Congratulations to our old friend JAZ COLEMAN on receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Gloucestershire.
Honouring Coleman, Stephen Marston, Vice-Chancellor of University of Gloucestershire, said, “As a university, we were proud to honour Jaz’s achievements by awarding him an Honorary Doctorate of Music at our recent Graduation Ceremonies in recognition of his significant contribution to the arts and, in particular, his contributions to both contemporary and classical music. His career and achievements resonate with many of our students, particularly those aiming for careers in music, creative arts, and performance.”
To mark the occasion, local artist, Andy Dice Davies was commissioned to paint Jaz’s portrait on an existing site in Cheltenham. The 20-foot-high portrait can be viewed at the High Street Car park, Swindon Road entrance.
“It’s been such an honour to have painted Jaz,” says Davies. “Seeing Killing Joke on the Tube in 1985 changed my musical taste and I’ve been a fan ever since. I first saw them later that year at The Elephant Fayre in Cornwall and his performance blew me away!”
Returning to the town of his birth, fresh from recording new Killing Joke material in Prague, Dr Coleman said, “Cheltenham gave me everything. I learned all my music at St Mary’s Church, Charlton Kings, The North Gloucestershire Youth Orchestra and Cheltenham Young People’s Orchestra. It has been a long journey, and I am deeply touched by the recognition by my home town. And as for the mural, I’m blown away. I’m absolutely blown the fuck away.”
As previously announced, Killing Joke head out on the Honour The Fire UK tour this Spring. They’re joined at all shows by The Imbeciles, with Brix Smith as special guest in London. Full dates are…
March 2022 28th Mon Cardiff Tramshed 29th Tue Nottingham Rock City 31st Thu Bristol O2 Academy April 2022 1st Fri Liverpool O2 Academy 2nd Sat Birmingham O2 Institute 4th Mon Manchester Albert Hall 5th Tue Newcastle Boiler Shop 6th Wed Glasgow Barrowland 8th Fri Leeds O2 Academy 9th Sat London Eventim Apollo Hammersmith
Goths will be descending on Whitby next autumn for the return of the the TOMORROW’S GHOSTS festival.
First acts have just been announced for the even which is now in its fifth year and will be returning to the town’s Pavilion over the weekend of 28 to 30 October.
Acts lined-up so far include Friday night headliners FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM, GHOST DANCE (pictured), INTO A CIRCLE, BALAAM & THE ANGEL, EVIL BLIZZARD, BOOTBLACKS and ALL MY THORNS, with many more, including further headliners, to be announced.
Ghost Dance were formed by guitarist Gary Marx following his departure from The Sisters Of Mercy and ex-Skeletal Family singer Anne Marie Hurst. The band recently returned with a new line-up still fronted by Hurst.
Saturday will feature the recently reformed Into A Circle, the band put together by Paul ‘Bee’ Hampshire and former Southern Death Cult bassist Barry Jepson after hooking up in Getting The Fear. Their first show since 1989, new material is promised.
RICHARD DAVIES & THE DISSIDENTS, the West Country rock’n’roll supergroup who’ve been described by Vive Le Rock! as “Johnny Thunders meets Tom Petty”, play their last gig of the year this Saturday 27 November.
The released their debut album Human Traffic during the summer of 2020 which obviously badly affected their touring plans, but they were still able to build a fanbase across Europe and as far afield as Australia and South America without ever having played a gig.
The five-piece, who feature members of Tiny Monroe, The Snakes, Mega City 4 and Last Great Dreamers, play London’s What’s Cookin’ Club at Leytonstone Social Club, Harvey Road E11 with support from Trent Miller.
SENSELESS THINGS have today announced a new website.
A statement on the site promises to provide “newly restored music, unseen footage and unreleased recordings by the group – a loving celebration of the happy days & good times with Mark, Ben, Cass & Morgan.”
Currently, the online store offers a range of merch plus a rare download of a December 1989 show where the foursome played support to Buzzcocks.
Formed in 1986, the Twickenham band released several chart-troubling singles and four albums before splitting in 1995. They reformed for a handful of shows – including a sell-out performance at Shepherds Bush Empire – in 2017. It was always hoped they’d make the reunion more permanent, but frontman Mark Keds sadly passed away earlier this year.
BLACK SABBATH legend TONY IOMMI has combined the launch of a new men’s fragrance with his first new electric music in eight years.
‘Scent Of Dark’ is an appropriately doomy instrumental piece which finds the rock god collaborating with Sergio Momo, the brains (and nose) behind luxury perfume brand Xerjoff and an accomplished rock guitarist to boot.
