Veteran of the 80s Aussie underground wars, MICK MEDEW is back with his first solo album.
A founder member of seminal Brisbane garage band THE 31ST, the guitarist and singer racked up several indie chart hits with his band THE SCREAMING TRIBESMEN, with now classic singles like ‘Igloo’ and ‘Date With A Vampire’.
He would go on to record with Naked Lunch, Mick Medew & The Rumours and most recently, The Mesmerisers, who released their second album Open Season last year.
Psychopharmacologist features nine songs worked up over five years of solo shows in Brisbane and Mlebourne and includes an instrumental retooling of the classic ‘Igloo’.
Psychopharmacologist is out now through I-94 Bar Records and is available to buy through Bandcamp.
Check out the video for ‘When The Wood Is Brown (Full Return)’…
Hollywood rockers FRANKIE & THE STUDS are back with a brand new single and video.
The swaggering, buzzsaw-riffing, irrepressibly melodic ‘(Not Your) Victim’ is the band’s first fruit of a new deal with Australia’s Punktured Media. It was produced at Buzzbomb Studios by Paul Miner of Orange County punks Death By Stereo.
“‘(Not Your) Victim’ is a song inspired by the inherent strength women possess,” explains frontwoman Frankie Clarke. “Through the challenges of living in a patriarchal society, we can never have enough reminders of our innate superpowers as women. Women supporting women is a powerful force to be reckoned with and this song reminds us to do just that.”
‘Not Your’ Victim’ is available from Apple, Spotify and all the usual platforms.
London alt-rockers APEMAN SPACEMAN have a new single out and they’re premiering the video exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
Following on from last year’s ‘Civil War’ single, ‘Truth Is A Thing Of The Past’ casts an eye on the grim absurdity of the current world political climate. The self-made video, edited by Nick Mason (not the Pink Floyd one, we suspect), sees the band members as world leaders engaged in schoolboy larks as society teeters on the edge of the abyss….
Says frontman Johnny Cooke, “We are in danger of losing our democracies to international gangs of sociopathic school boys playing games with the lives of billions, and the very fabric of society is being undermined by a tidal wave of bullsh*t. We must fight for the truth.”
Formed in 2015 out of the ashes of Island Records-signed Top 40 hitmakers DOGS, Apeman Spaceman are Johnny Cooke (vocals and guitar), Rikki Mehta (guitar), Alexi Christou (bass) and Ethan Kennedy (drums).
‘Truth Is A Thing Of The Past’ is available to pre-save on Spotify.
DAVID BOWIE producer and bassist Tony Visconti and Spiders From Mars drummer Woody Woodmansey’s HOLY HOLY will be back next Spring celebrating The Best Of Bowie.
Featuring guest vocalist Glenn Gregory from HEAVEN 17, the band will be performing songs from the Thin White Duke’s back catalogue from iconic hits to cult classics.
Taking in eight shows around the country throughout April, including a London date at The Barbican, Visconti, Woodmansey and Gregory will be joined by guitarists James Stevenson (Gen X, Chelsea) and Paul Cuddeford (Cockney Rebel), Tony’s daughter Jessica Lee Morgan on 12-string and sax, and Janette Mason on keyboards.
Full dates are…
8 April – Tramshed, Cardiff 9 April – Barbican, London 11 April – Waterside Theatre, Ayesbury 13 April – Forum, Bath 14 April – Town Hall, Birmingham 16 April – Barbican, York 17 April – Philharmonic, Liverpool 18 April – Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow
The chaotic final year of IGGY & THE STOOGES is to be documented on a new box set this Autumn.
After a two-year break, Iggy’s legendary Detroit destroyers returned with new guitarist James Williamson joining alongside the returning Asheton brothers. Signing with Bowie manager Tony Defries’ MainMan stable, they released the game-changing Raw Power album before heading out on a series of dates in support of the album.
