TURKS TRIBUTE!

Warsaw-based label Heavy Medication salutes the majesty of Ohio punk legends NEW BOMB TURKS with a new tribute album out in the New Year.

Defiled! A Heavy Medication Tribute to New Bomb Turks features at least 15 Turks covers from some of the best new punk, garage and action-rock bands around, including SMALLTOWN TIGERS (pictured), RANDY SAVAGES, HELL NATION ARMY, POISON HEART, HOWLIN’ THREADS and the sublimely named THE SATANIC OVERLORDS OF ROCK’N’ROLL.

Renowned for their high energy live shows, New Bomb Turks formed at Ohio State University in Columbus in 1990, going on to release ten albums and numerous singles through such leading punk and rock’n’roll labels such as Crypt, Epitaph, Gearhead and Sympathy For The Record Industry.

“We have been loving the Turks since their debut album Destroy Oh Boy! first piledrove our skulls in 1992,” say the guys at Heavy Medication. “Almost 30 years later, we’re still finding traces of the Turks’ flamethrower DNA in hundreds of other bands, so it’s in their honor we put together an international tribute of bands interpreting their songs, titled Defiled! A Heavy Medication Tribute to New Bomb Turks“.

The vinyl contains 15 tracks…
Hell Nation Army – ‘Point A To Point Blank’
Poison Heart – ‘Snap Decision’
Aberration – ‘Rat Feelings’
Doojiman & The Exploders – ‘Automatic Teller’
Red Crap – ‘If I Only Could’
Randy Savages – ‘Leaving Town’
Howlin’ Threads – ‘Professional Againster’
Ville Fantome – ‘Born Toulouse-Lautrec’
Dog Toffee – ‘Id Slips In’
The Satanic Overlords Of Rock ‘N’ Roll – ‘Tattooed Apathetic Boys’
Smalltown Tigers – ‘Girl Can Help It’
Puffball – ‘Never Will’
Moron’s Morons – ‘Wine & Depression’
Jack Saint – ‘Grounded Ex-Patriot’
Tongue Action – ‘Telephone Numbrrr’

The CD version tacks on three bonus tracks…
Flash House – ‘I’m Weak’
Hell Nation Army – ‘I Want My Baby… Dead ?!’
Jet Boys – ‘Killer’s Kiss’

Set for release in late February, Defiled! is available to pre-order on vinyl and CD here.

Check out the teaser video…

Heavy Medication Records on Facebook

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LAST GREAT DREAMERS VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

LAST GREAT DREAMERS herald their new live album with a video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Lunacy Lady’ is taken from the album Live At The Tivoli, recorded at the legendary venue in the North Wales town.

The album comprises a recording of a full live show for the benefit of the Mind mental health charity in October last year. Alongside ‘Lunacy Lady’ (taken from the 2014 album Crash Landing In Teenage Heaven), the album features another 16 stage favourites from across the band’s career, including ‘New Situation’, ‘Oblivion Kids’ and ‘Far From Home’.

“Wills at WW Audio has done a magnificent job on both the audio for the album and the ‘Lunacy Lady’ video,” says guitarist Slyder. “When I first saw it I was even more excited for the live album release, he sent us the first draught and there was really nothing we wanted to change, he’s got The Dreamers show down to a tee perfectly in this!”

Live At The Tivoli is available to pre-order through Amazon and the band’s webstore.

Last Great Dreamers on Facebook

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MICHAEL J SHEEHY’S MUSIC VENUE TRUST BENEFIT!

MICHAEL J SHEEHY has announced the release of a download-only single to benefit the Music Venue Trust.

The DREAM CITY FILM CLUB and MIRACULOUS MULE man has just released the acclaimed album Distance is the Soul of Beauty, his first solo album in over a decade.

This Friday 4 December he releases two new songs, ‘The Places We Used To Dance’, a lament to bygone days and long-closed venues, and ‘Baby, Baby, Baby (Can I Tell You Something?)’ through Lightning Archive Records.

“It was written a while ago…” says Sheehy about the A-side. “I had in mind The Bull and Gate in Kentish Town and the 12 Bar Club on Denmark Street, two places that will always mean so much to me. Recent events have really driven home just how important these places are and the sad reality is, if we lose them they won’t be replaced. We have to fight tooth and nail. Like many, I’m struggling right now, music is such an important part of my life both as an artist and a punter. The absence of live music has been pretty hard to take and the fact that so many venues are in danger of closing their doors for good is quite frankly, terrifying.”

