URBAN VOODOO MACHINE frontman Paul-Ronney Angel has been using his lockdown wisely, resulting in his debut solo single, which he’s premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
Observing strict social distancing rules, ‘One Ghost Town’ was recorded with Alex McGowan at East London’s Space Eko Studio while the video was filmed on the empty streets of the capital, as well as Angel riding a horse with his guitar slung on his back somewhere on the outskirts of town!
“I hadn’t actually planned to release a solo single as when I write I do it for the UVM,” he explains. “But this came about as a necessity – there was no chance to get a 9-piece band together to record during Covid-19 lockdown. The song is very much a document of these strange times as well as a put-down of the Tory government – ‘the government fails yet again, they’re a joke you can trust’ .”
‘One Ghost Town’ is out today Friday 31 July on Gypsy Hotel Records/Cadiz Music and is available from all digital stores.
A limited-edition digipack CD EP, as well as facemasks and other merchandise, is available direct from the man and his horse.
While touring is off the cards for Paul-Ronney, he’s been playing live on Facebook from his living room every Saturday at 8pm UK time – this Saturday 1 August will be his 19th show. It’s free to tune in but tips are welcome via PayPal.com to firstname.lastname@example.org
Following XL Recordings honcho Richard Russell’s remix of ‘Bomb’ a few weeks back, Crass Records have announced the second release in their Feeding Of The Five Thousand remix project.
This time, New York DJ, producer and promoter Johnny Dynell, well known for his 1983 cult hit ‘Jam Hot’ (remixed and sampled many times over, most famously by Fatboy Slim and his group Beats International for ‘Dub Be Good To Me’) has taken on ‘G’s Song’, written by Gee Vaucher, the band’s visual artist.
With roots in the 70s No Wave scene, Dynell’s connection and friendship with Crass goes back to the anarchist punk icons’ only US gigs in 1978 in NYC.
“I met Gee in 1977 when she came to live in NYC and we shared a loft space with another friend,” remembers Dynell. “I met CRASS in 1978 when they came to play and we became very close. Gee had her own place by then which is where the band stayed. After practically living with them all while they were in town, I quickly became aware of how bad things were in England and that bands like CRASS were really trying to make a difference. The difference between the New York Punk scene and the English scene at the time was striking. New York was nowhere near as political or as intense. CRASS were definitely not just interested in getting a record contract. Gee was and continues to be a role model and a positive influence on me.”
Speaking about the track, Dynell continues, “This track was a real challenge though because I wanted to do something totally different with it. I wanted it to sound more like the tracks that I DJ in clubs, but still have the power and drive of the punk original. I used Steve’s iconic vocals and a few bars of the punk guitar in the intro to show the song’s roots. The drums change at the end of the song to a more driving punk beat. I hoped that this would bring back some of the original live energy of the band I’d experienced.”
The 12” also includes a jarring, cut-up experimental remix of ‘Banned From The Roxy’ by by electronic composer and video artist Charles Webber who, has for many years collaborated closely with Crass vocalist Eve Libertine on such works as the chamber opera ‘Room of Worlds’, an arrangement of Wilhelm Reich’s ‘Listen Little Man’ and the Kernschmelze series devised by Crass founder Penny Rimbaud.
As previously reported, late last year Crass made the original separate track stems of their seminal album The Feeding of the Five Thousand available as free downloads with the intention that anyone interested could come up with new remixes of the tracks.
The 12″ Normal Never Was 2 will be released in a limited blue vinyl edition on 4 September by Crass Records via One Little Independent. All proceeds will be donated to the domestic violence charity Refuge.
NWOSR (New Wave Of Southern Rock) contenders THE GEORGIA THUNDERBOLTS are about to release their debut EP and are sharing their latest video.
‘Lend A Hand’ is just one of five songs on the band’s self-titled release. Hailing from Rome – Rome, Georgia that is – the five-piece recorded the tracks at Barrick Recording Studio in Glasgow – Glasgow, Kentucky that is – a facility also used by the likes of Nashville Pussy, Black Stone Cherry and Nine Pound Hammer.
