THE SAINTS, are of course, one of the greatest bands in the history of punk. Late last year the original line up reformed in Australia, but meanwhile singer Chris Bailey is happily living in Amsterdam and touring with the new Saints line up. He released the last Saints album Imperious Delirium on Cadiz in 2006. Hugh Gulland got ‘stranded’ with the man!

"We must have been like hillbillies," recounts Saints frontman Chris Bailey of the Oz-rock legends’ first encounter with a record label "We didn’t even know what a record company was!"

Oblivious to the outside punk scene, these four teenage malcontents in the backwater of mid-70s Brisbane channelled their urban ennui into a ferocious set of amped-up R&B. Punk in all but name, the Saints had the sneer and the songs to match, although their refusal to conform to the scene ensured it would be some years before the rest of the world would catch up with them.

Chris Bailey remains an uncompromising artist to this day. Speaking from his current base in Amsterdam, he outlines the Saints’ transition from Brisbane no-marks to major players on the punk rock stage.

"When we were young, there was a record shop in town, that had lots of American blues music and rock ‘n’ roll stuff, and we were exposed to a lot of music that wasn’t mainstream. Because Oz music in the seventies was pretty fucking dull! And there was no music scene to speak of, so we grew up in some kind of Oz isolation. And lots of people say, ‘punk rock’ and all that, but we had no clue! No idea! We discovered blues music pretty early on, and R&B – that kind of merged into what we were writing, we’d kind of edit things down and learn as we went, but the whole ethos of the band was very much R&B, which I think is maybe a little bit different to what actually became punky rock, which was kind of a fashion statement for them, and music second, and for us the other way around."

Having established a local fanbase, The Saints came to EMI’s attention through pressing up their own single. Was there any precedent for a band doing that?

"I don’t know if it was a notion in rock ‘n’ roll, maybe in the fifties… I think it was probably – and this is a great thing – naivety. We didn’t know what we were doing, so we did the right thing purely accidentally. The only reason EMI picked us up, that coincidence, 1976 was happening in London, and a couple of reviewers gave us really over-the-top reviews! UK rags were hammering the single and then someone in Manchester Square said to someone in EMI Sydney ‘Get these boys!’ and they sent a couple of very shiny guys and they took us into the studio and bought us drinks, and it’s not quite the Beverley Hillbillies, but it was close!"

The resultant album, ‘I’m Stranded’, was a storming tour-de-force; overlooked by many at the time, ‘Stranded’ has since become widely recognised as one of punk rock’s landmarks. Bailey regards the long delay in public recognition with detached amusement. "We went into the Hall of Fame a couple of years ago in Oz, and Ivor, the drummer from the old days, made a brilliant speech, along the lines of ‘Look, it’s really nice you’re all hanging around giving us these presents; but, perhaps if some of you had’ve been here 25 years ago, it might have all been different!’ Which is very cheeky, but to the point!"

Essential listening: I’m Stranded LP (EMI). Also highly recommended is the recent Saints box set, All Times Through Paradise, also through EMI.

Hugh Gulland


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He was the original guitarist for Sting’s punk rock constabulary the Police and went on to play with trani rocker Jayne County. As he prepares to return to the UK to support the Police at Hyde Park with his band The Flying Padovanis, HENRY PADOVANI looks back over his rather interesting career.

Why did you decide to leave the Police just as they were breaking it?
"Well, the fact is that we were not breaking it and I didn’t leave just like that. When you have a guy like Sting in the band, even then, you want to have something new and exciting everyday to present him with. And in ’77, the police were not cutting it. We were not getting any gigs, mainly due to the fact that the punks didn’t look at us as one of their bands and would not really come to our shows. They were not interested."

Padovani (far right) in The Police

"Sting couldn’t place any of his songs in the repertoire as Stewart was driving the band and didn’t think people would be interested, fair enough and so after about 6 months together the morale was not the best. When andy came, it didn’t help for the gigs and for the audience, and it also changed the balance in the band, andy pushing Sting to write and bring more material while Stewart and I were trying to keep the band in the punk scene. That is it, really."