The single is released exclusively through Bandcamp, who are currently waiving their fees on the first Friday of every month, so all proceeds from sales on that day will go directly to the Music Venue Trust, who’ve been doing so much to support struggling venues throughout the UK.

Michael J Sheehy on Facebook

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THUG LIFE!

Legendary French post-punks LES THUGS are to have one of their explosive live shows released as a live album.

Formed in the city of Angers in 1983, Les Thugs went on to have wider success outside France, especially in the in US where their records were released by Alternative Tentacles and SubPop, before splitting at the end on 1999.

Released through Nineteen Something Records, Live Paris 1999 was recorded at one of the quartet’s final gigs, before they briefly reformed nearly a decade later, resulting in the live album and DVD Come On, People.

Recorded at the Élysée Montmartre on 9 December, the 76-minute 21-track album misses out on a couple of songs due to tape damage, but stands as a ‘best of’ of the band’s career and even includes a couple of covers in the shape of the Dead Kennedy’s ‘Moon Over Marin’ and Vince Taylor’s ‘Brand New Cadillac’, made famous by The Clash.

The album’s release also coincides with the publication of the band’s biography Radical History. Both the CD and the book are available from the Nineteen Something online shop, with album download available from Bandcamp.

Check out ‘Some Kind Of Freedom’ from 1989…

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PRIZE DRAW LAUNCHED TO HELP ROADCREW

It’s not just musicians who have been stopped from gigging thanks to Covid.

So David Stopps (above right), co-founder of Aylesbury’s legendary Friars events has partnered with a host of music industry big names to launch #ILoveLive, a fundraising prize draw to raise money for roadcrew who have been left severely struggling.

David, who is leading the Stagehand campaign which is partnered with Crowdfunder for the project, was prompted to act after hearing about multiple suicides among roadcrew who have lost their livelihoods.

Local Friars legends John Otway and Marillion were among the first to offer prizes, with Otway going above and beyond the call of duty by donating a gig in the winner’s own living room!

“When I heard about the tenth suicide among stage crew in late August I knew I had to do something,” says David. “Stage crew are not only suffering great financial hardship but most are also experiencing ill mental health. Money raised from these prize draws will actually save lives and help to safeguard their future.

“The industry was the first to close and will be the last to reopen, resulting in thousands of people facing immense hardship. The problem is intensified by the nature of the industry. Over 60% of the people working in the industry are freelancers without any support from a larger company and over 20% of all crew have discovered that they don’t qualify for any government support at all.

“Stage crew have been the forgotten ones in the current pandemic. Stagehand and the #ILoveLive initiative will not only make a real practical difference to helping people survive the huge challenges that they face, but it also offers a timely reminder that the wider community cares about their plight.”

A former stage manager who has already received a grant from Stagehand said, “I can’t express how much this is going to help me. I woke up in tears this morning, upon the realisation that I had less than £10 to my name. I was desperately wondering how I was going to survive for the rest of the month when £500 landed in my account from Stagehand. Stagehand and all of the people who are creating fundraising projects are doing such an amazing thing for those of us who are currently unable to work in live music, and who have been unsuccessful in finding other work.”

The #ILoveLive campaign gives fans the chance to give something back to the people who make life-affirming live events happen and to win money-can’t-buy prizes from their favourite artists. The #ILoveLive campaign, in partnership with Crowdfunder UK (who have waived their platform fees), features a list of all of the artists who have contributed prizes. Fans can choose which artists they want to buy tickets for, and can increase their chances of winning by purchasing multiple tickets. Tickets are priced at £5 each.

The draw is now live and remains open until 6.00pm on 17 December. The winners will then be chosen on 23 December and prizes will be sent out in January.

Here are examples of the wide range of prizes on offer:

  • Nile Rodgers: A replica of his classic 1957 ‘Hitmaker’ Fender Stratocaster, signed.
  • Florence Welch: Hand painted lyrics by Florence dedicated to the winner.
  • Mark Knopfler: The Fender Stratocaster used throughout his 2019 world tour, signed.
  • Chemical Brothers: Their touring Roland 303 synth, signed.
  • Craig David: Signed mixing desk that he used for his third album
  • Eric Clapton: His personal signed Martin custom shop OM Bob Gruhn acoustic.
  • Royal Blood: The jacket frontman Mike Kerr wore during their landmark Glastonbury show in 2017.
  • Liam Gallagher: His Les Paul ‘Studio’ guitar, signed.
  • Robbie Williams: Handwritten lyrics dedicated to the winner.
  • Nick Cave and Warren Ellis: Signed Eastwood bass guitar and Muzzbox tour pedal.
  • FKA twigs: A rare mask worn during her live show.
  • John Otway: A gig in the winner’s front room
  • Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey: His ESP guitar that he played at Live Aid in Philadelphia in 1985

