The DeRellas Launch Album Campaign!

They may not be able to play any gigs, but nothing’s going to stop London glam-punks THE DeRELLAS from making a new album.

The band have been slowly building an impressive bridgehead over the past few years, with a succession of tour dates, festival appearances at the likes of Resolution and Rebellion, plus their very own club night Rockaway Beach at London’s legendary Hope & Anchor.

Founding bassist Timmy DeRella stepped up to the mic to take over the vocals for street-smart smash’n’grab single ‘Inner City Rock’n’Roll’. Now the gloves are off and it’s time to get their new album – appropriately titled Something’s Got To Give out on the streets.

The band have set up a Kickstarter page to raise funds to get the album recorded and pressed – sign up here!

Check out the video for ‘Inner City Rock’n’Roll’…

The DeRellas on Facebook

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MERRY SPIZZMAS!

SPIZZENERGI have announced a very special Christmas single.

‘Christmas In Denmark Street’ is a lament to London’s ‘Tin Pan Alley’, home to legendary hangout The 12 Bar Club, and a protest at the devastation of Soho at the hands of soulless developers and grasping landlords.

“The chorus for ‘Christmas In Denmark Street’ came to me on a cycle home on the 10th January 2015, explains Spizz. This was the final week of The 12 Bar Club’s existence in Denmark Street – closing down to make way for the controversial Crossrail project – and coincided with my birthday week. The atmosphere in the club was fantastic and I went every night. The 12 BAR was like a musicians social club with bands dropping in after playing at other venues in the area. We were told the club would be preserved as the Crossrail transformation started to bite.

“Following my creative cycle home that night, I met up with SPIZZENERGI guitarist Luca Comencini to develop the song and it was first performed in public when Luca and I were offered an acoustic slot performing as SPIZZOLOGY supporting James Stevenson’s All Stars Band for his LP launch at The Water Rats, 17 December 2015.”

The single was mixed by legendary producer Tony Visconti, who says, “I liked the song a lot when I first heard it. As I have lived in London for 22 years, the sentiments of the song, and hope that the street could be saved, struck a chord in my heart. Spizz is a great performer and his vocals made it very appealing to me. I’m so happy with the way it turned out. It’s commercial enough to be played on the BBC and I hope it gets lots of signatures on a petition to save the street for all our efforts.”

Led by veteran campaigner Spizz, the band have gone through various line-ups and names since the 70s, including Athletico Spizz 80, Spizzoil and The Spizzles. They caught the nation’s attention in 1980 with the Indie Chart-topper and punk disco staple ‘Where’s Captain Kirk?’. Alongside Spizz and Luca, the band currently features guitarist Phil Ross and bassist Ben Lawson.

Check out a video teaser for ‘Christmas In Denmark Street’. The full video will be premiered exclusively with Vive Le Rock! next month…

Set for release on 18 December, you can pre-save ‘Christmas In Denmark Street’ here.

Spizzenergi on Facebook

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REMEDIAL MEASURES!

Folk-ska-punks THE PENNY BLACK REMEDY have the first of a pair of new compilations out this week.

With the Coronavirus lockdown effectively curtailing the band’s touring and recording plans for 2020, the band’s nucleus of Keith M Thomson and Marijana Hajdarhodžić have taken the opportunity to assemble the anthologies of previously unreleased recordings.

“Keith writes a lot of material in between albums,” explains Hajdarhodžić. “So after three studio releases (and a fourth in the pipeline), we thought it would be a good time to collate some of our favourite songs from these ‘stray recordings’ and release them over two compilation albums.”

Released digitally, Owing To Certain Complications… Vol. 1 features a selection of acoustic recordings amassed over the past seven years since the release of the band’s second album Inhale…Exhale, OK, Now You Can Panic! and subsequent to their most recent full-length Maintaining Dignity In Awkward Situations, released in 2017.

“These songs weren’t originally intended to be released together,” adds Thomson. “But we’re delighted with how cohesive (and lyrically, how oddly prescient) the album has turned out to be.”

The pair recently shot a typically good-natured new video for the track ‘Before I Go’ in rehearsal in Dubrovnik with local musicians Antonije Doranja, Ivo Kukuljica Kucac and Igor Surjan.

The second anthology – “a significantly less acoustic affair” – will follow in 2021.