"Naturally, we started to argue more and more and the band was on the verge of splitting up. We tried being a four piece, but it didn’t work. The best was for them to continue as a trio, ok, not a trio that would try to break the ‘ punk scene’ but a trio that had a future doing a music that would draw from the punk scene but make it commercial. Thanks to Andy helping Sting bringing his songs to Stewart, that is what happened. But it didn’t happen in England at first, but in America. America was curious about the English punk scene, especially when rumor had it that punk bands couldn’t play. The Police had the idea to go to the US and present themselves as a punk band. A bright idea, especially with their brand new blond hairstyles but also with their great playing abilities. America loved them. Suddenly Americans thought themselves as hip and punks. But that was about a year after I had left the band…"

Their first single ‘Fallout’ was quite abit more punk rock than their later stuff, did you write it? How did it come about?

"When I met stewart, he wanted to form a punk band, having left curved air. We started to look for a bass player. He had about a dozen songs that he had already written and that we used to practise with his brother ian on bass and his girfriend Sonja Kristina on vocals, until sting arrived of course. Fallout was one of them."

And then you joined up with Jane County?

"The first time I had seen wayne county and the electric chairs, it was at Dingwalls and I had loved them. we went on tour together and I immediately got on well with the guitar player, greg van cook, an incredible player, à la jeff beck, yardbirds era. After I had left the police, I went back to Corsica for a short holiday. When I came back, I called greg as a friend to go out to clubs. He told me they were looking for a guitar player. I went to meet the band, we played one afternoon and they asked me to join right there and then."

Padovani in The Electric Chairs

What were the shows at the Roxy like?

"Incredible place where we saw the best punk bands in town, night after night. Packed everytime. People were cool and we knew that place was ours. One has to remember that those punks were building something bigger than them. All for one and one for all."

"Those punks were more like hippies really, and everyone was welcome. I remember the first day I went there, I had just arrived from France in England and sported a beard and long hair. The damned were on, that night. Nobody bothered me. at the contrary. I embraced that scene on the night and the next day, I went to cut my hair and beard. I wanted to be one of them."

Henry with Jayne County and the Electric Chairs

Why reform the Flying Padovanis now?

"Why not? We are the best at what we do. We were great then and I think we are better now. Apart from chris, the drummer, who has kept playing in the meantime, with thunders and joe strummer and glen matlock, paul slack and I have stopped playing for 25 years. But, somehow, we are even better now that we were then. Don’t ask me why or how, it is like that. we have it in our blood. Nobody does the music we do and I think that until we see a band that does it, we shall have to be on stage because the music we play and the way we play is absolutely essential to rock and roll. That is the way it is.we are a real band. much better than the sum of each of us."

Padovani in the reformed Flying Padovanis

You have quite a pedigree in the band-can you tell us about the band members?

"Chris Musto, as I said, played with Johnny Thunders, Joe Strummer and Glen Matlock. Paul Sack was with the UK Subs. But having said all this, their best band is the flying padovanis. They know that! And so do I."

Your sound has been liked to Link Ray and Dick Dale? Would that be right?

"Link Wray I would agree. We love link wray and we do some of his numbers on stage, things like jack the ripper, or ace of spades.. link wray has to be essential to rock music. All the guitar players I have met, have once in their life played rumble.. I believe Bob Dylan used to open his shows with rumble.. link wray is definitely an inspiration. Just cool."

"The other influence would be the ventures. It is Wayne County that gave me a record by the ventures, who got me instantly hooked to instrumental guitar music."

"Dick Dale is now well known because of the Tarantino movies. Thank you Quentin. But, I believe we never were into Dick Dale at all. It was the ventures and Link Wray."

"As of today, we have decided to drop any of the melodic numbers we used to do. It is more basic and hypnotic rock and roll. No effects. Just a guitar plugged into an amp, a bass and a drum kit. That is all."

Henry Padovani today

You are playing with the Police at Hyde Park -its a massive show. Are you looking forward to it?

"Absolutely. We are as a band and I am personally. Sting wanted us on that show and that is great of him. When I joined them at the Stade de France, in front of 160,000 people, I told them: I am going to play as a Flying Padovani. They all laughed. After the show, sting told he totally loved the way I approached the song. That is, I told him, the flying padovani way!"