The #ILoveLive campaign has been spearheaded by David with Andy Lenthall and Mike Lowe at Stagehand. They appealed to PPL, the BPI, major record labels and artist management companies, and raised £280,000 – most of which went to the 300 crew members in the most desperate need earlier this month. The idea for a prize draw was suggested by Ian McAndrew of Wildlife Entertainment, whose management roster includes Arctic Monkeys and Royal Blood. He had previously set up a similar draw with Arctic Monkeys to benefit the Music Venue Trust. David and Ian McAndrew, together with booking agent Tom Schroeder, subsequently reached out to the music community and received a rapturous response, with countless major artists offering remarkable one-off items.

Mike Lowe, the Chair of Stagehand’s Board of Trustees commented, “We know that when live shows can take place again in financially viable ways, the industry will be extremely busy. Artists, festivals and venues just want to get back to work and the public are hungry to see live entertainment again. No live show of any kind can happen without the skills and expertise of the army of live events workers. I am sure that the live events industry workers who we can help, will join me and my fellow trustees in expressing our massive appreciation for making all of this happen in the most difficult and unprecedented of times.”

Rob Love, CEO of Crowdfunder said, “This is a really exciting campaign and we are thrilled to be partnering with Stagehand and an array of incredible talent. Running prize draws with money-can’t-buy prizes can be a really effective fundraising tool. This crucial campaign will help support the ‘behind the scenes’ workers in the live music industry who have been left without work for months.”

Go to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/i-love-live to take part

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SHUFFLING THE DECK!

Rockney roustabouts BUSTER SHUFFLE have announced a 10th Anniversary re-release of their classic debut album.

Hard to believe that the piano-pounding ska-punks released Our Night Out a decade ago through People Like You/Century Media putting a new spin on the genre and kicking off a thriving European career.

With touring and recording plans derailed because of Covid 19, the band felt it would be a good idea to re-relase the album to give something back to their fans in these troubled times.

“We always wanted to do something for ONO’s 10th birthday,” says singer Jet Baker. “We just never imagined we would be in lockdown, not able to play shows and have a party together. We decided this would be a great way to celebrate its birthday with our fans so we are re-releasing the record on our own label Do Nothing Records”.

The album has been fully remastered and also features two new recordings of old songs that were frequently featured live but never made it beyond the demo stage.

Set for release on 18 December, Our Night Out is available to pre-order here.

Buster Shuffle on Facebook

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NONE MORE BLACK!

PETER BLACK, guitarist with long-serving Aussie punks HARD-ONS, releases not one but TWO new solo albums today.

The albums If This Is The Hand That I’m Dealt and I’m Gonna Cheat As Much As I Can – his sixth and seventh full-length solo releases – are a shift away from the buzzsaw punk of Hard-Ons, seeing Black explore his pure pop and powerpop influences on one acoustic and one electric album.

“My biggest hero is probably Paul McCartney,” he says. “That guy does it all and his sense of melody and experimentation in the form is wild. I love the 60s a lot. I love Michael Brown’s writing in all his bands the Stories, Left Banke etc… And all the classic power pop – Raspberries, you name it… In many ways I don’t see what I do solo as that different as it’s still POP but wanted to present it in a much more gentle fashion / format. I was given an acoustic at a party eons ago – ‘You’re a guitarist, play something’ – and ’cause I only knew power chords I thought ‘Man I know so little of what this instrument can do, I can’t make this thing sound any good!’. That was a big thing that got me on the path… Also, seeing someone like Brian Wilson play ‘Surfs Up’ on the piano or Paul play ‘Blackbird’; realising that just one voice and one instrument can be so powerful if the song is THAT good; that made me wanna try as well…”

Hard-Ons returned last year with their first new album in five years, So I Could Have Them Destroyed.

Check out ‘CryAloneDotCom’

Both albums are available now via Bandcamp.

Peter Black on Facebook

Pic by Alec Smart

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MARK VENNIS VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Songwriter Mark Vennis trails his new album with a video which he’s premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Fighting On All Fronts’ is the first single and title track of the album, which follows on from Mark’s previous albums with his band Different Place, Uncharted Water and A Beautiful Lie Or The Ugly Truth.

A film producer by day – he produced the acclaimed Slits documentary Here To Be Heard and the Don Letts film Rebel Dread, as well as Maxine Peake’s BIFA nominated Funny Cow – Vennis’ songs shine a spotlight on the downtrodden and the dispossessed.

