The legendary frontman talks to Eugene Butcher about the original line-up of Theatre Of Hate reuniting and what we can expect from the new Spear Of Destiny album…


For the Theatre Of Hate dates I hear the original band is getting back together again? What’s it like playing with Stan Stammers and the other guys?
"The band consists of Stanley Stammers, John Lennard and me, along with Danny Farrant on drums and Adrian Portos doing guitar duties. Stanley, John and myself are the hardcore of it and we are lucky to have the drum genius of Danny Farrant playing with us. It’s always special standing on a stage with John and Stanley. The nearest I could explain it is some kind of ‘unity’… of person, of being, maybe all this along with the totally unique music being played up there. It’s definitely a very big buzz on stage with the guys.”


Vive Le Rock has heard a snippet of the new Spear Of Destiny album and it’s sounding amazing. How did the recording go and what can you tell us about the album?

"This album, ’31’, is a more uptempo album than most in recent years. Not deliberately so, just that the batch of songs turned out that way. As I have often said, I feel as if I am simply ‘the messenger’ for the music. The universe sends it through and I receive the message. It has a wide range of subjects too. The words, as is always the case, are the hardest to write. Especially after so many years as a songwriter. In the case of ’31’, it has not been so hard. I even wrote three sets of words to the songs without marrying up word and music with a guitar in my hand. Some songs simply write themselves like ‘Titanium Man’ or ‘The Failure’, plain and simple.
"’Titanium Man’, had guitar parts put on by Spear guitarist Adrian Portos that blew everybody’s minds; there are or could be no other parts bar what he put on it that would fit more perfectly than Titanium Man’s cranky, doomed world view. Marvel and the CCCP would be proud.On ‘Cry Baby Cemetery’ there’s a ton of voodoo to the tune, alongside its strange off kilter rhythm, Ade’s ripping lead guitar and plenty of women screaming throughout. An eerie Louisiana copycat crime is its themes and lyrical inspiration.
"‘Speed of Life’ was inspired by Manet’s famous painting of a woman tending bar at the Folies-Bergere in Paris in 1882 (somewhat bizarrely, she looks very similar in appearance to my mother). The disillusionment and bewilderment at the speed of life in her times, at the end of her century, painted into her expression. I transposed that to modern times using famous quotes.

"’Love on The Rhine’ is like a drinking song from 1910, standing somewhere by the famous river. The almost accidental introduction part continually makes me smile, as it sounds like some 1970s dreary German TV series or drama intro music.

"There’s a lot on this album, so I won’t drone on and spoil it for listeners.”

Read more of this interview in the new issue of Vive Le Rock (no.20), out now! Order your copy HERE.



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GUILFEST 2014 hits Stoke Park in Guildford this weekend (18th – 20th July).


For the Vive Le Rock Stage line-up see below.

For more info, the full festival line-up and tickets, head to

See you this weekend!

Vive Le Rock Stage

FRIDAY (18th July)                                SATURDAY (19th July)                        SUNDAY(20th July)

  • SHAM 69 (Original Line Up)

  • Chelsea

  • Stone Foundation

  • The Vibrators

  • UnderView

  • 2nd Hand Citizens

  • Brompton Mix

  • The Shakespearos

  • Split Glory

  • The Orders

  • Buzzcocks

  • The Urban Voodoo Machine

  • The Sex Pistols Experience

  • Imperial Leisure

  • Bermondsey Joyriders

  • Dirty Revolution

  • Skaciety

  • WitchDoktors

  • Model Society

  • The Scintillas

  • Pig Ignerents

  • Miss Vincent

  • Ruts D.C

  • The Skints

  • The Ramonas

  • New Town Kings

  • Electric River

  • Riskee & The Ridicule

  • The Spitfires

  • Carnival Youth

  • Neighbourhood Threat

  • Tree House Fire

  • R.E.D.


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From their brand new album!

