A melding of punk, rock ‘n’ roll and power pop, London’s (nearly) all-girl band THE PRISCILLAS are causing quite a stir with their infectious, punchy songs and striking image, not to mention love shown by everyone from The Mighty Boosh and Jay Kay to The Damned, Shane McGowan and The Cramps!
We caught up with vocalist Jenny Drag to find out more and talk about their upcoming slot on the Vive Le Rock stage at GuilFest on Sunday 15thJuly, sharing a stage with The Undertones, The Sex Pistols Experience, Sharks and more…
When and how did the Priscillas get together?
“We met in Holloway Prison back in the end of 2003, formed a band and escaped; not necessarily in that order.”
What are your influences?
“Trannies, criminals, London buses, unrequited love, lost cats, outer space and red wine to name a handful.”
Whats been the highlight so far for the band?
“Touring in Europe, the UK and USA; playing shows with some of our favourite bands like The Cramps, Damned, Rezillos, Steve Diggle, The Jim Jones Revue; doing radio sessions and interviews with Rodney Bingenheimer on KROQ live from Abbey Road, Phill Jupitus on BBC 6 Music, Joe Belock’s Three Chord Monte on WFMU in New Jersey, Tracks TV show in France. And of course, getting booked for GuilFest!”
What three things should fans bring to a Priscillas show?
1. “Get your glad rags on, whatever they may be. Make an effort. Sparkly make-up and big hair are always a winner, boys and girls.”
2. “Bring a good attitude/sense of humour.”
3. “A little bit of cash to buy a 7 inch single, badge or t-shirt so we can afford to get back home.”
GuilFest is a cool family festival. Are you going to shake that up?”
“Yeah, but we have a pretty diverse fanbase. Little kids up to grannies like us so we’ll shake it but they can usually take it.”
The Priscillas play the Vive Le Rock stage at GuilFest on Sunday 15th July.
Their second album ‘10,000 Volts’ is out now on Nag’s Head Records.
FOR MORE INFO & TO BOOK TICKETS FOR GUILFEST HEAD TO GUILFEST.CO.UK
90’S PUNK LEGENDS THE FLYING MEDALLIONS PLAY FOR THE FIRST AND ONLY TIME IN ABOUT A DECADE.
IT WILL BE MENTAL!!!
Ok,a brief history.
The Medallions formed in May 1992.Me and Horsey worked in the postroom of major record label MCA records and we’d get sick of always being sent out to buy beer and pizzas for the bands that would pass through the offices.
Nirvana once came into the postroom to make friends with us,the "Real music folks" but we just gave them daggers and the silent treatment.
They simply weren’t punk enough. They left with their tails between their legs.hahaha
So anyway,we formed a punk band when everyone else was still raving to dance music and we’d sometimes get gigs at these clubs. This was at a time when bands didn’t play in clubs and if they did,they’d be dance bands just singing through the PA.
So we’d come steaming on at 3 in the morning,everyone pilling off their heads to the tunes played by Danny Ramplin and Carl Cox down at the Love Ranch in Leicester Square and we’d basically start a massive riot.
And our "punk" was "punk as fuck",hahaha.
We definitely weren’t a pop punk band like the few other "punk revival" bands that were making headlines in the NME at the time (Smash.These Animal Men etc).
We could never understand why they were trying to recreate a music and fashion scene that had occured 15 years before.
Sounds so cliched but we were "real",they were "wannabee pop stars" hahahah So anyway. We took everything to the next level and most people didn’t understand.We caned it.We caused chaos where ever we went.It wasn’t intentional.Just a case of a band made up of 7 highly strung individuals that had always done things there own way.
You know when ya growing up and there was always a kid that parents didn’t want their kids playing with? Well that was the Medallions multiplied by seven.
We were only having a laugh.
We welcomed everyone,we terrified most people. All the fashion heads wanted to be our friends until they realised we were fucking mental.
We had Nat Finklestein (From the Velvet Underground/Andy Warhol crowd) send over his girlfriend and 2 roadies to pick us up from London to drive us to a weekend of club/fashion shows in Amsterdam.The 2 roadies actually jumped out the van at Dover and escaped into the night leaving a weeping Daphney to the relentless piss taking of Mr Stephens. Hahahaha. Brilliant days.
