The original all-female heavy rockers,  and pals of Motorhead, Girlschool, release their latest album “Legacy” on 3rd November 2008 through SPV/Steamhammer/Wacken records.

Legacy mixes old-school classic rock with modern influences and celebrates the band’s 30-years of female powered heavy rock.  To mark the milestone, some of Girlschool’s legendary rocking mates turned up and left their mark on the album, including Ronnie James Dio; Tony Iommi, Lemmy Kilmister & Phil Campbell (Motörhead); Fast Eddie Clarke (ex-Motörhead) and J.J. French & Eddie Ojeda (Twister Sister).


1.    Everything’s The Same    

2.    From The Other Side

3.    I Spy (Girlschool Mix)

4.    Spend Spend Spend         ( feat. J.J. French – guitar solo)

5.    Whole New World         ( feat. Neil Murray – bass, Phil Campbell – lead guitar solo)

6.    Just Another Day         ( feat. Phil Campbell – guitar solo)

7.    Legend                 ( feat. Neil Murray – bass)

8.    Still Waters

9.    Metropolis             ( feat. Fast Eddie Clarke – guitar solo) Motörhead cover

10.    Don`t Mess Around         ( feat. Eddie Ojeda – guitar solo)

11.    Zeitgeist

12.    Don’t Talk To Me             ( feat. Lemmy on bass, vocals and triangle)

Bonus Tracks:

13.    I Spy (Dio/Iommi Mix)         ( feat. Ronnie James Dio on vocals, Tony Iommi – lead guitar)

14.    Emergency

15.    London

Girlschool is comprised of: Kim McAuliffe – rhythm guitar, vocals; Enid Williams – bass, vocals; Denise Dufort – drums and Jackie Chambers – lead guitar

The ladies will be performing the following UK dates this year (and more to be announced):

Date    City    Venue    Ticket Price    Box Office

29th November    Blackburn    North Bar    £15.00

16th December    London    Astoria 2    £15.00    0870 154 40 40   


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Hit Me-Ian Dury hits the theatre.

HIT ME! The life and Rhymes of Ian Dury is opening at the Courtyard Theatre 40 Pitfield St London N1 from Nov 25th-14 Dec. This 2 man play explores the life of the former Blockhead and is based on interviews with friends  and explores his life as a heavy drinking rocker to an establishment figure!

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Vive Le Punk proudly presents the ‘70s Edinburgh punk/new wave heroes. Catch them performing the whole of their classic album ‘Can’t Stand The Rezillos’ in December: Southampton The Brook December 10, London Islington Bar Academy 11, Sheffield Corporation (NEW DATE FEB 7), Newcastle Academy II 17, Dunfermline Kinema 18, Aberdeen Lemon Tree 19, Glasgow ABC2 21, Edinburgh Liquid Room 22.

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"If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck
Berry’." John Lennon

Chuck Berry’s music has transcended generations. He earns respect to this day because he is truly an entertainer. Known as "The Father of Rock & Roll", Berry gained success by watching the audience’s reaction and playing accordingly and putting his listeners’ amusement above all else. For this reason, tunes like "Johnny B. Goode," "Maybellene" and "Memphis" have become anthems to an integrated American youth and popular culture.
Berry is a musical icon who established rock and roll as a musical form and brought the worlds of black and white together in song.

Following a triumphant set at the inaugural Camp Bestival this year, Berry will now perform on an entirely different scale. For just 2 nights audience members will pack themselves into the intimate surrounding of the Jazz Café and enjoy what will feel like a personal appearance for every individual in the room.

There really aren’t many artists deserving of the term ‘Legend’ left, but nobody would disagree that Berry has earned the status with (literally) flying colours, his guitar playing is unrivalled to this day and the energy he brings to his live performances belies his unbelievable 82 years of age. He’s always electric but up this close bring your rubber shoes or prepare for the shock factor: yes he still rocks better than the rest.

Mean Fiddler presents

Chuck Berry

Date:              Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th November Doors (7pm)

Venue:          Jazz Café, Parkway, Camden NW1

Tickets:         £53 + BF adv

Bookings: 0870 060 3777 24hr CC hotline


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Vive Le Punk has ten copies of the new Undertones Anthology (see above) and ten copies of the new ‘Teenage Kicks’ 7" vinyl reissue to give away. To be in with a chance of winning one of each, just answer this easy question:


Send your answer, name and address to

Good luck!

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Corsica Studios
July 16th
A rain-sodden night on a back street beneath a dank south London railway arch, the setting for tonight’s show could have come straight out of a Derek Raymond novel. For a band who over their twenty-year career have often appeared to have staggered off the pages of their own latter-day crime-pulp, these surroundings seem apt. Launching into ‘Dragging Along’, the ‘Drunk set their stall out, with sozzled dimestore-malevolence and fuzztoned grind to the fore. Hunkered over his distressed Fender Jaguar, head ’drunker James Johnston whips up an equally distressed twang with as much regard for fretting technique as a man with a mike in his left hand can possibly muster; be-shirted in retro-polyester and a heroic distance from his last encounter with shampoo, Johnston growls his blues between his guitar swipes. Terry Edwards meanwhile, a vision of spivvy cool in sharp dogtooth check, parps Funhousey free-jazz figures over the distorted throb. Dredging up the silt with recent single ‘Grand Union Canal’, and lurching through ‘Running Out Of Time’ and ‘Bad Servant’, Gallon Drunk steer their sozzled set towards its red-eyed climax, stirring up some neon-streaked London murk in the downbeat setting of the E & C.
Hugh Gulland


London Brixton Windmill
October 4th
One of the most exciting new bands on No Idea’s impressive roster supported by some of the finest bands in the UK punk and hardcore scene at the moment? Yes, tonight was sure to be good. The first of tonight’s pair of Pompey bands (the second being Attack! Vipers!), CHILLERTON impress with their raw and emotional melodic punk. Fans of Jawbreaker take note. The energetic and vicious ATTACK! VIPERS! savage the crowd with their Converge-meets-Mogwai hardcore assaults and vocalist Joe Watson gives it everything as always. Liverpool street/pop punk hybrid DOWN AND OUTS get everyone singing along to their infectious tunes before Gainesville, Florida’s YOUNG LIVERS blow the roof off the place with their anthemic and discordant blasts. With three gravel-vocalled singers and a relentless sense of urgency that sees the songs on their debut ‘The New Drop Era’ and their recent split with Attack! Vipers! come alive, this is the perfect end to a varied and thrilling night of punk rock.
Ian Chaddock


London Camden Purple Turtle
September 29th
The overly excited Monday night crowd at the Purple Turtle were out with good intentions, if not in droves. Most people were there to see the final night of the Luchagors’ UK tour and expectantly waiting to see if Amy Dumas, ex-WWE wrestler ‘Lita’ could put on a decent punk show. Support came first from Londoners LOVE AND A .45 who are currently tearing up the punk scene with catchy songs and gravely honesty – just don’t call them Paramore as one punter learnt the hard way!
The LUCHAGORS form a tight unit and are musically exactly what I wanted to hear – there are no weak links in this four piece from Georgia. Naming her band after a wrestling move, Dumas isn’t trying to shy away from her roots, but also doesn’t give out any attitude – she’s as happy playing to a Monday night punk crowd as anyone, no bodyguards and no bullshit. She also surprised me with her voice – I thought it might be all gimmick and no substance, not so. They finished on standout track ‘March Of The Luchagors’, a rallying cry to come on in and have a good time.
Hazel Savage

Blackpool Winter Gardens
August 7th – 10th

Three months after the two day extravaganza that was Spring Rebellion 2008 in Vienna, Blackpool yet again played host to this summer’s Rebellion UK, seen by some as the most important festival of the year. Winter Gardens opened its doors to sea of punks, skins, psychobillies and old school boot boys anxiously awaiting Darren Russell’s punk alternative to the UK festival music scene on Thursday 7th August for fours days of live punk, oi!, ska, drink, and Max Splodge’s infamous and humorous bingo. With the deafening sets of Section 5, Total Chaos, Short Bus Window Lickers and Dom Collins opening the weekend, it was the bands of Friday that really worked festival punters into a punk rock frenzy.


