The Butthole Surfers were preceeded by local Washington, D.C. group the Apes, well worth checking out if you’re a Butthole Surfers fan. Their stage presence and musical style were similar enough to the Butthole Surfers to complement them but were individual enough to make for a great opening act.
The Butthole Surfers didn’t disappoint long-time fans with their classic ‘80s line-up of Gibby Haynes, Paul Leary, Jeff Pinkus, King Coffey and Teresa Taylor. It was a somewhat religious experience that included multiple projectors playing on the same screen, occasional bursts of dry ice and a light show all set to the unique sound that only the Butthole Surfers have managed to achieve. The live show is worth the trek, tickets and traffic.
Performing with the Butthole Surfers was The Paul Green School of Rock All-Stars, who took to the stage with surprising talent and professionalism. In the end, though, it wasn’t hard to remember they were just kids. I was jealous of their reckless abandon as they wrestled on stage, threw empty water bottles at the fans, tore up setlists, duct taped themselves and each other, revelled in a cacophany of instrumental chaos and shouted through the megaphone as the Butthole Surfers slipped out the back door.
After 30 years in the music business – and with a credit list longer than both your arms – Henry Priestman is finally releasing his debut solo album! The Chronicles of Modern Life is the sound of a man who’s seen the music world explode from punk (he supported the Sex Pistols in 1977) through to pop (three million albums with The Christians; a top five single for Mark Owen) through to the digital age (soundtracks for James Bond/Xbox; sessions with Sarah Cracknell and Ricky Maymi of Brian Jonestown Massacre) and still has something worth singing about.
Henry Priestman’s "got form," his "previous" including The Yachts (described in Gene Sculatti’s The Catalog of Cool as "the Cole Porter of Punk"!), Bette Bright (alongside Glen Matlock and Suggs), It’s Immaterial, The Christians (writing all songs on their 1987 triple-platinum debut), sharing a mic and a number one single with Paul McCartney. To say nothing of a roll call of sessions for fellow North West luminaries including Lightening Seeds, Johnny Marr, Ian McCulloch, Pete Wylie, Ian McNabb and Echo The Bunnymen, plus vocals on Jools Holland/Tom Jones’ 2004 CD.
Don’t You Love Me No More? is the lead track and is a song that anyone whose ever slaved their hearts out for the corporate machine, only to be given a big fat kick in the teeth, will find is their new anthem. Elsewhere you’ll hear a beautifully ragged Nashville-influenced backing to more biting wit and wisdom on all manner of subjects close to our hearts like Grey’s the New Blonde, Old and – tackling the changing face of ‘the biz’ – Did I Fight in The Punk Wars For This? and The Sacred Scrolls of Pop. But is this music for grumpy old men? "No!" Henry disagrees, "I’m just trying to write scruffy pop songs of pith, wit and poignancy. With the emphasis on scruffy," (referring to the fact that he played almost everything on the album himself).
In the run up to this very long-awaited debut solo album, Henry recently played his debut solo gigs: in May he supported 10cc at London’s 02 Arena and in July supported Jools Holland at the 10,000-seater Liverpool Echo Arena! Chronicles is also a homecoming to Stiff Records who released Henry’s first ever single – and his first ever composition – Suffice to Say by aforementioned indie pioneers Yachts more than 30 years ago. October 1977 to be precise! But don’t let it make you feel old.
With just over 5 weeks to go until the reformed X RAY SPEX hit the Roundhouse, the show is nearly sold out. Supported by Goldblade, if you don’t want to miss this historic gig get your tickets now at www.ticketmaster.co.uk
WARPED TOUR will have a classic punk stage on some dates this year. Playing on the stage will be THE GERMS, FEAR, AGENT ORANGE, BIG DRILL CAR, THE DICKIES, D.I., H2O, M.I.A. and T.S.O.L.
The ‘Old School’ stage will feature in August at:
Chula Vista, CA 14
Mountain View, CA 15
Wheatland, CA 16
Carson, CA 18
Stiff Records has announced that they will release the debut album from WRECKLESS ERIC & AMY RIGBY.
Wreckless Eric was one of the original Stiff artists, releasing the legendary ‘Whole Wide World’ back in 1977. Since then he has made countless albums in different genres, remaining true to the DIY spirit of his early Stiff days. Amy Rigby started a country band in eighties New York City, went on to form girl group The Shams, and began her solo career in 1996 with the US hit album ‘Diary Of A Mod Housewife’.