At the same time, the pair have come up with the fragrance, which will be available in two separate bottles – Monkey Special – taking its name from the logo on one of Iommi’s Gibson SG collectors’ models – and the limited edition Signed Crystal.
Perhaps surprisingly, Iommi has been a fragrance fan for some years…
“It’s something I’ve always been interested in, ever since the early days of products like Brut and Old Spice, which I’d always get given for Christmas,” remembers Tony. “Once I started touring the world with Sabbath though, I started discovering different sorts of fragrances from other countries and began collecting them on tour.
“I met Sergio through another friend of mine Jimmy Crutchley (who plays bass on ‘Scent Of Dark’) and Sergio kindly sent me a box of his fragrances and asked if I’d be interested in creating my own, which I certainly wasn’t expecting,” laughs Iommi. “I had no idea how that would work, but Sergio suggested I come up with a list of things I like the smell of, which I did. He developed some different samples made up from my suggestions and I picked the one I liked; the project moved forward from there.”
Tony Iommi Monkey Special and Signed Crystal by Xerjoff Blends will be available from 29th November in selected shops and at Xerjoffuniverse.com
Rising star VANITY ROSE has a new single and video out today.
We’ll let vanity describe herself in her own words…
“Hi, my name’s Vanity Rose, I am a new wave/post-punk artist from Bedford,” she says. “I love nothing more than writing songs with a bit of bollox in them. My influences are Iggy Pop, X-Ray Spex, Blondie, Wendy O Williams, Marc Bolan, Romeo Void and bloody loads more!!!”
‘Control Of Animal’ is not taken from her new album Hooligans Shampoo, which is available digitally from Spotify, Amazon and all the usual digital platforms. It’s also available on CD via her Facebook page.
Ex-Sex Pistol GLEN MATLOCK performs his solo rock’n’roll show on tour this month throughout the UK.
Playing his own original material and Sex Pistols classics as you’ve never heard them before. Glen has toured the world and played with some of the greats, including Iggy Pop, Mick Jones, Midge Ure, Gary Kemp, Primal Scream, Ronnie Wood and Clem Burke and his legacy of being in the Pistols at the tender age of 16 and writing much of their Never Mind The Bollocks… album, which is widely revered as one of the greatest albums of all time lives on! His live solo shows are intimate, lively and performed like the legendary troubadour he is.
Indiana blues insurrectionists LEFT LANE CRUISER return to the UK next year with their original line-up.
Guitarist and singer Freddy J IV will be joined once more by original drummer Brenn Beck who left after 2014’s Slingshot album. This will be the pair’s first visit to the UK in ten years, and the first chance to hear tracks from 2019’s Shake And Bake album.
The duo play…
Mon 21 Feb – The Chambers, Folkstone Tues 22 Feb – Night & Day, Manchester Wed 23 Feb – The Cluny, Newcastle upon Tyne Thurs 24 Feb – PowerHaus, Camden, London
Long-lost West Country post-punks LIFE STUDIES have just issued a career-spanning anthology.
The Gloucester trio only managed to release one EP – 1983’s Homeward – during their lifetime, but achieved a modicum of fame thanks to the record being picked up for airplay by John Peel.
The band made several recordings during their brief career before splitting, but continued to make music, which can be found on Joy Riding. Vive Le Rock caught up with band-member Phil Thomas to hear the band’s story…
How did the band get together? How old were you at the time?
The kernel of the group was always me and Graham Nicholson. In true rock’n’roll fashion, we first met at a David Bowie gig in 1978 so I’d have been 17, Gray 18. We found that we shared similar musical tastes, punk, Bowie, Roxy, Talking Heads, and I played a bit of guitar and Gray had started playing the drums, so we formed a band. Gray’s colleague from work, Tony, came in on bass, then his next-door neighbour, Nick, who really knew how to play, on guitar. He’s responsible for the riffs on the early ‘punkier’ stuff. Nick moved on after a couple of gigs and we started playing as a three-piece. This incarnation is what you can hear on the tracks ‘Territory’ and ‘New Friends’ for example.
Was there much of a ‘scene’ in Gloucester at the time? If so, what other bands were you playing/hanging out with?
There was a pretty good ‘scene’ in and around Gloucester. The first local band I remember was Demob, a fairly hardcore punk band who did pretty well given the thousands of bands that grew out of the punk scene nationally. There’s a good Facebook group that gives a far more comprehensive overview than I ever could. And the fact that it has nearly 500 members suggests there’s a lot of love for the bands who were around at the time.