You Think You’re Bad, Man? The Road Tapes 1973-74 captures five incendiary shows from that period across 5 CDs. Kicking off with a September ’73 show at L.A.’s legendary Whisky A Go Go, the set includes shows from Detroit’s Auburn Hills Palace; the Latin Casino, Baltimore; and NYC’s Academy of Music, culminating in the iconic Metallic KO recording from Detroit in February ’74, the band’s final show for nearly thirty years.
The set is completed by a 20-page booklet with copious notes by legendary journalist and Vive Le Rock! contributor Kris Needs.
Due for release through Cherry Red on 20 November, You Think You’re Bad, Man? is available to pre-order here.
Desert rockers STONE DEAF have just dropped a video for their brand new single.
The bulldozing ‘Polaroid’ is taken from the Colorado band’s third album Killers, which is due out later this year on Coffin & Bolt Records through Golden Robot. It follows on from their 2015 self-titled debut and 2018’s Royal Burnout.
The band was born in a pizza shop owned by singer/guitarist/songwriter Dust Chapin in the small town of New Castle on the Colorado River. Writing and recording the band’s debut album on his own, Chapin says, “The idea was to capture the spontaneity of previous punk bands I played in only having a few hundred bucks to make a record. I’d start at 9 a.m. with nothing tracked and whatever was done by midnight was the end of that song.”
Before long, Chapin recruited pizza shop employee Cody Isaman on bass, drummer Kristofer Petross and second guitarist Scott Anderson. The result is a band sludgy like Kyuss but with the energy of Hellacopters’ action rock and a smattering of post-punk darkness.
Aussie rockers THE MERCY KILLS are back with a video taster for their new mini-album.
Live favourite ‘Fall’ is taken from the Melbourne quartet’s forthcoming 7-tracker X which is due out on Golden Robot Records on 2 October. It’s a remastered version of the track that previously appeared on the b-side of their New Rule EP back in 2010.
Formed in the seaside suburb of St Kilda in 2008, the band, who’ve been described as mixing Appetite for Destruction era Guns N’ Roses with Ramones-style punk began their career sharing stage with local legends like Rose Tattoo, You Am I and Tumbleweed, going on to tour with such international stars as Killing Joke, New York Dolls, Misfits and Supersuckers.
Fast-rising roots rockers RICHARD DAVIES & THE DISSIDENTS are back with a brand new single and video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
‘Echo Road’ is taken from the band’s debut album Human Traffic, released in June through Bucketfull Of Brains Records. It’s backed with an exclusive specially recorded version of the Lords Of The New Church classic ‘Russian Roulette’.
Led by Davies, previously guitarist with TINY MONROE, THE SNAKES and PETER PERRETT, the Dissidents are a supergroup of sorts, featuring members of MEGA CITY FOUR, LAST GREAT DREAMERS and CASE HARDIN. They’ve been described as sounding like ‘Johnny Thunders meets Tom Petty’ and received a glowing 9-out-of-10 review in Vive Le Rock from Role Models’ Rich Ragany.
“Echo Road is the first song that I wrote for the album,” explains Davies. “It’s about being unable to escape the past. I think we recorded a few versions, but this one felt like a good radio song. It’s also the first song that Neil [Scully, keyboards] played on. I wanted to write something accessible to as many people as possible. Hopefully I managed to do that!!!
“Russian Roulette has always been a fave of mine. I think it was Tim [Emery, bass]’s idea to record a version. It’s a bit of a sacred cow, but I think we managed to record a good version. Tony James wrote it and I love pretty much everything he ever did.”
The general public will get their first chance to see the band (lockdown permitting) on 26 September when they play The Abbey Arms, Abbey Wood in South London. Also on the bill are King Salami & The Cumberland Three, Oh Gunquit, Sister Suzie and more.
‘Echo Road’ and ‘Russian Roulette’ are out now on Spotify and all the usual digital platforms.
London punks HEALTHY JUNKIES have just unveiled a video for their new single.
