SPARKS have released a new single from their forthcoming new album, ahead of their UK Tour.

‘Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me)’ is the third single to be released from Hippopotamus, the pair’s 24th album, due out on 8 September.

Coming as it does after 2009’s ‘pop opera’ album The Seduction Of Ingmar Bergman and their 2015 collaboration with FRANZ FERDINAND as FFS, Hippopotamus is their first regular album since 2008’s Exotic Creatures Of The Deep.

Sparks return to the UK in September for a full UK tour, culminating with a pair of dates at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Full dates are….

Monday 18 Sep – Waterfront, Norwich
Tuesday 19 Sep – The Boilershop, Newcastle
Wednesday 20 Sep – Queens Hall, Edinburgh (sold out)
Friday 22 Sep – O2 Ritz, Manchester (sold out)
Saturday 23 Sep – Rock City, Nottingham
Sunday 24 Sep – O2 Institute 1, Birmingham
Tuesday 26 Sep – O2 Academy, Bristol
Wednesday 27 Sep – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London
Thursday 28 Sep – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London

Go here for tickets.


Sparks on Facebook

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


Pub rock legends DUCKS DELUXE are to have their complete original studio recordings compiled in a new 3-CD set.

Initially formed as a spin-off from freak-rockers HELP YOURSELF, the Ducks built up a reputation as one of the hardest rocking bands on the London pub circuit, releasing two albums for RCA – including the DAVE EDMUNDS-produced Taxi To The Terminal Zone – and earning fans among the future punk scene such as Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of THE CLASH.

Following the band’s mid-70s demise, Nick Garvey and Andy McMaster founded THE MOTORS and Martin Belmont joined GRAHAM PARKER & THE RUMOUR, while band frontman Sean Tyla formed THE TYLA GANG, performing at both Mont de Marsan punk festivals.

After decades away from music, Tyla and Belmont reformed the Ducks to the delight of pub rockers young and old in 2007.

Coast To Coast: The Anthology brings together both their RCA albums, plus non-album singles and B-sides, rarities, previously unissued early demos, exclusive compilation appearances, alternative versions, their reunion mini-album Box Of Shorts plus accompanying live recordings. Fully remastered, the set is completed by full sleevenotes and many rare period images.

Set for release through Cherry Red on 29 September, the anthology is available to pre-order here.

Check out ‘Coast To Coast’ live at The Lord Nelson, Holloway Road.


Sean Tyla’s riveting memoir Jumpin’ In The Fire is available through Soundcheck Books.

Sean Tyla on Facebook

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


Nashville post-punks THE BY GODS herald the release of their third album with a new single and video.

The decidedly grungey ‘Rat In My House’ is taken from Move On, which is set for release on 20 October. The single will be available on all the usual platforms from Monday 31 July.

Comprising husband-and-wife George and Natalie Pauley and drummer Tye Hammonds, the ban wrote much of the album during the divisive US presidential campaign. Produced, mixed and engineered by Alex Newport (Deathcab For Cutie, At The Drive-In) who was instrumental in the band finding their new sound, it’s a marked departure from the band’s earlier material.

“Living in a small town growing up, my friends and I always wanted to get out,”says George of the new single. “Most of us made it, but we still have to go back several times each year to see parents, attend funerals, parties, etc. It’s like a Black Hole, the draw it has and how it pulls people back after they move away. ‘Rat In My House’ is mainly about being stuck in a small town death trap. It’s like a maze you can’t find your way out of. It’s the same of all small towns, once you’re entrenched, you can’t see past the bubble and the small town becomes the centre of your universe. Some people prefer that I suppose.”

The band is currently on a lengthy tour of the US, with plans to visit the UK in the near future.


The By Gods on Facebook

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


Secretive London punks EAT DIRT have unveiled a video ahead of their debut show this weekend.

’48’ is one of four tracks on their Eat Dirt I EP, which is available across all the usual platforms and from their website.