On June 20 2014 THE BOYS release their long-requested first new studio album since 1981 on Wolverine Records. Featuring the original founder members and creative core of Matt Dangerfield, Casino Steel and Honest John Plain, the new album “Punk Rock Menopause” is packed with 13 iconic new songs bearing the band’s classic trademark blistering guitars, hard-edged melodies, killer hooks and layered harmonies. It will be released as CD/LP and Digital Download!

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Free with the new issue of Vive Le Rock (no. 19 with UK Subs on cover) come these striking high quality A4 art prints.

This issue we give you classic ads from the RAMONES and THE CURE so choose your side, frame it or pin it up and enjoy!

Check out previews of the art prints below and order your copy of the new issue HERE.


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VIVE LE ROCK is proud to present a world exclusive stream of a new song from legendary punks STIFF LITTLE FINGERS.

Listen to the song ‘When We Were Young’, from their new album ‘No Going Back’, below.

The new album is available now from iTunes.

Read our 8/10 full page review of the new SLF album in issue 18 of Vive Le Rock (1979 special issue!), out now. Order your copy HERE.

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Leading up to 1979, how had 1976 to 1978 treated you and your band?
“The years leading up to 1979 were a time of mixed blessings, really. The band that preceded Secret Affair was called New Hearts; formed during the first onset of punk’s first wave of ’76 bands, such as The Clash, The Damned, The Sex Pistols and so on.
Up until this time, music was dominated by hugely successful rock supergroups who played some great music but who, for many teenagers like me, seemed distant and remote. Both the pop chart scene and the black dance scene were dominated by some very cheesy music… The Stylistics, Barry White, The Bee Gees, The Carpenters and so on, with only artists like David Bowie or Roxy Music still striving to break new ground.
“Punk, and the more interesting term ‘new wave’, represented an opportunity to overturn much that was rather staid, shallow, complacent or, in the case of the rock supergroups of the time, self-indulgent, with its 20 minute drum solos and pseudo-mystical lyrics that didn’t always connect with working class teens like me. Punk’s assault on the musical and fashion status quo was, in retrospect, both rapid and astonishing in its impact. The important thing, more important than the music itself, was that it overturned the music industry, leaving in its wake a raft of gibbering record company executives, who literally didn’t know where to turn, who to sign or what to do. At first they had tried to resist it, along with their partners in crime in radio, TV and the print media. But importantly, the UK music press quickly embraced the new wave revolution, gave it the oxygen of publicity and suddenly all the staff of the NME, Melody Maker, Sounds and Record Mirror were clad in obligatory black leather biker jacket and skinny jeans (though not quite having had the courage to get their hair cut!).
“In the face of establishment resistance, the new wave/punk movement steamrollered on, forming its own independent record labels, such as Miles Copeland’s Step Forward, or the excellent Stiff Records formed by Dave Robinson and Jake Riviera, and creating its own fanzines such as the iconic Sniffing Glue, and its own venues like London’s The Roxy, or Monday nights at the Vortex, which was for the rest of the week a disco venue called Crackers. Punk was now a movement, a culture, a way of life for some.
“New Hearts, with me its 16 year old singer (eldest band member 18), stepped into this maelstrom of change determined to embrace our opportunity. For us, as musicians from the edge of London, without ‘contacts’ in the business or being part of any established scene or fashionable clique, saw that the systematic destruction of the music industry more, and meant we had as much opportunity and right to be a part of this new generation of music as anyone else. Or so we thought.
“The major record labels from 1977 onwards, still reeling from their dizzy fit, soon embarked on a campaign of signing as many of the new generation of bands as they possibly could, achieving a few coups along the way with CBS Records signing The Clash and United Artists signing The Stranglers. What major labels like CBS never really got though was the innate suspicion and irreverent disregard this new generation felt for them, whether they signed with them or not. Everyone knew that the rich cigar-wielding chief execs of the majors, with their teams of out of touch A&R men still wearing their permed footballer hairstyles and brightly coloured silk tour jackets, neither knew nor cared about this new revolution or, for that matter, about music itself. Many, I believe, thought they could just swallow it up and make it fade away so that they could return to the old days of formulaic pop and lofty supergroups.