Due for release on 16 October on the band’s mono del mundo label via Cadiz, Owing To Certain Complications… Vol. 1 is available to pre-order here.

The Penny Black Remedy on Facebook

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KRIS AND JACK

Legendary music journalist and author Kris Needs has seen it all. From rock ‘n’ roll tours with the likes of The Clash, Blondie and Motorhead, to doing the last ever interview with Bob Marley, there’s no point in music history from the past 50 years that Kris hasn’t witnessed front and centre. As an editor or writer for a slew of magazines Kris has secured his legacy.

But nothing prepared him for what would happen when his beloved dog Jack came along.

Absolute Beginners

From the age of five, I’d always been a rabbit person; keeping, unwittingly breeding and drawing them on Christmas and birthday cards for family and friends.

There’d been three family dogs who I loved but my mum mainly doted on because I was always running off to gigs, before moving out when I was 21.

Rock the Casbah

By that time, I’d become involved with running David Bowie’s fan club, which led to running one for Mott The Hoople for a couple of years – my entry into the music business and world of rock ‘n’ roll! After starting my working life on the local Bucks Advertiser, a major turning point came with taking over as editor of Zigzag magazine in 1977.

For the next five years, I was in the front-line of punk, interviewing, touring and hanging out with bands including The Clash, Blondie, Motorhead, Ramones, Sex Pistols, PiL, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers, Killing Joke and many more.

It was incredible fun going on tour with, in particular, The Clash, Blondie and Motorhead – mania every night while they became close friends. I also developed a healthy relationship with Keith Richards that could see an afternoon interview go on for two days! I also did the last interview with Bob Marley before he passed away.

Autoamerican

After that, I worked for various publications, including editing a teenie mag called Flexipop!, spent five years chaotic years in the danger zones of New York City, then came back to the UK and got involved with The Orb, Andrew Weatherall and the acid house movement that had erupted while I’d been away.

This led to making records with my American girlfriend Wonder, an incredible singer who saved my life in so many ways. We had a project called Secret Knowledge that released singles like ‘Sugar Daddy’ on Andrew and Nina Walsh’s Sabres Of Paradise label. At the same time, I knocked out hundreds of remixes and recommenced the DJing I’d starting doing in the 70s, playing clubs around the world and touring with Primal Scream and Prodigy.

Life started quietening down in the 2000s when I began writing for music mags including MOJORecord CollectorShindigClassic Rock, etc, and putting these experiences into books, including my autobiography then biographies of Keith Richards, The Clash, Primal Scream, Blondie and the New York Dolls. But I was still a staunch rabbit devotee – even in 2012 I had about ten!

Parallel Lives

Then I met Helen, who was doing press for my Blondie book and asked if I’d do some interviews to promote it. Initially, we developed an online penpal-type relationship. I talked about my rabbits and Helen told me about her dog Jack, who she’d been given in 2004 by a lovely lady from Milan called Cecilia when she was living on Ibiza. Jack’s mum Lily was a Papillon and his dad a Schnauzer and all sorts.

For many years, one of my specialities had been painting rabbits for friends, but when Helen sent me photos of Jack I instantly fell in love and offered to do his portrait. I could see he was a total character, with deeply magnetic eyes and a beautiful smile. By now, I was living in deepest Cornwall and Helen had moved to the picturesque village of Thaxted in Essex

When I’d done the painting of Jack – as a space dog because I was then writing a book about Funkadelic – we arranged to meet in Hampstead in September 2013 on one of my trips back into civilisation so I could give it to her in person. It was love at first sight and she loved the painting.

Our first proper date was a Mott the Hoople reunion show in November. It was somehow great that the band who’d played such a part in my teenage years catalysed the start of my relationship with Helen. After I missed the last train back to my mum’s house in Aylesbury, she suggested I stay at her cottage. That’s when I met Jack for the first time.

Wildlife

The first thing I noticed was the smile. It lit up his face and the room. He soon emerged as a real character who wondered what this strange new bloke was doing in his cottage. Helen told me how he’d been a handful as a puppy, wearing a lit-up collar so she could spot him roaming in the hills above the Ibiza beaches and the only dog ever to get thrown out of training classes on the island.

