the tracks with Vive Le Rock!

The release follows on from their acclaimed album Two Tonne Testimony, released in March through Muletone/Bronzerat.

The lead track is a reissue of ‘Sound Of The Summer’, whose video was premiered by Vive Le Rock last July. But this time around they’re sharing their tripped out version of the dark gospel standard ‘In My Time Of Dying’ made famous by Led Zeppelin.

Says frontman Michael J Sheehy, “It’s an old traditional gospel song which had been recorded by Blind Willie Johnson, Josh White and Bob Dylan long before Zep. Weirdly our version came out as two distinct halves, the first part sounding more like Black Sabbath than LZ and the second half perhaps sounding a little like Robert Plant’s recent experiments with African music.”

Miraculous Mule have dates lined up at….

17th June: Stag’s Head, London (w/ TABLE SCRAPS)
23rd June: Glastonbury Festival
14th July: Once Upon A Time In The West Festival

Rounded out by the track ‘Ain’t It Hard’, the single is set for release on 16 June and is available through iTunes.

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JIM JONES UNCENSORED!

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In the latest edition of Vive Le Rock, we talk to JIM JONES & THE RIGHTEOUS MIND about their stunning debut album Super Natural. But they had much more to say than we had room for. So here you can read, in all its glory, Rich Deakin’s full unexpurgated feature….

SUPER NATURALLY SUPER-CHARGED

or
RESISTANCE IS (NOT) FUTILE…

Jim Jones and Gavin Jay from The Righteous Mind cast a Super Natural spell over Vive Le Rock’s! Rich Deakin

When it was announced in June 2014 that the Jim Jones Revue were splitting up, it came as a huge shock to their fiercely staunch followers. Since 2007 the Revue had been tearing up venues across the UK, Europe and the US with their incendiary, high-octane live performances, typified by displays of sheer unbridled energy. The obvious question was why after seven successful years, countless gigs and three albums did they call it a day? Jay says “The same reasons most bands call it a day – we just weren’t working well as a group any more. People weren’t getting on, the eternal ‘musical differences’. We also felt a little boxed in, painted as a rockabilly revival band which was never what the Revue was about. We wanted a fresh canvas. Nothing smells as bad as stale rock ‘n’ roll.”

Jones similarly states, “A general consensus that it was time to move on, partly a feeling that the band had said everything it could in its current formation, and to continue would have begun to be a self-parody… and partly that the process of constant touring was becoming too much for some of the members.”

That said, the band did one final tour, aptly named The Last Hurrah Tour. Culminating in a triumphal sold-out farewell show at The Forum in Kentish Town, London, the band were joined by special guests Nick Lowe and Walter Lure. After such a rapturous send-off Jones and Jay surely must have had second thoughts even if only fleetingly? “Of course,” Jones responds “…but at the same time I felt really pleased that everyone had agreed to do the final tour and how successful it had all been, and that we ended on a really positive note!”

Jay is matter of fact with his response and reflects, “I’m glad we could end it on a high point. Certainly not an experience I’ll forget easily. Emotionally it was as mixed as you might imagine – I was proud of what we’d achieved, grateful for the amazing response, but also a little relieved that it was finally over. There was some sadness, as there will be whenever a chapter comes to a close. But by that point we were deep in writing and rehearsing for the Righteous Mind so I was too busy to waste time getting maudlin about the past. No regrets, no.”

Barely had the flames from that final ‘Last Hurrah’ at the Forum died down, when Jim Jones was back in the studio. Having brought along Revue bassist Gavin Jay for the ride too, Jones wasted no time in setting about forging a “sonic vision” for his new band, The Righteous Mind. Jones also enlisted drummer Phil Martini. The Revue’s keyboard player, Henri Herbert, was also initially involved, but says Jones, “[Herbert] left the party to pursue a solo boogie career that had suddenly taken off.” All members of the Revue have now subsequently moved on to other projects: lead guitarist Rupert Orton is now concentrating on promotion, whilst drummer Nick Jones has hooked-up with Henri Herbert’s new band.

It took several months for the band’s line up to stabilise. Making their debut with a handful of live dates in France in May 2015, the band subsequently underwent two more personnel changes before playing their first live UK show in London a month later. Jones explains, “Matt (Millership) and Mal (Troon) swooped in and saved the day. Matt was one of the piano players we’d been in touch with for the Jim Jones Revue when Elliot Mortimer left. Matt had been too busy then, but luckily was available for the Righteous Mind. Malcolm, we had known for a while – a gifted player and a former bandmate of our drummer Phil Martini, from many moons previous in The Tokyo Dragons.”