Speaking about the track, the band’s vocalist says, “The song is about growing out of the party life, and not being angry any more. And the struggle of trying to find something to be angry about. Like social media ‘influencers’ and sensationalist journalism.”

The band play their first ever show this Sunday 30 July at The Sebright Arms, Bethnal Green, London with FIGHTS AND FIRES, DELAYED and MIAMI NICE. The show is free entry and doors are at 7pm.

The band then play New Cross Inn, London on Friday 4 August with PEARS.

Born of anger and frustration in late 2016, Eat Dirt brought together members of previously well established UK bands to record the band’s debut EP – clocking in at under five minutes – with producer Justin Hill of SIKTH, taking influence from THE BRONX, COMEBACK KID, GALLOWS and EVERY TIME I DIE.

“I’d given up on music. I wasn’t really angry enough,” their frotnman declares. “I had nothing to sing about anymore. Then the whole Brexit thing happened. I’m mad at people. I’m mad at the world around me. As a group, we need to vent. Eat Dirt is that release.”

eat dirt

Eat Dirt on Facebook


Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


THE DAMNED’s first twenty years are the subject of a fantastic new biography by noted author and longtime fan Barry Hutchinson, and Vive Le Rock has one signed copy to give away!

The Damned – The Chaos Years: an Unofficial Biography records the band’s crazy antics both on and off stage, their often troublesome gigs and their memorable music. With exclusive interviews from all band members past and present, plus never before published photos, this book is a must read for all Damned fans wanting an insight to the band’s iconic history.

At a whopping 400 pages, this weighty tome is available to buy now here.

But one lucky fan can win a signed copy absolutely FREE! Just drop an email to with ‘Damned Comp’ in the subject box with the answer to this simple question….

What Australian band was bass player Algy Ward in before he joined The Damned?

…and we’ll pick a winner at random!  Good luck!!!


The Damned on Facebook

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


FLESH FOR LULU are to have their debut album reissued for the first time in more than 30 years.

The eponymous album was originally released in 1984 through Polydor and featured the classic singles ‘Subterraneans’ and ‘Restless’.

The album forms the backbone of a new double-CD set The Polydor Years. The 34-track compilation also includes all four tracks from the Brixton band’s 1983 debut Roman Candle EP, plus various b-sides, remixes, rarities and BBC sessions for Janice Long, Kid Jensen and John Peel.

Dropped by the label the following year, the band released records on indies Hybrid and Statik, before signing to Beggars Banquet and going on to US college radio success with the single ‘I Go Crazy’ and album Long Live The New Flesh.

Frontman and founder Nick Marsh put together a new line-up of Flesh For Lulu in 2013, as well as being an integral part of THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE, but sadly succumbed to cancer in 2015.

Check out ‘Restless’ live in ’85.

The Polydor Years is set for release through Caroline International on 1 September. It’s available to pre-order here.


Full tracklisting….

Disc: 1
1. Restless
2. Dog Dog Dog
3. Hyena
4. Coming Down
5. Jigsaw Puzzle
6. Subterraneans
7. Brainburst
8. Peace And Love
9. So Strong
10. Heavy Angel
11. Restless (Kid Jensen Session)
12. Dog Dog Dog (Kid Jensen Session)
13. Lame Train (Kid Jensen Session)
14. Hyena (Kid Jensen Session)
15. Black Tattoo (Janice Long Session)
16. Cat Burglar (Janice Long Session)
17. Peace And Love (Janice Long Session)
18. Endless Sleep (Janice Long Session)

Disc: 2
1. Dancer (John Peel Session)
2. Walk Tired
3. Missionary
4. Spy In Your Mind
5. Roman Candle
6. Coming Down (Original Version)
7. Lame Train
8. The Power Of Suggestion
9. Roman Candle (Extended Mix)
10. Subterraneans (Metro Mix)
11. Why Me?
12. Gurl At The Bar
13. Endless Sleep
14. Ten Foot Tall
15. Cat Burglar
16. Cat Burglar (12″ Version)

Flesh For Lulu on Facebook

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


Iconic Cleveland art-punks PERE UBU are to release a new album in September.