Now he was known as “The happiest dog in Thaxted”, loving his Friday pigs ear ritual and walking by the nearby windmill.

I fell for Jack at the same time as Helen, soon drawing him on cards and trying to paint him for Helen. I’d never met a dog like this before; such a little character with his own routines and relentlessly hilarious antics. Soon a bond was forming.

When Helen started falling ill around 2016, it increasingly fell on me to take Jack for his walks and feed him, etc. He became more of my constant companion, lying asleep next to me while I was writing and doing something that made me smile every day while I nursed his mummy.

Helen told me before she passed away in Jun 2018 that she’d deliberately eased off from fussing over Jack so me and him could develop a bond (although I’d still catch them having what she called a “love-in” cuddle if I’d gone out of the room, a tradition I’ve upheld). During that very difficult time, I would take Jack for two or three hour walks around the Essex countryside; where we’d gone with his mummy and beyond. He was my lifeline and, as ever, demonstrated such intuition and ability to lift the spirits.

Where Are We Now?

Nearly two years ago now, Jack and I came to live with my mum in the house in Aylesbury where I’d grown up. Now 93, my mum needs me now and I’m happy to be looking after her after all she’s done for me (probably not the easiest task in the past!).

Although she’d met him before, she fell in love with Jack instantly, and the feeling’s mutual as he spends a lot of the time lying next to her chair.

The rest of the time, Jack’s with me the whole time, his walks a daily highlight. He’s also made firm friends with Loftus, my last remaining rabbit; always going out to kiss him on the nose good morning and good night.

He’s a remarkable dog who undoubtedly got me through the darkest days after Helen was taken away and now makes life under lockdown bearable as I protect my mum.   Words can’t express how I feel about Jack but a day goes by when he doesn’t send some feeling of joy soaring through my heart (I’ve never encountered this before with a pet or even a human, except Helen).

Although he’s now 16, Jack still boasts an incredible spirit (his mum Lilly was still bouncing around at 18). His recent haircut worked wonders and, despite a touch of arthritis, is prompting puppy-like behaviour.

Jack’s quite fussy with his food so I spend a lot of time (and money!) trying to find something he likes. We’re looking forward to trying out Bone Idol!

Love, Kris

Kris’ latest books Just a Shot Away: 1969 Revisited, parts one and two are out now.

Thanks to boneidol.co.uk for allowing us to use this piece.

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KILLING JOKE UNVEIL REISSUES!

KILLING JOKE set the seal on this most apolalyptic of years (so far) with a major series of reissues.

The for releases comprise…

Killing Joke – The classic, massively influential debut, featuring such key tracks as ‘Requiem’, ‘Wardance’ and ‘The Wait’, Killing Joke will be released in a gatefold sleeve on black and bi-colour vinyl.

Pandemonium – Originally released in 1994 and partially recorded inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, this is KJ’s most successful album to date. This Double LP version stays true to the original track-listing, with both of the celebrated Cybersank re-mixes for ‘Pandemonium’ and ‘Millennium’ included. Pandemonium will be released on black and coloured vinyl, with a CD version available in tandem.

The Singles Collection: 1979 – 2012 – first time on vinyl for this classic comp, featuring 33 tracks, including ‘Wardance’, ‘Eighties’, ‘Love Like Blood’, ‘Millennium’ and ‘Pandemonium’. This 4-LP version will be available as a deluxe gatefold package, with black and coloured vinyl variations available.

‘I Am The Virus’ 12” single – a timely reissue for this track from the band’s most recent studio album Pylon from2015, it’s now being made available as a limited edition collector’s single, complete with a previously unreleased dub remix by Youth – the ‘Apocalyptic Meltdown Dub Remix’.

All the releases come with revised artwork by the band’s longstanding designer Mike Coles.

Set for release on 11 December through Spinefarm, deluxe reissue and merch bundles are available here.

Killing Joke on Facebook

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

TV SMITH returns with a new album, dates and video which he’s launching today.

The former ADVERTS frontman recorded the aptly titled album Lockdown Holiday when COVID-19 forced the cancellation of his shows for 2020, including support tours with Stiff Little Fingers and Die Toten Hosen.