“We are just trying to make sense of it all the only way we know how – through our songs,” he says.

Fighting On All Fronts is out on Friday 27 November through Cadiz Music.

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HAWKWIND UNVEIL NEW LIVE ALBUM!

Space-rock legends HAWKWIND are to release a new live album next week.

Celebrating the iconic sonic space cadets’ 50th anniversary, 50 Live was recorded on tour last November.

The release is the latest in a long line of classic live albums including the universe-straddling Space Ritual, Live ’79, The 1999 Party and Live Chronicles.

Available on double-CD and triple-vinyl, the 17-track album features several classics from the band’s illustrious career, including ‘Hurry On Sundown’ from their 1970 debut album, ‘Assault & Battery’ and ‘The Golden Void’ from 1975’s Warrior On The Edge Of Time and ‘Spirit Of The Age’ for their 1977 masterpiece Quark, Strangeness & Charm.

The band, featuring founder Dave Brock plus Tim Blake, Richard Chadwick, Niall Hone and Magnus Martin are also joined by Motorhead’s Phil Campbell for the band’s sole hit single ‘Silver Machine’ and ‘The Watcher’, written by Lemmy and first featured on the band’s classic ’72 album Doremi Fasol Latido and later on Motorhead’s self-titled debut in ’77.

Set for release on Friday 4 December, 50 Live is available to pre-order here.

Hawkwind on Facebook

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MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS!

A new book aims to raise money for the NHS by sharing memories of punk and rock gigs.

Great Gig Memories, published by Ireland’s Hope Collective of fans, musicians, writers and promoters, has been compiled by Niall McGuirk and Michael Murphy and features more than 200 contributions from punk musicians and their friends.

Published at a time that has seen an unprecedented dearth of gigs thanks to Covid-19, the book celebrates the medium of live music while giving to the people in the frontline of the defence against the virus via NHS Charities Together.

Gigs featured include Black Flag, Jimi Hendrix, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Suicide, Alice Cooper, Bob Marley, Rory Gallagher, Dr Feelgood, Ramones, AC/DC, Sex Pistols, The Stranglers, Celibate Rifles, Psychedelic Furs, Hanoi Rocks, Iggy Pop, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Penetration, The Slits, XTC, Blondie, The Clash, The Hearbreakers, Deaf School, The Jam, Stiff Little Fingers, Buzzcocks and more.

Memories are shared by the likes of Charlie Harper, Knox from The Vibrators, Jake Burns from Stiff Little Fingers, John Perry from The Only Ones, Steve Ignorant from Crass, Nick Tesco and JC Carroll from The Members, Karen Amsden from Hagar The Womb, Johny Brown, former Hope & Anchor landlord John Eichler, Roger Miller from Mission Of Burma, Selwyn Brown from Steel Pulse, Kent Steedman from Celibate Rifles, Segs from The Ruts and many others….

Great Gig Memories is available to order now here.

The Hope Collective on Facebook

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SUN ARISE!

Sicilian post-punks CLUSTERSUN are back with a new single and video.

The driving space-rock of ‘Desert Daze’ is a first taste of the trio’s forthcoming new album Avalanche, which is due out next Spring.

A joint production between France’s Icy Cold Records and the USA’s Little Cloud Records, the band’s third album follows on from 2014’s Out Of Your Ego and 2017’s Surfacing To Breathe, and was mixed and mastered by renowned producer James Aparicio (Black Doldrums, Piatcions, Desert Mountain Tribe).

‘Desert Daze’ is available on Spotify and all the usual platforms.

Clustersun on Facebook

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NOSFERATU COMPETITION!

Long-serving gothic rock band NOSFERATU will be releasing a new album in the New Year.

In the meantime, they’re offering a FREE copy of the Special Edition of their classic 1997 album Lord Of The Flies, plus a poster, to one lucky Vive Le Rock! reader!

Formed in London in 1986, Nosferatu have gone on to become one of the most successful gothic rock bands, playing shows every year since then and selling more than 100,000 singles and albums worldwide.

To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is send an email to info@vivelerock.net with ‘Nosferatu Competition’ in the subject box, telling us the working title of Nosferatu’s sixth studio album due for release in the Spring of 2021.

Is it…?

A. The World Is Ours
B. The Ninth Gate
C. Grail Hunting
D. In Search Of Space
E. Time

Good luck!

Nosferatu on Facebook

Pic by Sascha

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AFTER HOURS

London rockers THE HEAT INC. are back with a new video.