David Thomas’s avant garde quintet formed out of the ashes of legendary proto-punks ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS and have been generating consistently pioneering and challenging sounds ever since, save for a period of inactivity in the mid 80s.

20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo follows on from 2015’s Carnival Of Souls, and finds the band fielding a three-guitar line-up including Kristof Hahn of SWANS matched with an orchestra of digital and analogue synthesisers.

“The new album is The James Gang teaming up with Tangerine Dream,” explains Thomas. “The Chinese Whispers methodology we worked on the last two albums has been replaced by the Dark Room. Put musicians in a lightless room and by feeling one small section of an unknown object have them figure what it must be.”

The album was recorded once again at Suma Studios in Painseville, Ohio, where the band have worked since their debut album The Modern Dance with engineer Ken Hamann and his son Paul.

Pere Ubu plan to tour the album in the US, returning to Europe in 2018.

20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo is set for release on 29 September. It’s available to pre-order now on vinyl and CD.


Pere Ubu on Facebook


Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


MOTÖRHEAD have announced the release of an album of covers.

The appropriately-titled Under Cöver features a selection of songs covered by the band during their 40-year career, including the SEX PISTOLS’ ‘God Save The Queen’, the RAMONES’ ‘Rockaway Beach’, ‘Breaking The Law’ by JUDAS PRIEST and their Grammy-winning cover of METALLICA’s ‘Whiplash’.

The compilation also includes their previously unreleased rendition of DAVID BOWIE’s ‘Heroes’, recorded during the sessions for their final studio album Bad Magic.

Says guitarist Phil Campbell, “It’s such a great Bowie song, one of his best, and I could only see great things coming out of it from us, and so it proved to be, and Lemmy ended up loving our version.”

Full tracklisting is….

1. Breaking The Law
2. God Save The Queen
3. Heroes
4. Starstruck
5. Cat Scratch Fever
6. Jumpin’ Jack Flash
7. Sympathy For The Devil
8. Hellraiser
9. Rockaway Beach
10.Shoot ‘Em Down
11. Whiplash

Due for release in September, Under Cöver will be available for pre-order shortly via the band’s website.


Check out ‘God Save The Queen’.

Motörhead on Facebook

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


Punk legends COCKNEY REJECTS and ANGELIC UPSTARTS hook up for two one-day festivals this autumn.

The annual North East Calling takes place at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne on Saturday 30 September. Then Midlands Calling returns to Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton on Saturday 4 November.


Tickets are available here.


Hooking up with the headliners in Wolverhampton are GBH, Ruts DC, Anti-Nowhere League, STEVE IGNORANT & PARANOID VISIONS, Peter & The Test Tube Babies, Spunk Volcano & The Eruptions, DRAGSTER, SUPER FIAST GIRLIE SHOW and VOMIT.

Get your tickets here.

ne calling new (7) Midland Tice


Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


ADAM ANT brings a successful year of touring to a close with a show at London’s Roundhouse in December.

Having played to more than 75,000 fans on tours of the UK, North America, Australia and New Zealand, Adam will bring his Anthems – The Singles Tour to the legendary Camden Venue on Thursday 21 December.

Tickets are on sale here.

Having toured the UK last year on the back of the release of a deluxe edition of his 1980 breakthrough album Kings Of The Wild Frontier, Adam took the tour to North America at the start of the year, where it was sadly marred by the sudden death of guitarist and musical director Tom Edwards.

In May, Adam and his band undertook the Anthems – The Singles Tour round the UK, playing all his classic hits, plus B-sides and personal favourites, and including a sold-out show at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

In September he takes the tour to the USA before revisiting Kings Of The Wild Frontier for a trek around Australia and New Zealand in October.

Full dates are….