“I never intended to make this record,” says Smith. “But lockdown came, all my gigs were cancelled and I suddenly found myself with a lot of time on my hands and a lot to write about. The ideas started flowing and before I knew it I had eleven brand new songs. Not only that but in one way or another they all commented on the situation of a country suffering under a pandemic. I realised that I had on my hands that most un-punk of things – a concept album.”

With Rebellion sadly also having been cancelled, Smith returns to Blackpool on 6th and 7th November for a pair of socially distanced gigs at The Almost Acoustic Club at Gillow’s Bar in the Winter Gardens. Go here for full details and tickets.

Smith launches a first video from the album today. One ‘side’ of a double-A-side video single, ‘Send In The Clown’ will be followed by the second video next week.

Set for release on 27th November through Easy Action Records, Lockdown Holiday is available to pre-order here.

TV Smith on Facebook

Pic by Who Cares

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GETCHA MOAT A’RUNNIN’!

MOAT, the new project from former THE CHURCH and ALL ABOUT EVE guitarist Marty Willson-Piper have unveiled a single from their forthcoming new album.

A glowing, propulsive road-movie of a song for a planet in crisis, ‘Acid Rain’ is the second single to be revealed from the album Poison Stream, following on from ‘Gone By Noon’ released last month.

Moat, a collaboration between Willson-Piper and composer/multi-instrumentalist Niko Röhlcke from Swedish indie band WEEPING WILLOWS, released their self-titled debut album back in 2013.

Recorded at the VIP Lounge studio in Penzance with co-producer/engineer Dare Mason, Poison Stream is set for release in February through Schoolkids Records and is being funded through IndieGoGo.

‘Acid Rain’ is available on Spotify and all the usual digital platforms.

 

Moat on Facebook

Pic by Olivia Willson-Piper

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YOU KNOW I’M ARTIFICIAL!

Essex post-punk trio ARTIFICIALLY YOURS have a new single and they’re premiering the video exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Reminiscent of early Sheffield electronica, the propulsive, dystopian, eponymous track ‘Artificially Yours’ follows on from their Hawkwind-channelling debut single ‘The Merger’ released last year.

Recorded and self-produced in the band’s own studio, and mixed by Sabres Of Paradise’s Jagz Kooner, the band are planning a special launch event for the single very soon.

In the meantime, the trio are currently in the studio preparing their debut album.

Released though 1-2-3-4 Records on Thursday 5 November, ‘Artificially Yours’ is available to pre-order here.

Artificially Yours on Facebook

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LYNOTT FILM FOR DOC’N’ROLL!

This year’s Doc’n’Roll Film Festival will open with the premiere of the hotly anticipated documentary on Phil Lynott, Songs For While I’m Away.

The live screening of the film, followed by a Q&A with director Emer Reynolds, will take place at London’s Alexandra Palace Theatre on 24th October at 5pm.

Now in it’s seventh instalment, the festival will be screening the best in music documentaries from around the world at four separate London venues – Alexandra Palace Theatre, the Barbican, Dalston Rio and BFI Southbank.

The festival will include eight world premieres, four UK and two London premieres. This year, there will also be fourteen online premieres.

Other films being shown during the festival include Don’t Go Gentle: A Film About IDLES; Punk the Capital: Building a Sound Movement; Chris Holmes: Mean Man; It’s Not All Rock & Roll – Dave Doughman & Swearing At Motorists; JoyCut – Robert Smith’s Meltdown; The Sweet France of Rachid; The Holy Gift – inspired by Tool’s music; Persian Black Metal Story and many more.

Tickets go on sale on Wednesday 7 October.

Full details of all films, dates and times can be found here.

Watch a trailer for Phil Lynott: Songs For While I’m Away

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ALL THOSE WASTED DREAMERS!

Like all bands, LAST GREAT DREAMERS have had their touring bands curtailed this year. So they’re doing the next best thing and releasing a live album!

One of the UK’s hardest-gigging bands, the powerpop-rockers visited nine countries last year, but only managed to squeeze in two gigs before being forced to scrap their entire touring plans for 2020. And with all the band members scattered across the UK, the writing, rehearsing and recording of a new studio album was an impossibility.

However, the recording of a gig the band played last year at Buckley Tivoli became available, so the band have decided to give it an official, limited edition release.

