BRIEFS ENCOUNTER!

Legendary Seattle punks THE BRIEFS hit the UK next month for a rare London date on their European tour.

Inspired by the likes of the Undertones, Buzzocks and The Toy Dolls, these bleach-blonde buzzsaw brats have been going since 2000, when they released their debut album Hit After Hit, spawning the stop-start punk disco floorfiller ‘Poor And Weird’. Since then, they’ve release six albums with this year’s Platinum Rats, for Damaged Goods, coming after a long absence from the racks.

Sharp-eyed readers will also recognise frontman Steve E Nix and bassist Stevie Kicks from powerpoppers THE CUTE LEPERS, who released three albums through Damaged Goods between 2008 and 2011.

The Briefs play The Lexington, London on Sunday 8 December with support from French synth punks THE SCANERS and fast-rising London powerpop squad THE SPEEDWAYS. Tickets are on sale here.

Full European tour dates are…

30/11 Munich (GER) – Kafe Kult
01/12 Bern (CH) – Rössli Bar
03/12 Nimes (FR) – Paloma
04/12 Lyon (FR) – Ninkasi
05/12 Bordeaux (Fr) – Iboat
06/12 Rennes (FR) – Mondo Bizarro
07/12 Paris (FR) – Le Chinois
08/12 London (UK) – Lexington
10/12 Dunkerque (FR) – 4 Ecluses
11/12 Kortrijk (BEL) – The Pit’s
12/12 Dortmund (GER) – FZW
13/12 Dresden (GER) – Chemiefabrik
14/12 Hamburg (GER) – Molotow
15/12 Berlin (GER) – Cassiopeia

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THE COG PEOPLE!

Midlands psych-punks THE COGS OF TYME have their debut album released today, just 33 years after it was recorded!

Described as “Frat Punk Fun with a little Acid thrown in,” by band founder Gavin Wissen, the band were a small but but significant part of the fertile mid-80s scene around Rugby, Warwickshire that would spawn SPACEMEN 3 and, in turn, SPIRITUALIZED. The band’s members include Tim Morris (Spacemen 3), Will Carruthers (Spacemen 3, Spiritualized, Spectrum, Brian Jonestown Massacre) and Sean Cook (Spiritualized, Massive Attack).

Tyme Waits For No Man comprises 12 studio, live and rehearsal recordings, including one track recorded Rugby’s now legendary Reverberation Club, jointly run by the Cogs and the Spacemen. The album was mastered by noted Midlands producer John A Rivers.

The limited edition vinyl album also features a 4-page insert with notes by the band members along with Mark ‘Mac’ Macdonald of Birmingham’s iconic Sensateria club; and front cover art by Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized artist Natty Brooker.

Released through Seventeen Records and Easy Action, it’s available here.

Check out ‘I’m Gone’…

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BACKYARD BABIES BOUNCE BACK!

Swedish sleaze merchants BACKYARD BABIES have dropped a brand new video ahead of their New Year dates with THE WILDHEARTS, proudly sponsored by Vive Le Rock!

‘Yes To All No’ is taken from the Nässjö band’s eighth album Sliver & Gold, which was released in March.

Formed in 1987, Backyard Babies are one of Sweden’s biggest rock bands, their albums routinely hovering at the top of the national charts. Guitarist Dregen is also known for his stints with The Hellecopters, The Wildhearts and Michael Monroe.

Backyard Babies play the following dates….

28 Jan – O2 Academy, Newcastle
29 Jan – Limelight, Belfast
30 Jan – QMU, Glasgow
31 Jan – O2 Ritz, Manchester
1 Feb – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
2 Feb – Tramshed, Cardiff
4 Feb – O2 Institute, Birmingham

Support on all dates come from Pennsylvania rockers CKY.

Tickets are available here.

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STAPLES CORNER!

Transplanted Australian post-punk guitarist SUZIE STAPLETON has announced a new single and dates ahead of her debut album release.

The witchy, neo-gothic ‘Thylacene’ is set for release from all the usual digital platforms, while the long-awaited debut album We Are The Plague is set to follow in the Spring.

Stapleton is joined on the recordings by JIM JONES & THE RIGHTEOUS MIND bassist Gavin Jay and STRANGLERS drummer Jim Macauley. Sessions took place at OX4 studios in Oxford and Stapleton’s home studio, with noted producer Dan Cox (Lianne La Havas, Thurston Moore) brought in at the mixing stage.