"I know all the real police fans will be at the front of the stage and I know, because I receive a lot of mails, that they want to see my band. it will also be the very last police show in England. We will be doing our very best that night. We will be very hard to follow…"

How do you get on with Sting and Stuart Copeland these days?

"I get on very well. In fact, after I quit playing in bands, I used to see sting a lot, doing normal things like going to watch football, or tennis, or going to clubs, just hanging out as friends, in paris, in italy or wherever we might be. we probably exchange a mail everyweek."

"When I made a record 2 years ago, and we needed a sort of reggae rock drums for a song, I asked stewart if he wanted to play on it. He said yes and wondered whether I had asked sting, which I hadn’t.. I called sting and he asked me whether I had asked stewart.. i realised they would hardly talk to each other. I told them, hey guys why don’t we settle all this in a studio and I, yes I, henry will be the boss. We did and we recorded a song called welcome home, about environment. God knows if it helped but, 6 months later, the police reformed…"

"When they were to rehearse the show in italy, sting asked me to come down there and stay with them. I did and we had a great time. I knew that they would be doing great. They sounded amazing."

Thanks a lot for your time Henry.

Eugene Big Cheese magazine/


Fri 6th – 100 Club, supporting Pretty Things
Weds 25th – Eel Pie Club, Cabbage Patch, Twickenham
Thurs 26th – The Amersham, New Cross
Sat 28th – Ace Cafe
Sun 29th – Hyde Park (w/ The Police)

25th – 27th Fuji Festival, Japan

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The Briefs men get retro with a colourful collision of new wave, ‘70s punk, mod-revival and power pop that is THE CUTE LEPERS.

When punk rockers The Briefs decided to go on hiatus last year, vocalist/guitarist Steve E. Nix didn’t let it slow him down. Instead he formed The Cute Lepers with fellow Briefs man Stevie Kicks (bass), Zache Out (guitar), Josh Blisters (drums), Bent Rewd III, Analisa Leper and Miss Meredith (all backing vocals, tambourine and handclaps) to take the Briefs template and inject it with a more power pop sound.

Filled with female backing vocals and percussion, their pop sensibilities shine through in their unashamedly retro tunes. The Seattle posse are influenced by bands such as new wave pioneers The Cars, ‘70s London mod revival band The Chords, ‘70s American rockers The Jags and rock ‘n’ roll guitar hero Johnny Thunders. Adding all these sounds to the humorous Briefs classic punk-loving attitude has resulted in hugely fun, short, sugary blasts such as ‘Nervous Habits’, ‘Terminal Boredom’ and ‘It’s Summertime, Baby’.

With their debut full-length hitting shops back in April, its title reflects their love of all things retro punk rock – ‘Can’t Stand Modern Music’. If you feel the same then put on your dancing shoes and join the Lepers. Vive Le Punk caught up with singer/guitarist Steve E. Nix…

Hi Steve E, Eugene here from Vive Le Punk.

“Hi Eugene, nice to hear from you!”

So what has happened to the Briefs Steve E?

“Well, the Briefs have simply reached a point where there are no plans. I’m more interested in spending my time writing Cute Lepers songs and playing with this band, so that’s pretty much where things are at. Y’know… you’ve gotta spend your time doing what’s fulfilling and all that.”

And the Cute Lepers are part Australian/part American?

“No, we’re part Canadian though! I think that question refers to some untrue internet information. But hey, one of us is part Latino and one is part Asian and I’m adopted, so we’re kind of exotic… sadly no Australians though. Maybe once we get some horn players.”

You seem to be going for that classic power pop sound?

“Yeah, among other things. First wave punk, power pop, mod revival, the Rolling Stones. Hooks with a bite.”

You guys seem to love all the UK ‘70s type stuff. Got any faves?

“The Carpettes, The Boys, The Chords, The Lambrettas, The Starjets, Fast Cars, 999, Buzzcocks, Nipple Erectors, Damned, Elvis Costello… there’s tons.”

Your playing with Johnny Moped at the 100 club – are you a fan?

“Yep! The Nipple Erectors have recently confirmed that they’ll be performing as well. It’ll be Shane MacGowan and Shanne Bradly from the original line-up. We’re thrilled!”

And what can fans expect from the 100 club show from you and the Cute Lepers?