‘Last Day In L.A.’ is the first single to be taken from the band’s forthcoming new album Forever On The Road.
The album title reflects the band’s relentless touring and the single, naturally, harks back to a day spent in the city during the band’s 2018 US tour. The album was recorded by the band when they were forced to curtail their touring activities.
‘Last Day In L.A.’ is available now on Spotify and all the usual digital platforms.
Forever On The Road is set for release on 25 September on their own Banana Castle label.
Anarcho-punk legends HAGAR THE WOMB are just one of a raft of bands added to the bill of next year’s Loud Women Fest.
Now on it’s fifth instalment, the festival was postponed this year because of Covid 19, but is set to return on 20 March 2021 at the 229 venue on Great Portland Street, where more than 20 female and female-fronted acts will be appearing across two stages.
Alongside Hagar The Womb and previously announced headliners BANG BANG ROMEO, acts so far scheduled to appear include ARXX, GENN, PINK LEMONADE, I DORIS, BREAKUP HAIRCUT, BUGEYE, HONEY JOY, JELLY CLEAVER, LILITH AI, THE EMPTY PAGE and MIRI. More to be announced…
THE SPECIALS have announced a major UK tour for next Summer.
The Coventry ska legends resumed active service in 2008 and, still featuring founder members Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter, released the widely acclaimed new album Encore, their first new studio album in 38 years, in 2019.
The dates, which have been lined-up for late August and September and see them visiting most parts of the UK, will culminate in two shows at London’s iconic Roundhouse venue. Full dates are…
31 August – Swindon Oasis Centre 02 September – Plymouth Pavilions 03 September – Bournemouth Windsor Hall 04 September – Brighton Centre 06 September – Glasgow Barrowland 07 September – Edinburgh Usher Hall 09 September – Manchester O2 Victoria Warehouse 10 September – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena 11 September – Coventry Ricoh Arena 13 September – Hull Bonus Arena 14 September – Blackpool Empress Ballroom 16 September – Birmingham O2 Academy 17 September – Nottingham Motorpoint Arena 18 September – Doncaster The Dome 23 September – London Roundhouse 24 September – London Roundhouse
Tickets go on sale at 10.00am on Friday 11 September.
Captain Sensible and Paul Gray’s side project THE SENSIBLE GRAY CELLS return heralding a brand new album with a single and video.
‘I Married A Monster’ is taken from Get Back Into The World, the DAMNED pair’s second album for the project since the acclaimed A Postcard From Britain in 2013.
“We love all those old Ealing comedies, Carry On films and 1950’s hammy-horror movies like The Blob and I Married A Monster From Outer Space,” explains Paul about the song. “This is our musical tongue-in-cheek spoof homage to them….after all, you never can quite be sure…can you??”
With the world locked down through Covid, and touring effectively cancelled, Sensible and Gray, finding themselves with time on their hands, convened with JOHNNY MOPED drummer Marty Love to record an album of songs exploring and demonstrating their collective affection for 60s psych-pop.
“PG and myself being garage-psych aficionados feel there should be more of this kind of music and this is our contribution to the cause,” explains the Captain. “If I said that some of these songs were ‘Damned rejects’ that shouldn’t be seen as an indication of inferior song writing, more that they’re not wearing the right shirt.
“I’ve never been a prolific writer being a lazy so and so, I think it’s best to wait for inspiration to call, which explains the seven-year gap (how many albums could the Beatles have crammed in that period!) but in the meantime Paul re-joined the Damned and we’ve gigged about a bit, which is always fun – CAN WE HAVE LIVE MUSIC BACK AGAIN PLEASE!”