New Zealand trio THE RABBLE (3/5) kicked off Friday in the Empress Ballroom. Shaking off their fear, the boys played energetically to their biggest crowd to date with their electrifying mixture of punk and ska. After a well received set, The Rabble left the audience wanting more, but there was little time to dwell on the fact as soon after the Manchester ska sensation Sonic Boom Six took to the stage followed by Watford’s own Argy Bargy. Rising oi! menace ARGY BARGY (5/5) delivered an explosive set with songs including ‘Light Over London’ and ‘No Regrets’ from their new album ’The Likes Of Us’. Watford John’s powerful street vocals accompanied by rock and roll rhythms, coupled with excitement and stage charisma, the North London boys set the mayhem for the rest of the weekend. Deadline, Love and a .45, Moral Dilemma, Fire Exit and London are just a handful of bands that kept the relentless rebels entertained until the first main act of the evening took to the stage. After 21 years of silence, THE BOOMTOWN RATS (4/5) have reformed as a 4 piece (minus Geldof) to thrash out their crossover of punk rock and new wave tunes. The good sound and a tight set was well received by the diverse crowd who particularly enjoyed ‘20th Century Girl’ and the new improved version of ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’. Meanwhile, over on the acoustic stage in ‘Bizarre Bazaar’, south London cockney duo CHAS AND DAVE (4/5) got the modest crowd into a hoe down mood with boot stomping and hands clapping in Blackpool’s first knees up since the Queens Coronation. With classics such as ‘Gertcha’, ‘Rabbit’ and ‘London Girl’ it just goes to show how much variety Darren Russell puts into these shows, and just how diverse the punk rock scene actually is.


With an early start Saturday, the best hangover cure since the headache tablet, Max Splodge’s Bingo had the bands fresh from their morning sound checks in fits of laughter. Constantly repeating numbers, and giving out prices pinched from hotel rooms, the unlikely bingo caller put everyone in the right mood for another day of live bands and weak beer. PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES (4/5) packed out ‘The Arena’, with more trying to squeeze in, all anxious to see a glimpse of the no nonsense punk rock band that has been going for 30 years. The boys put on a good show but after a while, the sped up tracks all blended into one and making them hard to distinguish one from the other. However classics like ‘Band From The Pubs’ and ‘Run Like Hell’ got fists pumping, feet stomping and beer flying.

Lloyd Grossman’s 1970’s reformed new wave punk band JET BRONX AND THE FORBIDDEN (2/5) preformed a very easy going set, with Grossman playing some funky bass, accompanied by the vocal of ‘Valentine Guinness’ they were dishing up their own recipe of rock ‘n’ roll. However lack of enthusiasm on stage didn’t engage many punters but considering this was the band’s first festival since reforming, they did their best!
Edinburgh’s punk rockers THE REZILLOS (3/5) delivered a classic set covering all their best hits such as ‘Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight!’, ‘Getting Me Down’ and ‘Flying Saucer Attack’, with a glitzy glam punk rocking image and powerful struts on stage, accompanied by thumping guitars, but on the other hand were let down by a distorted echoey sound, but fans remained content. STIFF LITTLE FINGERS (5/5) followed on from The Rezillos to a crowd of thousands, all anxious to catch a glimpse of Jake Burns and his crew smashing out their catchy punk tunes. From the moment the band took to the stage the audience went mental, and from here on in the set just got better and better. Each band member putting in the energy of a new band playing for the first time, with bassist Ali McMordie especially taking over every available piece of stage he could, running and jumping around. ‘Strummerville’ made an early appearance in the set, along with ‘Barbed Wire Love’, but unlike most bands, the set order made little difference to the feel of the gig. ‘Alternative Ulster’ was the song to close the show leaving everyone in on a high ready for the band that everyone had flocked to Blackpool to see. Cock Sparrer. In 1972 four mates from an East London school started a band. 36 years, after a few line up changes over the years, COCK SPARRER (5/5) are one of the most influential, iconic and genre breaking bands on the punk scene. Mixing political punk lyrics with catchy lead guitars and heavy bass lines, and the occassional love song thrown in for good messure. Another packed room in the venues biggest arena, Cock Sparrer, as always, fulfil all expections everyone had of them. Playing tight and professionally (not a word you hear a lot in punk circles) while still having a laugh on stage. From Colin’s jokes to his re-entrance to the stage for their first encore wearing a police helmet ready for ‘Riot Squad’, without a doubt Cock Sparrer was the band to really made Rebellion the weekend it was, the one band everyone wanted to see, and the one band who after 1am finish and another 5 hours of drinking could be up at 11am looking for a fish and chips with a Guinness to wash it down. And to top it all off, on Sunday morning, Colin and Micky joined Middle Finger Salute on stage to replay ‘Because You’re Young’.


The escapade of Rebellion 2008 was dawning to a close end upon Blackpool’s punk rockers, and kick starting the day was Blackburn’s punk rocking quartet MIDDLE FINGER SALUTE (4/5). Over the past year MFS have gone from strength to strength. Their original punk rock sound is tuneful yet aggressive and even though they were on early Sunday afternoon, enough people had made it out of bed to make it all worth while. Lead vocalist Calum really knows how to work his audience, cracking jokes between songs and digging into his guitar to make the whole sound experience one to remember. MFS are set to climb the punk rock social ladder over the next few years, starting with a support slot with Rancid this November! The four piece punk band STRAWBERRY BLONDES (3/5) rocked the pavillion with spitting attitude and a booming thrashy sound, as they hit the stage frantically with a fast paced rhythm, Strawberry Blondes will be touring with the likes of Millencolin and Neville Staples later this year so catch them near you! Andy Scott’s own reformation of THE SWEET (5/5) gave an outstanding performance bringing back the original days of true glam rock. Accompanied by high pitched vocals, outlandish lighting, roaring guitars, and glitz glam fashion, the Rebellion punters couldn’t resist a good old sing a long. Soaring through infamous hits such as ‘Teenage Rampage’, ‘Wig Wam Bam’ and ‘Ballroom Blitz’, the hall of the Empress Ballroom had an eccentric atmosphere as crowds among crowds couldn’t help but sing to one another, chanting to every word in awe of true honest glam rock. The Sweet did not disappoint. The legend that is Charlie Harper, vocalist of UK SUBS (3/5), had no problems packing out The Empress Ballroom, with the full original 1970’s line up by his side. With Harper taking on the show like a breeze, the Subs produced a well received set, with a crystal clear sound and punks stomping their feet continiously to all those dear Subs hits we love so much, from ‘Warhead’, ‘Stranglehold’ and ‘I Live In
A Car’ the show only got better for the audience of Blackpool. With the Gary Hodges’ 4- Skins closing this year’s Rebellion festival 2008, We now await anxiously for the next Rebellion, eager for more…
Nick Quinn/Samantha Bruce


London Astoria 2
August 6th
Rednecks and psychos aplenty flocked to this sold-out rock ‘n’ roll cavalcade but, due to the questionable 6pm start, they don’t all come at once. Kicking off are VINCE RAY & THE BONESHAKERS and although the cult pin up artist, whose designs you’ll know from T-shirts and record sleeves worldwide, and his band provide an above average set of rockabilly tunes, including the hot-boppin ‘Everybody Smokes In Hell’, the small crowd seem unimpressed: a crying shame! Husband and wife team NASHVILLE PUSSY take to the stage next and by now both tiers of the LA2 are teeming with angry fans, but equipment troubles see the band leave after only a couple of songs. A disappointing half an hour later, The Pussy return and play a hard rockin’, if a little concise, set of southern sleaze, throwing in favourites ‘Go Muthafucka Go’, ‘You’re Goin’ Down’ and a headbanging cover of ‘Nutbush City Limits’. There’s still a bad taste left in everyone’s mouth as the band leave, but that all changes when Jim Heath steps onstage in a flame tipped suit, signature Gretch in hand and flashes a smile that’s oozing with Texan charm. After exploding into ‘The Baddest Of The Bad’, THE REVEREND HORTON HEAT treat the congregation to a host of cover songs from past decades, including punkabilly takes on ‘Greensleeves’, ‘Paranoid’ and ‘In Bloom’, proving the holy man and his pastors can convert any genre to the faith. Next it’s back to their own classics, with ‘Galaxy 500’, ‘Martini Time’ and ‘Bales Of Cocaine’. Jim’s fingers seem to somersault off the fret board in a blur and as the band leave the stage, the crowd scream for more. A short while later, they get it, with Blaine from Nashville Pussy joining the rock ‘n’ roll trio onstage for a rendition of ‘Ace Of Spades’, diving into the heaving pit at its climax. Topping the night off with the wrecktastic ‘Psychobilly Freakout’ and ‘The Big Red Rocket Of Love’, breaking midway for a trio of awesome solos, the crowd are left thoroughly satisfied. Praise the word!
Tom Williams

