TOP 20 VIDEOS OF 2021!

As with last year, the lack of opportunities to play gigs has forced bands to use their initiative and consequently we’ve showered with some excellent videos, many of them being premiered here on the Vive Le Rock website. Competition has unsurprisingly been very tough, but here are just some of the ones that we loved…

20. CHELSEA – CA$H

You’d think original ’76 punks Chelsea should be taking it easy but no, latest album Meanwhile Gardens represents a new lease of life that many of the current crop of young pretenders would have a job following.

19. HOODOO GURUS – WORLD OF PAIN

With a wave of touring inked in just as Covid struck, the Aussie legend have showered us with a raft of excellent new singles and videos, of which this – celebrating their nation’s barroom culture – is the best. Look out for a new album in 2022.

18. THE BLUE CARPET BAND – B-MOVIE BOOGIE

These north Londoners go from strength to strength, their boisterous psychobilly revival now given fetching new go-faster stripes by a couple of members of the legendary Demented Are Go.

17. DEALING WITH DAMAGE – SLOW SHADOW

A supergroup of 90s punks, for this mindbending video from their debut album Ask More Questions, Dealing With Damage journeyed to the wilds of Surrey where they spent their idyllic childhoods. Recreating their first acid trips or something…

16. JAMES DOMESTIC – FAZE OUT

Frontman of East Anglian DIY punk pioneers, James Domestic channels a brown acid B52s on this track from his forthcoming debut album, due out this Spring.

15. THE MEFFS – SCUM

Staying in East Anglia, one of a number of angry young bands emerging from Britain’s oldest town (that’s Colchester), The Meffs offer this searing demolition of the UK’s most reviled tabloid.

14. PROFESSIONALS – SPIKE ME BABY

Filmed in West London’s iconic Olympia building, The Professionals offer this evidence that their reunion was no nostalgia act, delivering their second excellent album since their retooling in SNAFU.

13. OFF – HOLIER THAN THOU

SoCal punk supergroup deliver a decimating cover from Metallica’s Blacklist album, accompanied by this brilliant long-form video featuring a fully Oscar-deserving lead role Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow.

12. THE SCIENTISTS – SCIENCE OF SUAVE

At the time of their recent reformation, Aussie post-punk legends The Scientists swore they’d never make another album. Well guess what! Always unpredictable, they delivered this brilliant clip as a taste, proof that you shouldn’t believe want you read on the ‘net and should always listen to the scientists.

11. DAN SARTAIN – I DON’T CARE (OOH LA LA LA)

In a year full of sad departures, the loss of Dan Sartain bit particularly deep, not least because he’d just recorded (and made videos for) one of the best albums of his career. The guy clearly had a lot to give.

10. CULT FIGURES – CHICKEN BONES

In a year when the phrase ‘Birmingham post-punk’ was on everybody’s lips – well some of them – Solihull’s Cult Figures made good on their recent comeback with Deritend, a career high, from which ‘Chicken Bones’ is taken.

9. MILLIE MANDERS & THE SHUT-UP – PANIC

We had to go right back to the start of the year for this one. Taken from one of our albums of 2020, this eco-anthem was a wake-up call the world. A year on, how many woke up?

8. AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS – HERTZ

We said they were going to be huge, and these Aussie reprobates look like proving us right – aren’t we always? Just one of a number of great tracks from this year’s Comfort To Me, an album that shows real growth.

7. MAD DADDY – RIDE WITH ME

The Isle of Man isn’t over burdened with ball-tearing punk rock’n’roll, as far as we can tell, so the arrival on the Vive Le Rock turntable of Mad Daddy’s debut album was both a surprise and a headbanging delight. We can’t wait to catch ’em live.

6. DESPERATE MEASURES – SCARS & MEMORIES

It took 40 years to get here but Desperate Measure have finally arrived. So out of control they had to make this video twice, their mini-album Rinsed and support dates with The Professionals showed a band teetering on the brink of greasy rock’n’roll revolution, brothers and sisters.