“So New Hearts were quickly signed to CBS Records, and I think for a number of reasons. First, our age meant that, in theory, we were of the current generation. Second, that while we embraced one of the key tenets of punk rock performance; energy, passion, commitment, we rejected the often stated notion that ‘anyone can play punk rock, you don’t even have to know how to play the guitar or how to sing’. Instead, we were a tight, melodic, punchy unit with a big collection of well arranged songs, energised by intense guitar sounds that drew from that great power playing of guitar greats like Pete Townshend. And it had been proved to us that in both a punk, and new wave context, that approach was acceptable because successful bands like The Jam had proved it. Hard and fast, in time, in tune, with bags of passion and commitment, they did very well, while anyone with any sense could see this wasn’t a punk rock band. Their clothes, their look and their sound came straight out of the ’60s, which they had made contemporary and adapted to sit very comfortably in the new order of the second half of the ’70s.
“But for us as New Hearts, a few things meant that we were fated to unravel. One of the biggest factors was the issue of credibility. The whole new wave era was bedevilled by an obsession with credibility. Who was real and who wasn’t, who was ‘jumping a bandwagon’ who was ‘in’ and who was ‘out’. The prime drivers in the who was and wasn’t credible campaign were the UK music press. With ephemeral judgements worthy of The Crucible’s Abigail and Tituba, the music press started to decide who was cool and who was not, who was in and who was out, and the power of their witchcraft extended until, in the face of an ever-diversifying music market and dwindling circulations, there came the fall of the false kingmakers of sounds, Melody Maker, Record Mirror and the dramatic re-invention of the only survivor of those days – the much improved NME.
“Also, I had come to realise that there was something rotten at the heart of punk. That this heart didn’t really speak for ordinary working class kids like me, but whose trail led to origins in the King’s Road, Chelsea, whose proponents talked about ‘street’ culture but didn’t walk the streets, who professed to despise ‘the establishment’ but was in fact an in crowd establishment of its own. And we were outsiders.
“New Hearts’ record company understood none of this existential predicament, to our cost. The one thing they did understand was a strong melodic ‘pop’ element in our high energy new wave sound and they seized on this because to their addled and outdated minds, a good pop record would make the charts and bring success – job done. Against our will they put us in the recording studio with ex-Tommy & The Shondells keyboard player and now producer Kenny Laguna, who had a great track record in bubblegum pop but no knowledge at all of punk or new wave at the time. The result was a disaster and our first single was neither good pop, nor credible new wave and we were further pushed to the edge of the trust of the movers, shapers and kingmakers that were mysteriously empowered to raise or lower the Emperor of Credibility’s thumb.
Further pressurised to pursue the ‘pop’ route by manager and record company alike, we realised too late that frankly our careers were being steered by village idiots. The record company wound up their deal not long after the failure of the second single.
However, some very good things happened over this time. The first is that CBS retained myself and partner Dave Cairns as a proposed performer/songwriter duo. One executive laughably proposed that we think about making ourselves the next Smokie!
“The second is that they were very generous with demo time in their state of the art recording studio in central London. Due to this generosity (if generosity it was), I worked hard to learn about recording, what people did to make good records and how things worked technically. The house engineers at those studios patiently answered every trivial and irritating question I had. One in particular, Simon Humphrey, went on to be Secret Affair’s studio engineer.
“The third is that we made absolutely no attempt to go on and be the next Smokie, but worked and wrote and worked to create a new band, a new sound and a fierce determination never to let anyone treat us the way we had been treated again.”

How did the political climate in 1979 affect the band and the songs you were writing?