The cacophonous, brooding ‘Your After Love Song’ follows on from their debut single ‘Raptors’, whose video was premiered by Vive Le Rock! back in the summer.

Released through Melted Dino Records, the band describe the track as “a love song, like a lot of songs but it’s sort of unparalleled in the way it pairs that high gloss, rock ’n’ roll production with that level of volume. Somehow, it maintains a supra-melodic nature while turning it all the way up past twelve.”

The track is available through Bandcamp, Spotify and all the usual platforms.

The Heat Inc. on Facebook

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ESSEX PISTOLS!

The glory days of South Essex punk are celebrated on a new compilation album out next month.

Southend Punk Volume One is the brainchild of Steve Pegrum, founder of the online resource Southend Punk Rock History 1976 – 1986 and a member of various bands down the years.

As London’s nearest seaside town, Southend-on-Sea on the north bank of the Thames Estuary, was perfectly positioned for the onslaught of rock’n’roll and youth culture throughout the 50s and 60s, with its abundance of pubs, clubs and other venues. The arrival of punk in the late 70s was just as impactful, allowing bands to develop their own identity and following in splendid isolation while still allowing easy access to the thriving London scene just 30 miles down the A13.

Southend Punk Volume One brings together 14 bands from the town and its environs, including THE MACHINES, THE STEVE HOOKER BAND, THE KRONSTADT UPRISING, THE VICARS (featuring Alison Moyet, pictured), THE DECIBALLS, THE PSYCHOPATHS, THE SYNYX, THE BURNING IDOLS and THE BULLIES featuring future Cure member Perry Bamonte.

Set for release on 4 December through Angels In Exile Records, Southend Punk Volume One is available to pre-order here.

Check out ‘Blind People’ by Kronstadt Uprising…

Angels In Exile on Facebook

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1977: SINGLES GOING STEADY!

In the 77th edition of Vive Le Rock!, we cast an eye and ear over the sights and sounds of 1977! What’s your favourite single from that crucial year? Here, in no particular order, are ten of ours….!

THE LURKERS – SHADOW

PENETRATION – DON’T DICTATE

X-RAY SPEX – OH BONDAGE! UP YOURS!

THE DAMNED – PROBLEM CHILD

ALTHEA & DONNA – UPTOWN TOP RANKING

RAMONES – SHEENA IS A PUNK ROCKER

THE ADVERTS – GARY GILMORE’S EYES

MOTORHEAD – MOTORHEAD

THE SAINTS – THIS PERFECT DAY

IAN DURY – SEX & DRUGS & ROCK & ROLL

Check out our 1977 special in the current edition of Vive Le Rock! available here and in all good newsagents!

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CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS?

Original Surrey punks CRISIS were interviewed by Dom Warwick for the Where Are They Now? section in the current edition of Vive Le Rock! They had plenty to say for themselves. Read the full interview below…

Originating from Guildford in 1976, Crisis was at the forefront of the politically astute punk movement, their dark sound combining with spiky guitars providing a unique backdrop to intelligent, thought provoking lyrics. The landscape back in ’77 lent itself to a period of intense musical creativity interwoven with a political backdrop steeped in protest and a thirst for change. Not as obvious as The Clash or overtly intellectualised as Crass, fitting somewhere in between, the three bands were often cited as the 3 C’s of political punk. The band broke up in 1980, with core members Tony Wakeford and Doug Pearce individually forging their way in what became known as Neo-folk, with the likes of Death in June and Sol Invictus (to name a few).

Having left their mark in the brief few years they were together, a new version of Crisis started to take shape in 2015 and in more recent times released new material, with the ‘Hammer and the Anvil’ 7” and a 12”, ‘Escalator’. Original member Tony Wakeford and new vocalist Lloyd James talk about the new band, past experiences and future plans.

Why did you decide to start playing Crisis material again and how did the current line-up come about?
Tony: If you go right back to sort of ‘pre-Crisis-Crisis’, with the times we were heading for I thought getting back to playing the early stuff would be fun, I really enjoy it and love playing bass, which is my first instrument. So me and Clive [guitarist] got together and started gigs as ‘1984’, Crisis stuff, plus some early Death in June songs, which fit more with the post-punk thing and it sprung from that. All the gigs would be small, but you’d get the money for being 1984, not Crisis. So in the end Mark, who was putting us on at the time, said ‘fuck it, call yourselves Crisis, you’re a founding member, there’s bands doing it with less’, so we did. And then through permutations we’ve got to the line-up we have now, with Lloyd and Laura joining me and Clive, a fantastic line-up to play with and it’s the most fun I’ve had playing live.
Lloyd: I’ve loved the original punk movement and been a big fan of post-punk for a long time, it was always the music I loved most. So I was always aware of Crisis, always thought they were a very interesting group musically, sounded quite modern and forward looking, vocals that were political with lots of strength of feeling about current issues at the time. I’ve been playing in other groups for a number of years in a sort of a post-punk influenced vein in different ways, different styles and I’ve known Tony for a long while, playing in bands with him off & on over the years. When they were looking for a new singer for Crisis, Tony messaged me and asked if would I do it. I was very unsure at first as I’d never sung in that style before, but we gave it a go and they didn’t sack me.