5. CHUBBY AND THE GANG – COMING UP TOUGH

If you’d told us twenty years ago that in 2021 the kids would be getting off on a fusion of Oi and Highway To Hell-period AC/DC reared in a West London squat, we’d have laughed in your face, but been secretly delighted. Chubby And The Gang deserve the praise.

4. BOB VYLAN – GDP

We’ve never needed someone like Bob Vylan so bad, continuing to challenge and tell it like it is. Bob for PM? He gets our vote.

3. FEROCIOUS DOG – WILL YOU

Delivering possibly the album of their career with The Hope, the Notts folk-punks took the Hazel O’Connor hit (with help from Hazel herself), delivering a truly touching video that goes to the heart of the sense of isolation and loneliness, and indeed the glimmer of hope, that many of us have felt over the past year.

2. THE STRANGLERS – AND IF YOU SHOULD SEE DAVE

The tragic loss of Dave Greenfield last year hit many of us hard, not least his bandmate in The Stranglers. Yet somehow the recovered enough to deliver this poignant, and incredibly frank, tribute. How could they follow that?

1. THE STRANGLERS – THIS SONG

By getting Stuart Pearce to star – who knew he was so good at parkour?! You can read interviews with Stuart and The Stranglers in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock!

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LIPSMACKIN’!

Greek newcomers THE LIPTARDS have just unveiled their debut single.

Fusing hardcore punk energy and rock’n’roll ramalama, ‘Paycheck’ is taken from the Thessaloniki quintet’s forthcoming debut album Bowery Smile.

Recorded at Dare Studios in Katerini, the band say, “The idea behind the recordings was that all songs had to be recorded live as much as possible in order to capture the feeling and energy of a Liptards concert. Later on, it was sent to Magnus Lindberg (Cult Of Luna, Imperial State Electric, The Dahmers) in Stockholm to be mastered. Again, trying to maintain that feeling of live music.”

‘Paycheck’ is available now through Spotify and all the usual digital platforms.

The Liptards on Facebook

Pic by Christos Athanassiou

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ALONG CAME JONES!

JIM JONES is back with a new band and dates in the New Year.

The charismatic frontman of THEE HYPNOTICS, BLACK MOSES, THE JIM JONES REVUE and JIM JONES & THE RIGHTEOUS MIND now presents us with THE JIM JONES ALL STARS.

Featuring longstanding bassist Gavin Jay, plus original Revue keyboard-player Eilliott Mortimer, the rest of the band includes Carlton Mounsher, singer Ali Jones, drummer Chris Ellul and the three-way sax attack of Stuart Dace, Chuchi Malapersona and Tom Hodges.

“The whole COVID/Brexit problem just made it impossible to continue with The Righteous Mind, but with various live offers and opportunities still coming in I had to come up with something, or else just go insane,” explains Jones. “Necessity, being the mother of invention, surprised us all when she delivered a healthy, heavyweight, blue-eyed amalgam of incendiary ramalama soul.

“It’s a pleasure to have that much horn going on, as it allows me to plunge into the succulent, dark meat of the low-down, greasy, chitlin’ groove – that’s where all the flavour is!,” he continues. “There’s a whole new planet of killer songs and I’m landing on it now and preparing to plant my freak flag. And on top of that, we’re going to be deep-frying à la carte from my entire back catalogue. This is the gig you’ve been waiting for!”

25 Feb – London, The Lexington
26 Feb – Hebden Bridge, Trades Club
27 Feb – Leighton Buzzard, The Crooked Crow
12 Mar – Bedford, Esquires

More dates to follow…

Jim Jones All Stars on Facebook

Pic by Jeff Pitcher

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DAMNED RESCHEDULE DATES

THE DAMNED have been forced to reschedule their original line-up shows once again.

First announced in September 2020, the six dates – featuring original members Captain Sensible, Brian James, Dave Vanian and Rat Scabies – had been booked for July this year. However, the continued presence of Covid saw them rescheduled to February 2020.

Now with the current concerns over the Omicron variant, the band have taken the decision to reschedule the dates next autumn.

