Following the success of VIVE LE ROCKDOWN back in the summer, we’ve decided to do it all again.

With the music industry decimated by lockdown, we put on our own virtual festival: 20,000 of you tuned in one Facebook and YouTube, raising £1,000 for the Music Venue Trust.

With no return to live music on the horizon, this calls for VIVE LE ROCKDOWN 2!

Taking place on Saturday 20 February from 8.30pm, we’ve out together another amazing line-up including NEW MODEL ARMY, MARC ALMOND, MAID OF ACE, HOLLYWOOD BRATS, STEVE DIGGLE, THE LOVELESS, WAYNE HUSSEY, THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROW, THE BUSINESS, VICE SQUAD,WONK UNIT, DESPERATE MEASURE, THE SPEEDWAYS and more, with still more to be announced.

All proceeds from the night will go directly to the Roadies/Crew Fund. For more details and updates, keep an eye on the Vive Le Rock Facebook page!

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CHEAP TRICK have unveiled a first track from their forthcoming new album.

‘Light Up The Fire’ is taken from the Rockford, Illinois legends’ 20th album In Another World, which is due for release through BMG on 9 April. It’s the band’s first since 2017 when they released the acclaimed We’re All Alright! swiftly followed by the Christmas album Christmas Christmas.

Produced by longtime accomplice Julian Raymond, who’s been working with the band since 2006’s Rockford, the new album features the reappearance of their Record Store Day 2019 rendition of John Lennon’s ‘Gimme Some Truth’, featuring a guest appearance by Sex Pisols’ Steve Jones on guitar.

In Another World is available to pre-order here.

The band have rescheduled their UK tour dates for 2022. Full dates are now…

Feb 01 2022 – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Boiler Shop
Feb 02 2022 – Manchester Academy
Feb 04 2022 – Wolverhampton, KK’s Steel Mill
Feb 05 2022 – London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Feb 06 2022 – Bristol, O2 Academy

Go here for tickets.

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One of the most important books on Australian underground rock is to be republished next month.

Stranded by Clinton Walker was first published back in 1996 and, subtitled Australian Independent Music 1976 – 1992 examines in intimate detail one of the most vibrant and fertile periods in world punk and post-punk history.

Something of a companion piece to Walker’s seminal book Inner City Sound, published in 1981, Stranded casts an eye over the first stirring of Australia’s independent scene built around such labels as Missing Link, Phantom, Au-Go-Go, Waterfront, Hot, Red Eye and Half-a-Cow and such musically and historically significant bands as THE SAINTS, RADIO BIRDMAN, BOYS NEXT DOOR/BIRTHDAY PARTY (pictured), GO-BETWEENS, X, VICTIMS, SPK, LIPSTICK KILLERS, SCIENTISTS, LAUGHING CLOWNS, SEVERED HEADS, MOODISTS, TRIFFIDS, CELIBATE RIFLES, HARD-ONS, DIED PRETTY, BEASTS OF BOURBON, NEW CHRISTS, GOD, RATCAT, SPIDERBAIT, YOU AM I, THE DIRTY 3 and many more…

One of Australia’s most important rock writers, with unequalled insider access to the scene from day one and numerous insightful, incisive books and articles to his name, Walker has substantially expanded Stranded with new foreword and afterword, extensive and revealing footnotes that “now actually tell the whole truth!”, and many new illustrations.

Stranded: Australian Independent Music 1976-1992, Revised & Expanded Edition is set to be republished by The Visible Spectrum on 26 February.

Check out the Stranded Spotify playlist…

Pic by Kevin Blyth

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Finnish garage-rock legends THE FLAMING SIDEBURNS herald their new album with a brand new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘A Song For Robert’ is taken from the album Silver Flames, the first to feature all five original members of the band in twenty years. The song itself is a tribute to Hellacopters and Thunder Express guitarist Robert Dahlqvist who sadly passed away in 2017.

Formed in Helsinki in 1995, and quickly proving themselves in the Premier League of Northern European garage-rock, the original line-up lasted until their now classic debut album Hallelujah Rock’n’Rollah in 2001, before guitarist Arimatti Jutila moved to the US, forcing the band into a prolonged game of musical chairs.