Wednesday, September 6, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Parker Playhouse (Broward Center PAC)
Friday, September 8, Clearwater, FL, Capitol Theatre
Saturday, September 9, Orlando, FL, The Beacham Theatre
Sunday, September 10, Jacksonville, FL, Florida Theatre Performing Arts Center
Wednesday, September 13, New York, NY, Beacon Theatre
Friday, September 15, Detroit, MI, Sound Board @MotorCity Casino Hotel
Saturday, September 16, Cleveland, OH, House of Blues
Sunday, September 17, Pittsburgh, PA, Palace Theatre
Tuesday, September 19, Baltimore, MD, Baltimore Sound Stage
Wednesday, September 20, Richmond, VA, The National
Friday, September 22, Charlotte, NC, Fillmore
Saturday, September 23, Atlanta, GA, Variety Playhouse
Sunday, September 24, Nashville, TN, War Memorial Auditorium
Tuesday, September 26, Denver, CO, Paramount Theatre
Thursday, September 28, Saratoga, The Mountain Winery
Friday, September 29, San Francisco, The Masonic
Saturday, September 30, Los Angeles, Greek Theatre, with special guest L7

Monday, October 9, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand
Tuesday, October 10, Opera House, Wellington, New Zealand
Thursday, October 12, Tivoli, Brisbane, Australia
Friday, October 13, Enmore Theatre, Sydney, Australia
Sunday, October 15, Palais Theatre, Melbourne, Australia
Monday, October 16, Metropolis, Fremantle, Australia

Thursday, December 21, The Roundhouse, London

Adam Ant on Facebook


Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


South Coast punk legends PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES have signed to Arising Empire Records, a division of Nuclear Blast.

The first fruit of the relationship will be a new, ominously-titled, album That Shallot.

Considered by the band to be their “best album ever”, most of the songs were written by band founders Peter Bywaters and Del Strangefish, with two by new bassist Nick Abnett. The album also features contributions from RANCID’s Lars Frederiksen and THE PUKES, and Olga from THE TOY DOLLS was also involved.


The band play Rebellion on 3 August followed by a run of dates taking them up to the end of the year. Full dates are….

Aug 3rd – Rebellion Festival, Blackpool
Sept 29th – Stoke, Venue 11
Sept 30th- North East Calling, Sunderland.
Oct 1st – Manchester. Venue TBC.
Oct 6th – London, 100 Club
Oct 7th – The Great British Alternative Festival, Skegness
Nov 4th – Midlands Calling – Wolverhampton, Wulfrun hall.
Nov 24th – Southampton, Talking Heads
Nov 25th – Ramsgate, Elephant & Castle
Dec 29th – Brighton, The Prince Albert
Dec 30th – London, New Cross Inn

Peter And The Test Tube Babies on Facebook

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


Legendary Birmingham musician DAVE KUSWORTH plays a rare London show next week.

Kusworth is an integral figure in the Brum rock family tree. Since forming the infamous Stooges-inspired T.V. EYE as a teenager in the late 70s followed by the notorious SUBTERRANEAN HAWKS with Stephen Duffy and future BLACK BOMBER Dave Twist, Kusworth has taken trash rock’n’roll from the West Midlands to the world, hooking up with NIKKI SUDDEN in supergroup THE JACOBITES before going on a merry-go-round of rock’n’roll rides with DOGS D’AMOUR, THE BOUNY HUNTERS, THE TENDERHOOKS and more.

At this very special Rockaway Beach club night at The Hope & Anchor, Islington on Friday 28 July, Kusworth and his band will be supported by THE VULZ and MOTO VAMP.

Tickets priced £8.25 are available here.

A new compilation of lost tracks by T.V. Eye – earning a 9-out-of-10 review in Vive Le Rock! – is available now from Seventeen Records/Easy Action.

Dave Kusworth on Facebook

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


THE REPLACEMENTS are to have their first ever official live album released in September.