“Well it only affected me in as much as it affected a great many others. The death of consensus politics in ’79 with the election of Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative party gave rise to an intensifying of all that could be divisive between those who leaned to the left and those that leaned to the right, transforming normal political differences of opinion into issues of outright mistrust and mutual dislike. Margaret Thatcher was unquestionably a divisive leader, and her handling of the Trade Unions showed her to be both a cynical and ruthless leader. In my opinion, many people’s agreement that many of Britain’s woes at the time were caused by Trade Union militancy overlook the cause of that militancy, which was inflation massively reducing people’s pay. Also, when inflation did start to come down the major strikes that followed were not about pay, but about jobs. I think Margaret Thatcher knew full well that every redundancy of a union member effectively weakened that union.
“But it was in this climate, that some bright spark from a now defunct music paper decided to call me a Conservative which, in the bizarre credibility obsessed music business, amounted to a damning indictment. It was based on a quote of mine when I was asked what my politics were. I had replied that I didn’t have much time for either major political party… but if I were able to vote for them I would probably choose the US Democratic party. Also some people had deliberately misconstrued some remarks I had made about why there had been a revival of interest in Mod culture. I had said that the movement was fundamentally working class, and the desire of the young to wear a suit, look sharp and hold their head up high was aspirational – a statement that said that beyond class, status and wealth, they could, symbolically look anyone in the eye and say ‘I am your equal’. The idea for a while was nicknamed ‘suited subversives’ (by me I think) And I still like the idea. But anyone who thinks that is a right wing ideology has the politics of a 12 year old.
“In terms of songwriting, I am not a believer in promoting party politics through my lyrics. I don’t think ‘celebrities’ should use the power of their ‘voice’ to tell people how to vote. Musicians and songwriters who use their music to promote and address what could be called world or global issues, say human rights and social justice, is fine by me. Sting lamenting mourning Chilean women dancing the Cueca alone with photographs of their disappeared loved ones in their hands in the song ‘They Dance Alone’ seems to me a beautiful and moving way to make me think about what was the political issue of Pinochet’s reigime… but I don’t recall him ever telling me how to vote.”

What are your memories of appearing on Top of the Pops?
“Well our first appearance on Top of the Pops was the most memorable. It involved me and the bass player being half way up a motorway on the way to a show when we suddenly got a call that we had been invited to play TOTP that day. In the days before mobile phones the only way the rest of the band managed to contact me was by persuading Radio 1’s Newsbeat programme to broadcast a message at the end of their news bulletin which, by good fortune, we happened to be tuned into (I usually listen to Radio 4).
“In the end they had laid on a helicopter that flew back to London to make the recording of the show on time. I remember having to have to make a long, unheeded complaint to our record company’s promotions people who had arranged for a photographer to greet us at Battersea heliport. The ensuing pictures of me dashing from the helicopter, suitbag over my shoulder, were exactly the kind of non-credible exposure I was still trying to explain to record company executives that we didn’t need! They never got it.”

How important was the music press or to get played on John Peel’s radio show at the time?
“Well I think I may have spoken enough about the music press already perhaps? The John Peel exposure was, for me. In 1979 radio exposure was the most important way to break a band. John Peel at the time was Radio 1’s king of credible, and many of his shows consisted of a lot of dark, heavy punk full of out-of-tune guitars and bad singing of offensive lyrics. But many people missed the point about John. His mission wasn’t to promote punk music, per se. He felt it was his role to promote new talent. When I eventually got to ask him why he had played songs when it was so different from everything else he played he simply said, ‘because I liked it. And you needed a break.’ My promotions lady and I took him for a night out later and got him fabulously drunk. For weeks after he kept calling asking when we could do it again. He was a lovely man.”

Why do you think 1979 was such a fantastic year for alternative music?
“I think the proponents of the credibility gap issue were starting to lose their grip. Critics remained obsessed with it for years to come, but many artists were able to achieve mainstream success with their reputations intact because the music buying public were becoming less and less interested in such things. Among the top twenty records of 1979 were songs by Generation X, Elvis Costello, Lene Lovich’s fantastic Lucky Number, Ian Dury, Doctor Feelgood, were standing tall alongside the likes of Abba, Supertramp and Queen. The more embracing new wave revolution had achieved a really important landmark in popular music history; the broadening and diversifying of musical taste and style and the notion of, in a way, music for everybody. I think this process continued long into the next decade in a positive way, until the onset of the internet, which got everybody confused, and they still are. But that’s probably a topic for another day.”