The new dates are…

Fri 28 Oct 2022- London Eventim Apollo
Sat 29 Oct 2022 – London Eventim Apollo

Thu 3rd Nov 2022 – Manchester O2 Apollo
Fri 4 Nov 2022 – Glasgow O2 Academy
Sat 5 Nov 2022- Birmingham O2 Academy

Support bands for the shows are the same as previously announced: The Skids (London 28), The Wildhearts (London 29), TV Smith & The Bored Teenagers (London 28, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham), Penetration (London 29, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham); with Smalltown Tigers opening on all dates.

Original tickets remain valid for all shows. New tickets are available here.

The Damned on Facebook

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RED ROOSTER ANNOUNCES BANDS!

Following a triumphant return last August, RED ROOSTER FESTIVAL has announced a first list of bands for 2022.

Next year, following the upheaval of lockdown, the Suffolk festival is back to it’s traditional time of year, returning to Euston Hall near Thetford over the weekend of 2-4 June.

Acts just announced include the recently revitalised North Mississippi Allstars (pictured), Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express, Cedric Burnside, Danny George Wilson, Robert Finley, The Sheepdogs, Elles Bailey and Dom Pipkin & The Ikos with Acid Jazz MD Eddie Piller leading the DJ billing.

Further details and tickets are available here.

Red Rooster on Facebook

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BANGER UNVEILS THUNDERS TRIBUTE!

EDWEENA BANGER celebrates the wonder of Johnny Thunders on her new single.

‘Give It Up For Johnny’ is taken from the singer’s second solo album Diamond Rocks out this week.

Onetime frontperson with Manc punk legends Ed Banger & The Nosebleeds and Slaughter & The Dogs, Edweena can currently be found fronting Slaughter Bite Back, who’ve recently been announced as an addition to the bill of next year’s Rebellion Festival, taking place in Blackpool from 4 to 7 August.

You can read a full interview with Edweena in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock! out this week!

Edweena Banger on Facebook

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NEWTOWN NEUROTICS UNVEIL NEW VIDEO!

Harlow’s finest, the NEWTOWN NEUROTICS are back with a new single and they’re premiering the lyric video exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Liar, Liar (Pants On Fire)’ – no prizes for guessing who it’s aimed at – represents the trio’s first new music since 1988 and is a first taste of their brand new album Cognitive Dissidents, due out next year.

The band had been preparing to launch the documentary film Kick Out! when Covid landed, but the lockdown period heralded a new period of activity for the band, leading to eleven new songs with the album recently being completed at Famous Times Studio in Hackney with producer Sean Read (Dexys, Rockingbirds).

‘Liar, Liar (Pants On Fire’ will be available digitally through Cruel Binary on all the usual platforms from Monday 20 December, but we guarantee you’ll be shouting it at the TV long before then!

Newtown Neurotics on Facebook

Pic by Caleb Rae

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VANILLA ON THE LOOSE!

French post-punk supergroup VANILLA BLUE have announced the release of their debut album for the New Year.

Taking their name from a track by Chicago punk legends Naked Raygun and hailing from the eastern city of Saint-Étienne, the quartet feature members of three of that city’s best bands: Zero Gain, Protex Blue and Sixpack, but with a collective CV that alights on more than 50 more.

Taking their lead from the ferocious melodic punk tones of Hüsker Dü that have been such an influence on Zero Gain, the band have tempered the sound still more with the power-pop licks of the Replacements and Big Star.

Calling on French punk legend Pit Samprass, formerly of Burning Heads to produce alongside engineer Alex Borel, the quartet laid down the 11 tracks that make up Dark Cities in seven days, including the mixing!

Check out the first single ‘Dance With Me’…

Released through Nineteen Something, Dangerhouse Skylab and Bad Health Records, Dark Cities is available to pre-order on clear or green vinyl, with CD and download included.

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DOCTOR STAPLE’S SPECIAL BREW!

NEVILLE STAPLE and his band have unveiled a new video as a taster for their new album out today.

‘Celebrate You’ is the second single to be taken from From The Specials & Beyond.

As the album title implies, the release finds Neville revisiting his past with covers of Specials classics ‘Ghost Town’ and ‘Monkey Man’, the latter originally recorded by Toots and The Maytals.