Jay can’t praise Millership and Troon highly enough either, “Matt and Mal are a monstrously talented duo and I anticipate their influence increasing as time goes on, although a good chunk of the album was actually written before their arrival. We had a few line-up changes before we settled on the current gang, but were incredibly fortunate to find Matt and Mal, who have more than stepped up to the mark. We certainly have more avenues open to us than we ever did with The Revue.”

For example Jay continues, “Jim had the idea of bringing a pedal steel into the mix, so Joe Glossop and Dave Page came on board to help out. But they were busy lads, so eventually we settled on the current line-up.”

Continuing this theme, Glossop was “poached by Tom Jones” says Jim Jones, “[but] still joins us from time to time if Matt can’t make it.” Jones further elaborates on those early personnel upheavals, “Mr Paul Seacroft was the first one to show us what the pedal-steel would sound like in the line-up, but was too busy with work to commit to a full-time position. David Page, a really talented player took over for a bit, but then he got dragged away too – off with Rick Rubin to record with the Ruen Brothers at Shangri-La Studios in Malibu.” Jones concludes “Thank God for Matt and Mal… I don’t know how many more times we could get that lucky!”

The incorporation of pedal-steel guitar, and Jay’s deployment of upright bass, certainly adds a darker dimension to the Righteous Mind’s sound than the Revue’s. In fact, there appears to be a dark undercurrent running right through The Righteous Mind – from the band’s suitably macabre and occultish Kenneth Anger-esque promotional videos, the lyrics, and the cover art, to the title of the new album, Super Natural. Jones adds salaciously, “We’re interested in all that juicy stuff! We try and absorb as much as possible and use what’s relevant to us.”

Jay’s response is more measured, “I wouldn’t call myself a believer in the occult, but I find the imagery and ideas that come from it fascinating. I like Alan Moore’s notion of using rituals to open up imaginative spaces without necessarily following it as an absolute ‘truth.’ Anything that lets you step out of mainstream thinking and question societies morals and prejudices is a good thing in my book.”

Equally esoteric is the band’s name. Wasn’t it taken from a book about psychology? Jay confirms, “That is correct, although purely for the title and what it suggested to us. At the time we hadn’t read the book, although I had encountered Jonathon Haidt’s ideas before. It is an interesting read though luckily! And quite pertinent in these times of political divisiveness, as he gets to grips with the subconscious motives for voting the way we do.”

Jones proffers an explanation too, “The book is about morality and what motivates those feelings and beliefs in us… quite fascinating reading, but the truth is, I just liked the way the name looked. I always liked the term ‘Righteous’, and now, coincidentally, it seems to fit with the world we’re living in at the moment and ties in with a sense of resistance.”

On the subject of ‘resistance’, Jim Jones is obviously very passionate when it comes to political issues too. He was an avowed advocate of populist Democrat Bernie Sanders during the Primaries in the run-up to the recent US Presidential elections, and more recently, closer to home, Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, along with the likes of Paul Weller and Robert Wyatt, played a gig in celebration of and solidarity for Jeremy Corbyn’s progressive policies. So, what does he think of the current global political situation – what with the likes of Trump, Brexit, the rise of the far-right and the forthcoming UK General election?

“I’m not really in favour of any one party or movement, I’m more just against all forms of oppression and cuntishness, so I tend to stand with anyone who offers resistance against that. The current rise and acceptance of fascism is very troubling, it disturbs me to see my brothers and sisters so easily corralled into standing up for leaders who ultimately don’t give a fuck about them by the corrupt mainstream media – the good old divide and conquer, it’s been working like a charm for centuries. It would be so great to see the people get together and turn the tables on that shit… you know, in my lifetime!”

Bringing the theme of ‘resistance’ even closer to their music, in January this year the Righteous Mind threw their weight behind Independent Venue Week, with Jones quoted as saying, “In these times of continuously increasing corporate stranglehold, it’s more important than ever to have places that strengthen the community… independent venues are the headquarters of the resistance!” If the band’s DIY proclivities are anything to go by Jones must also be acutely aware how this “corporate stranglehold” extends beyond venues and into the wider music industry. Since their formation in 2014, The Righteous Mind having increasingly moved towards keeping things in-house. Although they have employed the talents of renowned French illustrator and tattooist Jean-Luc Navette for the artwork on their ‘Boil Yer Blood’ single and debut album ‘Super Natural’, Gavin Jay is an artist in his own right.