‘Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby’ is a beautifully raw and touching album: vocal harmonies, crackling, buzzing atmospheres and the upbeat/downbeat lyrics of a couple that have been one too many times around the dance floor. There are no other musicians involved here, just Eric on guitars, bass guitar and organ, Amy on guitars and piano, plus the odd sample, some well placed percussion and an old bossa nova beatbox.
Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby have been touring together for over two years now. They describe themselves as ‘a two piece rock ‘n’ roll group with vocal harmonies’. They will be following a 25 date US tour in the autumn with a UK tour in November in support of the album.
Sex Pistols frontman JOHN LYDON has been accused of a racial attack on Bloc Party singer Kele Okereke at Barcelona’s Summercase Festival. Bloc Party’s management have explained that Okereke approach Lydon backstage to ask about a reunion of his post-Pistols band Public Image Ltd when:
“The Sex Pistols singer became intimidating and aggressive while his entourage responded with a racist tirade including the statement, ‘your problem is your black attitude.’ Kele was then set upon by three members of Lydon’s crew who punched him in the face and head as well as attacking people who tried to protect Kele from the assault including Yannis Philippakis from Foals and Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson. The incident was broken up by festival security and was later reported to Spanish police. Kele also reported the incident to police in the UK after returning from Spain.”
“It’s not an issue of the physical assault, even though it was an unprovoked attack, it is the fact that race was brought into the matter so readily. Someone as respected and as intelligent as Lydon should know better than to bring race into the equation, or socialise with and encourage those who hold such narrow-minded attitudes. I am disappointed that someone I held with such high regard turns out to be such a bigot.”
Lydon’s statement tells a very different story:
“After the show John Rotten and management remained behind to sign autographs, which we did for four solid hours without incident and had a great time talking to other Spanish bands, this seems to have sparked jealousy in certain bands. We are in the middle of a wonderful tour, after 30 years we are achieving a true unity in our audience. They are multi-varied, all ages, all races, creeds and colours. When you are at a festival with bands who are jealous fools, lies and confusion usually follow.”
“I feel very sorry for a man that needs to lie about what was a perfect evening.” In Lydon’s version of events, the Sex Pistols singer claims that, “trouble was brought us, resulting in those causing the trouble being physically removed by festival security. If they need publicity so badly this is the allegation universe they run into."
31 years down the line and the grandfather of punk Charlie Harper is still leading his UK Subs through the pogoing trenches, releasing this 6-track EP, which includes old faves ‘Warhead’ and ‘I Live In A Car’ plus three new songs and a ‘Warhead’ live video. Still sounding razor sharp, Charlie is ‘Punk as Fuck’ and still means every word. This is the letter ‘W’ in Charlie’s attempt to get to Z with Album titles. He’s nearly there! Long may his punk rock!
Eugene Big Cheese
MINCE CORE HISTORY 1996-1997
Guaranteed to loosen any dodgy teeth.
Agathocles were, and still are, self-styled purveyors of mince core, though I must confess that I’m not entirely sure what that means. The years given above are a little misleading, as the Belgian band’s history stretches back as far as 1985, since when, with different line-ups, they’ve toured extensively and built up a huge back catalogue on labels worldwide, many of them split releases. Interestingly, the sleeve notes state that Agathocles recorded a John Peel session in 1997, and there’s no reason to doubt it, but there’s no mention in Ken Garner’s official BBC book ‘In Session Tonight’. I sincerely hope it’s true, though, as the great man would have loved polluting our airwaves with truly brutal material like this.
HAD IT COMING
LA quartet’s debut CD of ripping ’80s hardcore punk worship.
Coming from Brooklyn and LA, street punk and straight edge backgrounds, a love of bands such as Bad Brains and Minor Threat brought these guys together. ‘Had It Coming’ combines two 7"s (the Plastic World and Dare To Be Dull EPs) and a rare, ripping cover of the Bad Brains classic ‘Pay To Cum’. Every song here is a blast of energy, with speed, passionate vocals and great melodies. The Bad Brains-esque bass line of opener ‘Plastic World’, gang vocal-filled ‘Street Cred’ and the awesome stand out ‘Shitting On Your Subculture’ show variation and sound surprisingly fresh. Short, sharp and fast, bring on the debut album proper!
COME ALL YOU MADMEN
(Side One Dummy)
Uplifting socially aware folk punk that kicks.
The Briggs have recorded an album that is ferocious in places, melancholy in others and generally uplifting elsewhere. The varied music shows that an acoustic guitar strummed with finger shredding venom found on several tracks can be just as effective as the songs on which they tear into full-on punk assaults. This is folk tinged punk that contains the best elements of both genres – thought provoking lyrics, energy, anger and passion all delivered in a manner that is sure to get the skate parks and parking lots that host this year’s Warped Tour resonating with a thousand joyous voices singing in unison.
