Following on from his successful Acoustic Wildhearts tour, GINGER WILDHEART is set to release a country and folk album in the New Year.

Funded once again through PledgeMusic, Ghost In The Tanglewood is  set for release on 2 March through Graphite Records. Combining country, folk, roots and rock, the album influenced by the likes of Steve Earle, Richard Thompson, Tom Waits and Maria McKee, catching Ginger in mellow mode.

“While leaning towards country music, my fairly unavoidable accent means that the songs come off less Willie Nelson and more Bobby Thompson, but every lyric is purely heartfelt and every song is as true a story as you’ll ever hear. This stuff has always been in my blood since I was a wee nipper and it’s an honour to finally get it out for people to hear” he says.

“The songs largely deal with the traditionally taboo subject of mental health issues, specifically depression, which I have suffered from my whole life. Having recently weaned myself off medication, the music I make now serves as both therapy and comfort. I find relief in this music and hope that the songs bring a similar comfort to the listener. The narrative throughout is pretty confessional in nature, but I think the candid approach showcases the lyrics in a more bold and open way than a traditional rock album.”

Ginger will be showcasing the album at a series of dates, both headlining and supporting THE LEVELLERS on their acoustic tour, followed by a support slot with FRANK TURNER at the Roundhouse, London in May. Full dates are….

February 2018
2nd William Aston Hall, Wrexham*
3rd Charter Theatre, Preston (sold out) *

March 2018
1st Tivoli, Buckley (supporting Ferocious Dog)
3rd The Lantern, Halifax (headline show)
8th The Victoria, Swindon (headline show)
9th Joiners, Southampton (headline show)
10th Gorilla, Manchester (supporting Ferocious Dog)
13thOpera House, Buxton *
14thTownhall, Cheltenham *
15thWestlands, Yeovil *
16thBarbican, York *
17thThe Stables, Milton Keynes (sold out) *
18thPhilharmonic, Liverpool *
20thThe Anvil, Basingstoke*
21stCorn Exchange, Cambridge *
22ndDe Montfort Hall, Leicester *
23rdDe Le Warr Pavillion, Bexhill *
24thCathedral, Winchester (sold out) *

May 2018
13th The Roundhouse, London (supporting Frank Turner)

(* supporting The Levellers)

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Leicester area rock legends CRAZYHEAD have announced a major London show for the spring.

Having reformed for a successful series of dates last autumn, including a showstopping performance at Indie Daze 4 at Kentish Town Forum, the ‘What Gives You The Idea That You’re So Amazing Baby’ hitmakers are to play a headline show at the 100 Club, Oxford Street on Friday 4 May.

Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10.00am.

The band are also set to appear at next year’s Bearded Theory festival which takes place at Catton Hall, Derbyshire from 24 to 27 May. Joining them on the bill are THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN, THE RUTS DC, SLEAFORD MODS, UK SUBS, BAR STOOL PREACHERS, PIZZATRAMP and loads more still to be announced.

Tickets are available here.

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Essex folk-punks THE LUCKY STRIKES return in the New Year with a series of live dates.

The band made fleeting appearances during 2017, including dates with former GREEN ON RED man Chris Cacavas, as frontman M.G. Boulter committed time to his solo career.

Having returned to action with a hometown Christmas show last week, however, the Southend quartet have announced a run of shows taking them into the spring, before knuckling down to write material for their sixth album, the follow-up to 2016’s acclaimed The Motion And The Moving On.

Kicking off with their now traditional New Year show at East London’s What’s Cookin’ club on 6 January, they cross the North Sea for their first ever Swedish dates in February.

Full dates are…..

6 Jan – What’s Cookin’, Leytonstone, London
16 Feb – PSB, Stockholm, Sweden
17 Feb – HiJazz Klub, Uppsala, Sweden
24 Feb – The Alex, Southend-on-Sea, Essex
9 March – Chinnery’s, Southend-on-Sea, Essex
17 Mar – The Greystones, Sheffield
21 Apr – Le Pub, Newport, South Wales

The Lucky Strikes on Facebook


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The late-70s mod revival and the rise of ska are the subject of at a night of discussion in East London next month.