“It’s our first time overseas, so I think we’ll really be making an effort to put on an energetic show and play our songs well. We usually have a blast playing and we’re looking forward to playing the legendary 100 Club of course! You can expect abrasive guitars, three back-up singers smashing tambourines together and singing harmonies, a few excellent covers we’ve pulled from the UK mod/power pop closet, and you can expect a star struck group of Lepers… we’re playing with the fucking Nipple Erectors!”

The Cute Lepers play Londons 100 Club next Tuesday May 6th with Johnny Moped band and the Nipple Erectors.

‘Can’t Stand Modern Music’ is out now on Damaged Goods.

Eugene Big Cheese



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New York hardcore legend and former Cro-Mags singer John Joseph is bringing his all-star new hardcore band to Europe. Expect dates in August. Bloodclot have just released their debut album ‘Burn Babylon Burn’.

BLOODCLOT’s sound combines classic New York hardcore intensity with extreme metal precision and brutality. It’s the sound of the New York underground rising again. The members of BLOODCLOT are no strangers to the genre. Singer John Joseph is the former frontman of legendary NYHC pioneers CRO-MAGS. Drummer Danny Schuler was a founding member of Brooklyn’s BIOHAZARD. Bassist Rick Lopez comes from NYC’s MERAUDER, Guitarist Scott Roberts is a former member of CRO-MAGS, BIOHAZARD and Cleveland HC legends THE SPUDMONSTERS, and Guitarist Eric Klinger is from PRO-PAIN and THE SPUDMONSTERS. Despite a hardcore lineage, the band’s songs break out of any and all genre confines. They blend slick metallic riffs with hardcore hooks, while steam rolling rhythms spearhead the assault. Their self-produced debut, "BURN BABYLON BURN" will drop later this year and is bound to set a new hardcore standard.

Back in 2005, Scott called John and asked him to sing for a new band he and Danny were forming. Upon hearing the demos, John was immediately inspired and began penning lyrics to what he had heard. Soon after, Rick joined the fold and the band was complete. John describes the band’s sound best. “I don’t want to lock it into any categories. There are hardcore and metal qualities, punk rock qualities, even some fusion in certain parts. It’s just heavy music, with a heavy message.” Tracks like “Revolution,” “Subtext” and the title track certainly draw from down and dirty NYC hardcore. However, the band couples that classic hardcore vibe with emotional intensity, spirituality, and intense musicianship.

Most importantly, the band maintains a positive focus, preserving the tenets of unity central to the classic ethos. And true to the classic punk-rock DIY vibe, they also wrote and recorded everything together in Danny’s studio, with no outside influence, financially or otherwise. Explains Danny, "We set out to create a piece of music that would last forever, and reflects the turbulent times we’re living in. The only way to do that was to believe in each other and do it completely by ourselves. We lived every second of this record, we trusted our instincts, and worked our asses off to get it done. We made this record with absolutely no regard for what is popular right now. We listened to ourselves, dug deep, and created the record we wanted to hear." Each member shared the same vision from the second they started playing. John explains, “We just play what we feel. If the sounds move us, then that’s what goes down. As an artist, it’s important not to write for anybody else other than yourself because you have to take it to the audience and if it ain’t real, the audience can smell the lie.” In some ways, this record even hearkens back to classic output by the likes of the CRO-MAGS and BIOHAZARD. “Every song tells a story and every song hits you over the head musically. In the sense of the message, I kind of see it as Age of Quarrel Part 2. Things have gotten a lot worse in the last twenty years. We’re at a worse point as a planet, and that’s what we’re delving into on this album. It’s a more advanced version of Age of Quarrel, and there’s a lot more angst in the vocals, the lyrics and everything.” The message, however, remains relevant and functions as a call for change.

The band’s name itself also possesses an important meaning. “In Jamaican, the word ‘bloodclot’ is a curse that describes everything being fucked up. It’s a ‘bloodclot’ situation, what’s happening on the planet, who’s running things through deception and lies, and we need to fix it.” If anyone can make a change through music, it’s these four individuals with over 80 years combined experience in hardcore. In the end, BLOODCLOT will make an impact. John exclaims, “We live this, every single day, that’s why it comes off authentic, because it ‘IS’ real.” 