OLD PRIDE, NEW GLORY
From the streets of Oi! rises another classic from the Netherlands boys.
Dutch street Oi! band Discipline tear it up and beat you down with the return of another hard-hitting, working class Oi! album. However, ‘Old Pride…’ is a cover-based tribute to their musical heroes, comprising of infamous songs from the likes of Motorhead, the Stranglers, Billy Idol and the Ramones, and adapting them with a sharp and aggressive Discipline edge. The album’s sound is crystal clear, with raw rock ‘n’ roll riffs accompanied by fiery street punk vocals. Bringing a very unique flavour, full of attitude and energy, it’s a must listen for any street Oi lover!
ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE
Oft overlooked psychobilly gem.
After forming in 1982 psychobilly stalwarts Guana Batz released three studio albums and the excellent ‘Live Over London’ for ID Records, but the band’s association with the label ended in 1988 when they moved camp to World Service, a branch of the Rough Trade Records group. The band had matured somewhat by this stage, the early signs ably displayed on their last album for ID, the rather inappropriately named ‘Rough Edges’, but with ‘Electra Glide In Blue’ the Batz proved that they were more than capable of turning out class material. PhilipTennant’s production is satisfyingly full, almost lush, but never dampens that ole Batz craziness.
ONE MAN FREAKSHOW
Doyley and pals come up with one hell of a rockin’ record.
This can only be described as relentless. What started out as a solo project for well-respected Klingonz guitarist Doyley developed into so much more. The multi-instrumentalist has gathered together some luminaries of the psychobilly and punk scene to enhance the already impressive tracks he put down himself. The bass playing is ferocious while guitar lick after guitar lick stoke the flames and up the tempo. The guests on the album keep the tracks eclectic while the style remains out and out high speed rockin’. This will leave you begging for mercy and for more all at the same time. I can’t recommend this enough, I’m almost too knackered to type just listening to it.
ON YOUR SLEEVE
(One Little Indian)
Countrified goodness born of hardcore roots.
This release from the former Heart Attack/ D Generation frontman turned country troubadour is beautifully crafted. The fragility of Malin’s voice is backed by an assured production and great musicians. ‘On Your Sleeve’ is a covers album but this guy makes songs his own. These honest interpretations of classics and new songs alike make for captivating listening. A surprisingly good cover of The Hold Steady’s ‘You Can Make Them Like You’ highlights how he can capture the essence of a song but interpret it in a fresh way. It’s easy to get caught up in the ride because this nostalgia trip is so varied and sweet-sounding. He’s literally wearing his influences on his sleeve.
A classic album repackaged and re-released, deservedly so.
King Kurt’s ‘Big Cock’ was released in 1986 and was unbelievably banned from WH Smith because of the title, even though the cover showed a picture of a rooster. How times have changed. The album contained some classic Kurt in ‘Billy’ and ‘Alcoholic Rat’ and is essential listening. They made the charts and appeared on Top of the Pops when psychobilly (although it can be argued that they don’t fall squarely into that hole) was considered the pimple on the (big) cock of music. It features extensive and excellent sleeve notes from psychobilly scholar Craig Brackenridge.
P. PAUL FENECH
(People Like You)
If it’s good to be bad is it bad to be good?
The Meteors frontman has come up with another stomping solo album to follow up the exceptional ‘F-Word’. There’s plenty of darkness and humour here. Tales of advice from long gone soldier mentors on how to fight mingle with Tex-Mex flavoured twang and echo drenched tales of the wild west and Fenech battle cries of telling the world to go fuck itself. PPF’s mastery of the guitar but is propelled by a double bass and additional female voices that interact well with the infamous Fenech rasp. “Hey Kids, don’t try this at home, it’s only a fuckin’ song after all”, well that’s the warning from the man himself, but you get the impression he’s daring you to try. Excellent stuff from the King of Psychobilly.
Rising up from the ashes.
You had to feel for Daniel, zombie-faced vocalist of The Rezurex. His band had come up with a super impressive album lauded by all who heard it and put up some super impressive shows that threatened to put them firmly on the top of the psychobilly pile. Fame and fortune should have followed, but instead his band were head hunted by the very luminaries of the scene that they had threatened to usurp. The band should have been finished but instead Daniel refused to let the Rezurex die and found another batch of top-notch musicians. The result is this album and it’s easily as good as the previous and does have a definite horror punk feel/psychobilly crossover feel.