“When I started writing for this album, I felt a sense of responsibility to address what was going on in the world,” she explains. “We’re bombarded constantly by horrific news, stuck on a broken systemic hamster wheel. I felt stupid writing about my insignificant woes whilst the world burned around me.”

The live dates, which will feature YANN TIERSON drummer Dave Collingwood taking the place of Macauley, kick off with a special single launch on 7 December at Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney, with special guests MIRACULOUS MULE and THE PACERS. Full dates are…

7 Dec – Paper Dress Vintage, London tickets
4 Jan – The Carlisle, Hastings
24 Jan – The Brunswick, Brighton
25 Jan – Rough Trade, Bristol

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MONROE HEEDS THE CALL OF THE WILD!

Following their successful UK tour and the release of the acclaimed new album One Man Gang, it’s been announced that MICHAEL MONROE and his band will headline the Saturday night at next year’s Call Of The Wild Festival.

The former HANOI ROCKS legend joins Friday night headliners MASSIVE WAGONS and Sunday night bill-toppers, ex-MOTÖRHEAD man PHIL CAMPBELL & THE BASTARD SONS at the festival, which returns to the Lincolnshire Showground at Grange de Lings near Lincoln over the weekend of 29-31 May for the second year running.

“Life doesn’t get much better than when you confirm Michael Monroe to headline the Festival you’ve spent a life dreaming about building,” says Festival Director Raz White. “I became a huge Hanoi Rocks fan back when I was 14 and started to cross over from punk to rock bands. The image, energy and songs just resonated with me. In my humble opinion, easily the greatest frontman to strut the stage. So, this is a huge honour for me and the whole team. We can guarantee this show will be absolutely spectacular!”

“Can’t wait to see you all at Call Of The Wild and play this great, upcoming festival,” says Michael.

Other bands appearing on the festival’s three stages include WARRIOR SOUL, THE THROBS, GLEN MATLOCK, LAWNMOWER DETH, BLACK RAIN, CRUEL INTENTIONS, DEAD GIRLS ACADEMY, SKARLETT RIOT, NEW DEVICE, MIDNIGHT CITY, EVERY MOTHER’S NIGHTMARE, KICKIN’ VALENTINA, EMPYRE, THE SWEET THINGS, JANUS STARK, CRASHED OUT, MOTOCHRIST and loads more…

Tickets are available here.

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PEDALJETS PREPARE FOR TAKE-OFF!

Kansas City alt-rockers PEDALJETS have just unveiled a taster for their first new album in six years.

Formed in 1984, Pedaljets quickly established themselves as one of the Midwest’s bands-most-likely-to, sharing stages with the likes of The Replacements, Hüsker Dü and Meat Puppets and picking up plays on MTV.

After a long hiatus, the band resurfaced with a retooled version of their self-titled second album, followed by the all new What’s In Between in 2013, cited by Vive Le Rock at the time as “the missing link between The Replacements and Nirvana.”

Now joined by new guitarist Cody Wyoming, founder members guitarist Mike Allmayer, bassist Matt Kesler and drummer Rob Morrow recorded Twist The Lens with producer Paul Malinowski, once again bringing in studio veteran John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr) at the mixing stage.

Check out the title track…

Twist The Lens is due for release through Electric Moth Records on 14 February.

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WISH YOU WERE HERE: ALICE COOPER LIVE IN LONDON!

Horror-glam legend Alice Cooper returned to London last month with Detroit pal Wayne Kramer’s MC50 and the UK’s own men in black, The Stranglers in tow. Vive LeRock‘s Paula Frost was there…

The O2 Arena was overrun by shock rock fans dressed in black head to toe with black eye makeup, celebrating the original glam goth Alice Cooper, ‘Ol’ Black Eyes’! And for the return of Cooper to the UK, rock royalty turned out including Bobbie Gillespie of Primal Scream and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, ready for their masterclass in mayhem.  Cooper was supported by a stellar line-up of MC50 and The Stranglers.

Proto punks MC50 opened the show, 50 years on from MC5’s debut album ‘Kick Out the Jams’ with the iconic guitarist Wayne Kramer, a close friend of Cooper’s who’s gigged with him since way back in Detroit in the ‘60s. The line-up also included Faith No More bassist Billy Gould, Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron of Soundgarden, Brendan Canty of Fugazi, Marcus Durant of Zen Guerrilla and Don Was from funk band Was (Not Was). The band opened with ‘Ramblin’ Rose’ and rolled out the hits including the essential ‘Kick Out The Jams’. They played with full on energy and brought spirit to their set which got the crowd going early. MC50 flaunted their 50th Anniversary black banner stating ‘1968 – 2018’.