“Like many rockers before me, I followed the traditional and approved route into rock n roll, via art college. The call of the bass was strong so I knew that’s what I had to do by the time I left, but I kept my hand in with the odd bit of creativity here and there. It was whilst making the cover for ‘Heavy Lounge #1’ that I began experimenting with collage, and it’s just taken off from there. I’ve always loved surrealism and occult imagery, with Max Ernst and Joseph Cornell being the most obvious influences on the work I’m making now. And I’m gearing up for my first ever exhibition in June, which is really exciting.”

As for Jones, he has already produced and directed one of the band’s promotional videos, and whereas Jim Sclavunos from Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds and Grinderman produced the last two Revue albums, Jones has also produced all their singles, including the debut album Super Natural. This has also been released on their own label MaSonic. Given the Jim Jones Revue connection to Sclavunos, it might be argued that it’s hardly surprising that The Righteous Mind have been likened to Grinderman on occasion, but Jones insists, “None of our music is supposed to sound like that by design, but if it does have parallels in any way I would take that as a compliment.”

He then goes onto impress just how significant Nick Cave was on his formative musical tastes though, “From the first time hearing ‘Big Jesus Trash Can’ at age 15 or 16 I was a fan of the Birthday Party… there just isn’t anything else as irreverently spiteful or aggressive. They had the opposite sound to rock ‘n’ roll but were more rock ‘n’ roll than all the posturing hair metal bands put together!” Jones concludes, “That first Grinderman LP came out and it was the best sounding record for miles. So when we got a chance to work with Jim Sclavunos and use his production experience with Jim Jones Revue we were thrilled!”

Jay is similarly praiseworthy of Cave and Sclavunos, but equally quick to dismiss any similarities as coincidental, “I’ve been a big fan of Nick Cave’s music for many years and it was great to work with Jim Sclavunos, who also played live drums on a UK tour when Phil was away. But the songwriting I think comes from a wider range of influences. Jim Jones is like a musical archaeologist, digging up rare treasure that he’ll bring into rehearsal for us to study and learn from. I think the biggest mistake a musician can make is to slavishly copy someone else. We definitely wanted to find our own voice and be as open as possible.”

They’ve certainly done that with Super Natural, which having produced it himself, Jones says, “I feel like I finally know what I’m doing in there.” A change of direction had already been hinted at on the Revue’s Savage Heart album, and in some respects this has been carried over into The Righteous Mind. But Jones agrees that guitarist Mal Troon and keyboard player Matt Millership have played a significant part in providing a completely different dimension and sound than that of the Revue, “Yes, you have these great players and it’s important to use them. If you know you’re working with a killer, then you need to give ‘em the knife and let ‘em get to work!”

Of course, Stooges and MC5 influences are never too far away from a Jim Jones album. But just how influential are they? Jones responds, “A huge piece of the puzzle… they opened the door in both directions; all the way back to the caveman blues, and far ahead to the future and cosmic travel.”

Jay can’t impress enough the importance of such influences, “I was blown away hearing The Stooges, New York Dolls and MC5 as a kid – utterly life changing. And that still stands, I feel that music is in my DNA, swooshing around in my blood. But there’s a whole lot more in the mix too, and I think we’re cautious about just being yet another tribute band to that genre.”

And to prove a point, there’s also been a distinct shift away from the more traditional rock ‘n’ roll boogie style that typified the Revue, towards a more straight down the line no-nonsense, heavy rock sound, which has even been likened to Led Zeppelin – especially on the band’s new single ‘Heavy Lounge #1’. Jones neither agrees with or refutes this comparison, but does offer an explanation of the inspiration behind it, “It’s just your typical apocalyptic, existentialist blues and the sanctuary and redemption that comes from a lover’s kiss… the power of a thing that can take you beyond another thing… rock ‘n’ roll basically! Musically, the original inspiration came from a section in a Charles Mingus number that’s been a favourite for many years called ‘Better Git It In Your Soul’… our song is a punk rock version of that.” Jay agrees, and sums up, “I guess I was trying to channel a bit of that – intensity, heaviness, but also with a swing to it.”