Was there a feeling that a new breed/style of music was taking over?
“No, I wouldn’t say ‘taking over’. But certainly that popular music was becoming a broader church and that even established bands had to push on, develop and evolve – and that a disregard for new talent, new ideas and ways of doing things could be fatal.”

Which other band that was breaking that year made you sit up and think, ‘We’ve got a bit of competition here’?
“I’ve never thought of making and playing or appreciating music as a competition. The Premier League is a competition and the team with the most points at the end wins it. I’ve always hated TV programmes like the Top 20 Films of this or… The Top 100 Dance Tunes of that – they’re entirely arbitrary. Of course you can use record sales as a measure but then, in 1981, Ultravox’s ‘Vienna’ spent four consecutive weeks at #2 in the UK singles chart without ever getting to #1. Joe Dolce’s novelty song ‘Shaddapya Face’ kept it off the top slot for three weeks – but who made the better record?”

How important do you think fashion was to youth culture in 1979?
“Fashion has always been important to youth culture, but I am aware of the speed and diversity with which from ’76 through to the early ’80s fashion styles came about. Punks, Teddy Boy, Skinhead, Casual/Soul Boy, Mod, Two-Tone… and don’t forget, by the end of 1979 someone somewhere must have already been dreaming up New Romantics!”

What song really broke you big in 1979?
“Although it’s never been my favourite of our songs, we owed our initial success to ‘Time For Action’. At that time, singles’ airplay and chart success were absolutely fundamental for breaking a new band – absolutely paramount. ‘Time For Action’ was the right song at the right time. And even today, when we play it people still go crazy. It sold over 200,000 copies at the time, and if it had done those kind of numbers today it would be number one for three months.”

If you could do one thing over again that you did that year, what would it be?

“Oh, that’s an easy one! I’d like to remix our first album, ‘Glory Boys’ – if I’d known then what I know now I could have made it even better!”

UK Singles
"Time For Action" – 1979 – Number 13
"Let Your Heart Dance" – 1979 – Number 32
"My World" – 1980 – Number 16
"Sound Of Confusion" – 1980 – Number 45
"Do You Know" – 1981 – Number 57

UK Albums
"Glory Boys" – 1979 – Number 41
"Behind Closed Doors" – 1980 – Number 48
"Business As Usual" – 1982 – Number 84
"Soho Dreams" – 2012



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The Punks, London 1979 by Janette Beckman


VLR readers let us know what this epic year meant to them.

"’Five Star Rock ‘n’ Roll Petrol.’ Mods, punks and skinheads. I had ‘Too Much,Too Young’ and it was ‘Time For Action.’ Mates with a ‘King Rocker’ who I knew like the ‘Back of My Hand.’ ‘My Sharona’ was a ‘Duchess’ and all I wanted was to be ‘Happy Nowadays.’"
Michael Conway

“I was 17 in 1979. I used to listen to ‘Machine Gun Etiquette’ by The Damned, ‘Inflammable Material’ by SLF, ‘Germ Free Adolescents by’ X-Ray Spex, The Rezillos, Penetration, The Ruts, The Lurkers, etc. Used to fall asleep listening to John Peel. There was always something quite good on Top Of The Pops!”