I understand Animals That Swim’s Del Crabtree was in the band at one point….? Any other famous names pass through the ranks?
I knew Del from school and the village we all lived in, Brockworth, was quite small so everyone ended up hanging out with one another at some time or other. As we evolved into the next incarnation, as Tony left and Martyn [Bennett] joined us, we shifted to a more acoustic sound, inspired by the bands like the Pale Fountains, Felt and a lot of the Cherry Red stuff that was coming out on that label. Martyn was another mate from school and began to learn the guitar, pretty soon outclassing all of us, and the trio of Gray, Mart and I became the Life Studies that most people remember. Del came along to augment the sound with his trumpet. I don’t think anyone else who got involved with us went on to become famous.
What sort of gigs were you playing? Did you get to support any touring bands?
We did quite a few local gigs as Life Studies. Gray tended to organise them, venues were still limited but a few local entrepreneurs would set up gig nights at various places around town. The legendary venues in Glos were The Barge, Semington (an actual Barge in the docks), that was the centre of the local arts scene. The British Flag, a pub now renamed The Tall Ships, that held regular gigs for a whole variety of bands. We also played our local pubs in Brockworth too. One story I never tire of telling is that one of Banarama’s first gigs was supporting us in Cheltenham. We had a slot supporting post-punk poster boys Department S, whose single ‘Is Vic There?’ was in the charts and their singer Vaughn Toulouse had brought along ‘three girls’ who are going to mime to their new record ‘Aie A Mwana’. I can’t recall how they went down but as the saying goes ‘people were still booing them when we came on!’
How did the single get picked up by John Peel? Did you ever meet him?
We decided to make a single which we recorded at a place called Spadger Studios just outside Gloucester which was a converted barn, on a farm, with egg boxes (naturally) on the walls and ceiling for soundproofing. We had rehearsed there a lot and got on well with the owner, John [Eeles], so we decided to record a single. It was our first time in a ‘proper’ studio and like kids in a sweet shop we threw everything at the tunes. John had an early keyboard that had settings for organ, vibes, piano all the usual stuff so we just piled on the instruments! 40 years later a nice stripped back version of ‘Girl On Fire’ would be lovely! We sent the record in to JP but none of us heard him play it. A friend of the band, Mark, heard it on the show and apparently JP said something along the lines of ‘It’s the year of the acoustic guitar’. We did get to meet him several years later but only to shake hands at a Fall gig that was held in his honour at the Royal Festival Hall.
The Joy Riding anthology incorporates material from 1980 to 2016. Presumably Life Studies as a band haven’t existed for all that time…? How do the recording dates span out across the years…? What did you do next?
The anthology is the result of one or two cassettes being unearthed by Gray and a friend, Colin Anderson (later to be a bandmate). Life Studies per se dissipated around 1984 as Mart went off to work for the VSO in the Caribbean. Gray and I carried on with a variety of line ups, the most successful of which were The Trout Faced Few, an obvious Beefheart reference and heavily influenced by The Fall and their ilk. The Trouts had more gig success than Life Studies we supported the band Apple Mosaic (from Glos) at Dingwall’s and played larger venues like the Bridge in Bristol. That morphed into a band called The Citizens, with Gray and I, another old friend Pete and the singer from the Trouts, Ju. Gray also played with another band, The Erratic Strides. The reason I included ‘Suzy Don’t’ on Joy Riding was that it is just Gray and I, with Gray on vocals this time and felt like a Life Studies thing. Gray still jams along with some friends and played quite a few gigs with a covers band called The Lawn Dogs in and around Gloucester. We have lived quite a distance from each other for 25 years so don’t get to play together often.
The music changes from quite lo-fi (post-)punk to more jangly indie-pop? Was this a conscious decision at a more approachable sound? What were some of your influences over the years….. you sound very Go-Betweensy in parts.
Thank you for the Go Betweens nod, still a band we all love today. We defiantly wanted to try new and different things all the time. We would rope friends, and local buskers even, into playing with us to try and add something new to the sound. We weren’t very ‘studio smart’ so tended to just record everything live with the odd overdub but we would test ourselves. We once did a gig with just acoustic instruments, with our singer Helen taking over lead vocals where we just sang Cole Porter covers.
How did you approach songwriting?
Fitfully. No method, if anyone came up with a good riff in rehearsal, we would build on it. I would often come up with the words and basic tune or riff as I enjoyed it but at the end of the day it was always a collective approach (unless, that is, any of the songs suddenly takes off and gets recorded by Adele in which case I wrote it all by myself!!).
Are you still in touch with the other band members? Are you still making music?