The NME photographer covering the trip we left stranded there without passport and money for no other reason than that it was funny.
How we all laughed as we drove away leavin him asleep in the hotel with a hooker.hahahah
We were flavour of the month for about a year but eventually fucked up a bidding war between the majors by holding out for too long and ended up with fuck all.
A lesson learned eh.
We released the album WE LOVE EVERYBODY AND EVERYTHING’S GREAT through Big Life records in 1994. It is good.
Then we had a really bad tour bus crash in France that ended the band in 1995. Bass player Dougie Palompo didn’t make it.
That’s pretty much it.
We released a few singles after,did a few gigs but it weren’t ever the same.
This gig is for a laugh .Plain and simple.
28th July,The Grosvenor,Stockwell
Tickets £5 on the door
SUPPORTS NOW CONFIRMED ARE SOUTHPORT,2 SICK MONKEYS, MIDWAY STILL, SKETS AND DEAD IDENTITIES!! YAY !!!
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THE FREAKS UNION – SONGS FROM DESPAIR
From Hull on earth, third album from these (much missed) northern punks signed to Deck Cheese.
1. Be still and know
2. On the surface
3. Anywhere but now
4. (End of days)
6. Stranger in your home
7. Before you go
8. The crossroads
9. Outside in
10. When worlds collide
11. Almost romantic
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GuilFest – The award winning family festival is celebrating its 21st anniversary on 13th-15th July 2012, and with only a month to go until the event the wonderfully eclectic line up is nearing completion!
The first day of the festival, Friday 13th July, has a distinctly 80’s and classics theme this year. Headed up by the legendary Jools Holland with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, featuring vocal talent from Fine Young Cannibals frontman, Roland Gift; the day also has performances from ABC, Heaven 17, The Straits, newly confirmed The Doors Alive (easily the finest Doors tribute band around!), The South, (performing classic hits such as “A Little Time”) and cult punk band Buzzcocks!
Saturday 14th July really is party day this year. A superb mix of fantastic acts all over the festival, topped by the amazing Olly Murs headlining the Main Stage! Tulisa, Jimmy Cliff, Cher Lloyd, Republica, Bjorn Again, Gary Numan, Tim Minchin, Bastille, The Beat, Skindred, Andy C, Brookes Brothers and many more will ensure that there really is something for everyone, and the festival is firing on all cylinders for what will definitely be one heck of party! It’s guaranteed to be a day of fun not to be missed!
On Sunday 15th July, the Main Stage plays host to some brilliant 70’s classics with a headline performance from the one and only Bryan Ferry, supported by disco legends CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers, Candi Staton and one of the real originators of rock and roll, Alvin Stardust! The Good Time Guide stage on the other hand has more of a 90’s theme, with headliners Ash supported by Dodgy and The Wonderstuff (acoustic).
Elsewhere on the site throughout the weekend you can also catch a truly eclectic line up of StooShe, The Undertones, The Wurzels, The Beat, Kids In Glass Houses, Young Guns, Sub Focus (DJ set), Black Spiders, Rubberbandits, Benga, Friction, Levi Roots, Sigma, The Skints, Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer and even the fattest Take That tribute act around, Take Fat! This is just a small snapshot of what is on offer however, for full details see the GuilFest official website – http://www.guilfest.co.uk
GuilFest is also home to arguably the best festival children’s area in the UK – The Kidzone. The Kidzone is aimed solely at under 12’s and has a wealth of activities and entertainment on offer including children’s theatre, circus workshops, refreshments, amazingly talented performers, balloon makers, fun rides, face painting, costume making and much more besides. The weekend culminates in the annual themed parade around the festival on Sunday, where kids get a chance to show off what they’ve been making. As well as all of this you can expect VIP guest appearances from well known children’s icons Postman Pat on Saturday 14th July, and Zak and Panzee from The ZingZillas on Sunday 15th July.
Remember GuilFest is about so much more than just music! With an amazing comedy line up in the eFestivals Cosmic Comedy Lounge, featuring Jarred Christmas, Mitch Benn and Simon Evans amongst scores of others; the brilliant Man in the Moon Theatre tent, with its biggest line up to date of everything from Cabaret to Shakespeare – as well as brilliant attractions such as The GuilFest Vintage Fayre, The Acoustic Lounge, La Discotheque, Farmer Giles Barndance, The Eden People’s GuilFest Gallery, and The Plantation Zone, and arts and craft exhibitions, food and drink from around the world, cocktail bars, real ale bars, boutique camping and a wonderfully relaxed family friendly vibe.