It also seems that Jones can’t stay off the road for too long. With tours of France and England just completed, the Righteous Mind are now returning to the continent for a series of festival appearances, including yet another date in France. The French, it seems, hold a particular affection for Jones. When asked why, he replies,
“This magazine is called Vive Le Rock! – there’s a connection! I think there is something in the French and Spanish culture that goes with rock ‘n’ roll… a rebellious spirit to change things you don’t like… cut off the heads of the aristocracy and establishment etc. Also, I think, generally, when you get outside of England there is an attitude of appreciation and respect for artists purely because they make the effort to be that. It isn’t so necessary to be trendy like it is in the UK. You find people are much more open to enjoying something just because it’s good on some level.”

Although the Righteous Mind already have several singles under their belt, it’s taken nearly three years for their debut album to come to fruition. But if the Righteous Mind have somewhat remained in the shadows of the Jim Jones Revue so far, the release of ‘Super Natural’ has now changed all that. Gavin Jay says, ““It’s been a long, hard battle making this record happen, but I really think it’s the best thing we’ve ever done, so it’s very gratifying to read [the] reviews”. He then goes on to explain just why it took so long for the debut album to come to fruition, “I think anyone making music in 2017 will understand the struggle, the main issue being the current dismal state of the music industry. There just isn’t the money or support there once was, venues are closing across the country, and people stream their music rather than buying it. It’s assumed you can just go out and earn money from touring but that isn’t necessarily the case, often you’re lucky just to break even. After The Revue ended we had no label, no money, but an album that knew we just had to make. The question was how to survive in the meantime. Low paid casual work and a massive credit card bill being the answer there. Glamorous it ain’t, and blind faith in the music has carried me through on a number of occasions… and still does.”

After ever-dynamic live performances, and such a critically lauded debut album, how does Jones think the Righteous Mind will respond, and where will their ever accelerating trajectory take them? Jones simply says, “Keep turning up the heat, and take it to the next level!” Jay concurs, by adding “To step up it another gear, to hit the road hard and record as much as possible. We’ve already got a ton of ideas for the next LP, so getting on with that – we basically want to be workaholics.”

I don’t think anyone will argue with that!

Rich Deakin
Super Natural by Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind is now available on MaSonic / Hound Gawd Records www.houndgawd.com
For details about Gavin Jay’s art exhibition go to www.gavinjay.co.uk

 

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GUADALUPE PLATA HIT THE ROAD!

Spanish punk-blues trio GUADALUPE PLATA kick off their latest UK tour in Mnachester tonight, as Vive Le Rock share this video for the lead track from their latest self-titled album, out now on Everlasting Records.

The tour takes in shows at the now sold-out Red Rooster Festival on Saturday 3 June and the Lexington, London on Thursday 8 June.

Full dates are….

1/6 Manchester- The Soup Kitchen
2/6 Snaith- Out To Lunch Festival
3/6 Euston- Red Rooster Festival
5/6 Newcastle – The Cluny
6/6 Edinburgh – Sneaky Pete’s
7/6 Leeds – Brudenell Social Club
8/6 London- The Lexington
9/6 Brighton – Sticky Mike’s
10/6 Bristol- The Louisiana
11/6 Exeter- The Phoenix

guadalupe plata

Tickets are available now here.

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BLOODCLOT VIDEO PREMIERE!

Hardcore supergroup BLOODCLOT have unveiled a new video which they’re launching exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Kali’ is taken from the band’s debut album Up In Arms. It’s the first fruit of the four-way partnership of singer John Joseph from CRO-MAGS, WARZONE and DANZIG guitarist Todd Youth, plus bassist Nick Oliveri and drummer Joey Castillo of QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE.

Says Joseph, “In this band we’re doing what each of us have always done: give it our all. We work hard, and we have a lot to say. Look around the planet – people are fed up with the corrupt ruling class. They destroy the planet and kill millions for profit, and the formula for our response is simple: Anger + applied knowledge = results. Don’t just bitch. Change it.”

Set for release through Metal Blade on 14 July, Up In Arms is available to pre-order in various bundles here.

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Bloodclot on Facebook

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LOS FASTIDIOS HIT THE U.K!