For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986, recorded at the legendary Hoboken NJ venue on 4 February of that year and previously available as a bootleg, will be released on double-CD and double-vinyl. The band’s only previous live album, The Shit Hits The Fans, was released on cassette.

Performed in the wake of the Minneapolis band’s major label debut, Tim, the show would be one of the last to feature the original quartet, prior to the sacking of guitarist Bob Stinson later that year.

While giving prominence to new material from Tim, including ‘Bastards Of Young’, ‘Left Of The Dial’ and ‘Kiss Me On The Bus’, the 29-song set features several ‘Mats classics – including an early rendition of ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’ later to appear on ’87’s Pleased To Meet Me – along with covers of The Beatles’ ‘Nowhere Man’, Vanity Fair’s ‘Hitchin’ A Ride’, Sweet’s ‘Fox On The Run’, T Rex’s ‘Baby Strange’ and ‘Black Diamond’ by Kiss.

Although the tapes of the gig were given a proper mix back in 2007, lingering in the Warners tape archive ever since, the album now gets an official release, accompanied by informative sleeve notes by Bob Mehr, author of the best-selling band biography Trouble Boys: The True Story Of The Replacements.

Full tracklising is….

Disc One
1. ‘Hayday’
2. ‘Color Me Impressed’
3. ‘Dose Of Thunder’
4. ‘Fox On The Run’
5. ‘Hold My Life’
6. ‘I Will Dare’
7. ‘Favorite Thing’
8. ‘Unsatisfied’
9. ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’
10. ‘Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out’
11. ‘Takin’ A Ride’
12. ‘Bastards Of Young’
13. ‘Kiss Me On The Bus’
14. ‘Black Diamond’

Disc Two
1. ‘Johnny’s Gonna Die’
2. ‘Otto’
3. ‘I’m In Trouble’
4. ‘Left Of The Dial’
5. ‘God Damn Job’
6. ‘Answering Machine’
7. ‘Waitress In The Sky’
8. ‘Take Me Down To The Hospital’
9. ‘Gary’s Got A Boner’
10. ‘If Only You Were Lonely’
11. ‘Baby Strange’
12. ‘Hitchin’ A Ride’
13. ‘Nowhere Man’
14. ‘Go’
15. ‘Fuck School’

replacements for sale

The Replacements on Facebook


Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


In the latest edition of Vive Le Rock, we talk to guitarist Peter Gunn of legendary North London r’n’b band THE INMATES.

For the feature, Peter kindly provided a selection of photos from his own collection. More than we could possibly have room for. As an additional treat for Inmates fans, you can see the rest of them here…..

Inmates Backstage with Don Covay lo res

Inmates Ben 2 lo res Inmates Peter Hope lo res

Inmates Ben lo res Inmates Ben Tony lo res

Inmates Bill 2 lo res Inmates Bill Hope 2 lo res

Inmates Bill Hope lo res Inmates Bill lo resInmates Eddie lo res

Inmates Peter 2 lo res Inmates Peter 3 lor res

Inmates Peter Eddie Ben Tony Bill lo res

Inmates Peter Hope 2 lo res

The first three albums by The Inmates are now available as a box set from Cherry Red.

Check out the 4-page special on the Inmates in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock!

The Inmates on Facebook




Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


THE BEAT, starring original frontman Dave Wakeling, have lined up a rare tour of the UK and Ireland.

With Wakeling based in LA for some years, the band operates independently of Ranking Roger’s UK-based version of The Beat and seldom tours over here. The dates include a London show at the O2 Academy, Islington and a hometown show at the O2 Academy, Birmingham.

Wakeling is currently putting the finishing touches to a new album – tentatively titled Here We Go Love – his first album album the Beat name since 1982’s Special Beat Service.  Guests on the album include former SPECIALS guitarist Roddy ‘Radiation’ Byers and guitarist Luis Maldonado of San Francisco pop-rockers TRAIN.