June 26th-29th
Pineda Del Mar
This was the year that the annual Spanish Psychobilly Meeting became the scene’s official favourite festival. There had been fears that having moved up the beach from its previous spiritual home in Calella things just wouldn’t be the same. The fears proved right – it was twice as good. The new beachfront semi-permanent marquee was perfect, as was the whole event. The four day festival kicked off on the Thursday kicked off with all-girl Brazilian band AS DIABATZ who were only on their fourth gig ever but went down well, BEN COOPER ROCKIN’ pleased many but it was SPELLBOUND who got the place jumping for the first time of the festival, cracking set. Veteran’s THE BOPPIN KIDS preceded the headliners THE DEAD KIDS who are fronted by Koefte of Mad Sin fame. The name was almost apt as a falling lighting rig nearly killed the lot of them during a freak storm the brought the opening night to an end (footage ‘The Dead Kings – The End’ on YouTube). On Friday TABALTIX started the trend showing the massive talent of the new breed early playing American bands that are emerging on the scene. It was the old guard that took the limelight though, THE KLINGONZ put on a massive show, featuring clowns and fire-breathers and a severe rocking performance, a hard act to follow, but it was BATMOBILE headlining and they blew the place away, showing why they have been top of their game for decades. BAMBOULA once again displayed the talent of the young Americans but Saturday was a night of old school headliners, ROCHEE AND THE SARNOS were Klub Foot Favourites and went down well, but THE LONG TALL TEXANS had the place in a wrecking frenzy with their set of classic after classic that incorporated new tracks that still sounded like classics. THE GUANA BATZ headlined and rose to the unenviable task of following them, but follow them they did, Pip and the Batz belied the years and put on a show that would have had a Klub Foot pit begging for mercy. Sunday was hard work, for bands and fans competing with the football. THE CRACKS from Japan were a revelation, tons of make-up, great songs and a monks habits added by a Texan guest made for a top show. BANG BANG BAZOOKA rocked, and the COFFIN NAILS followed. As always they were great, Humungous seemed thirsty but the party onstage spilled off it, perfect. NIGEL LEWIS headlined, everyone was fucked by this time but it only takes a verse or two of ‘My Daddy Is A Vampire’ from the granddaddy of the genre to inject some reserves of energy into a psycho crowd. A fitting end to what is a must-attend festival. It’s a budget flight to Barcelona away – be there next year.
Simon Nott


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(Household Name)
Members of Stockyard Stoics, Filaments, Suicide Bid and MDC kill it with acoustic political punk.

Written without drummers in their living rooms and with a sound that has nods to a range of artists such as Billy Bragg (on ‘The Ballad of Ronald Timbers’ and ‘Stories of Old’), The Clash, Against Me! (on ‘Ronnie Goes to Heaven’) and Stiff Little Fingers, ‘Murderers’ has a pretty special collective punk feel. Political and passionate, there are songs about police murder and organisation against the BNP, not to mention a dialogue between the devil and former US president Ronald Reagan on his decent to hell! This isn’t groundbreaking but its fun sing along stuff, with guest appearances from members of The Hold Steady, World/Inferno Friendship Society and Morning Glory. Raise your voice.
Ian Chaddock

(People Like You)
Washington DC rockers call it quits in style.

After a long, productive partnership that produced some corking albums, Adam West have decided to throw in the towel after their forthcoming autumn tour of Europe. If you’ve never heard of them before now, the question, ‘where the hell have you been all this time?’ springs to mind. For the rest of us who’ve had the pleasure of listening to their particular brand of kick arse rock ‘n’ roll (think the Stooges, Motorhead, AC/DC and MC5) for the last decade or so, this is a bit of a bittersweet farewell. At least they’re going out in style and can look back on their back catalogue with pride.
Lee Cotterell

(People Like You)
‘80s UK punks’ debut album – 25th anniversary posh version.

Ipswich Droog-types The Adicts hold the distinction of being the oldest existing punk band that still boast their original line-up and, as their debut EP came out in 1979, that’s not to be sniffed at. ‘Songs Of Praise’ had two releases, first on Fall Out in 1981, then Razor in 1982, when it hit no.2 on the old Indie Chart. Not quite sure how that makes it the 25th anniversary. Here you get the original album, plus unnecessary re-recordings of the same songs. Still, the newies boast better production and the classics like ‘Viva La Revolution’ and ‘England’ are still great.
Shane Baldwin

(Cherry Pie)
Unpretentious neo-rockabilly from former Restless sticksman.

Ben Cooper is best known as the drummer and founder member of premier British rockabilly legends Restless prior to going solo in 2006. Being a bit of a multi-instrumentalist and a dab-hand behind a studio mixing desk to boot, this album is in every sense of the word a one man show. It comes as no surprise to find him sticking mainly to the neo-rockabilly blueprint of his previous band on foot tappers like ‘Ready to Go’ and ‘Like an H-Bomb’, with the occasional foray into country (‘The Crossroads’) and blues (‘Celestine’). I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. Good rockin’ stuff indeed.
Lee Cotterell

Ghoulish punk rock from Phoenix, Arizona.

Claiming to be “the world’s greatest horror rock band” may be a little over-ambitious but Jimmy, Bobby and Davey Calabrese are certainly an (undead) force to be reckoned with. Combining the sounds of legends such as The Misfits, The Damned and early AFI, with the old horror film quotes between songs that Rob Zombie loves so much, this is nothing new but tunes such as ‘Your Ghost’ and ‘Voices Of The Dead’ will probably have you dancing on your grave. The harmonies and backing vocals make Calabrese a cut above most of their monstrous rivals. This follow-up to their debut ’13 Halloweens’ will lurch its way onto your stereo with an anthemic collection of graveyard stomps.
Ian Chaddock

(Captain Mod)
Underrated second wave of Mod classic.

Riding in on their brand new scooters, The Chords took to the mod revival of 1979 with a handful of chart singles and their combination of punk energy and power pop tunes. As usual, Captain (Oi!) Mod have done a great job in putting together this 20 track compilation with the usual comprehensive sleeve notes, extra tracks and unreleased singles. It was a fine line between the punk rock of 1979 and the Mods Mayday youth anthems the Chords were writing, and they were even contracted to Sham 69’s Jimmy Purseys’ JP records briefly. But it was on Polydor that they hit the charts with their powerful ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ single, probably their finest moment. Their debut album also charted but it was a brief ride for the Chords and the rising tide of Two Tone and New Romantics all but killed off the Chords and the New Mod Movement. Feisty and anthemic, the chords deserve their moment in history.
El Prez

(People Like You)
Sarah Sin’s Canadian punk psycho combo rock the joint.

The Creepshow’s long awaited follow-up to ‘Sell Your Soul’ does not disappoint, with pummelling double bass and drums ensuring that the ten tracks stomp along so much so that when you get to the murder ballads your foot’s still bouncing anyway. Sarah Sin’s vocals are powerful, and complimented by liberal use of keyboards and some hearty choruses, which give the whole album a very full and polished sound that does not undermine any of its pure rocking energy in any negative way. This lot get on prime-time TV back home and you can hear why.
Simon Nott

(Cooking Vinyl)
Good, just not as good as…

The Datsuns have the classic problem of struggling to better a brilliant debut. The self-titled first album was brim-full of wailing rock and memorable tunes. Their second and third albums failed to excite. Now they’re back with self-produced fourth album ‘Head Stunts’ (an anagram if you hadn’t worked it out). It’s a return to form of sorts, if only my expectations weren’t still so high. There is nothing here to rival ‘Sitting Pretty’ or ‘Harmonic Generator’ but it’s their most promising release in years. Though it’s not the all-out craziness of their debut, you can’t help but get carried along with their brand of retro rock.
Matt Quin

(People Like You)
Boston punks unveil varied debut full-length.