Gray and I still see a lot of each other. Sadly, Mart died a few years back, but we had all remained close until then. I chat to a few ex-members on the Facebook page . I still spend hours creating tunes at home mainly for my own amusement, although I have had bit of success with some sync tunes for TV etc. Gray and I also send each other stuff we’ve done but rarely find the time to sit down and knock out a completed tune.
In summation, Life Studies were a band with potential, that we think could have done more but didn’t really grasp the opportunities at the time. Still there is a small legacy and a lot of great memories, so no regrets.
RICHARD STRANGE and T.V. SMITH have joined forces on a new single ‘Don’t Panic England’.
Although totally appropriate for the times we live in, the song is one of eight that were written by the pair back in 1978 when Strange was the frontman of The Doctors Of Madness and Smith had enjoyed chart success with The Adverts.
Recorded in Strange’s flat to a 2-track Revox recorder, the songs, no mixed by Martyn Ware and Tom Gillieron, are set for release on a new mini-album.
PENNYWISE frontman JIM LINDBERG has unveiled another new video from his debut solo album.
The country-flavoured ‘You’re Not Alone’ is the third single to be taken from Songs From The Elkhorn Trail.
A mostly acoustic affair featuring an all-star band comprising members of Dropkick Murphys, Social Distortion and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and produced by Ted Hutt, the album features songs written over a twenty-five year period. The album was inspired by the loss of Lindberg’s father, who passed away in 2018.
Already available digitally here, Songs Form The Elkhorn Trail will be available on CD and vinyl through Epitaph on 22 May.
JAMES DOMESTIC today reveals another taster for his forthcoming debut solo album with a new single and video.
‘Push On Through’ follows swiftly on the heels of last month’s ‘Faze Out’, the first release from Carrion Repeating, which is due in April next year.
“It’s really different from the first single, so it might throw people even more than that did!” laughs Domestic. And it’s true; where ‘Faze Out’ was a two-minute electro-punker, ‘Push On Through’ takes an urgent bassline and an eloquent lyric about night driving past the five-minute mark.
“I’ve been touring for years, so it was inevitable that some of those images ended up in a song. It’s not a typical ‘road song though; I’m not Bon fucking Jovi!”
A regular on punk bills for a decade with East Anglian hardcore pioneers THE DOMESTICS, PI$$ER, TOKYO LUNGS and others, sharing stages with the likes of Poison Idea, Discharge, Wonk Unit and the UK Subs, Domestic has turned off the hardcore road for his solo career, taking pointers from the likes of Ian Dury, Mark E Smith, Roots Manuva and King Tubby.
Released on Kibou Records through TNS (UK) and Amok (Germany), ‘Push On Through’ is available now via Spotify, Bandcamp and the usual platforms.
Fast-rising London rockers SEVEN DAYS AND DOESN’T DIE have unveiled another taster for their debut album.
The high energy no-prisoners-taking ‘Snatching Defeat’ is the second single to be drawn from their self-titled album, raising the bar on their debut single ‘No Restitution’ which dropped in September.
“I got the phrase ‘Snatching Defeat’ from Wayne Kramer from MC5 as I was reading the book Please Kill Me,” explains singer and guitarist Kit. “He was talking about Johnny Thunders… ’He was always snatching defeat from the jaws of victory’. I thought it was as funny as it was tragic, the way people do that…..almost like a game, living up to a self-fulfilling prophesy that you’re cursed right from the start. You just can’t help yourself; you’ve got to play the game!”
Set for release this Friday 19 November through the band’s own Seven Days label, Seven Days And Doesn’t Die is available to pre-order here.
THE GUN CLUB are to have some of their classic singles brought together in a vinyl box set in the New Year.
Fronted by the charismatic Blondie fan-club president Jeffrey Lee Pierce, the pioneering and highly influential blues-punk fusionist made their UK vinyl debut in 1982 on Beggars Banquet with the ‘Ghost On The Highway’ c/w ‘Sex Beat’ single, reproduced here.
Other singles featured in the Preaching The Blues set include ‘Fire Of Love’ c/w ‘Walking With The Beast’; ‘The Great Divide’ c/w ‘Crabdance’, and ‘Cry To Me’ c/w ‘Give Up The Sun’. The box also includes 1983’s Death Party EP, 1990’s Pastoral Hide And Seek EP, originally only available on CD and – exclusive to this set – a Miami Demos 7″ featuring early versions of ‘Carry Home’ and ‘Brother And Sister’ from their classic ’82 major label debut.