Inspired by the punk explosion of ’76 and ’77, and the rise of The Jam, the mod revival really kicked into gear in ’79, propelled by the release of The Who-related films The Kids Are Alright  and Quadrophenia.

Allied to that was the appearance of the 2Tone label and the rise of ska with The Specials, The Selecter, Madness, The Beat and The Bodysnatchers emerging alongside a simultaneous rise of far-right groups like the National Front and British Movement.

These bands – many of them multi-racial – stood in direct conflict with those rump organisations, and were allied to Anti Nazi League and Rock Against Racism. As tensions escalated, leading to a summer of rioting in the UK in 1981, the Specials’ ‘Ghost Town’ sat ominously at number one in the charts.

On Tuesday 23 January at Second Home, Hanbury Street, Shoreditch, DJ and music historian Bill Brewster will chair a panel of Acid Jazz and Countdown label founder and noted DJ and mod spokesperson Eddie Piller, mod author Terry Rawlings and former Bodysnatcher and 2Tone artist Rhoda Dakar.

Tickets are available here, with all proceeds going to the Kibera Hamlets School in Nairobi.

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Liverpool’s innovative and highly influential ‘second wave’ music scene is to be chronicled in a new box set.

Set for release on 9 February through Cherry Red, Revolutionary Spirit: The Sound Of Liverpool 1976-88 follows the city’s music scene out form under the legacy of The Beatles and the Merseybeat era, through the door opened by the arrival of punk and into the art school refectory.

Kicking off with the legendary DEAF SCHOOL (pictured), BIG IN JAPAN and THE YACHTS, this 5-CD 99-track set alights on the post-punk boom led by ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN, THE TEARDROP EXPLODES and ORCHESTRAL MANOUVRES and into the 80s with A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS, THE ICICLE WORKS, PALE FOUNTAINS, IT’S IMMATERIAL, WILD SWANS, THE LA’S, FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD, THE WALKING SEEDS and loads more lesser known but equally worthy acts.

The set is completed by a 56-page book, featuring artists’ sleevenotes, essays from scene observers and participants Bernie Connor, Mike Badger, Yorkie and Joe McKechnie, and illustrated with many rarely seen photos.

Full track-listing and pre-order is available here.

Recently reformed, Deaf School have just released Let’s Do This Again Next Week, their first full-length album of all-new material since 1978. It’s available here.

Check out ‘Rescue’ by Echo & The Bunnymen


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THE JAM drummer Rick Buckler has just published a new book about the legendary band, listing their 50 greatest songs.

You can watch him talking about the book The Dead Straight Guide to The Jam on BBC World News.

In the book, Rick picks the 50 greatest Jam tracks and tells us how they were written, recorded and the stories behind every one of these classic songs. This book also critiques every Jam studio album as well as listing every Jam tour, The Jam on TV, awards, video locations and more.

It’s available now from Amazon.

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SoCal punk legends U.S. BOMBS kick off their 25th Anniversary year with two new releases at the end of December.

Huge CLASH fans, the band have recorded the classics ‘Straight To Hell’ and ‘Death Or Glory’ for the aptly-titled Clash Tribute single.

The second release features ‘Hollywood Gong Show’ c/w ‘Midnight Run’ , the band’s first new recorded music in 12 years. Both releases were produced by MEAT PUPPETS bassist Cris Kirkwood.

Set for release on 29 December through Arizona’s Slope Records, they’re available on limited edition 7″ vinyl (white and blue respectively) as well as cassette and download. They can be pre-ordered now here, along with other U.S. Bombs merch.


Stream ‘Straight To Hell’.