Although you ‘reformed’ a few years back, it has taken a while to release any new material. Was this a conscious decision?
Tony: I’m not sure anything in Crisis is a conscious decision. I think it had to be in keeping with Crisis, there’s a certain heritage, I’m sure there are many people who’d love to stick the boot in, as there are so many punk bands that have reformed and they sound terrible.
Lloyd: As a fan of the old material, singing the songs live, my main concern is I don’t want to do it a disservice, it has to be good enough. Working on new material, we tried it a few times about a year before we eventually got to the stage where we had material good enough to stick out on a single. We wanted to make sure it was good and consistent with previous recordings. Tony: We wanted to ensure it had a Crisis feel, I was very nervous, but surprised. You’re kind of playing with people’s dreams. I had people saying ‘I’ve travelled 12 hours to see the original Crisis and really I’m nervous to be seeing you’ and then you get the emails saying ‘that was great’. It sounds cheesy, but that really meant a lot to us, a real hardcore fan expecting to be disappointed but enjoying it. I didn’t want to get a really young and punky vocal, it just wouldn’t work. I’m not shoving some young bloke up front, I wanted someone with a bit of gravitas, someone who wasn’t jumping around and didn’t make you cringe.
Lloyd: Sometimes I see old punk bands and they’re just like old geezers having a laugh. One of the things that Crisis has is we want to make sure it’s serious and it comes across as serious, it has a bit of weight to it and it means something.
Tony: Not punk Wurzels, let’s get pissed down the pub. It’s fine if bands want to do that, but we’re not one of them. The music with Crisis was very strong, we did a John Peel session, it still holds up well and there’s not any recording we’ve done that I’m ashamed of, the songs can stand on their own.

Yourself (Tony) and Doug (Pearce) used to write the songs back in the day, but who has written the new songs?
Tony: That’s one of the refreshing things. With Sol [Invictus] and some of the other bands, it’s always been me, can only be me and the only difference in the early days was both me and Doug wrote songs. So it was really refreshing that in Crisis it was perfectly alright that I wrote songs with Lloyd and Clive. It was really enjoyable to do that and it works really well.
Lloyd: The new songs work really well, the vast majority of lyrics are Tony’s, but for the music it’s stuff we’ve all worked on, thrashing it out at rehearsals. I’ve not worked in many bands where that’s really possible. The individual idea for a song comes from someone, more often than not a lyric and a bass line from Tony, and then from there we rehearse it.

And what about lyrical influences?
Tony: The total dystopian nightmare that we’re in. I never thought I’d look back to the 70’s as a golden age, but the shower of shit we’ve got now, I’d never believe in the 70’s we’d have a graph that would go up and then start to go down.
Lloyd: It’s been a bit tough in terms of the new songs to try and make sure they sound a little bit contemporary, timeless, and not going on about current politics too much.

Initially the band was influenced by Marxism & Socialist politics, aligning with the SWP and Rock Against Racism, which you eventually became disillusioned with. You have said in other interviews that Crass had ‘got it right’ as party politics is authoritarian. Why was this and where do you see Crisis fitting with the political spectrum today?
Tony: I was at the Friends Meeting House for a meeting, a chap from Crass was there speaking and we had a quick chat after, I said I was from Crisis and I told him regarding politics and the SWP that they were right, we were wrong. He laughed, but the biggest mistake that Crisis ever made was getting a party line. You learn the hard way, we will never be put in this position [again], we are not aligned with any party.
Lloyd: I think it works with the current line-up because everyone in the group is a leftie of one sort or another, but all quite different. That works nicely, as long as everyone feels happy with the content of what we’re singing we’re okay to put it across.
Tony: There’s lots and lots of political parties that are dying, people aren’t signing up as a whole, people are aligning to one issue they feel strong about, just because you feel strongly about one thing there’s this conceit that you must agree to the whole agenda. It’s like with the band we might have differing views, but we’re all on the same side of the barrier.