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Ace Italian antifa streetpunks LOS FASTIDIOS hit the UK next month for the first in a series of summer dates.

Fronted by charismatic frontman Enrico, the band formed in northern Italy in 1991, and have been touring Europe solidly ever since. Their most recent album The Sound Of Revolution was released in march through Kob Records.

The band head over for an appearance at Manchester’s 0161 Festival at the end of June, going on to play Rebellion and BoomTown during August. Full dates are….

24.06 Manchester – 0161 Festival
02.08 Shoreham – Duke of Wellington
03.08 Wrexham – Saith Seren
04.08 Blackpool – Rebellion (Acoustic stage)
05.08 Blackpool – Rebellion
06.08 Glasgow – Stereo Cafe Bar w/The Wakes
07.08 Aberdeen – Vulture Lounge
08.08 Edinburgh – Bannermans Bar w/Oi Polloi
09.08 Hereford – The Booth Hall
10.08 Derby – The Hairy Dog
11.08 London – AWOD – Boston Arms
12.08 Winchester – BoomTown Fair

los-fastidos-band

Check out the video for ‘Radio Babylon’.

Los Fastidios on Facebook

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PETER PERRETT UNVEILS VIDEO AND DATES!

ONLY ONES founder PETER PERRETT has unveiled another new video, along with four UK shows.

‘An Epic Story’ is the second song to be revealed from his debut solo album How The West Was Won and celebrates his relationship with his beloved wife Zena, which began in 1969.

The video was directed by former JESUS AND MARY CHAIN bassist, and Peter’s long-term friend, Douglas Hart.

Peter an his band, which features his sons Jamie and Peter Jr, have lined up four dates this autumn. They are….

30 October – King Tuts, Glasgow
2 November – Gorilla, Manchester
4 November – Electric Ballroom, London
7 November – Concorde 2, Brighton

Tickets go on sale on Wednesday 24 May.

How The West Was Won is released through Domino on 30 June. It’s available to pre-order here.

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Peter Perrett on Facebook

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THE DARTS FLY IN!

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US garage supergroup THE DARTS – not to be confused with Brit doowop chart-toppers DARTS – step up to the oche for two UK shows this month.

Hailing from LA and Phoenix, the band, who comprise members of THE LOVE ME NOTS, BRAINSPOON, ZERO ZERO, THE DOLLYROTS and others, recently signed to Dirty Water Records, who released their two US EPs as a digital album at the start of the year. You can buy it here.

The Darts make their UK debut at The Finsbury, Manor House, London on Thursday 25 May, with THE PRISCILLAS and SUICIDE GENERATION. Tickets are £8.50 and you can get them here.

They then head down to Brighton, where they play Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar on Friday 26 May alongside LA’s DEATH VALLEY GIRLS at a Bitchcraft club night. Admission for that one is FREE!

The Darts then head off to Europe for a week of dates in France and Italy – see below….

darts

Check out the video for ‘My Heart Is A Graveyard’.

The Darts on Facebook

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THE GODFATHERS ANNOUNCE NEW E.P!

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THE GODFATHERS are to release a new EP next month, just as they are about to play a very special one-off London show.

The band returned earlier in the year with their first album in four years, the critically acclaimed A Big Bad Beautiful Noise and a highly successful tour of the UK and Europe which found them completely revitalised and, according to some reports, better than ever.

The limited edition 10-inch vinyl A Big Bad Beautiful EP features the title track from the album as well as a special High Voltage remix of the album cut and live favourite ‘Defibrillator’. It’s rounded out with two exclusive, previously unavailable tracks ‘You’re So Slow’ and ‘Human Zo0’.

Set for release through their own Godfathers Recordings on 16 June, it’s available to pre-order from their website.

As previously announced, The Godfathers play a special show at The Lexington in London on Saturday 24 June. Titled, naturally, A Big Bad Beautiful Night, the show will feature two sets by the band: one with them performing the latest album in its entirety, and a second, much longer, set, featuring Godfathers classics and treasures, many of which have not been played live in years.

The show will also feature special guests LOS PEPES, plus Godfathers band members DJing until 4am.

Tickets priced £14.00 plus booking fee are available now here.

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The Godfathers on Facebook

 

 

 

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SUZIE STAPLETON SINGLE PREMIERE!