“In Georgia, you hear Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers, and all of the greats everywhere,” they comment. “Rock and roll is something that comes naturally for us. We love it and are in it for the long haul. We feel like we can bring it back.”
Set for release on 21 August through Mascot, The Georgia Thunderbolts is available to pre-order here.
Can’t wait ’til Xmas? SLADE have a major singles compilation due in September.
One of the most impressive chart records of any British band, the Wolverhampton wanderers racked up no fewer than six Number Ones during their 70s golden period – when Number Ones still meant more than a pat on the back – with an unbroken and still unbeaten run of seventeen consecutive Top 20 single. They continued shaking up the charts well into the 80s, with twenty-four Top 40 hits in total in the UK alone
Cum On Feel The Hitz provides a comprehensive overview of Slade’s career in singles from 1971 to 1991. The 2-CD version brings together a whopping 43 tracks, while the double-vinyl package clocks in at 24 tracks.
The album features, naturally, all six of their UK Number one singles: ‘Coz I Luv You’, ‘Take Me Bak ‘Ome’, ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’, ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’, ‘Skweeze Me Pleeze Me’ and ‘Merry Xmas Everybody, and continues through the 80s following their triumphant rebirth at the 1980 Reading Festival with Top 10 big hitters ‘We’ll Bring The House Down’, ‘My Oh My’ and ‘Run Runaway’.
Set for release on 25 September, Cum On Feel The Hitz is available to pre-order here.
Bassist-about-town Chris Constantinou of THE MUTANTS, LOU REED and ADAM ANT notoriety has hooked up with BASEMENT JAXX rapper Jenna Dickens alias RudeGRL and “international twerk of art” Bunni Morretto on a cover of ‘Brand New Cadillac’ and they’re premiering it exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
Made famous by THE CLASH on their classic London Calling, the song actually started life as a 1959 b-side for leather-clad rock’n’roll maverick VINCE TAYLOR, the original inspiration for Ziggy Stardust.
RudeGRL+CC are currently putting the finishing touches to an album and at least two EPs, the first of which – Like Wow! – is set to drop on 4 September via Firefly Entertainment.
Midlands Mod/powerpop band THE V.I.P.’S failed to break through in their late 70s heyday, but now thanks to a complete works compilation, they’re ripe for rediscovery.
Formed in 1978 at Warwick University in Coventry, the crucible of the Mod revival, the band gigged across the Midlands, often sharing stages with The Specials and Squire, stablemates on the Bust label.
Recording sessions with former Animals bassist and Hendrix and Slade manager Chas Chandler led to a deal with RCA’s Gem imprint. Substantial airplay and tour dates with Dexys Midnight Runners, Madness, The Beat and Secret Affair soon followed. Their Bolan-esque single ‘The Quarter Moon’, produced by Mike Leander, was a Radio 1 record of the week, rocketing to number 55 in the charts, but further success eluded them and they folded, eventually partially re-emerging as New Psychedelia band Mood Six.
Now the band’s complete studio recordings, including all their five singles, are to be compiled on one 17-track LP. Completely remastered and pressed on limited edition blue vinyl in a gatefold sleeve, Need Somebody To Love will be released by Optic Nerve Records on 30 October. It’s available to pre-order here.
Post-punks FOLK DEVILS are about to release a new EP and they’re sharing all three tracks with Vive Le Rock!
The Forever EP represents the band’s first new music in 33 years! The release features two new songs, ‘Forever’ and ‘My Slum Soul’ plus a new recording of the old live favourite ‘Ink Runs Dry’.
The tracks were recorded at the legendary Konk Studios, with Grammy-winning producer and engineer Rik Simpson.
Originally existing from 1983 to ’87, Folk Devils featured former The Wall and Ski Patrol frontman Ian Lowery and made a name for themselves with indie chart hits ‘Hank Turns Blue’ and ‘Beautiful Monster’, along with three John Peel sessions and shows with The Fall, The Gun Club, Screaming Blue Messiahs and Nick Cave.