Lloyd: Ultimately the vast majority of people’s lives, especially poorer people, are being ignored and being run roughshod over. I think that’s the main undercurrent coming through with the new songs.
Tony: The extreme left and the extreme right are utterly obsessed with identity and it’s very stupid of the left because it’s their weakest card. If you’re going to go on about identity, the far right are going to say ‘come and get it, we’ve got degrees in identity politics’, so it’s a bit of a nightmare.
Lloyd: And all of that gets away from the real problems in the world, not enough to eat, not enough places to live. Those are the real problems.
Tony: You have a form of capitalism now that is a form of socialism for the rich, too big to fail. Now you have oligarchs who can buy parties, even countries, you have a total dysfunctional system.
Lloyd: We actually did a remix of ‘The Hammer And The Anvil’ for a compilation a friend of ours in the US is putting out and the idea is to raise funds for causes that are against police brutality. That’s a recent thing we’ve done during lockdown, which shows where we’re coming from, opposing this totalitarian rule that’s going on.

And if you could give a 20 year-old Tony some advice, what would that be?
Tony: Avoid political parties that are sects/cults, which are extreme and violent, as it will end in tears.

Although the late 70’s were exciting musically, it was also quite violent too. How do you think times have changed? What has it been like playing as Crisis again, 40 years later?
Tony: There’s no comparison. It could just be that everyone involved is far too old and unhealthy to kick-off. It’s far safer, although I thought one of our old fans was going to pick up a barrier and throw it at us, but he’s a big sweetie really. At every Crisis gig there was a fight, but not now, it’s very different. The whole atmosphere is different, based on the violence that was normal in the 70’s, there’s no comparison.

Crisis has an interesting sound, which although labelled with the punk banner, could also easily fit with the post-punk/gothic sound, how would you describe yourselves?
Lloyd: I just think genre titles are a bit of a strange thing anyway. Any band there’s ever been that fits completely neatly into a genre is normally crap. So if you fit completely into any genre, whatever it might be, then this normally means it’s not very interesting musically. I think Crisis are very interesting, on the surface it’s very punky sounding vocals and overall sound, but the guitars and bass/drums are actually doing quite interesting stuff.
Tony: A lot about Crisis has been forgotten about, but Lester Jones’s guitar was a major reason we sounded so good, because he was a proper musician.
Lloyd: And I think we’ve been hugely fortunate having Clive in the band, as he’s an amazing guitarist and he’s not like a super technically trained guitarist, but plays with a huge amount of power. In terms of the sound of the band, the main difference between the new and old Crisis, is that before Crisis was a 2 x guitar band and now it’s one. Clive does such a great job that it fills all of that space. He also has the correct dislike of unneeded solos, he’s economical with what he does, but it’s a big, big sound.
Tony: We do occasionally have to beat him with the mike stands at rehearsals, as he’s too fucking loud! This obviously helps on the gig front, as you’ve played a number of shows in France and Poland, for example, not quite what you’d call run of the mill. How have these experiences been?
Tony: Great. It’s so nice to play in a band with no egos, the trouble with musicians is that they’re pretentious arseholes, but we all get on, despite any differences.
Lloyd: For me personally, and I think most of the band, I love going to Europe, playing in European cities, eating different food and meeting our lovely hosts, meeting people and having lovely different European beers. Frankly gigs outside of the UK are better paid, you’re treated a lot better and you get better sound generally. It’s worth saying that Crisis have played a few gigs in the UK, including punk festivals, but in Europe the audience is quite different and we tend to get more of a younger crowd, generally interested in post-punk, whilst in the UK it tends to be much more on the punky side.
Tony: We played an amazing gig with mates of ours, Frustration, in Paris, with 8-900 people there and it was fantastic. Also a gig in Italy with people on the stage, no violence, just people enjoying it, knew all the words, not ancient like us.
Lloyd: To be fair, I noticed the last couple of times we played London there were younger people there, not people who were all the same gender or race and that’s really nice to see.

Once the current situation normalises and we arise from our quarantine fatigue, what plans await the band and the watching public?
Tony: We’ve been concentrating on recording, so will have a series of singles coming out, well, the nightmare continues. That’s the plan, but we’re desperate to rehearse and play live.
Lloyd: I miss rehearsing and playing gigs a lot, the nearest I got to that was myself and Laura the drummer had a recording session for a future single or E.P. a couple of weeks ago, just to be in a room, socially distanced, with loud music, just to record Laura’s drums for a new recording. She was a bit out of practice due to lockdown, but she’s flawless.
Tony: She can’t even rehearse at home because she lives on a boat.
Lloyd: We’ve got 4 new songs we’re working on, two will probably be on a single and two on something else, the drums are recorded and the rest we’ll work on separately with social distancing going on. In terms of gigs, who knows, we had quite a few lined up which got cancelled, including one I’d lined up locally for me in Leytonstone, which maybe I’ll reorganise.