After two more albums and hundreds of shows, the band finally ground to a halt in 2016, only for the founder members to reunite two years later for reunion dates. Realising the old magic was still there, it wasn’t long before the band returned to the studio with a bunch of arse-kicking new material and longtime friend and producer Jürgen Hendlmeier in the chair.

Silver Flames is set for release through Svart Records on 23 April and is available for pre-order here.

The Flaming Sideburns on Facebook

Pic by Neil Smith

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Boston ska-punk legends THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES have signed to Hellcat Records and celebrate with a brand new single and video.

Referred to as a ‘ska summit’, the 8-minute track was produced by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Grammy Award-winner Ted Hutt and features a multitude of cameo appearances from the great and the good of ska, ska-punk and punk.

The track is accompanied by an animated video directed by YoYoYosef.

“It’s a love letter to Ska music and the people that make Ska music and it’s a whole lot of fun,” says vocalist Dicky Barrett.

The track features appearances from Armstrong, Aimee Interrupter & The Interrupters, Stranger Cole, Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Jake Burns (Stiff Little Fingers), Jay Navarro (Suicide Machines), Chris DeMakes, Pete Wesilewski, Roger Lima (Less Than Jake), Jimmy G (Murphy’s Law), Toby Morse, Rusty Pistachio (H2O), John Feldman (Goldfinger), Laila Khan (Sonic Boom Six), Robert Hingley (Toasters), Dan Vitale (Bim Skala Bim), Dave McWane (Big D and The Kids Table), Sirae Richardson, Erin Mackenzie, Brie McWane (The Doped Up Dollys), Jesse Wagner (Aggrolites), Karina Denike (The Dance Hall Crashers), Christian Jaccobs (The Aquabats), Jon Pebsworth (Buck O Nine), Peter Porker (The Porkers), Steve Jackson (The Pietasters), Felipe Galvan (Los Skanarles), Jet Baker (Buster Shuffle), Fumio Ito (Kemuri), Glen “The Kid” Marhevka (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy) and Roddy Radiation (The Specials).

‘The Final Parade’ is available to stream/download here.

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One-man punk band RUM LAD has just unveiled a video as a taster for his forthcoming second.

The urgent, angry ‘Lazy Sod’ is taken from Punk AF, the follow up to acclaimed debut album Vandalism on which he sings and plays all the instruments as well as writing all the songs himself.

Brought up on a council estate in Retford, Nottinghamshire, on Vandalism, Rum Lad cast a jaded eye over the state of working-class life in 21st Century Britain and an absolutely scathing one over the politicians who he feels are to blame.

“I harbour no regrets, I enjoyed my upbringing, but I look back and wonder why the world has got so fast and digital,” he says. “Following on from the council estate life in a working-class town I’ve lived up and down the UK for many years with more than a few tales of loss, tragedy, heartbreak, fights and fisticuffs and it’s been eventful for sure, so putting all this stuff in my brain into songs and creating new energy from past negatives has given me an outlet to share my thoughts with the world.”

‘Lazy Sod’ is available digitally and Vandalism on 12″ vinyl here. You can also contribute to the crowdfunder for Punk AF.

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Rude GRL & CC Video Exclusive!

Last year we premiered the debut video by our old friend and punk veteran Chris Constantinou’s new project Rude GRL & CC, a cover of Vince Taylor’s ‘Brand New Cadillac’ that most of us know from a cover by The Clash.

The pair have now resurrected the song with a brand new up-to-the-minute video which we’re premiering exclusively today!

‘Brand New Cadillac’ is available to pre-save here.

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GRAND ROYALE have just dropped a new video as a taster for their brand new album.

The track ‘Just As Bad As You’ is the third single to be taken from the band’s forthcoming fifth album Carry On and features special guest singer Dregen of Hellacopters and Backyard Babies fame.

The Swedish action rockers are no strangers to working with members of Hellacopters having previously corralled Nicke Andersson to produce their third album Breaking News, their debut for The Sign Records.

This time around, the band have opted to produce the record themselves, with mixing by Robert Pehrsson from the band Humbucker, achieving a much rawer, back to basics sound.

”On our previous record Take It Easy we experimented a lot with different instruments and sounds to challenge ourselves,” says guitarist and singer Gustav Wremer. “To make something that, to us, is a bit unusual and that stands out from our other albums. On ’Carry On’ we’re focusing on what we’re best at – dirty garage rock n roll. We’ve basically recorded and produced the entire record ourselves. I think it ended up great. No fuzz, no muss, just rock!”