Neville, his wife Sugary Staple and the band have also recruited a handful of special guests for the album in the form of reggae DJ Clint Eastwood, ska/rocksteady icon Derrick Morgan, Quadrophenia actor Gary Shail and The Selecter’s Neol Davies.

“This has been one of my favourite albums to work on,” says Neville, the recent recipient of an honorary doctorate from Arden University. “Each song has a special and personal meaning to me. I wanted to celebrate the roots of my own music journey, with Two-Tone being at the forefront of each song, in the sound and in the lyrics. Stomping music, with sometimes serious commentary, but all presented in a fun, danceable, singalong spirit. That’s the Two-Tone way. Our way. And the special guests were amazing to work with too, especially Derrick Morgan, one of my early inspirations. With superb contributions from Sugary and the band, plus other star guests, this album is set to be a real ‘stand out’ one, that makes me proud of my career to date.”

Released through Cleopatra Records, From The Specials & Beyond is available on vinyl and CD here, and digitally here.

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MOONLIGHT BROMIDE

London songwriter SIMON BROMIDE celebrates the release of his new album with a special launch gig tonight.

Recorded at Walthamstow’s Bark Studios with producer Brian Shaughnessy (Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine) during lockdown, Following The Moon finds the artist joined by an array of musicians from the thriving South-East London scene.

Released through his own Scratchy label, Following The Moon is available here.

To celebrate, Bromide launches the album tonight Friday 10 December at The Old Dispensary, Camberwell. Admission is FREE!

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MERRY SLADEMAS!

In the topsy-turvy world of today, it’s nice to know that there are some things you can rely on and today SLADE unveil a new video for their Xmas evergreen ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’.

Unbelievably, the animated clip is the first ever official video for the song!

Quickly selling over a million copies on its first release in 1973, it was the Black Country rockers sixth No.1 hit, and has since spent a bauble-busting 105 weeks on the charts, re-entering the countdown for the 26th time this week.

“The video is very unusual and comical,” says Noddy Holder. “It does sum up the band’s characters HO HO HO!”

This year the single has extra meaning coming as it does amid a major vinyl reissue programme for the band, doubtless many of which will be bulging a few stockings on the wall this year.

So far, Slayed?, Old New Borrowed And Blue and Slade In Flame have all been reissued on splatter vinyl.

The next reissue, due in January (so you’ll have to postpone the Christmas comedown), is their classic Slade Alive!, originally released in March ’72 and rising to No.2 in the album chart, and featuring the breakthrough hit ‘Get Down And Get With It’ and their mammoth take on Steppenwolf’s ‘Born To Be Wild’.

Released on 28 January on red/black splatter vinyl in gatefold sleeve through BMG, Slade Alive! is available to pre-order here.

Pic by Barry Plummer

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THE BIG O CALLING!

London-based French musician MARC OLIVIER has just released a new video from his forthcoming solo album.

Fusing classic French chanson with glam-rock and vintage electronica, ‘L’Homme De L’Ombre’ (Man Of The Shadows) is the title track from the album, which is due out in February.

Now trading as MARC O, ‘Man Of The Shadows’ is appropriate as Olivier is more frequently to be found behind a studio desk working on the recordings of others, but readers may recall him as the singer/guitarist with mid-Noughties rockers PLASTIC HEROES who, channelling Bowie and Bolan, turned a few heads with their now sought-after 2008 album Escape The Lower End for Bongo Beat Records.

That band was derailed when Olivier was hospitalised with an aggressive cancer which required complex and lengthy treatment. Now returned to full health, he’s back with a set of songs co-written with his brother, author and philosopher Bruno Pons Levy, and featuring contributions from the likes of Sami Yaffa, Will Crewdson (Rachel Stamp, Adam Ant), Kath Gifford (Moonshake, Stereolab) and Danny Ray (Jesse Malin, The Waldos) along with bassist Christophe Deschamps and Dave Richmond, who’ve played with such Gallic legends as Serge Gainsbourg, Jacques Dutronc and Sylvie Vartan.