Read the full story of 1977, including new features on The Damned, Ian Dury, 999, The Lurkers, The Adverts, Devo and more, in the new edition of Vive Le Rock! out now. Buy it here.

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EGGS DE-LAID AGAIN!

THE LOVELY EGGS have re-rescheduled their UK tour for next Summer.

The Lancaster DIY psych duo had originally planned the tour for last Summer in support of their acclaimed album I Am Moron. Covid restrictions caused the postponement of the dates until February ’21.

With the virus still lurking, the duo have decided to reschedule the shows for May, June and July. With many of the original shows quickly selling out, they’ve taken to upgrade some of the venues, as well as adding four extra dates.

“The response to I Am Moron blew us away and we couldn’t wait to get on tour and play the songs live”, says Holly from the band. “But unfortunately we’ve not been able to do that this year and with so much uncertainty about the months ahead it seemed the best decision was to move all our live tour dates to Summer 2021. We really want a party with our Eggheads and feel that in current circumstances the summer will give us the best chance of doing that.”

“We just can’t wait to play live again,” says bandmate David. “We’re really looking forward to playing all the new songs off I am Moron. This is a way of life for us.”

The band have also set up an Lovely Eggs WhatsApp Lockdown group for fans, to offer support and a friendly ear to anyone struggling during the current pandemic.

“We’ve just got to try and get through this together” says Holly. “We set up one What’sApp Group and it was oversubscribed so we had to set up another! Our fans have always been there for us and it’s important at this time that we are there for them.”

The full tour dates are…

MAY 2021

Thur 27 The Cluny, NEWCASTLE (original tickets still valid)
Fri 28 The Crescent, YORK NEW DATE ADDED
Sat 29 The Brudenell Social Club, LEEDS SOLD OUT
Sun 30 02 Ritz, MANCHESTER (original tickets still valid)
Mon 31 The Castle and Falcon, BIRMINGHAM SOLD OUT

JUNE 2021
Tue 1 – Sub Rooms, STROUD NEW DATE ADDED
Weds 2 – Club Ifor Bach, CARDIFF NEW DATE ADDED
Thur 3 – Face Bar, READING NEW DATE ADDED
Fri 4 – Heaven, LONDON (original tickets still valid)
Sat 5 – Long Division Festival, WAKEFIELD
Mon 7 – Junction 2, CAMBRIDGE (venue upgrade, original tickets still valid)
Thur 10 – Mash House, EDINBURGH SOLD OUT
Fri 11 – Stereo, GLASGOW (original tickets still valid)

JULY 2021
Thur 8 – Metronome, NOTTINGHAM (original tickets still valid)
Fri 9 – SWX, BRISTOL (venue upgrade, original tickets still valid)
Sat 10 – Concorde 2, BRIGHTON (venue upgrade, original tickets still valid)
Sun 11 – The Loft, SOUTHAMPTON (original tickets still valid)
Mon 12 – The Garage, LONDON SOLD OUT
Tues 13 – The Bullingdon, OXFORD (original tickets still valid)
Thur 15 – 02 Academy, SHEFFIELD (venue upgrade, original tickets still valid)
Fri 16 – Phase One, LIVERPOOL (original tickets still valid)
Fri 23 – Gorilla, MANCHESTER SOLD OUT

Tickets are on sale here.

The Lovely Eggs on Facebook

Pic by Daniel Brereton

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LUNG TIME COMING!

Canadian rockers SAM COFFEY & THE IRON LUNGS are back with a new single and album.

The muscular glam-stomping powerpop of ‘Back With The Gang’ catches the band in full-on Cheap Trick mode, the perfect opener for Real One, the band’s second album for Dine Alone Records.

Over the past decade the band have evolved out of the Toronto garage scene across three full-length albums and a slew of download and cassette releases. Along the way they’ve shared stages with acts as diverse as Flamin’ Groovies, Frank Tuner, The Black Lips and FIDLAR.

Real One – the name implying they’ve finally decided to take this gig seriously – finds them stretching out musically and thematically at the hands of noted producer Kevin Ratterman (White Reaper, My Morning Jacket, Strands of Oak).

Set for release on 19 February, Real One is available to pre-order here.

Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs

Pic by Kate Dockeray

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