Vocalist Stephanie Dougherty has toured with the Dropkick Murphys since 2002 and Deadly Sins also include former members of Reach the Sky and Crash and Burn in their ranks. This experience has resulted in a well-rounded and enjoyable debut from their new band. The biting, dark punk rock of opener ‘Grey Skies Turn’ is followed by the energetic and anthemic punk ‘n’ roll of ‘Barely Breathing’ and ‘Riot’ firing out ass kicking, raw rock ‘n’ roll,  its obvious that these guys are very talented and can turn their hand to a wide range of styles, while still sounding cohesive. There’s not a dud track on the whole 12-song record, so I’m still to find these weaknesses they’re selling.
Ian Chaddock

(Century Media)
Former Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver bassist steps back up to the microphone.

Given that Velvet Revolver have yet to find a replacement for erstwhile frontman Scott Weiland, you can’t blame bassist Duff McKagan for getting tired of waiting around and decided to revive his old side project. This is their first release since 2001’s ‘Dark Days’ album – a 5-track EP, featuring some dark, punked-up riff action in ‘Sleaze Factory’, the surprisingly melodic ‘IOU’ and an enjoyably stripped-down acoustic lament in the title track. It’s not the best thing Duff has put his name to, but it’s far more convincing than Velvet Revolver’s last album, and – if nothing else – proves that the rock ‘n’ roll flame still burns brightly within his tattooed soul.
Alex Gosman

(Anagram/Cherry Red)
Batz out of hell!

Back to the mid-‘80s for this favourite re-release from psychobilly pioneers The Guana Batz: Anagram/Cherry Red Records ensures none of us forget where it all began. Originally reaching number 2 in the UK Indie charts, ‘Loan Sharks’ sees the band trying their hand at a slurry of rock ‘n’ roll classics, including Chuck Berry’s ‘No Particular Place to Go’, Chan Romero’s ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’ and Costello’s ‘Radio Sweetheart’. plus six of their own hectic gems.  With a possible new album on the horizon and the band still hard at work both sides of the pond, now’s the time to loosen the straight jacket.
Tom Williams

Solid gold straight off the ska-rap heap.

Famed for their guerilla gigs, DIY videos and high-octane live shows, this band’s reputation is one that’s hard to match, and all without releasing a full-length debut! Taking up where bands like Sublime started, and others like Adequate 7 on Sonic Boom Six carried on, this North London ten-piece collective intertwine punk rock riffs and bratty horn-based ska with fast flowing hip-hop-laced lyrics, culminating in an electrified sound that forces you onto your feet. An impressive mix of styles from the skankariffic ‘Sombrero’, head bobbing singles ‘Great British Summertime’ and ‘The Landlord’s Daughter’ all deliver with subject matter that’ll have you pissing your pants with laugher. Frickin’ awesome!
Tom Williams

Early Joke’s raw energy captured by the Beeb.

Neatly timed to lock in with the original Killing Joke lineup’s first full reunion since 1982, these four John Peel sessions (bulked up with a Richard Skinner show recording from the same period) are the best precis of the power of early period Joke you could hope for. Youth’s clanking dub-funk bass, Paul Ferguson’s post-industrial Burundi-beat drums, Geordie Walker’s martial guitar tones and the eerie vocals and seething synth of Jaz Coleman, all in their creative first flush from the Joke’s all-important first three albums. From 1979’s out-of-the-garage renditions of ‘Psycche’ and ‘Wardance’ to the ominous power-surge of ‘The Hum’ and ‘Empire Song’, this is unpolished post-punk perfection.
Hugh Gulland

(Fat Wreck)
Slight return from the ‘wagon.

The guys in Lagwagon have always had a sense of humour. With this new, tongue-in-cheek titled 7-track EP singer Joey Cape has explained that “it’s gonna change the world”. However, while the band’s songwriting has matured a little over the years, there’s nothing new here. Opener ‘B side’ and ‘Errands’ displays the kind of skate punk that made the first band to sign to Fat Wreck Chords so loved in the ‘90s, but there’s nothing here to rival ‘Trashed’. Tracks such as ‘No Little Pill’ and ‘Live It Down’ plod along and lack the vocal urgency and speed that made them so exhilarating in their early days. Here’s hoping they rediscover skate punk and play to their strengths again.
Ian Chaddock

Experimental and hallucinatory new outing from the Dots.

Legendary Pink Dots appear to have hovered around music‘s outer reaches since the early 1980s. This latest recording sees Edward Ka-Spel and crew continuing their sonic explorations, somewhere between the childlike surreality of vintage psych-folk and the hypnotic pulsations of Phillip Glass. The results are at points claustrophobically threatening, as with Torchsong‘s currents of bottled-up paranoia, pleasingly whimsical on tracks such as My First Zonee, or hauntingly mesmeric as Rainbows Too or the Spookily skewed carousel of Faded Photography both attest. If Plutonium Blonde’s out-there meanderings might test the casual listener’s attention in places, this album has moments of beguiling eccentricity which more than compensate.
Hugh Gulland

P Paul Fenech’s 1997 rockabilly project re-issued.

I’ve only given this a three but if you don’t have it don’t let that put you off. It’s great rockabilly, but it’s PPF so it’s not all about boppin’ all night. It’s pretty hardcore stuff with a simple but very effective bass sound and, of course, great guitar. There are a mixture of Fenech originals and some classic (but obscure) rockabilly covers. Johnny Cash’s ‘Jackson’ even gets the treatment in duet. This re-issue has the original cover, which features blank-eyed bullet-ridden corpses. A nice touch I thought for what is an excellent and worthy re-issue.
Simon Nott

(Voodoo Rhythm)
The no hit wonder’s classic trash album back to fuck you up.

This is pure trash so badly recorded (on a four-track) and wild it’s the sound the genre is all about. When this record came out in 1995 the psychobillies hated it so much that they used to wait for poor old Beat-Man after gigs to give him a kicking, so there’s the perfect reason to buy it. It’s the original 16-tracks plus three bonus tracks. But the real killer on here is ‘I Wanna Be Your Pussycat’. “Brain fuckin’ rock ‘n’ roll for bad tasters and adults only” is what it says on the cover, you’d better believe it. Classic!
Simon Nott

Mixed twin CD bag from post-NY Dolls sleaze punk spin-offs.

There’s no denying Johnny Thunders’ influence on the class of ‘77, but not everyone could run with that baton as far The Clash or the Pistols. Similarly enthralled with Johnny’s vagabond stance, Steve Dior and Barry Jones fell into Thunders’ orbit in 1976, and from the ashes of The Idols, formed with JT’s former cohorts Arthur Kane and Jerry Nolan, London Cowboys were born. Disc one offers up some acceptable early-‘80s sleaze punk. It’s decent enough in a ‘Friday night down the Clarendon’ fashion. Disc two meanwhile documents the band’s unsuccessful remould in a late-‘80s LA sleaze metal vein, and is considerably less engaging. Overall, this is one for Dolls completists only.
Hugh Gulland

The ghosts of Berlin still haunt.

Before recording his tai chi meditations Reed found time to stage 1973’s controversial follow up to his biggest album Transformer. Berlin was a critical disaster upon release – just too dark and disturbing to follow the Bowie reeking pop of Transformer. Now the tables have turned and it is rightly viewed as Reed’s sinister masterpiece. This live reincarnation is stunning – the sound roars out of the speakers – and the songs are hauntingly resurrected. Sometimes it can sound too revitalised, lacking the dismal murky atmosphere of the album’s original production. But the crying children still haunt and the blunt street lyrics still make you despair. Still as dark, uncompromising and challenging as ever.
Matt Quin

(Lo End)
Surf rock twang with surreal undertones.