Set for release on 25 February through Plastic Sound Records, L’Homme De L’Ombre is available to pre-order here.

Marc O will play a special live set accompanied by Yaffa, Richmond and Deschamps at Rough Trade East, London on 2 February. Tickets are available here.

Marc O on Facebook

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DERWOOD SPEAKS!

GENERATION X legend Bob ‘Derwood’ Andrews gives a rare interview this week when he talks to ex-JIM JONES REVUE guitarist Rupert Orton on the latter’s Totally Wired radio show Pink Lemonade this Friday 10 December.

Joining Generation X at their inception, Derwood played on the band’s first two albums for Chrysalis before quitting along with drummer Mark Laff to form pioneering and influential post-punks Empire. He would later find further chart success with the band Westworld while in recent years he’s been pushing boundaries under the banner Tone Poet.

Derwood has recently taken to engaging with the world of social media through his Instagram account.

Friday’s show will also feature the first ever radio play of the the new EP from HIS LORDSHIP, the new project from PRETENDERS guitarist James Walbourne, ahead of their show with Iraina Mancini at the PRB Xmas party at London’s Lexington on 21 December.

Pink Lemonade is broadcast 4-6 pm on Friday 10 December on Totally Wired Radio.

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LET’S GO OUTDOORS!

REBELLION have announced a new outdoor stage to coincide with next year’s festival.

Branded R-FEST, the four-day event in front of the Blackpool Tower from will form part of the main Rebellion festival but will also be ticketed as a stand-alone event.

Headliners over the four days are THE LEVELLERS (Thur), THE STRANGLERS (Fri), GARY NUMAN (Sat) and SQUEEZE (Sun).

Thursday’s fun will also include sets from THE WILDHEARTS, MISTY IN ROOTS, DREADZONE, FEROCIOUS DOG, BEANS ON TOAST and MILLIE MANDERS & THE SHUT-UP, while on the Friday, the bill will feature THE UNDERTONES, THE SKIDS, FROM THE JAM, TOYAH, JILTED JOHN and THE VAPORS.

Saturday’s line-up is completed by PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT, POP WILL EAT ITSELF, SPEAR OF DESTINY, CHAMELEONS, PRIMITIVES and PETE BENTHAM & THE DINNER LADIES.

The closing night’s bill also features BUZZCOCKS, TOM ROBINSON BAND, HOLLIE COOK, ALTERED IMAGES, I DORIS plus a special guest to be announced.

Further details and day tickets for R-FEST are available here.

Admission to R-FEST is FREE for holders of Rebellion weekend tickets, which are available here.

Rebellion on Facebook

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SCARRED FOR LIFE!

Now hopefully recovered from their tour supporting THE PROFESSIONALS, London rockers DESPERATE MEASURES are back with a brand new video.

The barn-burning ‘Scars & Memories’ is the third single and opening cut from the quartet’s highly praised mini-album Rinsed, which came out in September through Easy Action.

“A tale of a reckless life lived out of control, addiction, and regrets, it’s the story of a long-lost friend who is now on the run from criminal gangs,” say the band. The video was shot, directed, and edited by Craig Temple of Racketeer Pictures.

Buy Rinsed here.

To put a cap on a successful year, the band play a special London headline show at Nambucca, Holloway Road on Thursday 16 December, where they’ll be joined by THE BLUE CARPET BAND, THE DUEL and LOS SANTOS. Tickets are available here.

Desperate Measures on Facebook

Pic by Tina Korhonen

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THE DAMNED IN PRINT

THE DAMNED are to have the story of their first incarnation told by the band members themselves in a lavish new book.

In the run-up the the punk legends’ reunion dates in February 2022, Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible, Brian James and Rat Scabies have all contributed to the volume via brand new interviews.

Charting the band’s career from their formation The Damned: 1976 – 1978 tells the story of their whirlwind early years, including the first ever UK punk single (‘New Rose’), first ever UK punk album (Damned Damned Damned) and first ever US tour by a UK punk band, leading up to their misunderstood second album Music For Pleasure and subsequent demise in early ’78.