With the release of the Beautiful Monsters anthology in 2016, founder members Kris Jozajtis and bassist Mark Whiteley decided to reform the band with late-period members Nick Clift and John Hamilton. Former Parting Shots singer Dave Hodgson takes the place of Lowery, who sadly passed away in 2001.
“I have known this band practically my whole adult life,” reflects Clift, who curated the anthology and also played with Lowery in Ski Patrol. “Back in 1984 when Ian Lowery was finally hitting his stride and making the music he was born to make, I thought they could have been one of the British post-punk greats. It wasn’t to last, Ian died in 2001, and then they were forgotten about until a few years ago when I decided to re-visit their legacy. We decided to do one reunion show in a sweaty basement in Stoke Newington and the response was incredible. Now we had two guitars and the old songs had a new swagger about them. More gigs around the UK followed and it was clear we needed to make new music in order to avoid becoming a mere nostalgia act. It would also give our new singer Dave Hodgson the chance to show he wasn’t just filling Ian’s boots, and he did a fantastic job. The whole band has found a new lease on life”.
Set for release on 18 September through Optic Nerve Recordings, Forever will be available as a digital download and on limited edition 10″ translucent red vinyl. Pre-order it through Bandcamp.
It’s here! The cinematic event of the year! Vive Le Rock! proudly presents the exclusive world premiere of director Mark Richards‘ document of 2019’s DIY punk spectacular, Wonkfest 7: Vive La Revolution!
Hey, it’s the weekend! There’s nothing much going on today, nowhere you’ve got to be so sit back, press play and let the likes of PIZZATRAMP, BEVERLEY KILLS, HARD SKIN, GUNS AND WANKERS, AERIAL SALAD, THE MURDERBURGERS, GOOBER PATROL, LASERCHIRST, MAID OF ACE and many more take you back to that amazing day last summer.
Oh, but before you do that, here’s Alex Wonk to give you the last word…
“Last years Wonkfest!! Oh man, where do I begin. By the evening, folk were genuinely beginning to shed tears. Band after band, legend after legend. In all honesty I don’t think we’ll ever see a line up like it, so specific to a particular time in history. It was my youth, a 14-year-old Alex sitting in my bedroom listing to records. Duncan Redmonds (Snuff), Frankie Stubbs (Leatherface), Sean Forbes (Wat Tyler), all absolute heroes to me. Peter and the fucking Test Tube Babies, I mean come on!! The Dopamines!!!! Jesus Christ!!! We are talking about what I consider to be the greatest punk bands on this rock we call home. In a way, I almost breathed a sigh of relief that this years Fest got cancelled due to Covid! Hopefully everyone will have forgotten how amazing last year was by 2021! No pressure xxx”
Aussie legends HOODOO GURUS are back with a brand new single and video.
Pulling zero punches, ‘Hung Out To Dry’ is a classic Gurus put-down song, proving that the Sydney band have lost none of their bite over the years, and there are no prizes for guessing who it’s aimed at.
“He’s offended us for years and now we’re giving some back. If he’s looking for songs to play at his rallies he’s welcome to this one!” smirks frontman Dave Faulkner.
The video, meanwhile, is a nod towards Dylan, Quadrophenia and Thelma & Louise.
‘Hung Out To Dry’ is the latest stage in a wave of new activity from the band which began last year with the single ‘Answered Prayers’, and was set to continue this year with a major US our. This has now been put on hold until 2021 when they’ll also be releasing a new album.
‘Hung Out To Dry’ is available now digitally through Spotify and all the usual platforms.
Former SOFT BOYS guitarist Kimberley Rew has just released a new compilation of his solo work.
Sunshine Walkers features songs from Rew’s eleven solo albums from the past two decades, recorded with his wife Lee Cave-Berry. It also draws on Cave-Berry’s solo album and joint releases.
Rew came to prominence as guitarist with hugely influential Cambridge psych-punk pioneers The Soft Boys, whom he joined in 1978. Playing shows with The Damned, Magazine, The Only Ones and The Pop Group among others, they released two albums, A Can Of Bees and Underwater Moonlight, whose mix of pop melodies, punk energy and psych weirdness rubbed off on the likes of REM, Blur, The Replacements, Pixies, Spoon and Pavement. The band split in 1981, launching the career of singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock before reuniting in 2001 for a the all-new album Nextdoorland.