Having scored 15 chart singles – including five Top 10s – The Beat Split in 1983, with Wakeling and Roger forming GENERAL PUBLIC with Horace Panter from The Specials and Mick Jones from The Clash. The band (minus Jones) went on to score a big US hit with the single ‘Tenderness’. Since then, Wakeling has commanded considerable success and played more than 1,000 gigs with The English Beat.

Full tour dates are….

26 Aug – Isle of Wight, The Balcony Bars
31 Aug – London, O2 Academy Islington
1 Sept – Holmfirth, Picturedome
2 Sept – Thornhill, Electric Fields
3 Sept – Newcastle, Wylam Brewery
5 Sept – Aberdeen, The Lemon Tree
6 Sept – Edinburgh, The Caves
7 Sept – Dublin, Whelan’s
8 Sept – Cork, Amps
9 Sept – Waterford, Shorrts
10 Sept – Pontypridd, Muni Arts Centre
13 Sept – Manchester, Academy 3
15 Sept – Birmingham, O2 Academy
16 Sept – Bournemouth, Mr Kyps

Tickets are available here.

The English Beat on Facebook


Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


Ace Welsh punk-powerpoppers NICOTINE PRETTY have just issue their second single, and you can check it out here.

The suitably named ‘Nicotine Pretty’ follows on from their debut single released through Glunk Records in April. You can download both singles here.

The Bridgend quartet, who comprise Ginge Knievel (vocals/guitar), Lewis Davies (vocals/guitar), Paul Black (vocals/drums) and Ian Pickens (Bass), plan a series of CD EPs for later in the year with a vinyl compilation to follow. In the meantime they have a bunch of dates coming up with the likes of DOGS D’AMOUR, MING CITY ROCKERS, JIM JONES & THE RIGHTEOUS MIND and more.

Catch Nicotine Pretty on the road at….

Jul 16 – Gwdihŵ Café Bar, Cardiff
Aug 4 – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff (w/Dogs D’Amour)
Aug 19 – The Windmill, London (Summer Weird Sin fest)
Sep 23 – Redhouse Cymru, Merthyr Tydfil
Oct 21 – Hobos, Bridgend
Nov 24 – The Institute, Ebbw Vale (Brain Freeze III fest)

Nicotine Pretty on Facebook

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


John Lydon, Debbie Harry, actor Martin Freeman and Crystal Palace chairman, Steve Parish. As well as making for a potentially great dinner-party line-up, they are among contributors to a new book, Growing Up With Punk, in which more than 100 music, arts and media flames offer a personal perspective on one the UK’s last great ‘scenes’.

The ‘beautifully presented coffee table book’ is compiled by journalist Barry Cain and Nicky Weller – sister of his royal mod-liness, Paul. Nicky was 15 in 1977 and she told Andy Gray how life ‘chez Weller’ changed forever when the new wave waters broke…and led to brother Paul wearing a paper boiler suit.

Yourself and Paul grew-up in Woking, which would’ve been considered a bit of a punk outpost. Did it take a while for the scene to travel down the A3 and arrive at your neck of the woods?

“Woking was a little bit behind – It was nothing like London. It was a while before the first Mohican appeared in our high street. No one could afford to go to Vivienne Westwood and buy stuff, it was far too expensive. Round our way it was all rip-up tops. I remember (Jam drummer) Rick Buckler’s mum sewing-up his very expensive jumper. It had strategic holes in it, but she actually darned it. He was so pissed off – he’d spent a lot of money on that jumper. ‘Look what my mum’s fucking done to this jumper’ he said. It was so funny.” 

Before punk (and the Jam) came along, what were you listening to?

“I was a big Bowie and Bryan Ferry fan. I seem to remember my brother sort of saying, ‘what ya listening to that crap for’? He’s obviously since come to realise Bowie is great. I still had my little guilty pleasures like David Essex and stuff. But I absolutely loved Bowie and Roxy Music. Then the whole punk scene kicked in.” 