Rising alternative rock artist SUZIE STAPLETON releases her new single today, and she’s premiering it exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘You Were There’ is a first taste of her forthcoming EP, Negative Prophet, which is set for release later this year. The EP features Stapleton’s first recordings since hooking up with JIM JONES REVUE and THE RIGHTEOUS MIND bassist Gavin Jay and GALLON DRUNK drummer Ian White. It was produced by Stapleton with engineer Drew Smith (PJ Harvey, Ed Harcourt).

The haunting video clip is also handiwork of Jay.

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You can download ‘You Were There’ here FREE.

Born in Sydney but based in London since 2015, Stapleton has shared stages with the likes of MARK LANEGAN, MICK HARVEY and BOSS HOG, and held an audience spellbound at last year’s CAMDEN ROCKS.

Stapleton features on LYDIA LUNCH and CYPRESS GROVE’s covers album Under The Covers, set for release in June through Rustblade Records. A continuation of Stapleton’s collaborations with Grove on the third Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project album Axels & Sockets, she’s also lined up to appear on a fourth volume, currently in production.

She returns to Camden Rocks this year on 3 June.

Suzie Stapleton - photo by Steve Gullick 5040

Suzie Stapleton on Facebook

Pic by Steve Gullick

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MR HAPPY CHAINSAW: STIHL ON THE BALL!

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Essex pop-punk legends MR HAPPY CHAINSAW return next month with a brand new EP.

Originally coming together in 2004, the band built up a huge following, sharing stages with the likes of THE VIBRATORS, UK SUBS, ENTER SHIKARI, MADNESS and NEW TOWN KINGS. Having imploded in 2009, the band announced their return last summer.

Coming eight years after their last EP, We Appear To Be On Fire, the 5-track It’s Not My Ball features three new songs, including the lead-off single ‘Standing There’, plus complete reworkings of the classics ‘Charlie’ and ‘Your Best Friend’.

Check out the lyric video for ‘Standing There’.

It’s Not My Ball is set for release on 9 June, but is available to pre-order in various bundles from their website.

The band have a London date at T Chances, Tottenham on 9 June, followed by a special record launch party at The George, Witham on 24 June, as well as various other shows throughout the spring and summer. Full dates are….

11 May – The Edge, Basildon, Essex
12 May – The Asylum, Chelmsford, Essex
26 May – Thameside Theatre, Grays, Essex (Acoustic)
09 June – T Chances, Tottenham, London
17 June – LegionStock, Great Waltham, Essex
24 June – The George, Witham, Essex (Record Launch Party)
08 July – Asylum Inmates Revolt Weekender, Chelmsford, Essex
15 July – Eight Ash Green Festival, Colchester, Essex
22 July – Smile Festival, Sudbury, Suffolk
22 July – Beer Fest at the Manor, Pitsea, Essex
25 Aug – AlternatIV Fest, Chelmsford, Essex

happy

Mr Happy Chainsaw on Facebook

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SMILEY AND THE UNDERCLASS VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Skanking outta West London’s Ladbroke Grove, dub-punks SMILEY & THE UNDERCLASS pave the way for their debut album with a new video, and they’re launching it exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘It’s All England’ is the opening cut from Rebels Out There, which the Ladbroke Grove band recorded at the studio of Mick Jones of THE CLASH. It was produced by legendary DJ, remixer and sound system guru Nick Manasseh.

Says Smiley, “I remember listening to ‘Taxman’ by The Beatles and wondering who Mr Wilson and Mr Heath were. It’s the same with talking about David Cameron, Theresa May or even Trump. The themes are there and are pretty obvious for anyone who’s willing to listen: environmental apocalypse, inequality, the death of reason and the rise of bullshit. The weird thing was that we wrote the album before the Brexit vote and the US elections. We were singing about building walls and making truth long before these arseholes came and turned reality on it’s head.”

Alongside Smiley on rhythm guitar and vocals, the Underclass are Jay Hirano (drums), Ryan Windross (bass) and James Shephard (lead guitar).

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Set for release on 14 July through their own Bredda Records, Rebels Out There is available to pre-order on CD and download here.

Smiley & The Underclass have a summer of dates ahead, including performances at Bearded Theory and Glastonbury. Catch them on the road at….