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U.S. psych-punks THE PREFAB MESSIAHS have unveiled a new single from their forthcoming album.

‘Everything U No’ is the latest of four videos to be released from the album Psychsploitation …Today!, which is set for release on 26 January through Lolipop/Burger Records.

The band originally coalesced in Worcester, Massachusetts during the early 80s, releasing the cassette album Flex Your Mind. A CD-R compilation Devolver in 1998 sparked interest, with an official re-release through power-pop and garage experts Burger encouraging new material on the shape of the aptly-titled mini-album Keep Your Stupid Dreams Alive in 2015.

Band frontman Xerox Feinberg explains, “The new album is really a mental and sonic continuation of the things we were obsessed about from the beginning — mashing up the sounds and attitudes of ’60s garage-psychedelia with post-punk ’80s stuff and dragging all that into whatever ‘today’ is — while generally trying to poke people in the ribs and skewer some of the Big Shams behind all the Shiny Facades. We still don’t do songs about girls’ names or feeling good. We’re still trying to toss everything into the mix including the kitchen sink. We’re still bemused and shocked and disgusted with The State of Things — and also in love with the noises in our heads and guitars. We like to think that The Prefab Messiahs’ work is never done.”

The Prefab Messiahs on Facebook

Pic by Plastic Mynd

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Fast-rising Brummie garage trio TABLE SCRAPS have just unveiled a video for their new single.

‘Sick Of Me’ is the first single to be taken from the band’s debut album Autonomy which is set for release on 23 February through Zen Ten Records, the brand new label from Easy Action Music.

Propelled by an insistent two-note groove and a floorshakingly primal beat, ‘Sick Of Me’ conjures that same never-fails British Invasion magic that so inspired the kids of Detroit and certified Lenny Kaye’s Nuggets comp the high-school prom soundtrack at the end of the universe.

The 7″ of ‘Sick Of Me’ b/w ‘Mequinenza’ is available to buy here in a limited edition of 500 copies worldwide.

Table Scraps have a series of dates lined up around the album release, including a London date at The Shacklewell Arms on 28 February and a special launch party at The Hare & Hounds, Birmingham on 2 March. Full dates are….

23 Feb – Foodhall, Sheffield
28 Feb – Shacklewell Arms, London
1 Mar – 60MPC, Bournemouth
2 Mar – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
3 Mar – The Trap, Bristol

Table Scraps on Faccebook

Pic by Meg Lavendar

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Sick of Christmas yet? THE MILD PERILS might sympathise.

The London duo – who feature vocalist Jenny Drag from glam-garage tearaways THE PRISCILLAS – have just unveiled a new single and video, ‘(I’m Going To My) Happy Place (For Christmas)’.

On the surface a jolificacious would-be chart-topper, the song hides considerably darker and world-weary content. Says Jenny, “I can’t stop listening to our Christmas single. And I hate Christmas!”

‘Happy Place’ is available to download now from iTunes.

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Aussie garage legends THE STEMS play a one-off London show next year, celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their classic first album.

One of the more retro and melodic bands on the highly fertile 80s Australian scene, The Stems were formed in Perth in 1983, releasing their debut album At First Sight, Violets Are Blue four years later. More commercially successful than most of their counterparts, the album reached the Top 40 while subsequent singles made the lower reaches of the Top 100.

Splitting prematurely that year, the members went on to various bands with frontman Dom Mariani making his presence felt with The Someloves, The Stonefish, DM3 and, more recently, Datura4 and The Domnicks with former Cortinas and Clash guitarist Nick Sheppard.

The reformed Stems have performed regularly in recent years, with Mariani, bassist Julian Matthews and drummer David Shaw joined by new guitarist Ashley Naylor.

The Stems play the 100 Club, London on Sunday 6 May. Tickets are on sale here.

Check out ‘Tears Me In Two’.