Alex Glendinning

“The popularity of the single meant I could afford a new slice of youth culture every week. Punk continued with SLF, the Subs and the Upstarts. The charts had great singles from The Jam, Blondie, Squeeze and Ian Dury and the mod/ska scene was up and running too.”
Mal Hutchinson

“I was a spotty 14 year old daydreaming in class. Punk became new wave. Album ofthe year was ‘London Calling’. Single was ‘Boys Don’t Cry’. And great new bands―Dead Kennedys, Joy Division, SLF and Skids. And ‘Dancing Barefoot’ and ‘Eton Rifles’ had me bouncing in my bedroom.”
James Skene

“March 1979. Thursday night. TOTP. The usual crap. Wallop. Skids. ‘Into The Valley’. My life changed forever. I became a fan of Skids and music from that moment on. ‘Into the Valley’ ‘Masquerade’, ‘When You’re Young’,‘Strange Town’, ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’, ‘I Only Wanna Be With You’. THE BEST YEAR EVER.”
Peter Trenholm

“1979! The greatest year for me. I discovered punk rock. John Peel’s show and his festive fifty was a great way to discover all these new bands. Despite some claims of punk’s dead, nonsense! You could turn on TOTP and see Sham, Skids, Sid, Dickies, Upstarts, Damned, Ruts etc. All the movements around: Punk. Skins. New wave. Two-tone. Mod. Reggae. Metal. Even hippies still around.”
Michael Whittaker

"1979 was really the year that ‘rockabilly’ became a teen cult. The music had been trickling out via Sun International reissues since the late 60’s but was really the domain of older music collectors and those who frequented specialist and generally London rockin’ clubs like the Royalty in Southgate. The young kids getting into rockabilly at those clubs were the subject of Matchbox’s ‘Rockabilly Rebel’ but it was that song that let the general population of teenagers in on act. The explosion of interest in the genre worldwide after that 1979 single which was a hit all over the globe set up the environment for bands like The Stray Cats and the Polecats to score hits in the 1980’s and the wider reissue of rockabilly rarities that has continued to this day.”

Simon Nott



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Joining previously announced Main Stage headliners
The Boomtown Rats, Kool & The Gang and The Human League

Sham 69 by Dod Morrison

GuilFest organisers are delighted to announce that Sham 69, with their ORIGINAL LINE UP, featuring the founding members of the band, legendary Jimmy Pursey, Dave Parsons and Dave Tregunna, will be headlining The Vive Le Rock Punk Stage on Friday 18th July.  Sham 69 are quite simply one of the most famous punk bands of all time, producing a stream of hits during the golden era of punk including ‘Hurry Up Harry’, ‘Angels with Dirty Faces’ and ‘If The Kids are United’.  As they originally hail from Hersham, this show will be one chance to see the band close to their home turf.  A unique opportunity not to be missed!

The Buzzcocks by Dod Morrison

Punk legends Buzzcocks return to GuilFest to headline The Vive Le Rock Punk Stage on Saturday 19th July.  Famous for classic tracks ‘Orgasm Addict’, ‘Harmony In My Head’, and of course the punk anthem ‘Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)’, Buzzcocks have been cited as inspiration by a wide variety of acts including REM, Nirvana and Green Day and can quite rightly lay claim to being one of the most influential bands of the Punk era.  Expect this band to tear the roof off The Vive Le Rock Stage.

Ruts DC

Reggae Punk rockers Ruts D.C. are confirmed to headline The Vive Le Rock Punk Stage on Sunday 20th July.  Reformed in 2008 after nearly 30 years, Ruts D.C. are best known for their highly regarded 1978 single ‘In a Rut’, an instant classic that received regular airplay on the late John Peel’s legendary Radio 1 show, but have also had numerous UK top 40 hits including ‘Babylon Burning’, ‘Something That I Said’ and ‘Staring at The Rudeboys’.  Ruts D.C. are sure to close The Vive Le Rock stage in style.

In the coming weeks the GuilFest line up will continue to grow with over 200 live acts and DJs performing on 7 stages across the festival site, including the now legendary Big Cheese Rock Cave, The Acoustic Lounge and our two unsigned LiveClub stages. 