The limited edition deluxe hardback volume is lavishly illustrated with photographs by renowned photographer Erica Echenberg. Each copy features a book plate, signed by all four original members.

Due for publication in January through Away With Media, The Damned: 1976 – 1978 is available to pre-order here.

As previously announced, the original line-up of The Damned play the following dates…

FRI 11 FEB – GLASGOW O2 ACADEMY
with Penetration, TV Smith & The Bored Teenagers, Smalltown Tigers

SAT 12 FEB – MANCHESTER O2 APOLLO
with Penetration, TV Smith & The Bored Teenagers, Smalltown Tigers

WED 16 FEB – BIRMINGHAM O2 ACADEMY
with Penetration, TV Smith & The Bored Teenagers, Smalltown Tigers

FRI 18 FEB – LONDON EVENTIM APOLLO
with The Skids, TV Smith & The Bored Teenagers, Smalltown Tigers

SAT 19 FEB – LONDON EVENTIM APOLLO
with The Wildhearts, Penetration, Smalltown Tigers

Tickets are on sale here.

The Damned on Facebook

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FEROCIOUS DOG WALKING WITH HAZEL O’CONNOR!

FEROCIOUS DOG have unveiled another new video following the release of their new album The Hope.

A new version of the classic 1981 hit ‘Will You?, the single and video features a guest appearance but the song’s originator, Hazel O’Connor. The track was originally taken from the film Breaking Glass, in which O’Connor starred.

“’Will You’ is one my all time favourite songs from one of my all time favourite artists,” says band frontman Ken Bonsall. “When I first heard it as a kid on Top Of The Pops I fell in love with it. To recreate this with Hazel herself has been a dream come true for me and we’re now great friends too off the back of this.”

The new version of the track is available on the digital and deluxe digipak formats of The Hope, which is available here.

Concluding their current tour this Saturday at Sheffield Leadmill, the band have announced more dates for the New Year, including festival appearances at Bearded Theory, Bloodstock and Rebellion. Full dates are…

January
Fri 21th The Tivoli Buckley
Sun 23rd John Fretwell Sporting Complex, Mansfield , Rhyco Charity Gig
March
Sat 5th Roadmender, Northampton
Fri 11th The Parish, Huddersfield
Sat 12th 1865, Southampton
Fri 18th Victoria Hall, Settle
Sat 19th Victoria Hall, Settle
Thu 24th The Garage, London
Fri 25th The Fleece, Bristol
April
Fri 1st The Garage, Glasgow
Sat 2nd The Georgian Theatre, Stockton-on-Tees
Sat 30th Rock City, Nottingham
May
Sat 26th Bearded Theory Festival, Derby
June
Sat 4th Punk on the Penisula Festival, Argyll
July
Sat 23rd O2 Academy Leeds
Fri 29th Y Not Festival, Pikehall
August
Thu 4th Rebellion Festival, Blackpool
Sat 13th Bloodstock Festival, Walton-on-Trent

Tickets on sale here

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FOR FOX SAKE!

Punk bands have been lining up to support hunt saboteurs on the latest in a series of compilation albums.

The 28-track Hunt Sabs Benefit CD Vol 3 features tracks from THE CRAVATS pictured), RUBELLA BALLET, EXTREME NOISE TERROR, LOST CHERREES, BACK TO THE PLANET, THE MENSTRUAL CRAMPS, ICONS OF FILTH, ANARCHISTWOOD, MDC, FEROCIOUS DOG, OMEGA TRIBE, THE PUKES and many more.

The release comes just days after the news that the National Trust, Cheshire West and Chester Council have announced a ban on trail-hunting on their land.

Each release in the series benefits different groups and this edition will benefit North London, North Wales and Glasgow hunt saboteurs.

Released through On the Run Wreck Chords, Hunt Sabs Benefit CD Vol 3 is available on CD, as a limited edition bundle with badges, poster, sticker and patch, and digitally through Bandcamp. And if you buy the CD this Friday, Bandcamp will be waiving their fees with all profits going to the organisations concerned.

Check out The Cravats’ track ‘Bury The Wild’…

On the Run Wreck Chords on Facebook

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