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John Doe with Tom DeSavia and friends
(Da Capo)
First things first: John Doe is by no means the main author of this book. Founder and bassist of long-serving L.A. punks X (who even named their first album in the city’s honour), Doe is well placed to comment on the times, which he does with a dry, beatnik flair. But his scattered entries are slim, allowing a cast of musos, journos and other scenesters to contribute the real meat’n’potatoes. The best essays come from The Go-Gos’ Jane Wiedlin, then a wet-behind-the-ears student, enjoying this new explosion of music, drugs and sex while living in notorious punk apartment block, The Canterbury; and Mike Watt’s tale of the Minutemen, three plaid-shirted teenagers from the wrong side of the tracks. Elsewhere Robert Lopez (aka El Vez) comments from both the gay and Latino perspectives, while the Blasters’ Dave Alvin is the pragmatic rock’n’roller. A dark cloud descends with the arrival of the violent, male-dominated hardcore scene. Henry Rollins’ own view is typically that of the wide-eyed fan, but the arrogance and aggression of T.S.O.L’s Jack Grisham speaks volumes.
Gerry Ranson

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BILLY IDOL has announced his first UK dates in three years!

The former GENERATION X frontman’s Live! 2018 Tour will land in Europe this summer with the first date in Manchester on 20 June, and a gig at London’s Brixton Academy on 23 June, with more dates to be announced.

The shows represent his first UK dates since the Kings & Queens Of The Underground Tour of 2014/2015, which accompanied his first new album in eight years. 2014 also saw the publication of his best-selling autobiography Dancing With Myself.

Dates announced so far are….

June 20 Manchester, UK O2 Apollo
June 21 Birmingham, UK O2 Academy
June 23 London, UK O2 Academy Brixton
June 25 Luxembourg, LU Rockhal
June 26 Regensburg, DE Donau Arena
June 30 Zajecar, RS Guitar Fest
July 2 Budapest, HU Budapest Park Open Air
July 3 Munich, DE Tollwood Festival
July 6 Zurich, CH Hallenstadion
July 14 Halle, DE Peissnitz Insel
July 17 Cologne, DE Tanzbrunnen
July 19 Berlin, DE Zitadelle
July 21 Slupsk, PL Charlotta Valley Amp
July 22 Hamburg, DE Stadtpark

Tickets go on sale this Friday 15 December at 10.00am here.

Billy Idol on Facebook

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Chicago roots-rocker JAKE LA BOTZ make his UK headline debut this week in London.

Now based in Nashville, the songwriter recently released his sixth album, Sunnyside – his first new album in four years – recorded in Chicago with J.D. McPHERSON’s producer and bass-player Jimmy Sutton.

The album draws on La Botz’s life experiences as a teenage punk, juvenile delinquent, actor , drifter, apprentice to blues elders growing up in Chicago, self-educated reader, addict in Los Angeles, musician in a gospel church, Buddhist and meditation teacher. As if that hasn’t kept him busy enough, along the way he’s shared stages with such greats as Ray Charles, Dr. John, Mavis Staples, Etta James, The Blasters and Tony Joe White.

Presented by Punk Rock Blues, La Botz plays The Sebright Arms, Coate Street, Hackney on Wednesday 13 December. Support comes from BIG JOE LOUIS. Get your tickets here.

Check out the video for ‘How I Wish She Was Mine’.

Jake La Botz on Facebook


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Happening garage-psych trio L.A. WITCH have unveiled a new single and video ahead of Euro dates next spring.

‘Drive Your Car’ is taken from the band’s acclaimed self-titled debut album, released in September through Suicide Squeeze. The video is the work of by award-winning New York artist and filmmaker Allie Lane.

Currently touring Australia, L.A. Witch are set to follow up this year’s European shows with another bout of industrious gigging, with dates in Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, France and the UK, including a London show at Oslo in Hackney. Full dates are….

