BIG BOY BLOATER DROPS PILLS!

Blues-rock titan and Vive Le Rock Awards nominee BIG BOY BLOATER and his band THE LIMITS have just released a new video.

‘Pills’ is the title track from their forthcoming new album which is out on 15 June through Provogue/Mascot.

Following the 2016 release of Luxury Hobo, which made Vive Le Rock‘s Albums of the Year, Bloater and his band have stripped down to a trio, with a rhythm section comprising Matt Cowley on drums and Steven Oates on bass.

Speaking about the title track, Bloater says, “I think the sinister side to it is the pharmaceutical companies want you to take these drugs and they want you to keep on thinking you’re ill so they can sell you tablets. It’s gonna get to the point where you’re taking anti-biotics for everything, eventually they won’t work and we’re all gonna die from a super flu.”

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RADIO BIRDMAN FLY IN!

Aussie legends RADIO BIRDMAN have announced another string of European dates for the autumn.

First formed in 1974, the band have been increasingly active in the live stakes, having last played the UK in 2016.

These latest dates follow on from the success of Descent Into The Maelstrom: The Radio Birdman Story, a full length documentary by Jonathan J Sequeira. The film recently made its UK debut as part of the Vive Le Rock sponsored Soundscreen Film Festival, where Sequeira and the band’s original drummer Ron Keeley were grilled in a Q&A by Vive Le Rock‘s esteemed editor Eugene Butcher.

Inclduding one UK at their regular haunt of The Dome, Tufnell Park, London, Radio Birdman play the following dates….

10 Oct – Patronaat Haarlem, Harlem (ND)
11 Oct – Het Burgerweeshuis, Deventer (ND)
12 Oct – Paard, Den Haag (ND)
13 Oct – Het Bos, Antwerp (BE)
14 Oct – Wilde Westen, Kortrijk (BE)
16 Oct – The Dome, Tufnell Park, London (UK)
17 Oct – Alhambra, Paris (FR)
18 Oct – tba, France
19 Oct – Carnavalorock, St Brieuc (FR)
20 Oct – tba, France
22 Oct – Molotow, Hamburg (DE)
23 Oct – Lido Berlin, Berlin (DE)
25 Oct – Fuzz Live Music Club, Athens (GR)
26 Oct – Locomotiv Club, Bologna (IT)
27 Oct – Otis Tours B-Day at Druso, Bergamo (IT)
28 Oct – Spazio 211, Turin (IT)
30 Oct – Hell Dorado, Vitoria-Gasteiz (SP)
31 Oct – Caracol, Madrid (SP)
1 Nov – Sala Planta Baja, Granada (SP)
2 Nov – Funstastic Dracula, Benidorm (SP)
3 Nov – Sala Zero, Tarragona (SP)

Watch a trailer for Descent Into The Maelstrom.

 

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AGGRESSION VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Canadian thrashers AGGRESSION unleash a brand new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Tales Of Terror’ is from the band’s accurately-titled fourth album Feels Like Punk, Sounds Like Thrash, which is out on 25 May through Dissonance.

The original incarnation of Aggression was formed in Quebec in the mid-80s, lasting four years and sharing stages with the likes of ANVIL and VOIVOD, releasing the classic Full Treatment album in 1988. Relocating to Vancouver, the band returned in 2014 with a new line-up built around guitarist Sasquatch and extensive gigging. Feels Like Punk… sees them back on form and touring in honour of the 30th Anniversary of Full Treatment.

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ARTHUR ALEXANDER TRACK PREMIERE!

ARTHUR ALEXANDER, founder of NYC power-poppers SORROWS and the Cyril Jordan-produced THE POPPEES, returns with his debut solo album next month. And he’s sharing the track ‘Psycho-Automatic’ exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Not to be confused with the US soul legend of ‘You Better Move On’ fame, this Arthur Alexander emigrated to New York from Warsaw, forming the The Poppees, who became regulars ad Max’s Kansas City and were the very first new band signed to Greg Shaw’s iconic BOMP! label. Later signing to CBS for two albums with his new band Sorrows, Alexander enjoyed a mid-life career producing album for the likes of T-MODEL FORD and KING MUD for Alive Naturalsound.

His debut solo album One Bar Left makes good use of Arthur’s various influences and experiences on both sides of the desk, running the gamut from power-pop to punk and rock’n’roll.

