THE BERMONDSEY JOYRIDERS
Former Cock Sparrer man’s revved up return.
(Photos by Ila Desai)
Swaggering onto the stage of Oxford Streets’ packed 100 Club, the Bermondsey Joyriders look like extras off Guy Ritchies’ latest flick. And considereing lead Joyrider Gary Lammins’ acting CV that might not be too far away either. The man, who as a former member wrote many of streetpunk legends’ Cock Sparrers’ greatest early numbers like Running Riot, Gary has worked with Joe Strummer in the past but has only just returned to music with this slide guitar slinging, pub rock outfit..With bass and drums filled by experienced pros from legendary bands,Chelsea and the Heavy Metal kids, this lot make goodtime, punked up rock n’ roll that fans, young n’ old of the Rolling Stones and Cocksparrer will lap up. They’re off to tour America soon, but catch them gigging around London over the next few months because their foot to the floor feel good factor is bang on.
DR FEELGOOD.-Oil City Confidential(soundtrack)
COCK SPARRER-Shock Troops
SMALL FACES-Small Faces
Vive Le Punk tracked down main Rider-Gary Lammin just before the band headed off for a US tour with the Damned legend Rat Scabies guesting on drums.
V: You've had a bit of a break from music Gary. What have you been upto?
G: Hi Eugene...Yeah sure I had a break from music..infact I had too. I was forgetting where Id parked me car...or even if Id brought the car in the first place...To say I was canning it would not be untrue. A lot of crap was happening to me and I was going though a lot of emotional pain. Splitting up with girlfriends, falling out with me mates...yeah I was in a bad way for sure but all this was good for the other form of performance that I was being offered...Acting. All that inner turmoil was earning me a fortune from TV acting roles, money which I unfortunately mainly wasted on the inevitable intoxications that are often available to the lost and the lonely. I ended up in Harlow hospital for 3 weeks after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitus. A diagnosis which, seeing as I was passing blood several times a day, as well as during the night, was a diagnosis not as bad as I thought it was going to be...you know I thought it was bowel cancer. Id been drinking cognac for breakfast for some time to wash various mood enhancing substances down. Id also developed a taste for using English Colemans mustard on a truely absurd scale. It started off as just using it as a dip and spread for pitta bread. After a while though I just started to eat the Colemans mustard neat off of a tea spoon and I could get though quite a few jars before having to go for the cognac. It was mental. They said at the hospital that Id stripped the mucus membranes out of me guts. I wanted to come back to playing my guitar for a long but the timing had to be right. I had to get a few things sorted out in my head.
V: And tell us about the band.You've known each other for a long time?
G:Yeah Marty Stacey and me have been friends for over 40 odd years and its a bit of a story but here goes. My Dad was a docker and Martys Dad was a lighterman...thats the blokes who bring the tugs in to tow the cargo ships into the docks so the dockers can unload the cargo ships and both our familys are originally from the Isle of Dogs, Millwall. However though my Dad and Martys Dad when workmates in the docks that was the only connection,me and Marty didnt know each other. At some point my Dad decides to take his severance money, thats the money that the docks offer you to take early retirement and with the cash sum plans to buy a smart new gaff to live in out in the East London Essex suburb known as Hornchurch. My Dad still has a few months to go at the docks till the deal is finally compleated but Ive started school in Hornchurch. Martys Dad decides also to move to Hornchurch.One day my Dad comes in and says "Are you learning to play guitar at school ? " and I say yeah, and my Dad says "What with another lad called Marty Stacey ?" and again I say yeah. My Dad then says "Did you know Marty before we moved here ? " and I say Nah..Ive only just met him. I then ask me Dad what all the questions are about and my Dad just says Ive known his Dad for years in the docks and he just told me that his son Marty had settled into a new school and was learning to play guitar with a lad called Gary. So Ive always thought that this was an interesting thing...that my Dad and his Dad were good friends in the docks but it wasnt until both families moved from The Isle Of Dogs, 18 miles out of the Eastend to Hornchurch that I met Marty. Marty moved back to London many years ago and owns a massive old Victorian gaff on The Old Kent Road where I rent a small room from him. Keith Boyce formerly of The Heavy Metal Kids Ive known for about 30years from various gigs in and around London and so Ive finally got the band that Ive been dreaming of playing in for as long as Ive been playing guitar. A band that can play passionate and soulful Rock n Roll. Ive been in enough crash bang wallop bands thankyou very much. Sure it has to be loud and yeah it has to be brazen, no good writing songs about needle point, but it has to groove as well and I havnt had that luxary until now. You need a special kind of drummer to be able to understand "The Groove" theres too many drummers about who can only make it rock...sorry but you gotta make it roll as well for me baby otherwise I dont stick around too long.
V: How would you describe the Joyriders sound?
G: Imagine if Ian Dury had been in The New York Dolls or The MC5.
V: Any personal heroes/influenes?
G: Well one day whilst going though my Dads record collection in amongst the Frank Sinatra records I also find an Iggy Pop record... Cool ! (Thats Iggy as well as my Dad who is cool.)
V: So wheres the next stop for the Bermonsey Joyriders?
G: No stops at the moment Eugene. We got a full tank of high octane fuel and the brakes are a bit iffy...So I reckon best we just let it roll on for a while.
V: Cheers geezer!! See you at a show soon, Eugene
G: Yeah God Bless man..thanks for the questions.
Outlaw political songs from Hollywood’s seedy underbelly.
Since 2006, this quartet have been kicking up a storm with raucous punk rock songs, with a hint of country-esque guitar twanging for good measure. These western and rock ‘n’ roll elements make their sound fun and different, not to mention bursting with energy. No doubt a great live band, the powerful, driving rhythms from Rich (drums) and Mike (bass), racing guitar work of Tim and frontman Philippe’s aggressive and distinctive vocals (reminiscent of Jello Biafra) combine into a high octane musical Molotov cocktail. With politically charged lyrics and a raging style, they’ve shared a stage with legends such as The Dead Kennedys, MDC, Blitz, The Vibrators and Sham 69, as well as younger bands such as Strung Out and Street Dogs. Having released their debut, ‘Pledge Your Allegiance’, back in 2008, they’re back better and brasher than ever with their new album ‘Smile... Tomorrow Will Be Worse’. Keeping the spirit of punk rock alive and kicking, this LA four-piece will make you grin from ear to ear.
‘Smile... Tomorrow Will Be Worse’ is out now on Fallen Angel.
ROCKS LIKE: COBRA SKULLS – American Rubicon
ONE MAN ARMY – Rumors And Headlines
DROPKICK MURPHYS – The Meanest Of Times