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It is ‘rumoured’ that former Nipple Erector and general Pogues survivor/singer Shane McGowan will play once again with his ‘70s band THE NIPPLE ERECTORS next Tuesday in central London  in the company of some Mopeds and Lepers. You have been warned! Apparently a recent rehearsal had the band firing on all cylinders again!

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THE SEX PISTOLS have added a show at Birmingham Academy on June 11th as part of their Combine Harvester tour! These are in addition to their shows at the Isle of Wight festival and Irish and European festival dates. A live DVD/documentary of last year’s Brixton shows (filmed by Julien Temple) will be released in June.


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Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook has a new band called MAN RAZE. They are a straightforward rock band, featuring reggae touches similar to the Police. It also feature Phil Collen from Def Leppard! Their debut album is out June 2nd. Still no news on that elusive Professionals reformation though.

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More fantastic bands have been confirmed to play the Hard Rocking Calling festival in Hyde Park on 28th and 29th June.

On Sunday 29th June, joining headliners THE POLICE will be THE STRANGLERS, CARBON SILICON and THE FLYING PADOVANIS.

Keep an eye on the VLP news for any more VLP-friendly bands announced.

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Due to unforeseen circumstances, the ACADEMY IN THE UK VIVE LE PUNK TOUR 2008 will just be held in Birmingham this year on bank holiday May 4th. All tickets for Liverpool, Bristol, Newcastle and London should be returned to their point of purchase for a refund. Academy in the UK apologises for any inconvenience and hopes to see you at Birmingham!

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Sex Pistols and Joe Strummer documentary director Julien Temple is currently making a film on the story of Canvey Island pub rock kings, DR FEELGOOD.

All past members are involved and it will include a ton of archive footage on the ‘Milk and Alcohol’ legends’ rise to the top in the late ’70s.

Expect a release at the end of 2008/ early 2009.


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THE RUTS – featuring Henry Rollins

(Peafish Productions)
Anyone who missed this incredible show back in July missed what is being described as one of the “Best punk gigs ever.” Of course it was in tragic circumstances as guitarist Paul ‘Foxy’ Fox played his last ever show with the Ruts before passing away barely a month later. This DVD does a fine job as a tribute for Foxy and the Ruts and shows both what a great guitarist he was, and just how good the Ruts could be. With Henry Rollins doing a fine, underplayed job on vocals, the band tear through anthems like ‘Something That I Said’ and ‘Staring At The Rudeboys’, plus there’s clips from all the supporting cast including the Damned and the U.K. Subs. And with a poignant interview with Foxy a few days after the show, plus insights from friends and members of the support acts, this double DVD is an essential memento from one of punk rock’s greatest, and sometimes unsung bands. All profits go to cancer charities. Get it at
El Prez

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THE SONICS London, Mar 21st 2008


Kentish Town Forum
March 21st


Packed is word bandied about to describe many a gig, but this was, even the cloak room was full. When The Sonics were laying waste to a studio in the North-West USA in 1964 it’s doubtful they ever thought there would be 2000 limeys aged between 16 and 60 screaming for those songs in the 21st century. But there were. The Sonics, may have looked a way bit older than they do in those well-known and grainy black and white album covers but age hasn’t tamed them. Anyone that attending the gig desperate to see the band they never dreamed they’d witness in the flesh but fearing the worst of the performance soon had those fears dispelled. Rob Lind’s sax honked and squealed just as it did back in the day, Gerry Roslie’s screams were as fearsome as they were when they pushed studio needles into the red and Larry Parypa was using the exact same guitar for fuck sake. Every classic Sonics tune was hammered and every cover they made their own, owned once again. Even tracks from the much maligned ‘Introducing’ were blasted out with an amends making aggression. Head’s On Backwards indeed, the whole audience was knocked out, knocked bandy, blown away by a legendary band that didn’t just run through the motions but sucked on Rock N Roll and spat it out shredded just as they had back in the 1960s. ‘This is the national anthem of rock n roll’ announced Rob Lind before launching into their chord twisting version of ‘Louie Louie’ but their anthem is The Witch, they saved it ‘till last then blasted it out as if the decades had never passed, Roslie screamed, and everyone, and I mean everyone, screamed with him and not a neck hair was left flaccid. Another oft-used word sums it – Awesome.
Simon Nott

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