Next, The Stranglers stepped up their banner game with a huge backdrop of a dirty crumbling sewer, we’re amongst the rats now. Original members JJ Burnel and keyboard/organist Dave Greenfield played their slick whirling riffs almost effortlessly. Opening with ‘Toiler On The Sea’, they gave the audience a hits set including the classic ‘Golden Brown’ and ‘Peaches’. Frontman Baz changed the words of ‘Peaches’ to “I can think of a lot worse places to be like in a room full of people with black eyes.” And jeered at an audience member “Did you paint your eyes on the way over here from work?”

Soon enough it was time for the main event. The room turned to black and as everyone began to cheer in anticipation of Cooper’s appearance, a snarling character vocal played out like the beginning of a horror movie. The opening sounds of ‘Feed My Frankenstein’ beam out of the stage and a curtain dropped to reveal a haunted castle reaching across the stage. Cooper’s five-piece band take charge and we’re in for the ride. A ten-foot-tall ghoul emerges from behind the castle tower and charges for Cooper, but two castle guards capture it and bring it back to its cage. Throughout the performance there’s a lot of horror theatrics including a giant baby covered in blood running around the stage, two girls being murdered and a zombie widow in a wedding dress dancing around.

Cooper goes from evil ringmaster to straight jacketed madman and is even decapitated onstage – which looks impressively real. Stand out songs of the night are ‘I’m Eighteen’, ‘Dead Babies’ and the finale ‘Schools Out’. At the end of the show hundreds of giant purple balloons drop from the ceiling onto the audience below and make for an incredible wow moment. You’ll never see another show like it.

Paula Frost

Pic © Dod Morrison

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FERRO SOLO UNVEILS GIUDA-POWERED VIDEO!

A year on from the release of his debut album, Italian musician FERRO SOLO has unveiled a video of his collaboration with Roman yob-rock sensations GIUDA.

Solo, also known as Ferruccio Quercetti, guitarist and singer with long-serving Bolognese garage-punks CUT, included the terrace-stomping shoutalong ‘He Spies’ on the snappily-titled album Almost Mine: The Unexpected Rise and Sudden Demise of Fernando (Pt. 1), released last year.

“When I wrote ‘He Spies’, I was dreaming for it to become a glam/yob-rock stomper in the style of Slade, Jesse Hector or the Hammersmith Gorillas,” he explains. “I wanted the sound of a gang of street urchins let loose in the suburbs of a decaying industrial UK town in 1974 and nothing less! Actually, the only band who’s capable to conjure that kind of noise comes from Rome, Italy, and it’s called Giuda. They also happen to be great friends of mine. When I got in touch with them about this, they enthusiastically embraced my mad idea and gave me everything I wanted and more. I adored every minute of my time in the studio with Giuda, under the guidance of Danilo Silvestri, master of the Glam racket!”

Solo/Quercetti has just released a second solo album, Almost Mine: The Unexpected Rise and Sudden Demise of Fernando (Pt. 2), which came out last month. Released through Riff Records, both albums are available on vinyl, CD and download here.

Cut’s most recent album Second Skin was released in 2017 and is available here.

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LEVELLING THE LAND!

Hard-working folk-rockers THE LEVELLERS have announced a raft of UK and European tour dates to take them through 2020.

The Brighton band celebrated their 30th Anniversary last year with a major tour and the album We The Collective. Then last month they played a special sold-out show at the London Palladium in aid of the mental health Mind. A brand new studio album is promised for 2020.

The dates kick off with a pair of shows at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on 12 and 13 February and wind up at Nottingham Rock City on 4 and 5 December. They’ll be playing dates in Northern Europe during October. Full dates are…

FEBRUARY
12 Bury St Edmunds, The Apex
13 Bury St Edmunds, The Apex
14 Falmouth, Princess Pavilion
15 Falmouth, Princess Pavillion
26 Brecon, Theatre Brycheiniog
27 Port Talbot, Princess Theatre
28 Blackwood, Miners Institute
29 Llandudno, Venue Cymru

MARCH
01 Liverpool, Grand Central
19 Guildford, G Live
20 Norwich, Uea
21 Margate, Dreamland

APRIL
29 Sheffield, Leadmill
30 Coventry, Empire

MAY
01 Holmfirth, Picturedrome
02 Holmfirth, Picturedrome
13 Hastings, White Rock Theatre
14 Frome, Cheese & Grain
15 Aylesbury, Waterside Theatre
16 Southampton, O2 Guildhall