“We were extremely fortunate that Wills Audio filmed the Mind charity gig we did at The Tivoli and offered to help us live stream the show during lockdown,” says guitarist Slyder. “It had a great response from our fans so it seemed a great idea to put it out as a release. As we had no plans at the time to use the audio when it was recorded it’s pretty much as we sounded on the night, it has a raw sound and hopefully captures the energy of a Dreamers show.”

The release also has the distinction of being the first Last Great Dreamers album to feature new bassist Tim Emery and drummer Rik Pratt, who’ve joined the band since the release of their last studio album 13th Floor Renegades.

“Rik and I came into the band at the start of 2019 playing in excess of 50 shows throughout the year with big touring plans for 2020 until Covid struck,” says Emery. “I was really looking forward to recording with The Dreamers but now we are living in these exceptional times it does seem fitting that our debut appearance should be a live album reflecting the work we did last year.”

Live At The Tivoli, whose sleeve pays cheeky homage to one of the classic live albums of the 80s, is set for release in November and is available to pre-order here.

Last Great Dreamers on Facebook

Pic by Leon Bell

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FUTURAMA RETURNS!

The legendary FUTURAMA FESTIVAL is being resurrected more than 40 years after it first took place.

Starting in 1979 at Leeds’ Queen’s Hall, the two-day Fururama was a radical addition to the UK festival calendar, being as it was a departure from the rock and folk-dominated outdoor circuit. The brainchild of Leeds promoter John Keenan, the event underlined the changed that had taken place on the UK music horizon with a rollcall of artists across the years drawn from the spheres of post-punk, art-punk and electronica, including PiL, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Joy Division, Gang Of Four, Psychedelic Furs, Theatre Of Hate, Soft Cell, Simple Minds, The Smiths, Bow Wow Wow, The Fall, Teardrop Explodes, Echo And The Bunnymen, OMD, Cabaret Voltaire, Bauhaus and many more.

Working alongside Keenan, Liverpool promoter Marc Jones is bringing Futurama over the Pennines to his home city where it will take place at the Invisible Wind factory / Make Arts Centre and Ten Streets Social over Easter Saturday and Sunday, 3-4 April 2021.

Theatre Of Hate and The Chameleons will be making their return to the festival, while headliners Peter Hook & The Light will be performing Joy Division’s set from the inaugural Futurama in ’79.

“Futurama was one the first festival experiences I ever had,” remembers Hook. “John Keenan the promoter became a lifelong friend. He was one of the first legends. The gig was the first time I’d ever seen caravans used as dressing rooms indoors, but it had a great atmosphere. It really put Joy Division on the map and the groups on the bill were very well matched to the audience. There weren’t many indoor festivals prior to Futurama so it was quite ground-breaking for the genre in the north. Funnily enough it gets talked about a lot even now. John became a legend and, in many ways, so has the festival. Let’s hope we can capture that wonderful atmosphere again.”

A second headliner is yet to be announced but appearing over the weekend across four stages – including one sponsored by Vive Le Rock! – are the likes of Warmduscher, The Blinders, The Lovely Eggs, Spizz Energi, Imperial Wax, Just Mustard, Membranes, Evil Blizzard, Sink Ya Teeth, John, Heavy Lungs, We Are Not Devo, DSM IV, Bob Vylan, Billy NoMates, Witch Fever, Tokky Horror, Pozi, Crows, St Agnes, LibraLibra, Courting, Crawlers and Joe & Shitboys, with many more to be announced.

Tickets priced £80 are available here with an instalment scheme for the financially strapped.

Keep updated for details as futuramafestival.com

Futurama Festival on Facebook

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TENTS BUT CONFIDENT!

Enigmatic West Midlands post-punks CULT FIGURES have just unveiled a new EP.

Originally formed in 1977 on the same South Birmingham scene as Swell Maps and Spizz, Cult Figures recorded their debut single, the DIY punk classic ‘Zip Nolan’, in ’79 with various Maps guesting.

The band returned in 2016, subsequently releasing The 166 Ploughs A Lonely Furrow, an album of their original material newly recorded.

Recorded just before lockdown by producer John A Rivers at his legendary Woodbine Street Studio, the 3-track Camping In The Rain EP features all new material and is a taster for their second album due next year.

Released through Garde Du Nord Records, you can buy the Camping In The Rain EP here.

Cult Figures on Facebook

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SERVICE PLEASE!