All the recordings have been remastered and come in replicas of their original sleeves. The set also includes a 52-page booklet, exclusive Fire Of Love fanzine, a ‘Gun’ badge and a promo postcard.
Set for release on 21 January through Flood Gallery, Preaching The Blues is available to pre-order here.
Cornish folk-punk and space-rock seven-piece HANTERHIR are back with a new video and news of a new album.
‘Waiting For Bertie’ is the Redruth band’s first recorded output since a 2020 Record Store Day 7″ found them covering Sonic Youth’s ‘Schizophrenia’ and David Bowie’s ‘Dancing Out In Space’ on Easy Action. The video was filmed in Poldice Valley by KernowDesign.
Says guitarist/vocalist Ben Harris: “The song is about my old singer and his dog (some sort of beagle- bloodhound- corgi-cross thing) which would escape from his garden pretty much every time I came round to pick him up on the way to a gig and we would invariably spend way too long waiting for Bertie to come home before we went out.”
After beavering away at gigs and festivals across the Southwest, Hanterhir came to wider attention in 2018 with their critically acclaimed triple album The Saving Of Cadan, before Covid halted their trajectory following a triumphant headline set at London’s Kernow In The City festival in March last year.
The band spent the past year working on a new album for spring release and returned to live action with a set at Hawkwind’s Hawkfest in August.
‘Waiting For Bertie’ will be available digitally through Easy Action from 19 November via Apple, Spotify and all the usual platforms.
UK agit-punks MC16 are back with a new single and video which they’re premiering with Vive Le Rock!
On ‘United States Of Generica’, which follows on from last year’s ‘Anti’, the trio cast a jaundiced eye on the blanding of high streets up and down the UK throughout the past couple of decades, as independent businesses are forced out by grasping landlords and faceless chains…
“I used to think I was psychic” says drummer Duffy. “I could be in any city centre for the very first time and know where all the shops were. But then I realised that all the city centres are all just generic. I am not psychic. Pah!”
“High streets have just become memories now,” says bassist and co-vocalist Quinn. “I remember some of the great characters of our high street like the man who was always dressed as a cowboy shopping with his mum, and the busker with only one string on his guitar. Now its just a middle ground of mediocrity!”
“You can’t just blame the death of the high street on the internet,” adds guitarist and co-vocalist Carson. “High streets are very product-focused but me personally, I don’t buy a new brand label t-shirt every week but I would be more of a user if they were more service- or experience-focused and built on need not gain.”
The track was once again recorded with Wildhearts and Professionals producer Dave Draper. For the video, the band hooked up with Will Hutchinson, director of the acclaimed Brit-horror Overhill.
‘United States Of Generica’ is available from the band’s Bandcamp.
French garage legends LES SOUCOUPES VIOLENTES are back with a career-spanning anthology. With a difference.
Formed in Paris in 1983 by singer/guitarist Stéphane Guichard, the band – whose name translates as The Violent Saucers – recorded several singles and albums for such labels as Forbidden Planet, Tutti Frutti and New Rose. Now 16 Potions D’Amour compiles a selection of cover versions recorded or played live by them over their near 40-year career.
Early on the band displayed a deep love of Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground, their first release sporting a cover of ‘You’re Driving Me Insane’ by Reed’s pre-Velvets band The Roughnecks, included here. Elsewhere they’ve taken a Nuggets-ish tack with garage covers of such 60s staples as The Coasters, The Marvelettes, The Troggs and The Clovers’ ‘Love Potion No.9’, hence the album’s title.
Rock’n’roll legends Gene Vincent and Chuck Berry also get a look-in, while they dust off their 70s glam, punk and proto-punk chops with choices from the catalogues of Slade, Roky Erickson, Jonathan Richman, The Nerves and The Jam.
Check out their deeply sinister version of Slade’s ‘Coz I Luv You’….
Released through Nineteen Something Records, 16 Potions D’Amour is available here.
Manc punk legend EDWEENA BANGER is back with a new video which she’s premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
‘Let’s Do It’ is a taster for the former Ed Banger & The Nosebleeds and Slaughter & The Dogs singer’s second solo album Diamond Rocks, which is due out next month and follows on from her debut Diamonds On Tenth Avenue.
The new album continues the story of trans escort Diamond who goes on to become the singer in a glam rock band. Written and mostly performed by Banger, the album also features former Eater and Slaughter drummer Phil Rowland on two tracks.
Banger plays two dates in support of the album at…
20 Nov – St Moritz Club, London (w/ Continental Lovers & Healthy Junkies) 18 Dec – Star & Garter, Bolton