A three-piece based around Matt Boroff’s surrealistic songwriting and hyperactive tremolo-arm, Matt and his Mirrors’ third album comes on like a skewed re-work of the ‘Pulp Fiction’ soundtrack. The retro-tone aural flavors take on an alternate narrative thanks to Boroff’s otherworldly way with a song. Cuts like ‘Zombie Machine’ and ‘Like A Train’ filter early sixties twang through psychedelia’s prism, whilst ‘Red’ boasts the kind of psychotic wasp-in-a-jam-jar guitar action you tend to have to go way underground to find these days.  A ‘Link Wray through the looking glass’ kind of trip, ‘Elevator Ride’ pushes timeless sounds through some unusual contortions.
Hugh Gulland

Walk Among Us!

Probably the strongest horror punk outfit in Europe, fiends and freaks raise your stumps in the air for this bloodcurdling third release from Germany’s answer to Armageddon: The Other.  Following 2006’s ‘We Are Who We Eat’, this offering features a coffin-load of Misfits-esque tracks that’ll have you hounding for human flesh, including the foreboding ‘Black Angel’, metal-tinged ‘Bleed’ and the death rock hymns ‘Murder in the House of Wax’, ‘Become Undead’ and ‘The Creature From The Black Lagoon’; all introduced by a creepy piano tinkling sideshow opener. With subject matter ranging from Edgar Allen Poe to the legendary Gill-Man, devilocks will be flapping worldwide.     
Tom Williams

LIVE 1977-1978
(Blast First Petite)
Box set of smeary historical gold from the NYC electro-punkers.

This thirteen-gig live document, crudely recorded 30 years ago, is too much to chew on for non-devotees. Suicide’s work, even as punk rock was upturning the world order, was so unacceptable that many gigs met with outright riots. If you love Suicide’s self-titled 1978 album and are willing to dig further, this limited edition set is a gift, a grimy ground-level punters-eye view of revolution unfolding. With the sinister tick of Rev’s pawn shop electronics pulsing beneath the crooning and shrieking of Vega’s subterranean Elvis. Suicide’s paranoiac urban vistas repeatedly play out over this series of gigs across the US and europe, too real for comfort even after all these years.
Hugh Gulland

(Cherry Red)
Arty early NY punk.

In 1976 prime nutcase Lydia Lunch formed Teenage Jesus & The Jerks in New York, and thought “the point of using music was to merely exaggerate the bitter words and bilious intentions which were burning holes inside my head”. With that attitude, and initial collaborators James Chance, Bradley Field and bassist Reck, Lunch made quite an impression on the NY scene, but didn’t hit vinyl until the single ‘Orphans’, produced by Voidoid Robert Quinn, appeared in 1978. These 29 tracks cherry-pick the best of The Jerks’ discordant, confrontational, but often exhilarating output, along with La Lunch’s decidedly weird 1979 project Beirut Slump, which lasted for just three live shows and the ‘Try Me’ single.
Shane Baldwin

The sound of a great punk rock night out.

Ten tracks of near perfect punk ‘n’ roll. The opening track is probably the weakest but that’s when you are opening your beer anyway. Songs about Hackney nightlife, sex, drugs and all the rest of it blast from the speakers. It’s all a little rough around the edges but is all the better for it. Shout-along vocals that are weirdly endearing in a loud but laid back way, basic guitar, bass and drums put together in the way that is probably way cooler than Trashcat would ever want to be. I played ‘Dirtbird Paradise’ over and over again when I first got this. It’s genius and so bloody catchy it should be class A.
Simon Nott

(Western Star)
Another fine rockabilly sampler from Western Star.

Twenty fine rockabilly tracks from a whole host of Western Star’s roster of bass slapping, guitar twanging bands. There isn’t a duff track on this album that leans more towards an authentic sound, rather than turning up like most psychobilly comps. That’s not to say that a lot of this stuff is not wild. Jack Rabbit Slim and Bill Fadden probably top the bill on here but it is hard to find a stand out. This is the ideal opportunity to get a listen to some of the best modern rockabilly out there at the moment. Recommended.
Simon Nott

Rock ‘n’ roll meets metal…

Claiming to “make metal that even your mom would like”, this four-piece from Copenhagen, Denmark sound like the resulting bastard child after a night of passion between Johnny Cash and all four members of Metallica. Volbeat’s third release boasts a generous, if not a little over adventurous, 14 tracks and with musical nods to the Misfits, Elvis Presley and Iron Maiden, this album is quite the mixed bag of tricks. Be warned, it does get a little monotonous towards the end, but quirky tracks like ‘Maybellene I Hofteholder’ (on this month’s covermount CD!), are definitely worth checking out.
Jen Walker

Ginger and his cohorts have some fun.

This is The Wildhearts doing 15 cover versions and, as it’s Volume 1, it’s safe to suppose that they didn’t stop there. Fans of the band will want this because it’s them all over. They do a weird and wonderful collection of other people’s songs in their own inimitable style. Each band member has a go at vocals at least once. There are songs borrowed from everyone from The Distillers to Regurgitator, blasted out in the proper manner. This is more than enough to keep you interested until Volume 2 rears its head. An interesting and worthy release.
Simon Nott

(Damaged Goods)
Ex-Adam and the Ants make album of the year?

Former Adam and the Ants men Marco Pirroni and Chris Constantinou certainly have a good pedigree between them. Infact, as well as playing in an early incarnation of Siouxsie and the Banshees with Sid Vicious, Marco went on to write 6 number one singles and 13 other top 20 hits with Adam Ant. His new project The Wolfmen, pulls together everything that was great about British music in the ‘70s and ‘80s and turns it into the glorious sound that is The Wolfmen. So, with the sounds of glam rock mixing with ‘Lust For Life’ era Iggy Pop and David Bowie, and Roxy Music shining through on ‘If You Talk Like That’, The Wolfmen have made one of the freshest sounding albums of the year. Single ‘Cecilie’ is just about as addictive as a song can get and the whole album has an elegance and charm that’s missing in so many of todays records. While young pretenders like Panic At The Disco fail miserably reaching for the stars, The Wolfmen effortlessly float into orbit. Get bitten!
El Prez

Eric collaborates with his better half for a reconciliation with Stiff.

Paired off with ex-Shams Ms Rigby and reunited with his original label, the reconstituted Stiff Records, the veteran pub-rock maverick may sound a little more careworn than the fresh-faced scamp who brought us ‘Big Smash’ and the rest, but Eric can still do a lot with two chords. ‘Here Comes My Ship’ opens the album with a languid Lou Reed-y lilt, and Rigby’s input adds more songwriters’ craft to the sound, athough a DIY ethic is still in evidence. There’s a tangible bounce of ideas between the two collaborators, resulting in an intimate album with a home-cooked kind of feel.
Hugh Gulland

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



SHAM 69 31.5%
RANCID 18.5%

The West Ham shock troops come out slightly ahead of the Hersham boys. Cock Sparrer’s albums, such as the classic debut ‘Shock Troops’ (1982) and ‘Running Riot in ’84’ (1984) played a major role in forming street punk and have influenced many bands since. Here’s to the ‘Sparrer!

Vote now for the greatest Damned album ever!

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Deck Cheese records favourite street punks the STRAWBERRY BLONDES hit the road –and then join up with the Specials Neville Staple and the Selectors Pauline Black for a uk tour.

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Formed in 1975, THE UNDERTONES are the greatest 70’s pop punk band ever (ok, the Buzzcocks give em’ a run for their money) and their single “Teenage Kicks” is a bonafide anthem. Covering the band’s celebrated single is practically a right if passage for pop punk artists these days and has been remade dozens of times. So, how did The Undertones go from a just a bunch of kids jamming in Derry, Northern Ireland to one of the most well-known pop punk bands to this day? Let’s take a look at the facts.

Original members of the Undertones were Damien O’Neill (guitar), John O’Neill (guitar), Feargal Sharkey (lead vocals), Michael Bradley (bass) and Billy Doherty (drums).