Don’t forget that it isn’t just about the music at GuilFest! All over the site you can find excellent entertainment such as the brilliant Theatre Tent, featuring a wealth of diverse theatrical productions all weekend long.  The Cosmic Comedy Tent also returns this year with a fabulous yet to be announced line up of some of the best comedians in the business.

For the night owls, Farmer Giles’ Barn Dance, La Discothèque, The Funky End Dance Tent, and the brand new Spaced Inn will keep you revelling ‘til the early hours. All this, as well as the massive 150ft beer tent, cocktail bars, food and drink from around the world, craft and clothes stalls, impromptu street theatre performances and much more besides!

Consistently nominated as the UK’s Best Family Festival, GuilFest has, as you would expect, a fabulous Kidzone for your young ones to enjoy – featuring a brilliant children’s theatre, face painting, fun rides, games, and costume making, culminating in a wonderful procession across the festival site on Sunday.

For visitors that want to experience GuilFest in style, for the first time ever in the festival’s history a very limited number of VIP tickets will be available to the public – These will allow access to a backstage area with posh loos, and a special bar for exclusive aftershow parties! You never know who you might see around there!

Tickets available now at special early bird prices from the website, or from Seetickets on 08712301106 Be sure to visit for full details or keep an eye on the official Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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Vive Le Rock is proud to present a worldwide exclusive premiere of an official live video of ‘Fuck The System’, taken from the bonus DVD included with the ‘Beat the Bastards’ CD reissue!

Nuclear Blast are reissuing ‘Beat the Bastards’, ‘Fuck the System’ and ‘The Massacre’ on March 17th,

The reissues come with a raft of bonus content, including a bonus DVD of live footage (Beat The Bastards) and bonus tracks (Fuck The System & The Massacre).

Order the vinyl bundle:
Order the CD bundle:

Watch the clip of ‘Fuck The System’ below!

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The UK screening of "Cosmic Psychos: Blokes You Can Trust"
Saturday 15 March 11.30 pm, Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB


More info below.

(Australia 2013) dir. Matt Weston. 100m. Digital.

Ross Knight, Bill Walsh, Butch Vig, Eddie Vedder, Mark Arm.

For 30 years, the Cosmic Psychos have blazed a trail of empty beer
cans and busted ear drums around the globe with their quintessential
Australian drawl and pounding punk rock songs – a unique sound and
image that has resonated with punk rock fans worldwide. If you’ve
never heard of them, Matt Weston’s documentary is never less than
entertainingly enlightening as it follows the highs and lows of the
band’s colourful history, whilst for fans his portrait of enigmatic
founder member Ross Knight is a more than worthy tribute to one of
rock and roll’s great, if unlikely, originals.

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Dick Porter talks to the crust legends about their new album ‘Corrupt Fucking System’ and their relationship with Bradford’s 1-in-12 Club.

Corrupt Fucking System

Released on the band’s own Black Cloud label, DOOM’s first studio album in well over a decade has cemented the group’s triumphant return. Demonstrating the band’s enduring commitment to their beliefs and the quartet’s collective ability to whip up blistering firestorms of sound, the disc bears comparison with their most powerful earlier recordings. VLR caught up with founding members Bri and Stick to chew the crust:

How was the process of recording the new album? Are you pleased with the final cut?

Bri: For me, long and hard, as I also recorded it. I am immensely proud of what we have created and it has reinforced my belief that we can still do this shit, without it sounding watered down or half hearted. We’re still angry bastards wanting to make a fucking noise. The final sound I will never be 100% happy with, I’m never happy with anything I record, so to play on it too it’s a double whammy. As for the final vinyl cut, I am a bit disappointed in it, but everyone seems to like it, so there you go. As for the recording process it went really well and I think we all found it quite ‘natural’. Actually writing some songs in the studio was a bit new for us, but it actually worked really well – being able to crank up my guitar sound to write riffs instead of a poxy ten-watt practice amp or an amp simulator plug-in at home. The worst part for me was Denis being in Sweden. In the end I had to go over there to oversee his vocal recording.
Stick: It was a more immediate approach to writing and recording, we had the luxury of having the studio set up so we could write a track then keep going until it was tight , record it and move on, just capture the energy there and then, then start a new one. I was worried that we would think them great at the time then further down the line wish, we had done it different, but apart from a few tweaks, it’s what we had at the inception.