SPEAR OF DESTINY are to issue a new ‘recreated and re-imagined’ version of their classic album World Service.

The band’s third album, World Service would be the band’s highest charting album, just grazing the Top 10 and featuring their highest charting single up to that point, ‘Come Back’.

Produced by former Rich Kid and Blitz club DJ Rusty Egan, at Kirk Brandon’s behest, and on the receiving end of some fantastic reviews, Brandon was never entirely happy with the sound of the album.

“You could say why re-record what is a a classic album from the 1980s,” says Brandon. “You’d have a point. But, it has been my intention to re-record this set of songs much more in line with what I feel they were originally written for, much more of a rock album, as opposed to a pop/rock album.

“With the original recording there was a lot of compromise, which to my mind today, meant the album’s worth of songs was never done the justice it deserved. I’m not trying to re-write the past, I’m trying, and I believe we have succeeded, in doing this album justice, finally, to how it was meant to sound.

“I can only thank my longstanding band members, for helping me to achieve this with their sympathetic ears. We have played songs from this album for decades and I knew on this occasion, we would all step up to the mark with its re-recording. The proof is in the pudding.”

The new version of WorldService @ 35 is due for release on 26 October. It’s available to re-order here.

Kirk Brandon on Facebook

Pic by Simon Drake

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MERRY CRASSMAS!

CRASS have issued a new video to herald the reissue of their albums.

Under the heading The Crassical Collection and released today, each of their original albums –Stations of the Crass, Feeding of the Five Thousand (The Second Sitting), Penis Envy, Christ – The Album, Yes Sir, I Will, Ten Notes on a Summer’s Day – comes fully remastered and repackaged, featuring new artwork by Gee Vaucher, along with rare and unreleased bonus material.

A seventh release, an expanded version of the 1986 compilation Best Before 1984, incldudes five fold-out posters and a 52-page booklet.

“Number seven – the one that almost got away,” notes founder Penny Rimbaud. “This final Crassical Collection double CD contains the original album plus a further album’s worth of related material; good, bad and indifferent. Half the band want it out, while the other half wanted out, but hey, here it is in all its glory.”

The set is accompanied by a new video for a previously unreleased version of ‘Sheep Farming In The Falklands’ by visual artist George K. Says Rimbaud, “A previously unreleased version of ‘Sheep Farming in the Falklands’ written and produced sometime after hostilities had ceased. The first listener to send us the lyrics in full will be handsomely rewarded. I’ve tried, but despite having written them, I still can’t get it word for word”.

The full catalogue of Crassical Collection releases is available now through One Little Independent.

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THE BAND THAT LIKES TO SAY YES!

Mysterious art-punks THE IMBECILES have just dropped a video from their brand new EP.

‘Yes I Am’ is the first track to be unveiled from the six-track Dissolution Sessions, which is due out on 30 October through their own Imbeciles Records label.

The release follows on from the band’s self-titled debut album released earlier and marks a change of line-up and sound for the band.

As well as this, the band are preparing to record a new full-length album with KILLING JOKE’s Youth slipping into the producer’s chair.

‘Yes I Am’ is available to stream/download here.

The Imbeciles on Facebook

Pic by Drew Reynolds

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MUSIC VENUE TRUST CALLS FOR DECISIVE, DIRECT ACTION!

The Music Venue Trust (MVT), which represents hundreds of grassroots music venues throughout the UK has issued a dire warning to the UK government that the entire grassroots live music sector is now at “red alert status” and has called on the wider music industry, local communities and music fans to support its ongoing #saveourvenues campaign by taking “decisive, direct action” to ensure every venue can survive and re-open safely.

With the announcement of how the government’s much-touted £ 1.57bn Cultural Recovery will be distributed due on October 5th , and final decisions on funding for grassroots music venues in England, Scotland and Wales announced by October 16th, MVT has declared the situation ‘critical’ today, with a warning that the fate of these venues is now hanging in the balance.

Mark Davyd, co-founder & CEO of Music Venue Trust (MVT) said: “After six months of struggling to survive, grassroots music venues now face a two-week period of huge uncertainty in which their future will be decided by the outcome of a single government funding announcement. The Government has put all its eggs in one basket and has no backup plan to prevent the complete collapse of this entire cultural sector, placing at risk over 200,000 jobs, and billions of pounds of economic activity”.