Speaking about the album, the Captina continues, “It’s sad that high streets around the world have been destroyed by online shopping but nobody’s forcing people to do it – what can you do? These are very strange times we’re living though – I just count myself lucky to have been around to witness the second half of the 20th Century; a fab time for music, culture, ideas and that without even mentioning Benny Hill and On The Buses. The new album coincides with all this virus malarkey, which, unpleasant as it is, will undoubtedly be used by the powers that be to tighten the screws on us little people on behalf of their billionaire paymasters. Blah blah, etc. There’s a bit of that hidden away in the album.”
Set for release on 27 November through Damaged Goods in various formats and limited edition colour options, Get Back Into The World is available to pre-order here.
Rejuvenated post-punks FOLK DEVILS have unveiled another video from their new comeback EP.
‘My Slum Soul’ is taken from the Forever EP, which features the band’s first new music in more than three decades. Along with this and the brand new, previously revealed, title track, the release also features a new recording of the live favourite ‘Ink Runs Dry’.
The poignant video is the work of the band’s new singer Dave Hodgson, who joined in place of the late Ian Lowery when the band reconvened in 2016.
Forming out of the Notting Hill punk scene in 1983, Folk Devils quickly caught the attention of the inkies and John Peel, who awarded them three of his legendary sessions. They also found kindred spirits on support dates with the likes of The Fall, The Gun Club, Screaming Blue Messiahs and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.
Recorded at London’s iconic Konk Studios with Grammy-winning producer Rik Simpson, the Forever EP is set for release on 18 September through Optic Nerve Recordings. Available on limited edition translucent red 10″ vinyl, CD and download, it’s available to pre-order here.
Long-lost Edinburgh post-punks SCARS are to have their sole album reissued in a deluxe expanded edition this Autumn.
Formed in 1977, the four-piece were north-of-the-border contemporaries of The Pop Group and Gang Of Four and adopted a similar scratchy funk template, but with a more commercial, almost New Romantic, quality, making their lack of success all the more baffling.
Fronted by Robert King and featuring bassist John Mackie, drummer Calum McKay (then Steve McLaughlin) and brilliantly-named guitarist Paul Research, like Gang Of Four, they released their debut single ‘Adult/ery’ on Bob Last’s Fast Product label before signing to PRE Records, the New Wave sub-label of Charisma, also briefly home to The Monochrome Set, Manicured Noise and Delta 5.
Released in 1981, Author! Author! is rated as a classic in post-punk terms and was rated by The Scotsman newspaper as number 75 in the top 100 Scottish rock and pop albums of all time. The band splitting the following year, the short and tumultuous story of Scars is told in Grant McPhee’s award-winning documentary Big Gold Dream.
Crying out for a reissue, Author! Author! is now presented by Cherry Red Records as a 3-CD set: alongside the original 10-track album, the set also includes stand-alone singles, b-sides and demos featuring covers of Steve Harley’s ‘The Psychomodo’, David Essex’s ‘Silver Dream Racer’ and Jacques Brel’s ‘Next’, previously made famous by Scots rock legends, the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
There’s also a full CD of live tracks spanning the years ’78 to ’81, taken from six gigs, including Edinburgh’s White Hart pub and George Square Theatre, Glasgow’s Plaza Ballroom and Valentino’s club, and 11 tracks from a show in Groningen in The Netherlands.
Author! Author! is set for release on 30 October and is available to pre-order here.
Check out ‘Leave Me In Autumn’ from The Old Grey Whistle Test….
Rock legends BLUE ÖYSTER CULT are back with a brand new album, heralded by a new video.
‘That Was Me’ is taken from the album The Symbol Remains, the New York band’s fourteenth studio album and first in almost twenty years.
Only singer Eric Bloom and guitarist Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roeser remain from the band’s original line-up while guitarist/keyboardist Richie Castellano and drummer Jules Radino have been with the band since 2004 and bassist Danny Miranda returned in 2017 after a long sting in the late 90s and early 00s.
The video features a guest appearance from the band’s original drummer Albert Bouchard on vocals and cowbell, a reference to the enduring Saturday Night Live ‘more cowbell’ sketch.