“I started writing ‘Psycho-Automatic’ in 1984, when I lived in New York City,” he says. “And finished it in Los Angeles as it was percolating in my head til 2016 (what do you mean, I’m slow!?!?!), going through various changes, additions and rewrites. Though the lyrics are pretty ‘out there’ and ‘psycho-conceptual,’ they also reflect in parts the turmoil that was slowly building up in my own life back then. Opening with the 9th chord, undoubtedly, and however subconsciously, inspired by The Beatles’ ‘It’s Getting Better’, I’m rather proud to say that the similarity ends there. Aaron Minton from a great L.A. band – Prima Donna (they have a new record coming out on Wicked Cool Records soon) – on tenor sax, for a blistering and psycho(tic) solo break, and then, Aaron, actually all eight Aarons! ;), turns into a full horn section for the remainder of the song. Also, playing spectacular bass lines is my Polish friend Wojtek Pilichowski, a MONSTER of a bass player. Just google him… and make sure you’re sitting down! He’s featured on several other songs on the album as well.”

One Bar Left is set for release on 4 May through Dead Beat Records. It’s available to pre-order on red and black vinyl and CD here.

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Pic by Jeremy White

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THE DAMNED’S EVIL SPIRITS – TRACK BY TRACK!

Following a hugely successful UK tour, THE DAMNED returned last month with a double A-side single culled from their forthcoming Evil Spirits album – their first new album in 10 years – which is released on 13 April via Search And Destroy/Spinefarm Records. The single featured the tracks ‘Look Left’ and ‘Devil In Disguise’, two songs that perfectly represent the album’s many shifting moods and styles.

Last week the band put a cap on the first quarter of the year when they headlined the inaugural Vive Le Rock Awards, tearing to the roof of the O2 Academy, Islington and picking up the award for Band Of The Year into the bargain.

They now take a bit of a breather before heading off round Europe in May, returning in June to play a series of UK arena shows as special guests to Alice Cooper’s HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES.

In the meantime, read on for a track-by-track run-down of Evil Spirits….

 

‘Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow’ (watch video)

Up-to-the-minute garage psychedelia that gallops like Scott Walker’s ‘The Seventh Seal’, amid ominous ‘dies irae’ chorale and mucho post-millennial frustration. Vanian: “An optimistic song even though it is about a dark subject. In a world obsessed by ‘self’, this is a cry for humanity to recognize its humanity, before it’s too late. There is a strong influence of Joe Meek here: ‘Telstar’ was a glorious song about the opportunities of the future. I’d like to think that ‘SOTEOT’ reflects a similar sentiment.”

‘The Devil In Disguise’ (listen)

Another energetic garage-punk monster, replete with Monty Oxy Moron’s era-specific Farfisa organ. Pinch: “People gravitate towards blaming individuals rather than the systems they are part of. Figureheads are only puppets. It’s the puppet masters we should be concerned about. The enemy of our enemy is our friend, apparently.”

‘We’re So Nice’

“Where there’s dispute you’ll find us there…” Sensible’s broadside against Anglo-American imperialist meddling around the world bops along gleefully on a Motown beat amid a deluge of melodic excellence. Sensible: “With all that we know about the Iraq war, and its consequences, does anyone still think we were the ‘heroes’?”

‘Look Left’ (listen)

Sugar coated mind grenade, addressing post-millennial society’s “media-induced coma” Vanian: “The weird thing about Pinch is, he listens to the most obnoxious music a lot of the time – all the real hardcore punk stuff – and he a very loud drummer, too, but then he goes and writes this great big show tune – like a massive ensemble cast coming on to sing at the end of the play!” Pinch: “While everybody’s looking left, what the hell is happening right? Tough subject matter is easier to digest when coated in honey rather than vinegar and the message in this song is so important, I couldn’t risk it being a throw away aggro punk tune that was immediately overlooked. I see it more as a love song to the human race. The future is here, and until you awaken your mind, I’ll wait for you.”

‘Evil Spirits’

Fantastically searching, in the best sense ‘progressive’, rocker, with vague echoes of The Who’s ‘Magic Bus’ and The Rolling Stones’ ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’, and some commensurately exploratory soloing from Sensible. An urgently free-spirited riposte to today’s political stasis. Sensible: “Whoever you vote for, nothing changes. Labour or Tory, two cheeks of same bum.” Vanian: “The Who are never far away from The Damned’s sound. We’ve had some big noses in this band, too. I suppose there are some parallels between us, because they were a high-energy band, too, but then Pete started writing his rock-opera stuff, stretching out, looking for different ways of writing. Queen did the same sort of thing as well – we’re one of those bands whose music can cover different genres of music, within one song.”

‘Shadow Evocation’

Quintessential Vanianism, about espousing the night and finding a better way forward than “chasing ghosts of the past”. Features acrobatic backing vocals from American singer-songwriter Kristeen Young. Vanian: ”Kristeen has a remarkable vocal range reminiscent of Yma Sumac [1950’s Peruvian-American soprano]. Her singing at the end of the song was originally played on a Theramin but once Kristeen sang the part, there was no need for the instrument anymore.”