Don’t forget that right next door to the festival is Guildford Lido – Guildford’s 50 metre outdoor swimming pool. Many festival goers visit for a swim or a sunbathe and use the showers in the morning, heading back to the festival for when the bands start at midday!
Tickets prices range from ￡35 – ￡135, with Under 12’s going completely free (as long as they are accompanied by an adult) and reduced fares for Under 16’s. Tickets are available from http://www.guilfest.co.uk – make sure you get them quick though, organisers are happy to announce that this is one of the fastest selling years ever! Be sure not to miss out!
The festival sees the return of the Vive Le Rock Stage, after a triumphant debut at the festival last year, with a stellar line-up including headliners the Buzzcocks, The Beat and The Undertones, as well as VLR-friendly bands, old and new, including The Skints, TV Smith, Dragster, The Ramonas, Tyrannosaurus Alan, New Town Kings, The Sex Pistols Experience and Stone Foundation.
For the full line-up, tickets and more info on the festival, head to GUILFEST.CO.UK
Last month we asked you:
WHO WAS THE GREATEST 1950’s ROCK ‘N’ ROLLER?
Here are the results:
JOHNNY KID – 18.4%
CHUCK BERRY – 17.5%
LITTLE RICHARD – 15.5%
ELVIS PRESLEY – 15.3%
JERRY LEE LEWIS – 14.6%
BUDDY HOLLY – 9.3%
BO DIDDLEY – 6.4%
BILL HALEY – 1.6%
BILLY FURY – 1.4%
NOW VOTE FOR WHO YOU THINK WAS THE GREATEST BAND FROM THE UK82 PUNK SCENE!
London’s biggest rock ‘n’ roll club, Jubilee, is heading out on tour to present some of Britain’s best new bands.
Forget the Queen, this is where the true Jubilee should be celebrated!
The tour is sponsored by Vive Le Rock, and it’s one hell of a tour.
For more info on the tour and the band’s, check out the Jubilee Club UK Tour Facebook page.
The dates are:
1 Ashford Downtown Diner
2 Manchester Star & Garter
3 London Jubilee Club
4 Brighton The Hope
5 Bristol Thekla
6 Southampton The Celler
7 Nottingham Rescue Rooms
The new issue of Vive Le Rock (no. 7) comes with a free world exclusive Cockney Rejects rarities CD, including a track featuring Paul Weller.
Order your copy of the magazine by CLICKING HERE.
See below for the full tracklisting and album cover.
EAST END BLITZ & PIECES: COCKNEY REJECTS RARITIES 1980 – 2012
1) I Love Being Me (from the forthcoming album ‘East End Babylon’)
2) Cockney Reject (from the album ‘Unforgiven’)
3) Strange One (1980 demo)
4) It’s Alright Bruv (from the album ‘Unforgiven’)
5) It’s Up To You (from the album ‘Kings Of Street Punk’)
6) The Wild Ones (1981 demo)
7) England I Miss You Now (1980 demo feat. Paul Weller)
8) Rough Diamond (demo 1987)
9) East End Babylon (from the forthcoming album ‘East End Babylon’)
10) Unforgiven (from the album ‘Unforgiven’)
11) Bad Man (Live)
12) Oi! Oi! Oi! (Live)
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The superb release from Captain Oi! Records…
‘GUILTY AS CHARGED (2009)’
The original version of ‘Guilty As Charged’ was released in Germany in 1994 though the band were never happy with the finished product. 15 years later guitarist Daryl Smith remixed the whole album to bring it totally up to date and give much more of the Sparrer sound we’ve all come to know and love. Not only that but he also revamped the artwork. The rare ‘Runaway Johnny’ EP was added as a bonus and other highlights include the original version of ‘Because You’re Young’ and a re-working of the classic ‘Sunday Stripper’.
LIMITED TO FIRST 60 SUBSCRIBERS – TITLE SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY. GIFT MAY VARY.