You’ve recorded a track with Andy T – How did that come about?

Bri: I’d met Andy a few times and immediately got on with him. Another top bloke I have a great deal of respect for. I ended up having the honour of recording his last album Life At The Tethers End. So we asked if he would write us a poem. Of course no-one else could perform it but Andy, so myself and a friend went round to his house and recorded it in his living room. It’s an honour to have him on the record and we even performed ‘Prey for Our Souls’ live at a local pub with the man himself on vocals, which worked out really well.

I am a 1-in-12

Formed by the disenfranchised for the disenfranchised, Bradford’s 1-in-12 Club has provided the most disadvantaged elements of the local community with a meeting place, information centre and cultural hub for over 30 years. Having moved to the area in the late 1980s, Bri initiated a long relationship between Doom and the Club:

"We’d visited friends up in Bradford and on one occasion I came and saw the initial work that was happening converting an old mill to an anarchist social centre, a space for ‘us’, with no boss and no bouncers. It blew me away. This was a direct, practical realisation of the principles and beliefs inspired by Spanish anarcho-syndicalism from the Spanish civil war, the European squatting scene as well as the anarcho-punk scene. It actually developed out of the Bradford Claimants Union, which was all about empowering unemployed people, giving them legal advice, support and somewhere to go to socialise. I thought it was amazing and there were loads of really enthusiastic “switched on” and inspiring people involved. Around this time the scene in Birmingham was becoming stagnated and quite negative. The venue that was at the centre of it – The Mermaid – closed and that was that for me, so I moved to Bradford in 1989 and got practically involved with the 1-in-12. This has included maintenance, organising events, doing live PA, to building a rehearsal room and recording studio, to studio engineering/production – as well as drinking loads of beer!”



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Concrete Blonde singer/ songwriter to embark on acoustic tour

Johnette Napolitano, the charismatic singer/songwriter/ founder of Concrete Blonde, will make her first visit to the UK in nearly a decade, performing a series of acoustic shows that will feature songs from her entire career and showcasing her incredible voice.

 Concrete Blonde came howling out the chute in 1986 and knocked out three classic albums by 1990: Concrete Blonde, Freeand Bloodletting. latter begat the hit single “Joey” – a sobbing love song to a dying alcoholic – perfect rock balladry. Napolitano was born in Hollywood – the belly of the beast – and her songs were (and remain) cinematic – feature films compressed into three-minute rock ‘n’ roll: “Still In Hollywood,” “God Is A Bullet,” “True.” Walking In London, Mexican Moon, and a collabo with Chicano punk-rockers Los Illegals followed. “Ghost Of A Texas Ladies Man” and “Heal It Up” – among others — hail from that period. She is also one of the great song interpreters of our time, as proven by the way she turned James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s World” , Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” and Coldplay’s “The Scientist” into Johnette songs.
 The 21stCentury brought the gorgeous, solo album Scarred, various Concrete Blonde reunions and her book Rough Mix – a collection of short stories, lyrics and drawings. She’s now touring on her own – just an acoustic guitar and her songs, passages read from Rough Mixagainst projected backdrops of original and found art – and that voice.

JOHNETTE comments, “’m looking forward to finally get back to the UK and seeing a lot of old friends”.
  This will be a long awaited chance for UK fans to see a truly inspiring artist deliver heartfelt versions of some amazing songs in an intimate environment. Something not to be missed.

April 07- Norwich @ Waterfront Studio
April 08- Cardiff @ The Globe
April 09- London @ Jazz Café
April 10- Manchester @ Manchester Academy 3

For all the latest from Johnette, follow her on twitter @therealjohnette or facebook at

Ticket links:





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