Rew then founded powerpop band KATRINA & THE WAVES, writing most of their material including the ubiquitous worldwide hit ‘Walking On Sunshine’, the UK’s last Eurovision winner ‘Love Shine A Light’ and ‘Going Down To Liverpool’, covered by THE BANGLES.
MOTÖRHEAD’s classic Ace Of Spades album is to have its 40th Anniversary celebrated with a deluxe collectors’ edition box set.
The trio’s fourth album, Ace Of Spades was their third full-length release in under two years, the icing on the cake of their ’79 breakthrough with Overkill and Bomber.
Produced by legendary producer Vic Maile at Jackson’s Studio in Rickmansworth, the album rocketed to No.4 in the charts, with the title track, by far the band’s most popular and enduring song, reaching No.13.
The band accompanied the album’s release with the mammoth Ace Up Your Sleeve Tour, culminating with four sold-out nights at the prestigious Hammersmith Odeon.
Including no fewer than 42 previously unreleased tracks, the deluxe Ace Of Spades box set contains…
The Ace Of Spades album, half-speed mastered and created from the original master tapes.
Two double-live albums of previously unheard concerts from Belfast and Orleans, France on the Ace Up Your Sleeve Tour.
A Fistful Of Instrumentals : A 10” EP of previously unreleased, instrumental tracks from 1980.
The Good, The Broke & The Ugly. A double album of B-sides, outtakes and rare tracks.
Ace On Your Screens: A DVD compilation of rare TV appearances from 1980-81, a live concert from 1981 and a 5.1 audio mix of the original album.
The Ace Of Spades story. A 40 page book telling the story of Ace Of Spades through previously unpublished interviews with the people that were there. Includes never before seen photos and memorabilia.
The ‘Ace Up Your Sleeve’ tour programme
The Motörhead Rock Commando comic.
A set of 5 poker dice that can be played on the game board inside the box set lid.
All encased in a classic Wild West dynamite box.
A limited edition 7″ reproduction of the Dutch ‘Ace Of Spades’, with a previously unreleased instrumental version on Side B. (while stocks last!)
The album will also be released in double-CD and triple-vinyl hardback-book editions, featuring a previously unheard concert from the ‘Ace Up Your Sleeve’ tour, the story of the album and many previously unseen photos.
Set for release on 30 October, all three editions are available to pre-order here!
STRAY CATS have announced a brand new live album documenting last year’s 40th Anniversary Tour.
The dates saw Massapequa NY’s finest play their first international shows since 2008, including two shows at London’s Hammersmith Apollo, and coincided with the release of the studio album 40, the band’s first new full-length in 26 years.
Rocked This Town: From LA To London features 23 tracks from across their career, with four taken from the new album including ‘Rock It Off’.
The album was produced by Brian Setzer, Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker and mixed by Vance Powell, who also engineered the latest studio album.
Available on download, limited edition light-blue double-vinyl and a collectors’ CD with postcard, coasters and stickers, Rocked This Town… is set for release on 11 September on SurfDog Records.
Covid lockdown seems to have had little effect on the Italo-punk explosion with the return of long-serving gourmands THE MANGES.
The stripey four-piece, who hail form the north-eastern seaside town of La Spezia have just unveiled a brand new double single ‘Endless Detention’ c/w ‘Ramones At Lollapalooza’.
Produced by Lorenzo Moretti from Roman bootboys GIUDA, the A-side is a taster for the band’s long-awaited fifth studio album Punk Rock Addio, which is due in September.
Formed back in the dark days of the early 90s, these buzzsaw punks have toured widely across Europe and the US, sharing stages with the likes of The Queers, Bad Religion, Descendents and Anti-Flag. They’ve shared split releases with The McRackins, Apers and the Hard-Ons and had a song covered by Screeching Weasel. They’re also the brains behind the Punk Rock Raduno festival.