CHECK OUT THE REST OF CAPTAIN OI!’S MIGHTY CATALOGUE AT WWW.CAPTAINOI.COM
SUBSCRIBE TO VIVE LE ROCK NOW BY CLICKING HERE.
DOWNTOWN STRUTS were formed in 2008 in Chicago with two members hailing from Northern California and two from the Midwest. Setting out to create honest music stemming from punk and Americana influences, the songs are passionate and melodic at heart but delivered with drive and aggression. Influence from THE CLASH, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, and THE REPLACEMENTS is evident in their carefully constructed songwriting and powerful live show.
The City of Chicago, with its inevitable ups and downs, sets the background for the band’s debut full length album, "Victoria!". Recorded with Matt Allison at Atlas Studios in Chicago, this record is ambitious without losing familiarity, and maintains its energy and urgency throughout all 10 tracks. After a full US tour in support of The Business this Spring, the band continues on the road in 2012, including plans for a European Summer tour with appearances at both the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool (UK) and the Endless Summer Festival, in Germany.
This is bound to be a life-changing year for the Struts. Get in, hold on and enjoy the ride!!
Downtown Struts’ debut full-length ‘Victoria!’ is out May 15th on Pirates Press Records.
European and US tour dates will follow, as will festival appearances with Face To Face, Street Dogs, Bouncing Souls and more.
Pre-order your copy now at Piratespressrecords.com
Listen to two new songs, ‘Lost In America’ and ‘Rogues’, on the player below and tell us what you think!
999 PLAY VIVE LE PUNK N ROLL AT LONDON’S RELENTLESS GARAGE ON MAY 6TH. VIVE LE ROCK CAUGHT UP WITH GUITARIST GUY DAYS FOR A CHAT.
So VIVE LE ROCK is stoked to having 999 play our VIVE LE PUNK N ROLL show on May 6th with the GRIT and RODDY RADIATION AND HIS SKABILLY REBELS.
“999 are very much looking forward to the Vive Le Punk n Roll show in May we always enjoy to play in front of an audience after 35 years together for sure yeah and we started off in London to boot.”
Any thoughts on a new album as its been a while since ‘Death In Soho’ in 2007?
“999 are currently writing songs and Overground Records who released ‘Death In Soho’ have said they want to do another 999 album. You are correct it was 2007 when we recorded that album, however we are still touring to promote it to this day.”
You guys came from Kilburn and the High Roads. What influences did you bring to 999?
“Kilburn And The Highroads had many influences as they had six members. The influences ranged from jazz – Ornette Coleman, Roland Kirk to rock ‘n’ roll – Freddie Cannon, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and even The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane – Alma Cogan.”
And it seemed 999 were set to break America in the 1980s? What happened?
“999 sold out 10,000 seater shows in LA and did 56 date tours of the USA – yeah we thought we might crack it but then we lost momentum due to contractual difficulties with managers and record labels.”
And finally, what have been some of the more crazy shows you have played over the years?
“The craziest show we ever played was in the former Yugoslavia when we had to perform in front of a circle of police including a chief inspector who wanted to make sure we were suitable to perform in front of the public there. We did some crazy dates in Portugal once when people actually came to see us travelling on donkeys and carts, but they were so into the music it was amazing.
“Cheers from 999 Nick, Guy Arturo and Pablo lookin’ forward to the show.”
999’s STUDIO ALBUMS
– 999 (March 1978, United Artists Records) # 53 UK Albums Chart
– Separates (September 1978, United Artists)
– High Energy Plan (U.S./Canada Release only: 1979, PVC / Radar / Passport) Based upon Separates, it replaced various album tracks with various singles.
– The Biggest Prize in Sport (January 1980, Polydor Records) # 177 U.S. Billboard Album Chart
– Concrete (April 1981, Albion) # 192 U.S. Billboard
– 13th Floor Madness (November 1983, Albion)
– Face to Face (March 1985, LaBritain)
– You Us It! (November 1993, Anagram)
– Takeover (March 1998, Get Back)
– Dancing In The Wrong Shoes (1999, Receiver Records)
– Outburst (2003)
– Death In Soho (2007)
We dig into the VLR vaults to bring you this interview with Sex Pistols legend Paul Cook from last year.