‘Sonar Deceit’

Another garage-psych belter, propelled by a jaunty His Latest Flame-style bassline. “What makes a fish desert the sea?” ponders the Captain in this hard-hitting critique of whales and dolphins being driven insane by bombardment by deafening sonar.

Sensible: “What could it possibly be that drives whales and dolphins to prostrate themselves on beaches around the world?”

‘Procrastination’

Noel Coward-esque study of creative deferral, with more mid-’60s Farfisa from Mr Oxy Moron. Sensible: “One of Monty’s, this one. A bit of self-analysis here: what could be the reason that this band’s last album was recorded back in 2008? It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself – well, at least I think he’s talking about himself there… Isn’t he? Or is it me? Blimey!”

‘Daily Liar’

Co-written by Sensible (tune) and Vanian (lyric), another anger-fuelled barnstormer, with a Kinksian introductory fanfare, a driving beat, and a stirring melodic ascent. All together now: say “no, no, no…no-no” to media misinformation! Sensible: “For his own selfish reasons, Trump started a discussion about ‘fake news’, but it’s one that some might say has been long overdue. Not a pinch of salt required – you need a whole cellar of the stuff these days.”

‘I Don’t Care’

Punk heedlessness rebooted as a triptych of political disaffection, spanning moody piano balladry, Who-y explosiveness, and nocturnal jazz

Vanian: “This should have been a short song, perhaps only a minute long, written on a rainy afternoon in my study. Demoing the song, I almost forgot that there were two more sections, turning it into a three-part epic in about the same amount of minutes, which seems longer because of the differing moods.”

Evil Spirits is available on digital download via Spotify and i-Tunes, on CD and 180g vinyl available to pre-order HERE

Catch The Damned live at….

EUROPE:

May 17 – Frankfurt – Batschkapp
May 19 – Lausanne – Les Docks
May 20 – Milan – Magnolia
May 22 – Munich – Strom
May 23 – Berlin – SO36

May 25 – Hamburg – Fabrik
May 26 – Oberhausen – Turbinenhalle
May 27 – Amsterdam – Melkweg Oude Zaal

May 29 – Paris – Petit Bain

UK:

June 16 – Birmingham – Genting Arena *

June 17 – Manchester – Arena *

June 19 – Glasgow – The SSE Hydro *

June 20 – London – The SSE Arena, Wembley *

US:
July 1 – Oakland – Burger Boogaloo Festival

July 5 – Vancouver – Commodore Ballroom (on sale 4/6 10am PST)
July 6 – Portland – Crystal Ballroom (on sale 4/6 10am PST)
July 7 – Seattle – Showbox at the Market (on sale 4/6 10am PST)

UK:

August 22 – Southampton – 02 Guildhall

August 23 – Holmfirth – Holmfirth Picture House

August 24 – Warrington – Warrington Parr Hall

August 25 – Belfast – Belsonic Festival (main support to Stiff Little Fingers)

* supporting the Hollywood Vampires

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ARCHIE AND THE BUNKERS EXCLUSIVE!

Organ-grinding sibling duo ARCHIE & THE BUNKERS have a new video, which they’re launching exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘She’s A Rockin’ Machine’ is taken from the Cleveland OH outfit’s second album Songs From The Lodge, which is out on 20 April through Dirty Water. Pre-order it here.

The brothers are planning a return to Europe this summer. Check their website for details.

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BRIAN JAMES: NOT SLOWING DOWN!

While THE DAMNED have been basking in the limelight of their new album, original band founder BRIAN JAMES hasn’t been idle, revealing a brand new video as a taster for an expanded reissue of his hard-to-find debut solo album, as well as announcing a London date.

Brian James was originally recorded in 1990 following the break-up of James’ 80s band THE LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH. It was released on French label New Rose, formed a decade earlier, its name taken from the James- penned Damned debut single.

Reissued on 27 April through Easy Action Records, the album has been fully remastered for vinyl with two bonus tracks, new artwork and liner-notes by Brian. It’s available to pre-order here.

Brian recently went into the studio in Brighton, with drummer Malcolm Mortimer (who played on the original album) and bassist Austin Gayton, to make a video for the track ‘Slow It Down’. The video was shot by Tim and Poppy from fast-rising Birmingham garage trio TABLE SCRAPS.

“Although we’d factored in the usual amount of time for bands to take rests and to fuck up a few takes, Brian, Austin and Malcolm didn’t miss a single beat,” reveals Tim. “They had more energy and enthusiasm during the shoot than any teenage band I’ve filmed or seen play and it’s clear that Brian lives and breathes rock’n’roll.”

Brian James has just announced a show at The Lexington in London on 28 June, with Table Scraps as support. Tickets are on sale here.

Brian is currently working on his autobiography.

© Barry Pitman/www.pixelsonapage.com

 

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