12 May – New Cross Inn, London
26 May – Bearded Theory Festival, Walton On Trent
2 Jun – Mau Mau Bar, London
24 Jun – Hootananny, Brixton, London
25 Jun – Glastonbury Festival, Pilton, Somerset
14 Jul – Spanky van Dyke’s, Nottingham

smiley album

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KAKO VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Rising star of the  London punk scene, KAKO releases her debut single this week and she’s launching the video exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

The new project of multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and former RAMONAS drummer Kate Wilkinson, KaKo is set to release the double A-side ‘All To Gain’ c/w ‘Long Gone’ as a limited edition 7″ and download on Friday 28 April. It’s available to pre-order here.

The video was filmed and directed by Nick Wilkinson and edited by Mark Richards.

Currently in the process of lining up dates, KaKo has shows already lined up at….

Sat 24 June – The Brook, Wallington
Sat 2 Sept – The Castle & Falcon, Birmingham

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SEMINAL BRUM PUNKS UNEARTHED!

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Long lost Birmingham garage punks T.V. EYE finally see their debut album released this month.

The teenage quintet formed in 1976 around Moseley Art School, featuring a line-up of Andy Wickett, Dave Kusworth, Eamon Duffy, Paul Adams and Dave Twist.  Inspired, naturally, by the Stooges, they burned brightly but all too briefly, leaving behind a smattering of recorded evidence.

Wickett would go on to briefly front a fledgling Duran Duran, taking with him various songs, including the classic ‘Stevie’s Radio Station’, which would eventually morph into ‘Rio’, becoming a massive hit in the process.

Kusworth would of course hook up with Nikki Sudden in The Jacobites and Duffy would join legendary Second City punks, The Prefects and the first line-up of The Nightingales, while Twist now occupies the drumstool in grease-rock power trio Black Bombers.

The Lost Studio Recordings 1977-1978 includes five studio tracks, plus six from a rehearsal session, preserved for generations by fellow scenester and Duran alumni, Stephen Duffy.

Available as a 300 copy limited edition red vinyl LP on Seventeen Records through Easy Action, it’s available to pre-order here. A CD version is also planned.

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You can read a review of The Lost Studio Recordings 1977-1978 in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock magazine, out now!

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BLACK BOMBERS VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Ace Birmingham grease-rockers BLACK BOMBERS have covered T REX for Record Store Day. And they’re premiering the video exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

The original version of ‘Raw Ramp’ appeared on the B-side of T Rex’s ‘Get It On’ single in July ’71. The Bombers’ version, released by Easy Action on a 500-copy limited edition double A-side 7″, comes coupled with an exclusive new band original ‘Rush’.

Both sides feature vocal contributions from Rachel Mayfield, and were produced by the band and Paul Gray.

Releasing their debut album last spring to great acclaim, Black Bombers boast a CV that includes stints with such legendary Birmingham bands as THE PREFECTS and GUNFIRE DANCE, a well as JOHNNNY THUNDERS & THE HEARTBREAKERS guitarist Walter Lure and the current line-up of THE GODFATHERS.

Pre-punk children of the glam revolution, Bombers guitarist/vocalist Alan Byron was initiated into the electric boogie by his two older brothers, while drummer Dave Twist fondly recalls catching the Bolan / Damned package at Birmingham Odeon on the final T Rex tour in 1977.

Their cover and its accompanying video – featuring the band as a glitter-streaked undead in a collage by fine artist and videographer Poppy Twist – provide a dark, very Black Bombers, take on this year’s 40th Anniversary of Bolan’s death.

BLACK BOMBERS new band photo.

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KILLING JOKE ANNOUNCE EURO TOUR!

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KILLING JOKE have announced a European Tour in June, culminating in two shows as special guests to GUNS N’ ROSES.

The tour will be kicking off with an intimate London show on Monday 12 June at the 800-capacity Scala in Kings Cross. Support comes from YONAKA and BLACKWATERS and tickets are available here.

Full dates are as follows….

Mon 12th Scala, London, UK
Wed 14th Zeche, Bochum, Germany
Thur 15th Batschkapp, Frankfurt, Germany
Fri 16th Werk 2, Leipzig, Germany
Sun 18th Fléda Club, Brno, Czech Republic
Mon 19th Progresja, Warsaw, Poland
Tues 20th Stadion Energa, Gdansk, Poland (w/ Guns n’ Roses)
Thur 22nd Messegelande, Hanover, Germany (w/ Guns n’ Roses)

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