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Pittsburgh rock legends THE CHEATS are back with a new video which they’re launching exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Give Up The Ghost’ is taken from the band’s current album Cussin’, Crying ‘N’ Carrying On and the video is a direct result of Covid 19.

“We’re getting bored!” singer Todd Cheat exclaims. “This venue shutdown is killing us. We’ve always been a live band. I was checking out some old Motorhead videos and ‘Ace of Spades’ popped up. They just did it live and I was like, That’s it! That’s what I want to do! Our friends Mary and Matt from Mud City Manglers have a new underground venue called the Shred Shed here in Pittsburgh. We just set up and our long time video producer, Larry Dawgiello came in and just started rolling.”

The band are about to get back into the studio to record new tracks, two of which will go to a single in Screaming Crow Records’ new Rock’n’Roll Jukebox 45 series, which will also boasts sides from the cream of international action rock, including THE HIP PRIESTS, THE DIRTY DENIMS and THE RAVAGERS. Featuring one original song and one cover, the label plan to issue the tracks on a compilation later in the year.

Todd Cheat was recently among 60 Pittsburgh musicians contributing to a charity song ‘SOS2020’ raising money for the city’s beleaguered venues struggling to stay alive during lockdown.

The Cheats will help kick off the SOS2020 series of internet shows on Thursday 28 January in support of the NIVA (National Independent Venue Association) Emergency Relief Fund. Starting at 6pm EST, the two-hour show will also feature sets from ROYAL HONEY and MIDDLE FINGER. It costs an extremely reasonable $3 to view and there’s more details here. Dig deep!

Cussin’, Crying ‘N’ Carrying On has been repressed on Rock Candy Red vinyl and is available here.

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Brazilian post-punks HERZEGOVINA unleash their debut album at the end of the month.

Formed in the hills above Rio de Janeiro, the trio of Rafael Crespo (guitar/vocals), Marcello Fernandes (bass) and Mario Mamede (drums) released their debut EP 5AM in 2016, followed by another EP Last Turn two years later.

Recorded during 2019, Emergency ploughs a deeply nostalgic furrow, their icy guitars and throbbing bass effortlessly recalling the early 80s, long overcoat, proto-gothic sounds of The Chameleons, The Sound, Luddites, early Sisters Of Mercy etc.

Emergency is available now through Mandinga Records on yellow vinyl and download.

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Essex antagonists EIGHT ROUNDS RAPID have unveiled a new video from their current album.

‘Onesie’ is taken from the Southend band’s acclaimed third album Love Your Work released last year through Tapete.

Directed by Henry Littlechild and Tony Burke, the video stars actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor of Avengers: Infinity War and Peaky Blinders notoriety and is described as “a shank-sharp satire on our soulless and much-beloved Instagram-obsessed post-Brexit Britain”.

Formed in 2010, Eight Rounds Rapid take their cue from the mythical tradition of Thames Delta rhythm and blues, forced kicking and screaming through a post-punk filter via the clanking discordance of Gang Of Four to emerge awkwardly in the 21st Century beside the acerbic lyricism of the likes of Sleaford Mods and IDLES. Since 2014’s Lossleader, they routinely feature in Vive Le Rock‘s albums of the year list.

Love Your Work is available here.

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Pic by Paul Hughes

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Aussie pub-punks PRIVATE FUNCTION have signed to Spanish label FOLC Records for the European release of their new album.

Already released on Damaged Records in Australia where it made Top 10 in the Album Chart and No.1 in the Indie Chart, Whose Line Is It Anyway? comes less than a year after the Melbourne quintet’s acclaimed debut St Anger.

Now the album’s been picked up by Spain’s FOLC Records, founded by Gerardo and Antonio of legendary Madrid garage-punks LOS CHICOS – FOLC stands for Friends Of Los Chicos, see?

Whose Line Is It Anyway? was recorded in March just as Covid-19 hit, the band forced to record the album in just three days with producer Matt Duffy (Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, The Peep Tempel) before their American guitarist PJ Russo had to fly back to the States. As luck would have it, Russo would end up stranded in Australia for the duration, but serendipitously listeners may find the frenzy of the recording process has added to the album’s dynamic.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? is set for release through FOLC Records in March.