OCTOBER
07 Eindhoven, Effenaar (Nl)
08 Amsterdam, Paradiso (Nl)
09 Koln Gloria, (De)
10 St Niklaas, Casino (Be)
11 Depot, Leuven (Be)

NOVEMBER
04 York, Barbican
05 Dundee, Fat Sams
06 Stirling, Albert Halls
07 Edinburgh, Liquid Rooms
08 Aberdeen, Lemon Tree
18 St Albans, Arena
19 Scunthorpe, The Baths Hall
20 Manchester, Albert Hall
21 Manchester, Albert Hall

DECEMBER
03 Lancaster, Town Hall
04 Nottingham, Rock City
05 Nottingham, Rock City

Tickets are on sale here.

No news of any London shows or festival dates, although presumably they’ll be playing their regular Beautiful Days festival at Escot Park, Devon on 21-23 August.

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BOOZE AND GLORY UNVEIL NEW VIDEO!

Having just celebrated their 10th birthday with a riotous sold-out show at London’s Electric Ballroom, BOOZE & GLORY have gifted their fans with a new video.

The aptly-titled rousing street-punk anthem ‘Ten Years’ is the third video from their latest acclaimed album Hurricane. Directed by Frank Pellegrino, it’s a fast-paced circle-pit action-packed travelogue of the band’s decade on the road.

Hurricane is available to buy here.

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DO IT CLEAN(ER)!

Iconic Essex glam rocker MARTIN NEWELL is to publish a second volume of autobiography.

Newell rose to fame as frontman of Colchester band PLOD, who in recent years have become synonymous with the ‘junkshop glam’ genre, their track ‘Neo City’ achieving classic floorfilling status through its presence on the compilation Velvet Tinmine.

Plod’s rise and fall years, as well as Newell’s eventful youth, were portrayed vividly in his first, essential, memoir This Little Ziggy.

New volume The Greatest Living Englishman focuses on the following two decades, during which he found success with his best-known band THE CLEANERS FROM VENUS, wrote songs with Captain Sensible, had a nearly-hit with New Wave anthem ‘Young Jobless’, recorded an album with XTC’s Andy Partridge and forged an alternative career as one of the UK’s most published poets.

The Greatest Living Englishman is due for publication on 25 November but is available to pre-order here.

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THE 12 BARS OF XMAS!

Stuck for ideas for what to buy for the punk in your life this Xmas?

Legendary and much missed London venue The 12 Bar Club is being celebrated with a series of vinyl records plus books, a DVD and a very special London show in December.

Situated at 26 Denmark Street – London’s original Tin Pan Alley – the 12 Bar’s inclusive booking policy and late bar made it much loved as a haunt for musicians and gig-goers across London until it was unceremoniously forced out by developers in 2015 after a long battle.

Orchestrated by promoters London Callin’, who staged regular punk gigs at the club from 2001 onwards, the 12 Bar Legacy Collection will comprise twelve coloured vinyl 7″ singles and EPs featuring acts that have played the club over the years. Bands already featured include COCK SPARRER, THE PENNY BLACK REMEDY, THE BAR STOOL PREACHERS and RUNNIN’ RIOT.

Already halfway through the series, the sixth and latest instalment features tracks from THE WITCHDOKTORS, SPACE WASTERS, FRIENDS OF LUCA BRASI and THE LOVE ME TENDERS.

The series also features two companion books and a DVD of Tali Clarke’s documentary A Riot Of Our Own.

The releases are available to buy individually or as part of a full subscription from the London Callin’ website.

London Callin’ have also announced a special gig at London’s Boston Arms Music Room in Tufnell Park on 14 December, featuring 999, MENACE, FIRE EXIT and THE BLEACH BOYS, who all feature on the 7th release in the series, copies of which will be available FREE to all ticketholders. Tickets are available here.

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NEW TOWN KINGS HIT BY TRAGEDY

East Anglian ska and reggae giants NEW TOWN KINGS have had their world rocked by tragedy with the sudden death of their guitarist Stuart McClung.

Stuart (left in pic) died on Saturday night when a car mounted the pavement and ploughed into the smoking area outside The Spinnaker pub in the band’s hometown of Colchester, Essex.

One man was airlifted to hospital with life-changing industries, while another man and a woman were also injured in the crash. A 40-year old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder, causing grievous bodily harm with intent, death by dangerous driving and assault.