The band emerged from Derry in Northern Ireland during the punk new wave boom of 1977, 1978 alongside others like Rudi and the Outcasts.

The original line-up released four studio albums including The Undertones (1979), Hypnotised (1980), Positive Touch (1981) and The Sin of Pride (1983) before disbanding in 1983.

The Undertones drew early inspiration from the Ramones, Buzzcocks and Sex Pistols among others.

The band began practising and playing cover versions of punk rock songs at schools and scout huts under the name "The Hot Rods."

The name “The Undertones” was chosen by one of the band members who discovered the word in a history book.

By 1977 the band was performing their own pop punk material, and in 1978 they released their debut four-song EP Teenage Kicks.

The Undertones single “Teenage Kicks” was the late BBC Radio One DJ John Peel’s favourite single. Thanks to Peel’s love of the song, companies in London became interested in signing the group.

John Peel (pictured with the band below) famously said in an interview, "Teenage Kicks came on the radio, and I had to pull the car over to the side of the road. There’s nothing you could add to it or subtract from it that would improve it." It is reportably about the joys of masturbation!

According to John O’Neill, the song “was to be our epitaph for all those years…we were the first band in Derry to bring out a record of all our own songs and we were gonna leave it at that.”

Bassist Mickey Bradley recently admitted to the BBC that the band’s most cherished single almost never got made due to Sharkey’s lack of commitment to the group.

Over 40 artists have covered “Teenage Kicks,” including Razorlight, Snow Patrol, Green Day and Dave Grohl.

Allmusic stated that guitarists John and Damian O’Neill "mated infectious guitar hooks to ’60s garage, ’70s glam rock, and Feargal Sharkey’s signature vocal quaver."

In December 1980, the group made a shock announcement that they were leaving Sire Records due to “irreconcilable differences.” The band was not happy with Sire’s lack of promotion, especially in America.

Then in April 1981, the Undertones announced that they were starting their own label called Ardeck.

Tension within in the band, namely with lead vocalist Sharkey, led to the band’s split in 1983.

The group played their last headlining show at London’s Lyceum.

After breaking up, the band ended up trying to auction off their equipment to pay off their debts.

Of being in the original band, Michael Bradley has said, “It was great being in The Undertones. It was about the best thing that could happen to us at that age. Mind you, it would have been better being in The Beatles”.

Sharkey pursued a solo career that achieved commercial success in the mid to late 1980s, and two of the other band members (John and Damian O’Neill) formed That Petrol Emotion with Raymond Gorman.

The Undertones reformed in 1999 to play concerts in Derry, replacing singer Feargal Sharkey with Paul McLoone.

The band released a critically acclaimed album of original material with McLoone in 2003 titled Get What You Need.

In 2004, the band was the subject of a 2004 documentary, The Undertones: Teenage Kicks, which features the band visiting their old hang outs with John Peel and charting their history.

The band toured North America and also performed at the Glastonbury Festival in 2005.

On 15 October 2007, they released the critically aclaimed studio album, Dig Yourself Deep.

The Undertones have left their mark in the pop punk world, influencing bands such as Green Day and Sum 41.

The Undertones ROCK!!!!!

The Undertones ‘An Anthology’ double album, which not only includes the band’s hits but also rare and unreleased songs from their early days in the studio is out now on Salvo records.

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The JIM JONES REVUE are preparing to unleash their third album, ‘The Savage Heart’, in October. Here’s a classic VLR interview with the band to whet your appetites…

How did the Jim Jones Revue come to be?
“None of us had played together before, but from the first meetings of the JJR it was like opening Pandora’s box. We knew straight away we had a tiger by the tail. It was pretty instant.”

Can you tell us what happened with Thee Hypnotics/Black Moses? Was it a case of wanting to try something different? How do you feel JJR stands apart from your other bands/projects?
“Thee Hypnotics ran its course and so did Black Moses. Sometimes you can write new songs and sometimes you need to just move on to a new project. They were both stops on my journey to here… I think the difference with JJR is that it’s quite accessible, don’t get me wrong, you’re not gonna hear our stuff used as background music in Ikea, but what seemed like a small idea on the outside, immediately had the feeling of tapping into some kind of main vein! ‘One instinctively knows when something is right’!”

There seem to be, on the face of things at least, not many bands still keeping the flame burning for proper rock ‘n’ roll – was this a conscious decision for the JJR to do? What other bands do you feel are keeping it alive?
“Carrying the torch for proper rock ‘n’ roll can be a thankless task and a badly paid job at the best of times. It’s not surprising there are only a few who respond to the calling. But it is also an honour. JJR would never shrink for its responsibilities! Meanwhile, musically, it takes a conscious effort to make it run the way it should: too rich means you’re gonna run cold and no speed, too lean means you can overheat or loose combustion at full tilt. It’s hard work, but you have to get the mix right!

What’s a JJR live show like and what does the combination of players bring to the mix?

“A band only exists on the energy that is put in. If there is no one putting energy in, then the band no longer exists. Everyone in JJR brings something special and delivers it with gusto – maximum commitment. Playing live it becomes more so. It’s quite religious, probably the most purifying thing I’ve ever experienced. There is the sense of doing it for the cause. There is a message to deliver and once you’ve got the good sisters dancing at the front the rest of the congregation will usually follow.”

What did you want to achieve with the first album and do you think you’ve done it? What I think I love most about is how it sounds like it’s been dragged kicking and screaming from the ’50s/’60s right through the mixing desk – how was the recording process?

“Thanks, that’s a nice way to put it. I really wanted to make sure we didn’t end up with something that was just a mediocre, low budget production. We knew we couldn’t afford beautiful so we went for totally brutal. Brutality has its own graces.”

What are your top five rock ‘n’ roll records of all time?
“’High School Confidential’ – Jerry Lee Lewis
‘Shake Appeal’ – The Stooges
‘Too Much’ – Elvis Presley
‘Ooh My Soul’ – Little Richard
‘Girl Can’t Dance’ – Bunker Hill & Link Wray

Complete the following sentence: The Jim Jones Revue is best enjoyed with…

“ Your best scuffed dancing shoes!”

‘The Jim Jones Revue’ is out now on Punk Rock Blues.

The Jim Jones Revue will release their eagerly anticipated third studio album The Savage Heart through Play It Again Sam/Punk Rock Blues Records on 15th October.

Produced by Jim Sclavunos (of Grinderman / Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), The Savage Heart’s nine tracks were recorded at The Chapel (Lincolnshire) and West Heath Yard (Edwyn Collins’ London studio) in May 2012.


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Exene Cervenka first made a name for herself in the late 1970s as the frontwoman for the Los Angeles punk band, X (best known for their aptly-titled first hit, “Los Angeles”). Critics have often credited her involvement as a writer and frontwoman as the defining factor that set X apart from the scene’s other punk bands. Over the years, Cervenka has continued to build on the credits attributed to her name, involving herself in new bands such as the Knitters, Auntie Christ, and the Original Sinners, as well as solo performances, spoken word performances and other art exhibitions.

This past Spring, Cervenka and bandmates John Doe, Billy Zoom and DJ Bonebrake – X’s original lineup – embarked on their “13×31” tour, a name reflecting both their “unlucky thirteen, fuck the world” philosophy (according to an interview with The Village Voice) and the band’s 31st anniversary.

Vive Le Punk caught up with Cervenka to talk about living the punk life, 3 decades in.

K: What’s it like 30 years later, being on tour, still doing this, still playing music, and having a career?
E: It’s the same.

K: What do you mean it’s the same?
E: It’s the same.

K: What’s it like being one of the last surviving bands coming from that era, coming from that LA scene?
E: Well, it’s all very strange, being the last surviving band. And also being representative of LA, because we kind of stood up to LA at a time when everyone laughed at it. It’s very rewarding, to me, to still be doing this.

K: What are your feelings, looking back at the New York scene and the London scene, and the remnants of it? And seeing your peers coming back and playing now, at least the few that are left?

E: I’m feeling pretty positive, for the most part, about just about everything these days…. I’d like to get together and do some spoken word shows with some of the people that are still around. Like, do some kind of thing with Richard Hell or somebody like that.