Check out the video for ‘Sleep Paralysis’…

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MARC BOLAN and T REX are celebrated in a new high quality coffee table book.

Published to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of his first ever No.1 single ‘Hot Love’, Marc brings together more than 300 rare and seldom seen photos.

Compiled by T Rex fan Carlton Sandercock, owner of UK record label Easy Action, the book has been two years in the making and spans Marc’s career from 1965 with photos from the Evening standard announcing a new pop sensation to Marc’s untimely and tragic death in 1977. The final double page spread features fan Polaroids, which would turn out to be the last photos taken of Marc, catching him in a happy and fun moment with two of his fans. “It was important that the last chapter of the book be as positive as it was possible to be under the circumstances,” says Sandercock.

Clocking in at 300 pages, this hefty hardback volume measures 14″ x 11″ and weighs in at a hefty 2.6 kilos. Published in an initial run of 500 copies, the first 100 will be hand numbered and will feature two professional prints not included in the book.

“Many of the photographers I knew from licencing photos for Easy Action projects.” says Sandercock. “It was good to talk to and meet with some of them but sadly during the process of this book, some we lost along the way -Michael Putland, Richard Fitzgerald, Terry O Neil, Keiron ‘Spud’ Murphy (who took the cover image at Trident Studios during the recording of the classic Electric Warrior album).

“One highlight was meeting Peter Sanders who was Marc’s best man and also introduced him to percussionist Mickey Finn. Peter photographed three of the first four Tyrannosaurus Rex LPs as well as the iconic first T Rex album.

“One of the key frustrations was that many many original negs have since neem lost stolen over the years. It was practice in some instances for photographers to take a load of shots and send the actual negs to pop magazines as they couldn’t afford to copy them. The magazine wouldn’t ever return them, and most would end up in the bin. Classic images that as a teenager you grew up with, lost forever!

“Many of the photographers that shot Marc went on to become big names in the fashion world or well-known famous photographers who at the time were just getting a portfolio together such as Alec Byrne, Terry O Neill, Richard Imrie (who I tracked down to an island on Hawaii), David Steen….”

The Book is split into five chapters. The 60s – 1967-1970; Tyrannosaurus Rex – 1971-1973; the classic T Rex – 1974-1976; the wilderness years – 1977; the Return of the Dandy. Intensively researched, the book includes photos from UK, France, Holland, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Denmark and the USA, with live action shots amid posed sessions and album cover outtakes. The book is embellished with quotes from Marc himself as well as his fellow artists, with an exclusive introduction by famed T Rex publicist BP Fallon along with T Rex drummer Bill Legend and Marc’s partner Gloria Jones. 

Marc is only available form the Official Marc Bolan Merch Co.

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SPIZZ ENERGI celebrate the majesty of DAVID BOWIE on their new single out today!

Rather than channelling glam Bowie, Berlin Bowie or 80s funk Bowie, they’ve chosen to revisit the later years with a cover of ‘Valentine’s Day’ from his 2013 album The Next Day.

Mixed by longtime Bowie confidante and producer Tony Visconti, the release both commemorates the Starman’s passing as well as getting in early for St Valentine’s day, less than a month away.

“I’ve reached the difficult age where family and friends find it impossible to choose a birthday present for me,” says frontman Spizz about the decision to cover the track . “Fed up with the nagging I took the initiative and bought tickets to see David Bowie’s acclaimed play Lazarus at the giant pop up theatre in Kings Cross London (on my birthday – 11 Jan). After various drop outs and declines, SpizzEnergi guitarist Luca Comencini and I saw the show and were both knocked out by ‘Valentine’s Day’ which featured prominently in the performance. We, there and then, decided to include the song in our live-set as the band were booked for the upcoming BowieCon later that year”.

‘Valentine’s Day’ is available to stream/download here.

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L.A. punk legends NOFX herald their forthcoming album with a new video.

New single ‘Linewleum’ celebrates one of the band’s most famous – and most covered – songs, ‘Linoleum’, taken from their classic 1994 album Punk In Drublic. The new track features a guest appearance from Huntington Beach metallers Avenged Sevenfold.