In other Italian punk news, fast-rising Rimini trio SMALLTOWN TIGERS – who recently featured in Vive Le Rock!‘s Down On The Street section -emerge from lockdown to play the Sammaurock Festival on 30 July. The girls plan a new single/video from their acclaimed debut album in the autumn, to coincide with – touch wood – UK gigs in November. Watch this space!
Aussie songwriter SUZIE STAPLETON has unveiled a video for the title track of her long-awaited debut album.
‘We Are The Plague’ is the third single to be released from the album which is set to drop on 31 July.
Eerily prophetic, the track was written and recorded long before COVID-19 was ever a threat, the title having more to do with the concept of the human race being a blight on the planet.
“I had a meeting in early January to discuss the artwork for We Are The Plague,” Suzie recalls. “I joked, ‘I hope a deadly pandemic doesn’t sweep across the globe before the album is released’. About a week later, coronavirus starting hitting the headlines. No doubt coronavirus is a matter of grave concern, however, the biggest threat to humanity is humanity. Why have we been so quick to take drastic action on coronavirus yet drag out feet when it comes to dealing with climate change which could bring down not only us but the entire global ecosystem?”
Suzie recorded much of the album at her home studio in Brighton, with her rhythm section section of Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind bassist Gavin Jay and Stranglers drummer Jim Macaulay laying down their parts at OX4 studios in Oxfordshire. It was mixed at East London’s Urchin Studios by Dan Cox of Thurston Moore and Lianne La Havas fame.
The album has already picked up a raft of unanimously approving reviews, including 9-out-of-10 in the current edition of Vive Le Rock!
Due for release through Suzie’s own Negative Prophet label, We Are The Plague is available to pre-order in various bundles here.
Fast-rising Kent punks RISKEE & THE RIDICULE are back with a surprising new single.
Following on from May’s anti-Brexit anthem ‘Blue Jacket’, the band are back with a cover of LANA DEL REY’S 2013 award-winning The Great Gatsby hit ‘Young And Beautiful’.
“Lana Del Rey is one of pop music’s best storytellers,” frontman Scott Picking reckons. “There’s something about her music that is so intense and descriptive that it’s movie-like and in these times of being locked down, that type of escapism has been a personal paradise. In choosing this song, I knew I could bring something different vocally and musically, we were excited about changing the song dynamically while staying true to the emotiveness of the original.”
The video, the work of former bassist David Thomas, features each of the band members shot at home in isolation, combined with scenes from one of their earlier hometown gigs.
Says Scott, “The video feels like a nod to both our early days as a band, just us and our own motivation, as well as where we are all at in this unique moment, one that we’re not likely to be in again any time soon (hopefully).”
DUNCAN REID & THE BIG HEADS are back with a brand new album and video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
Tastefully edited for daytime TV consumption, ‘Mother******’ is taken from Don’t Blame Yourself, the ex-Boys bass-player’s band’s fourth album, which follows on from 2017’s critically acclaimed Bombs Away.
Writing about the song in the album’s sleeve-notes, Reid says, “Provoked by a tweet from a young man in Essex, his photo showing full on tattoos, bald head and beer belly, who referred to our most aristocratic Member of Parliament affectionately and with complete approval as ‘the Mogster’. It begged the question: how does someone, who would consider that young man to be an appalling, badly spoken, ignorant oik, evoke such admiration from the object of his disdain? All references to that politician are entirely accidental, of course.”
Don’t Blame Yourself is out now through Cherry Red.
It’s that time again! In preparation for our World Premiere of the all-singin’ all-dancin’ Wonkfest 7: The Movie on Saturday 25 July, here’s another exclusive clip direct from the cutting room of esteemed director Mark Richards!
This week it’s the turn of rising young Manc whippersnappers AERIAL SALAD!
“Love these boys,” exclaims Wonkfest mainman Alex. “They’d endured two years of relentless whip-cracking from myself to get to this coming of age moment in their career. These boys can play. Huge songs, tons of youthful charm and charisma. I think this was Salad’s day. X”