In interviews, Paul has said his punk epiphany was seeing the Sex Pistols play the Screen on the Green in 1976. Is that how you remember it?

“I remember him and his mates from Woking went to see the Pistols. I think it was the night Paul wore his white boiler suit, one of them papery sort of things. Mum had to get some old spray cans to spray some stuff on the back. It’d be hilarious if we had a picture of it now. You’ve only got to hear The Jam play ‘In the City’ before he saw the Pistols to appreciate the influence punk had on Paul. ‘In the City’ was kind of melodic and slow, and then suddenly it was 100 miles per hour. Punk changed his whole life.” 

With Paul as the ‘face’ of the Jam and your dad, John, as the band’s manager, it must’ve been like a having a full backstage pass to the whole punk era.

“Yeah, talk about being a teenager in the thick of it all. My dad included me and my mum in everything to do with the band in those days. He’d say, ‘don’t go to school today; come to Top of the Pops’, if he knew I was a fan of one of the acts due to appear. Dad would even write the absence note for me. I think I went to pretty much all the Top of the Pops shows with the Jam.” 

For a teenager from the so-called ‘sticks’, did the atmosphere surrounding those early punk shows prove a bit intimidating?

“I remember one night being stuck outside the Rainbow when the Jam did a show there. I remember seeing Johnny Rotten in the queue that night, and my dad coming out and getting us both in. During gigs the crowd would get really aggressive at the front of the stage, with swathes of people pogoing. I never went down the front – I always sat behind, at the back of the stage.” 

Okay, what’s your stand-out gig from that era, starting with the Jam?

“When the Jam played at the 100 Club on my birthday in September 1977. When you go to the 100 club now it’s all kind of serene, but then it was wall-to-wall people – you couldn’t breathe in there. Sweat was dripping down the walls; today’s health and safety people would’ve had a field day. I don’t know how many people would’ve been in there, ‘cause my dad would be like, ‘get as many as you can in’. That night was brilliant, but I remember people spitting. The band never liked it. Bruce (the Jam’s bass player) was like, ‘if you gob at me again, I’m going off’. It was disgusting. I don’t know where the spitting came from, but the Jam’s image was more clean-cut and mod – they weren’t into the whole gobbing thing at all. After the gig, it was my job to sell these big blue ‘Jam’ badges for 10p a time.”

How did the Jam’s early success affect home life?

“People started coming all the way down to Woking to see where Paul lived; knocking at our front door to see if he was at home. Then I started running the fan club. It all went a bit crazy.” 

Now the book, Growing Up With Punk… Does the world really need another retrospective on the era?

“I didn’t think the Punk London thing (held in the capital throughout last year to ‘celebrate 40 years of punk heritage’) did much for Punk. It sort-of came and went without much celebration. Everyone we spoke to in the book said punk really kicked-off in ’77, ‘cause that’s when all the debut albums from bands like the Clash, the Jam, the Pistols and the Stranglers came out. The book’s got a load of photos, flyers, tickets and stuff that people won’t have seen before. So it’s definitely worth seeing.” 

‘It’s like punk never ‘appened’, is your brother’s oft-quoted verdict on the musical dross that followed in the 1980s. Punk definitely happened, but did it achieve anything?

“It completely shook-up the whole music industry – people had never seen anything like it, and will never see anything like it again. The music industry now is a joke, innit? All the bloody X-Factor and reality TV stuff is crap. The kids on these shows…they ain’t gonna be around in two years’ time let alone 10 years’ time. I think punk did a brilliant job, actually. It made kids think, ‘I can do this, I can be in my own band’. It made a huge difference. I was very lucky to be a teenager in 1977. I could’ve been stuck down the Knaphill Disco in Woking on a Friday and Saturday night, which would’ve been pretty crap. Instead, I was going off to the Vortex club and seeing people like Adam Ant performing in bondage, and travelling to London in a van with my dad and my brother to watch the Jam.” 