“I have no idea why ‘Linoleum’ is the NOFX song that is covered by so many bands while other NOFX songs get hardly any attention,” says bassist/singer Fat Mike. “‘Linoleum’ wasn’t a single, it had no video, it got no radio play, and most importantly, it didn’t even have a chorus!!! All popular songs have choruses! WTF! So, one night I stayed up till 4:00 am checking out all the different versions on YouTube. Watching hundreds of bands from over 28 countries (mostly Indonesia) doing ‘Linoleum’ was a humbling experience for me. So I decided to write a song that was a shout-out to all those people that learned those four chords and remembered the non-rhyming lyrics. Then I asked the biggest of all the bands (Avenged Sevenfold) to play some leads on the song. Then M Shadows suggested we do a video together. Then I figured I should put all of the bands in the video. Well, I couldn’t fit all the bands, but I picked a bunch of cool ones! A song about not playing a song that’s not a hit song with a video about other bands covering the song! This is why I love punk rock writing punk songs. Rules out the door!”

The band’s 14th album, Single Album was recorded at San Francisco’s Motor Studios with Jason Livermore and Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson producing.

Single Album is set for release on 26 February through Fat Wreck and is available to pre-order here.

‘Linewleum’ is available to stream/download here.

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Pub rock legend BRINSLEY SCHWARZ has a new video which he’s launching exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Guitarist, singer and keyboard-player Schwarz gave his name to the band Brinsley Schwarz, also featuring Nick Lowe, when they morphed out of pop band Kippington Lodge at the end of the 60s. Darlings of the thriving early-70s London pub rock scene, they released six albums during their lifetime, along with the classic single ‘What’s So Funny About Peace, Love And Understanding’. They split up in ’75 with Schwarz joining The Rumour to back Graham Parker, with who he’s collaborated on and off for the past forty years.

New single ‘Storm In The Hills’, a commentary on climate change, politics and modern times, is taken from Schwarz’s second solo album Tangled, due out later in the year through Fretsore Records. It follows on from his debut solo release Unexpected which came out in 2016 and is also due for reissue.

‘Storm In The Hills’ is available to stream here.

Brinsley Schwarz on Facebook

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London powerpoppers THE SPEEDWAYS have unveiled another new video from their latest album.

The shimmering, slightly shoegazey ‘This Is About A Girl Who Loves The Sun’ is taken from the band’s second album Radio Sounds. It also features on the AA-side single, the video for whose other side ‘The Day I Call You Mine’ was launched last month.

The video, by Jez Leather, was shot in Windmill Gardens, Brixton.

The single, released through Spanish label Snap! / Hurrah Musica on 5 February, is available to pre-order as a download or limited edition yellow vinyl 7-inch (with extra live track ‘Just Another Regular Summer’) here.

The Speedways on Facebook

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Sex Pistol Steve Jones is to be the subject of a new six-part TV series from Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle.

Pistol is based on Jones’ 2018 memoir Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol and was scripted by Craig Pearce and Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Pistol stars Toby Wallace (Babyteeth, Acute Misfortune) as Steve Jones, Anson Boon (Crawl, 1917, Blackbird) as John Lydon, Louis Partridge (Enola Homes, Medici) as Sid Vicious, Jacob Slater as Paul Cook, Fabien Frankel (The Serpent, NYPD Blue) as Glen Matlock, Dylan Llewellyn (Derry Girls) as Wally Nightingale, Sydney Chandler (Don’t Worry Darling) as Chrissie Hynde, Emma Appleton (The Witcher, Traitors) as Nancy Spungen, and Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) as punk icon Jordan.

Produced by FX Productions, Pistol is set to begin production on March 7.

“Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent,” says Boyle. “This is the moment that British society and culture changed forever. It is the detonation point for British street culture…where ordinary young people had the stage and vented their fury and their fashion…and everyone had to watch & listen…and everyone feared them or followed them. The Sex Pistols. At its centre was a young charming illiterate kleptomaniac – a hero for the times – Steve Jones, who became in his own words, the 94th greatest guitarist of all time. This is how he got there.”

“It’s great to be back in business with Danny Boyle, an exceptional artist responsible for so many great feature films and TV series,” says Nick Grad, President, Original Programming, FX Entertainment. “Steve Jones was at the centre of the storm that shook the rock establishment and we’re thrilled to have Danny and the rest of the creative team tell his story as a member of one of music’s most notorious bands – the Sex Pistols.”

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