K: Did you ever try to do something like that before? Bring the different coasts, the different groups, together?
E: Well, I have different projects…. But we all have a lot of stuff going on.

K: Have you ever done anything with the other females, the other rock ‘n’ roll chicks of that era?

E: We’ve done a lunch, yeah.

K: What was it like being one of the few women in the music scene, and in punk rock, in an era when it was really male dominated?

E: Well, it wasn’t male dominated. That’s the good thing about it. There were a lot of women in the scene. There were the The Go-Gos, and The Motels, and The Alley Cats… And some other bands had women in them. It was a pretty mixed scene. And the guys were not sexist at all. It was a pretty magical time as far as all of that stuff….

K: So, you don’t think it was tough to be a woman? You had a lot of peers and you weren’t the only one?
E: No, I don’t think it was tough at all. It’s a lot tougher now.

K: What about the LA scene now? Do you support it, are you a part of it?

E: I wouldn’t know. The scene belongs to the kids. It does not belong to the adults.

K: Why do you not really follow what’s going on now?

E: It’s just too much. There’s just too much to follow…. I try to keep track, but there’s just so much music that I listen to already.

K: How do you tour now? Do you have a van, or a bus?

E: We have a van, and a truck with equipment and merchandise and stuff.

K: Is it ever tolling, being a little bit older and having done this for so long?

E: I’m pretty autophobic, which means you don’t like yourself. I should say car-phobic. I don’t really travel in cars much, but I like touring, if that makes sense. I like being on the road. It’s a fantasy world.

K: Even 30 years later, it’s a fantasy world?

E: It’s a fantasy world with no dishes to wash.

X hit the road again in December to play their remaining “13×31” tour dates in California. Cervenka’s new solo album will be released Spring 2009 via Bloodshot Records.

Words & photos: Kirsten Housel

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GBH Warped Tour report


The picturesque backdrop of the Columbia River Gorge in Washington isn’t typically where’d you expect to see punk bands playing, nor is this years emo heavy line-up of The Vans Warped Tour. No the less that’s where I caught up with punk legends GBH on Aug 9th, half way through their North American tour. They’d spent the last few weeks headlining shows zigzagged across the US and Canada and had just joined the tail end of the tour.

So on their third day playing the much larger commercial festival they were just starting to settle into the circus but pretty well I might add. Despite it still being early afternoon that didn’t stop a good part of the 20,000 Warped punters getting into full swing with one the liveliest pits of the day!

The 30 min set at the all dayer left plenty of free time at the festival. After playing GBH could be found at their merch stall, unlike many of the other bands who disappeared into their tour bus, only to emerge for a brief autograph signing. At their stall they were meet by a constant stream of fans crowding around for photos and autographs. Their time spent hanging at the stall wasn’t all about the fans, it might have had a bit to do with the fact that they didn’t have a tour bus and were travelling around in a not so spacious eight-seater van… the only main stage band not in a tour bus and proud of it.

So that evening, back in the van they got. Another night of driving through the night to meet the early Warped start times. Columbia Meadows, Oregon was in another stunning landscape and again they were incredibly well received. Unluckily it was the last night of scenic venues as the tour moved on to its more familiar car park settings as it hit California.

Fortunately though, with the California shows came the “Old School Stage”! Adding a bit more Punk Rock to the noticeably lacking punk line-up this year had compared to previous years. This added the likes of FEAR, The Dickies, D.I., The Germs, Agent Orange and T.S.O.L to name a few. Each gig in California seemed to top the last. Culminating in a brilliant last show at the Home Depot Centre in Los Angeles. With more bands and bigger pits then any other show and lots of very happy festival goers. Despite early reservation of joining the Warped Tour my bet is you can expect them back.

After a few well-deserved days off in the sunshine of LA, GBH were back to their more familiar turf of late night venues. Aug 21st they played the infamous Keyclub on the Sunset Strip. The sold out show was opened by pre-Warped show tourmate Texas’ Krum Bums and Florida’s Whole Wheat Bread. Both of who went down a treat and got the crowd nicely warmed up. From their first song the spikey LA crowd was going nuts, singing along and stag-diving to all their classics and new material alike. Even Eddie Tatar from D.I. couldn’t help join in and jumping in on bass for a few songs. The night was topped off by closing the show with The Clash’s White Riot.

It was good to see GBH back in their more native environment, playing their full set and the crowd couldn’t have agreed more. It was a great night and just the start of nearly another month back on tour with Whole Wheat and Krum Bums… If you can’t make it over to The US or Canada you can catch up with them back in Blighty on Oct 25th in Brum or Nov 10th in London!

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HANOI ROCKS have decided to break up by the end of  the year 2008. Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy feel  that they’ve taken the band as far as it can go and now wish to go their separate  ways.

All commitments until the end of  the year, including the UK tour starting in London on Halloween, will naturally be  honoured. In addition, the band has decided  to say farewell to their fans by doing a final tour of Japan in the spring 2009 and  immediately thereafter wrapping things up with a few nights at the legendary  Tavastia Club in Helsinki, Finland where their career originally got  started in the 80’s.

November 26th will see the timely release of the first ever career-spanning Hanoi Rocks retrospective: a 2-CD set  titled "This One’s For Rock’n’Roll – The Best Of Hanoi Rocks  1980-2008".

The band wishes to thank all their  fans, co-workers and business partners for their continued love and support  throughout the years.


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It’s a lovely autumnal evening in London’s Oxford Street, and your correspondent is delighted to have the opportunity to renew acquaintances with some of his favourite foot soldiers of the punk wars. The last time I caught The Boys was at the Barfly a couple of years back, and I haven’t seen a better gig since. Of all the class of ’76, they remain, to me, the most under-rated of the lot. Effortlessly canny musicians, great entertainers without drowning in ego and ‘a nice bunch of lads’ (an expression heard more than once in the audience this evening) to boot. If only they’d taken on board a bit of rebel chic, dumbed down or stopped laughing at the absurdity of notions of ‘cool’, they might be better remembered still. For all that, they maintain a fervent fan base, affection for their tight, harmony-flecked pop-punk crossing several continents. At the Barfly show, fans flew in from Argentina, America and Spain (a lovely couple I met who planned their holiday around the event despite being unable to obtain tickets). And there’s a small foreign contingent here too, though this is in effect a private party, to celebrate the 50th birthday of long-standing fan Jim. So, happy birthday Jim.

Backstage in the 100 Club’s impossibly bijou dressing room, I have a full complement of Boys to interrogate. So which of your esteemed membership, after all these years, retains the biggest and best rock ‘n’ roll image? There is laughter before fingers point, inexorably, to guitarist/vocalist Honest John Plain. Well, he does have a bandana head start. “He’s just a love machine”, says drummer Vom, who also bashes skins for Die Toten Hosen and myriad others in his Boys’ downtime. “In all ways, the biggest,” notes bass player/singer Duncan ‘Kid’ Reid. “But he has small feet.” Read into that what you will. And how difficult is to get time off from wives, girlfriends, work and the other distractions of adulthood? “No problem for me,” says John, “she left me years ago!” “It’s moderately difficult,” confirms Duncan, “mainly for me, Matt and Vom, because we have a lot of time commitments elsewhere. But this year has been a busy year. We might even do five gigs. We’ve been working out little socks off!” Presumably though, such limitations keep it fresh and make it more fun? “I like it that way,” Duncan continues, “cos it’s bad enough seeing the rest of them anyway, so five times is plenty.”