Formed in 2006, New Town Kings quickly made a name for themselves on the international circuit with the albums Sound Of The New Town and M.O.J.O., released through Bomber Music, playing more than 500 shows in ten different countries. An infectious and reliable festival draw, playing the likes of Boomtown and Secret Garden Party, they’ve also become firm favourites at Rebellion. Their most recent album was last year’s Reach Out.

Our thoughts are with Stuart’s family, friends, bandmates and many fans.

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SHIP ROCKED!

Pirates Press boss Eric ‘Skippy’ Mueller waxes lyrical with Dom Warwick, discussing vinyl innovations and family values, during the build up to their Rock The Ship 15th anniversary event.

Pirates Press are based in Oakland, California, and have been at the heart of a revolution that has seen a major reversal in the popularity of vinyl in recent years. Having started a manufacturing company from the confines of his bedroom in 2004, Skip branched into his own label, aptly titled Pirates Press Records, a year later. The business now spans across the world, with the manufacturing side averaging 3-4 million records pressed each year.

2019 marks their 15th anniversary, and never being one to shy away from the unconventional, Skip will be marking the occasion with what some might call not just crazy, but bat shit crazy, a weekend of events with the centrepiece a gig staged on an aircraft carrier, the USS Hornet. But how was this even possible?

“A lot of planning and a little bit of luck. After the last Rock The Ship event, celebrating our 10th Anniversary, we stewed over ways to take it up a notch. One of the consistent comments was to do it on an actual ship. Exploring our options here in the bay, there are not many ships that can accommodate a large enough crowd, but we found one, a famous one at that! While they haven’t put on many concerts, certainly not any of this magnitude, they are equally excited about it and going above-and-beyond to help make sure that it is a fun and successful celebration for all of us and everyone who attends.”

The ability to make this possible stems from Skip’s innovative vision and seeing barriers as opportunities rather than points of failure, although there is also a sense of tradition and family.

“After a year of pressing records for other people, we had the ‘itch’ so to speak. Starting off by releasing a six picture disc box-set (for 12 of our friends’ bands), we proceeded to curate the label’s releases using bands that were either comprised of Pirates themselves, or friends of Pirates. The label more-or-less evolved organically from there, bringing on lots of new bands, both big and small, to help create the community that we see today. We could not be more humbled, or proud at the evolution of the company.”

From these modest beginnings, the vinyl pressing business has been booming, with Pirates Press using both modern and old technologies, along with being the first to open a brand new vinyl press.

“Whilst making records for all the major labels and their subsidiaries, a vast majority of our business comes from independent record labels and bands, with an average pressing of somewhere between 500 and 1000 units. Ultimately, it’s a lot of titles spanning virtually every genre of music and every type of ‘scene’ there is out there. Being able to help people across the globe get some of the best records in the world made is the one thing everyone at Pirates is most proud of, as it undoubtedly has the biggest impact on music in general, worldwide.”

Creativity knows no bounds, aside from the coloured vinyl, there have been other special pressings, one particularly personal, incorporating the ashes of Bruce Roehrs, columnist for Maximum Rock n Roll.

“Putting our friend’s ashes into a record is definitely up there, although I probably wouldn’t even try and do it myself again, even for a friend. It was an ordeal, emotionally and logistically, but very, very special and for Bruce, unbelievably fitting.

“In the same vein of crazy, but perhaps a half a notch down, we have also made records with holograms for The Ratchets, bullet-shaped bits milled out of the main area of a NOi!SE record, made Detournement a molotov cocktail flexi with a printed bandanna and even made Rancid an official Louisville Slugger wooden baseball bat to go with their 46×7” leather-clad boxset. We like a good challenge, and we like turning heads even more.”

A full review of Rock The Ship will appear in our next issue of Vive Le Rock!

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JIM JONES DOUBLES DOWN!

After a successful 2019, JIM JONES & THE RIGHTEOUS MIND kick off the New Year with a bang, with two shows in one day.

Hot on the heels of their ‘Get Down And Get With It’ hit single and tour, the band have lined up a pair of shows at London’s famous Lexington venue on Sunday 12 January.

Jim and the band will play an all-ages matinee show kicking off at 2pm, followed by an 18+ set from 7pm. Support comes from hostile Deutsche blues anarchist BONE ZENO (afternoon) and fast-rising London psych-freaks DAEMONIK FONCE (evening).

“Think of it as a double Sunday Service,” says Jones. “The earlier show will help baptize kids into the righteous ways of rock’n’roll, while the later show will be more of a confirmation. Either way, you can’t beat the Devil’s music on the Lord’s day.”

Tickets, priced £14 for each show on £25, are available here.

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