The Westminster government’s singular reliance on the impact of the Cultural Recovery Fund was revealed last week when the Winter Economy Plan contained no additional measures to address the specific restrictions that have been placed on the live music industry. This was compounded during a meeting hosted by The Department of Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) when numerous enquiries from MPs asking what the government was going to do to prevent the collapse of the live music industry was answered by stock answers stating that the Cultural Recovery Fund was “being made available”.

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director of MVT, said, “Music Venue Trust is extremely concerned that the situation has become Schrodinger’s fund; hardly anyone has received any significant support from the Cultural Recovery Fund yet, but everyone is going to be saved by it. This is not a coherent strategy; the government does not even control the distribution of the funding they have made available and on which their entire strategy for the UK live music sector now rests”.

With this in mind MVT is calling on the wider music industry, music fans and local communities to redouble their efforts to prevent the permanent closure of grassroots music venues by getting directly involved in the #saveourvenues campaign (saveourvenues.co.uk) through fundraising, letter writing to local councils, MPs, social media support and more.

Mark Davyd continues: “Venues, artists, audiences, and communities have done everything they can to support the #saveourvenues campaign, which has helped hundreds of grassroots music venues to survive to this point. Music Venue Trust has offered extraordinary support to enable grassroots music venues to make strong, evidenced applications to the Cultural Recovery Fund. The entire government focus on what can be achieved by that single fund will reach its conclusion between October 5th and October 16th when the results of those applications are announced. Any venue that is not successful, or any venue that is ineligible, will still be unable to open, will still have to pay rent and will still have no possible income sources from the day those decisions are announced until the day they are finally able to open. We need everyone who cares about the future of grassroots music venues to take note of these decisions as they are made and if necessary to take direct action to save any venue that is unsuccessful. It’s up to us – the government may very well fail to save our venues but we as individuals can still fight for their survival.”

Music Venue Trust will be announcing the funding decisions as they are made via their social media channels and the media and will provide a list of both successful and unsuccessful venues so that can support efforts be directed to where they are most needed .

Beverley Whitrick added, “We don’t know what the outcome here will be; worryingly, neither does the government despite their singular reliance upon this funding to protect access to culture across hundreds of communities. But we do know that the Save Our Venues campaign, with the incredible support it has received, has got the grassroots sector to this stage with minimum losses. That campaign may now need to be stepped up. Grassroots music venues are at Red Alert status and hundreds are confronted by the possibility of imminent decisions which will result in their permanent closure. Our whole grassroots community sector will need to take part in decisive, direct action if we are to ensure we reopen every venue safely.”

Music Venue Trust on Facebook

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DODGY GEEZERS!

HOODOO GURUS’ latest spurt of activity continues apace with another new video.

‘Get Out Of Dodge’ follows on from their anti-Trump single ‘Hung Out To Dry’, released in June.

Appropriately adopting a Western theme for the video, the song reflects on the increasingly pervasive lynch-mob mentality infecting society.

“The world we live in is becoming more polarised and less tolerant every day, and we can often find ourselves confronting extremist views, some of which may be hostile to who we are or what we believe,” explains frontman and songwriter Dave Faulkner. “Religion, politics, sexuality – there are any number of reasons why people might take a set against you, or try to browbeat you into toeing the party line. When you come to realise that they won’t soften their views to accommodate you – and that you shouldn’t change who you are to accommodate them – then what can you do? You get the hell out of Dodge!

“As the old saying goes, discretion is the better part of valour and it can be very satisfying to leave the hateful to stew in their own juices. A good surgeon knows when a damaged limb can be saved and when it’s better to amputate, so cut your losses and get yourself to a better place, somewhere people will cherish and support you, and live to fight another day. As the song says, ‘We’ve gotta get out of Dodge – while we still can!’”

Recorded at Harry Vanda’s Hercules Street Studios in Surry Hills, Sydney. The track features guest backing vocals from BANGLES’ Vicki Peterson (who’s guested on various Gurus tracks over the years) and her husband John Cowsill of legendary Sunshine Pop band THE COWSILLS and also, currently, THE BEACH BOYS.

Out today, ‘Get Out Of Dodge’ is available to stream/download here.

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Pic by Christopher Ferguson

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