Favourite Boys song to play live? “Any one of mine, really,” says Matt (Dangerfield, guitar/vocals), archly. “Whichever one is last,” decides Duncan, doubtless in reference to the creaking joints which must surely follow his gravity-defying stage antics. “That’s ‘Sick On You’, as it happens, which is not a bad one to close on.” The latter, a fabled punk rock document which came to the band via The Hollywood Brats (in which incarnation it was widely posited as ‘the first punk song’), has long been the final encore. “When we played it in Texas recently, it worked out really well,” Duncan continues. “They were asking for that all the way through, so if we’d played it any earlier, they would probably have buggered off.” The Austin gig turned out to be eventful for other reasons, as Duncan describes. “He (Casino ‘Cas’ Steel, former Hollywood Brat, keyboards, and, inevitably, vocals) got arrested in Chicago and sent back to Norway, so there was only four of us there.” Work permit or drugs? “None of us had a work permit,” says Matt. “He was the only one to apply for one – that was his mistake.” Cas’s response is drowned out in an orgy of sympathy. Not. “They came from all over America to see us,” continues Duncan, “so it was great. Brilliant crowds, and they knew every single song.” Ever wonder how those records crossed international borders so readily? “Yes,” says Cas. “That amazed us when we played in Bratislava. We never sold any albums in Bratislava! But they knew all the lyrics!”

And why the 100 Club tonight? “Jim is the vicar of Great Ormond Street hospital,” says Duncan, “a great lad, and it’s his 50th birthday, he asked us and we said yes. We decided to do a public gig as well (the following evening at ULU). But that was only because we were doing this one. It’s mainly Jim’s friends, so we’re expecting a bishop or two tonight.” Will he mind his language in front of a man of the cloth? “No! There’s a few hardcore Boys fans, too. The chat site, Backstage Passes, they all know about it.” Indeed, it’s like an all-in fan club gig this evening. They’re, well, worshipful.

This time last year was the 30th anniversary of punk hoopla (all right, I admit, some of us have been quietly trying to keep it going). Was that overblown? “I didn’t notice it!” says Duncan. “The Barfly gig was our 30th two years ago.” “It started in ’76, anyway, not 77,” offers Matt, who once ran the recording studio where Mick Jones, Tony James, Bryan James, Rat Scabies and Billy Idol made their first ‘moves’, while simultaneously chasing Sid and Nancy out of his toilet, so he should know. Cas: “I just got off the tube, and I saw this big fucking poster of Johnny Rotten advertising butter!” There’s a question, would you advertise domestic consumables for money? “Oh, we’d do anything for money,” says Cas, emphatically.

So what advice would you give to any young guns getting into the music industry. “Don’t,” says Cas, “work on the railways”. “Get a good job,” says John, “with a decent fucking pension and a missus.” Actually, that might have been ‘a pension and a decent fucking missus’, it isn’t entirely clear from the transcription. “Don’t apply for a visa if you’re going to America,” says Vom, to Cas’s evident embarrassment. And what plans have you from here? “We’re playing some German shows, and we have offers for Spain and Italy,” says Duncan. “We just get offers and do them.” Any chance of a new studio album? “Not a whole album, we’ve chatted about doing the odd track, but we’re spread all over Europe, which is the problem.” And do you all carry on writing songs when you’re apart? “John and Cas have the Last Rock ‘n’ Roll Band,” says Duncan. “And they write together for that. You’re on your 500th album, aren’t you?” Cas has obviously been counting. “72nd, actually.” “I’m on my 52nd,” interjects John, not to be outdone. “That’s 130 albums between us.” And not a hit single to be seen, it’s a doggone injustice.

Speaking of ‘product’, The Boys have recently released a new anthology on Anagram. Pleased with it? Matt: “I’m always pleased when things are properly digitally remastered. It’s really interesting listening to some of that stuff we did really early on.” Indeed, they’ve managed to pull a few unreleased gems out of dusty cupboards. But buy it anyway as it includes all their finest moments – ‘Soda Pressing’, ‘Terminal Love’, ‘First Time’, ‘Weekend’, ‘I Don’t Care’, ‘Brickfield Nights’; diamonds one and all.

And in conclusion, what has being a member of the Boys meant to you down the years?
“A lot of fucking grief” sayeth John.
Any advance on a lot of fucking grief?
“I think that says it all,” says Duncan.
“Seeing a lot of places and having a lot of fun”, states Cas, slightly more optimistically.
“Lending John a lot of money?” offers Matt.
“I’ve never paid it back, either” confirms John.

What about Vom, the baby of the band having served only a modest decade since replacing band card shark Jack Black as the stickster?
“Flies by!” he confirms. Does he ever pull any of his high-profile, handsomely remunerated gigs to answer the call of The Boys? “He tries to,” says Duncan, “we won’t let him.” How do they manage that, skeletons in the closet? What have you got on him? “We’ve got photos of him in Japan, being chased naked around a restaurant by a bunch of waiters,” says Duncan. Aha! “With an olive in his knob,” qualifies John. “They don’t have olives in Japan,” says Vom, unconvincingly. “Sushi, then,” corrects John. “It’s probably still there.”

The Boys Anthology is out now on Anagram.

Words: Alex Ogg.

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Mad, Hard and Wild Bastards of Rock N Roll. Part One.

Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis, a renowned hell raiser, is famed for turning up at Elvis Presley’s house in 1976 wielding a loaded pistol and demanding to see him. He never got to the King of Rock N Roll but a year later he was dead anyway so at least saved on bullets, not that we condone the actions. This incident was just one of a host in the life of Jerry Lee Lewis aka The Ferriday Fireball aka The Killer. Arguably the wildest of all Sun Records performers on and off the stage, he was almost too hot for anyone to handle. The UK didn’t want him, thrown out in 1958 for bringing along his 14 year old wife cousin on tour. Sam Phillips, Sun head honcho, couldn’t handle him, in fact nobody could handle him but the fans loved it. The Killer was a million-seller and had an ego to match. One infamous tale at a show in New York in 1958 it was decided that Chuck Berry would headline over our hero, Jerry Lee was not best pleased but went along with it. As his incendiary set was coming to an end he produced a can of petrol, poured it over his piano and set fire to it while bursting into an insane rendition of ‘Great Balls Of Fire’, the place went wild as he played the song to its climax while the piano burned. As he left the stage, piano still ablaze, it’s said that as he passed the stunned Chuck Berry he spat the infamous words, “Follow that Nigger!”

Sonny Burgess

Sonny Burgess has gone down in rocking lore as the Arkansas wild man who dyed his hair flame red to match his red suit and Fender to make his mentalist stage show even more mental. The first Rockabilly Punk? Well the story is true, Albuquerque never knew what hit them as Sonny Burgess, head to toe in red and his group The Pacers opened a show for a youthful Roy Orbison in 1956. The story behind the story isn’t quite as wild as Sonny Burgess told me himself back in 1984. He wanted to go blonde, his wife took on the bleaching duties, messed it up and his hair turned flame red by accident. There was no time to try and fix it out so out came the red suit for maximum effect. It obviously worked because 52 years later it’s still a legend. The story may not have been so wild but Sonny Burgess’ records certainly were. Check out ‘We Wanna Boogie’ and ‘Red Headed Woman’ on the Sun label, total mayhem with note-bending guitar, rasping trumpet and pumping piano pounding the pace behind Burgess’s howling vocals make for two of the all-time wildest tracks ever. He reckons the Sun recordings don’t capture the wildness of the band live, if that’s true, fuck me it must have been crazy.

Tooter Boatman

By all accounts Tooter Boatman was a lover and a scrapper, he liked a fight and a shag but it’s not certain in what order. He looks like a hard bastard in the photos that survive of him. Inked up, surely one of the first tattooed rockers, and looks so mean you can believe stories of him giving bulls a kicking and having running off in fear and taking on three big blokes in bar at the same time and giving them a whooping. He is also said to have had ‘more girlfriends than Elvis had gold records’, had a girl in every town and was even married, but just for the day. Tooter Boatman and his band The Chapperals released a rip roaring slab of scream laden, snare jangling, piano mudering, slap bass rockabilly in the shape of ‘Thunder and Lightning’ and ‘The Will Of Love’ which you really need to hear before you die. Hard as he may have been Tooter was killed by a hit and run driver in 1964 aged 28, that’s the only way they’d have had him.

Billy Taylor

Very little is known about Billy Taylor, there appears to be a good reason for that. He recorded a loopy little track entitled ‘Wombie Zombie’ for Felco Records then apparently decided to celebrate by carrying out an armed robbery, a career move that proved as short lived as his Rockabilly one. He was caught and sentenced to a long real life version of Jailhouse Rock. True or not, you gotta love him.

Simon Nott

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