Thanks Nicky, and be sure to let us know if you find the photo of Paul in his paper boiler suit.

Growing Up With Punk is due for release in July. For details, visit

A Growing Up With Punk exhibition, featuring previously unseen and rare memorabilia from the book’s contributors, is due to be held between August 3rd and 6th as part of Punk Rebellion Weekend at Blackpool Winter Gardens.

Fwd_ Fw_ growing up with...punk-quotes from stars

Paul Weller – The Jam

“The Pistols looked great too, so different for the time.  With their sound and Johnny’s voice, they were something I hadn’t heard or seen before. Rotten was totally memorising and had so much front. It was revolutionary at the time, and so were the five blues I’d dropped! After that, we saw them (and the five-piece Clash) at the Punk festival at the 100 club.  Ron Watts was the promoter and he also ran the Nags Head in High Wycombe.  Both bands blew my mind and that was it for me – I wanted to be a part of this new scene.”
Jordan – SEX shop assistant

“I know this is about 1977, but a bit of ’75 had to be included for me mainly because it painted such a vivid picture amongst the grey and beige backdrop of Britain at that time. 430 Kings Road had gained much notoriety,  which led the police to our door and hence the confiscation of what was deemed by the old bill, the fuzz, the wooden tops, as being openly obscene. Malcolm and Vivienne were charged under the 1864 Obscene Exhibition Act of displaying items in the window, more specifically, ‘the naked cowboys’ t-shirt.  This is in their view was likely to corrupt the general public, and in particular minors.”
Hugh Cornwell – The Stranglers

“One of the most bizarre regular gigs was The Speakeasy, in Margaret Street, the late night hangout for the musical elite, and impossible to get into unless you were playing there.  Our ice cream van would roll-up outside and members of the Damned, The Pistols, The Clash, even Elvis Costello would jump out of the back carrying one of our guitars or a cymbal stand. Posing as one of our roadies got them into the club.”

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus


SISTERS OF MERCY are to issue an expanded vinyl version of their classic early years compilation.

Originally released on CD in 1992, Some Girls Wander By Mistake comprises all the band’s originally singles and b-sides on their own Merciful Release label from 1980 to ’83, including the rare ‘Damage Done’ 7″, featuring only Andrew Eldritch and original guitarist Gary Marx.

The new box set features the compilation as a double-vinyl LP for the first time. It also adds two 12″ singles, including a 1993 rerecording of their 1982 breakthrough single ‘Alice’ and a version of ‘Temple Of Love’ featuring Israeli singer Ofra Haza, a Top 3 hit for the band in 1992.

The album’s title comes from a lyric in the Leonard Cohen song ‘Teachers’,covered live by the band frequently. It appears on the album Songs Of Leonard Cohen, alongside the song ‘Sisters Of Mercy’, from which they take their name.

Some Girls Wander By Mistake is set for release through Rhino on 1 September. Full tracklisting is as follows….

Side One

1. “Alice”
2. “Floorshow”
3. “Phantom”
4. “1969”

Side Two
1. “Kiss The Carpet”
2. “Lights”
3. “Valentine”
4. “Fix”
5. “Burn”
6. “Kiss The Carpet” – Reprise

Side Three
1. “Temple Of Love” – Extended Version 1983
2. “Heartland”
3. “Gimme Shelter”

Side Four
1. “The Damage Done”
2. “Watch”
3. “Home Of The Hit-Men”
4. “Body Electric”
5. “Adrenochrome”
6. “Anaconda”

Temple of Love (12”)
Side One
1. “Temple Of Love” – Touched by the Hands of Ofra Haza

Side Two
1. “Vision Thing” – Canadian Club Remix

Under The Gun (12”)
Side One
1. “Under The Gun” – Metropolis Mix

Side Two
1. “Alice” – 1993 Version
2. “Under The Gun” – Jutland Mix


Sisters Of Mercy on Facebook



Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

1 2