“The goal was for the new music to stand up to the quality and vitality of our legacy recordings and I believe we have successfully achieved that,” explains Roeser. “Other than that, the sound of our voices and style of our writing and playing can’t help but sound familiar to fans of our work.”
Bloom adds “The album title comes from a quote of an old Sandy Pearlman lyric, which basically we are using to show that the band is back and still rocking after all these years. To me, it means we’re still here and doing what we do.”
Sandy Pearlman was a student colleague of the Cult when they formed at Stony Brook University, London Island in the late-60s, managing and producing the band and contributing to several songs. He would infamously go on to produce Give ‘Em Enough Rope by The Clash.
Pitched between psychedelia, the proto-punk of the MC5 and the biker rock of Steppenwolf, their self-titled debut, Tyranny & Mutation and Secret Treaties (the latter two featuring lyrics by Patti Smith) – have been hugely influential, not least on Radio Birdman and the Australian underground scene of the late-70s and early-80s.
Set for release on 9 October through Frontiers Music on double-vinyl, CD and download, The Symbol Remains is available to pre-order here.
While carrying out interviews for our Mod vs 2Tone special in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock!, our man Guy Shankland put the thumbscrews on Pauline Black from THE SELECTER and Chris Pope from THE CHORDS in and engaged them in quickfire interviews with one word answers…
VLR. Loafers or Dr Martens? P.B. “Doc Martens.” VLR. Tea or Coffee? P.B. “Tea.” VLR. The Specials or The Beat? P.B. “Mmmm… (a pause and a sigh) The Specials.” VLR. Coventry or Romford? P.B. “Oh Coventry (Laughing loudly!) “ VLR. Hat or Gloves? P.B. “Hat.” VLR. Dogs or Cats? P.B. “Dogs.” VLR. ‘Too Much Pressure’ or ‘Celebrate The Bullet’? P.B. “’Celebrate The Bullet’.”’ VLR. NME or Sounds? P.B. “Errrrrm… NME.” VLR. Rock or Punk? P.B. “Mmmm… Punk.” VLR. Bad Manners or Madness? P.B. “(Laughing) Just put a question mark!”
VLR. Loafers or Doc Martens? C.P. “Loafers, no Martens.” VLR. 2-Tone or Punk? C.P. “Mmm… Punk.” VLR. Highbury or The Emirates? C.P. “Highbury, all day, mate.” VLR. Tea or Coffee? C.P. “Tea.” VLR. The Jam or The Style Council? C.P. “The Jam.” VLR. The Kinks or The Who? C.P. “The Who.” VLR. Tommy or Quadrophenia? C.P. “Quadrophenia.” VLR. London or Brighton? C.P. “London.” VLR. Top Of The Pops or Cheggers Plays Pop? C.P. “(laughing) Top Of The Pops.” VLR. NME or Sounds? C.P. “Mmm… Sounds was a bit more streetwise, no I’ll have to go NME as I used to buy it as a kid.”
The full Selecter and The Chords features can be found in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock! out now!
The final few copies of Vive Lee Rock‘s 2Tone Special featuring The Selecter, The Specials, Interrupters, Rhoda Dakar, Madness and The Beat are available here!
Dapper young songsmith about town, BRANDY ROW is back with a brand new single and video, which he’s premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
The moddish, folksy ‘Crazy World’, recorded with his 12-piece band The Coalition of Sound, is the first single to be taken from Brandy’s forthcoming debut album In Reverse, while the accompanying video by Gary Chandler-Honor casts a lysergic eye over otherwise refreshingly normal-looking London cityscapes.
Having spent several years touring with the likes of Adam Ant, Glen Matlock, Earl Slick and Slim Jim Phantom, East Londoner Brandy has spent four years preparing for the release of the album which draws on such increasingly relevant issues as mental health, spirituality, social climate and addiction.
‘Crazy World’ is available now on Spotify and all the usual digital platforms, while In Reverse will follow later in the year.