16 Mar – Le Port Franc, Sion CH
17 Mar – Milk Party, Parma IT
20 Mar – Rote Fabrik, Zurich CH
21 Mar – Quasimodo, Berlin DE
22 Mar – Hafenklang, Hamburg DE
23 Mar – Melodybox, Stockholm SE
24 Mar – Truck Stop Alaska, Goteborg SE
27 Mar – The Chameleon, Nottingham UK
28 Mar – Sleazy’s, Glasgow UK
29 Mar – Cluny, Newcastle UK
30 Mar – Oslo, London UK
31 Mar – Headrow House, Leeds UK
4 Apr – Supersonic, Paris FR
5 Apr – Maison de l’etudiant, Arras FR
6 Apr – Veka, Glarus CH
7 Apr – Ohibo, Milan IT

L.A. Witch on Facebook

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SHANE MACGOWAN is to have his  60th birthday celebrated with a special show in Dublin next month.

The NIPPLE ERECTORS, POGUES and POPES frontman turns 60 on 25 December, with the concert taking place at the city’s National Concert Hall on 15 January.

Featuring a band including Jem Finer, Cait O’Riordan, Terry Woods and Spider Stacy of The Pogues and led by musical director Terry Edwards, a host of famous names will be lining up to pay tribute to the mercurial singer, including Nick Cave, Johnny Depp, Bobby Gillespie, Glen Hansard, Camille O’Sullivan, Cerys Matthews, Carl Barat, Lisa O’Neill, Finbar Furey, whenyoung, Glen Matlock and Clem Burke of Blondie and more….

Tickets go on sale this Friday at 8.00am here.

The Pogues on Facebook

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Brighton punks HARKER have unveiled a first single from their forthcoming debut album.

‘300 Cigarettes’ is taken from No Discordance, which is set for release in February.

Starting out as an acoustic project by guitarist and singer Mark Boniface in 2014, Harker have coalesced over the course of three well received EPs to include bassist and singer Phoebe Saunders, guitarist Tony Ware and drummer Matt Claxton. Drawing primary influences from Chicago and New Jersey punk, the band has gigged steadily across the UK and Europe, sharing stages with the likes of BOSTON MANOR, MOOSE BLOOD and CREEPER.

Speaking about the single, Mark explains, “’300 Cigs’ is about how people can use others emotional states to gain trust and self-assurance. At most times we can be caring, understanding and loving. But unfortunately, there are some who ignore the consequences of their actions on people, and it highlights a horrible part of human nature. At our worst, we can be self-centred, reserved and unaware of the problems we create within ourselves and within others. The song acts as a remedy to the damage left behind after we cut poisonous people out of our lives.”

Of the album, he says, “No Discordance is a beast. We’ve thrown everything at it. It’s been the most difficult, but rewarding work we’ve done.”

Set for release on 9 February, No Discordance is available to pre-order here.

Harker on Facebook

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An acclaimed documentary on seminal punk band THE SLITS is to get a DVD release next spring.

Directed by William E Badgley, Here To Be Heard: The Story Of The Slits received its world premiere at the London Film Festival in October.

The film tells the story of the young women pioneers of the mid-70’s punk era from a female point of view and runs from the inception of the group in 1976 to its end in 2010, coinciding with the death of lead vocalist, Ari Up.

It includes interviews with Ari plus fellow band members Viv Albertine, Palmolive, Tessa Pollitt, Bruce Smith and Hollie Cook, plus the various figures surrounding the band, inclduing Don Letts (former group manager and punk documentarian), Vivien Goldman (NYU punk professor), Dennis Bovell (producer of debut album Cut), Paul Cook (Sex Pistols), Gina Birch (The Raincoats), Adrian Sherwood (producer and long-term friend and collaborator) and many more, as well as previously unseen footage and band recordings.

The film is expected to receive a theatrical release in the New Year, followed by a DVD release. DVDs can be pre-ordered from the PledgeMusic page, as well as other items of exclusive merch.

The Slits on Facebook

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