Paul Cook has been a been a busy man of late. Working with Edwyn Collins, playing with a reformed Chiefs Of Relief ‘We may release the recording of the Scala show’ and now about to release the second album from his new band Manraze, that just happens to include a certain Phil Collen from Def Leppard.
Did you know Phil and Simon from back in the day and how did that come together?
"Um, not really. I bumped into Phil in the last 10 years or so and we crossed paths when we were touring for the Pistols in ’96. We kind of just talked up about doing a band and it was just like that really. Until recently I bumped into him walking down the Fulham road and he was like, oh yeah I got something for you I’d like you to listen to and all this and see what you think and the thought went from there really. I had a listen to some demos and asked if I wanted to get involved and I said yeah we’ll see how it goes and if it works out and it was quite a long process. We got there in the end and it worked out good."
The album is called Punk Funk Roots Rock, that’s kind of like a mix of all three of your influences and all three parts coming together sort of thing?
"Yeah I guess that’s what it is really. Its all of our influences basically like we were kids basically re-growing up. that’s what we wanted to express with our emotions. We just wanted to combine it all."
Is the reggae influence yours?
"We all grew up in London and I grew up with reggae when I was a kid, and Reggae was on the charts all the time in the early ‘70’s – and it was just really big back then."
And you have a cool cover of Hendrix’s song ‘Fire’ which is brilliant and hard to play and do justice to.
"We play it live a lot, we love playing that live, and we thought let’s try it and get it on the album if we can. And it worked out all right, It’s one we’ve all grown up listening to as well. We wanted to keep it (the band) as a three piece. We wanted to keep it as a nice unit."
Do you find it harder playing it as a three piece? It must be a bit trickier.
"It is a little bit. Singing and playing and stuff like that is, but it pushes you a bit more musically, which is good, and it tests you as a musician playing different styles, and playing as a three piece."
The song ‘Get Action’ sounds a bit like Thin Lizzy.
"Well they were a great rock band, really. I grew up listening Phil and Lizzy, and became friends with them eventually, which is nice. So it’s good to always keep all those influences in there."
And of course you played with the Greedies (various Pistols and Thin Lizzy members)
"Oh, the Greedies that was just a bit of fun. The live shows were good fun."
Are you going to be playing more gigs in the UK and America?
"We are heading over to the states in September for the album release. Towards the end of the year after the album is up and running, we will be heading back to the UK for some shows."
So its still fun for you playing live these days?
"Yeah, I love playing live actually. A lot of people aren’t playing anymore, when they get to that stage in their career, so I cant complain".
We saw John Lydon at Guilfest the other weekend and he was good.
"Yeah, he’s playing all over the place. Been hearing a lot of good feedback from it. He’s seriously good so hopefully he’ll be carrying on with that and making a new album or something".
No plans in the works for the Pistols?
"Not really, not at the moment. Everyone’s busy doing their own stuff but next year it might be different. You never know."
Everybody has been asking will the Professionals (Paul and Steve Jones post Pistols band) ever play again?
"Who knows we might do something. I would like to do some new material cos I don’t really like doing all this stuff without it.I’d be interested and I spoke to Paul Meyers yesterday actually, it might come together you never know".
"One of my regrets was that we didn’t make another album with the Professionals. Them, the Pistols, Chiefs, just one album – story of my life".
PunkFunkRootsRock is out now on Earmusic.
VLR catches up with Social D’s legendary frontman Mike Ness!
I chose to produce the new album cos I wasn’t that happy with the last production. The songs could have come across a little better if they’d been produced by someone in the band. It’s something I wanted to get into anyways in the future working with young bands. Helping develop them and pulling stuff out of them that they didn’t know they had. I figured it would be as good a start as any to start with my own band and if I fuck up then there’s no one to blame!
In the video for Machine Gun Blues we were just like ten year old boys again, playing dress up and playing with guns.
ORANGE COUNTY DAYS
When I was 5 I would go into my babysitter’s, she was this old lady and I’d go into her guestroom or whatever it was, and turn on the radio. Whatever was going on I don’t really remember, I know things weren’t hunky dory at home, so that allowed me this incredible escape of like a fantasy. I just knew at that age that that was what I wanted to do. I didn’t know if I had any talent or not. And then the influence started coming from music around the house which would be like polar opposites with my parent’s. Mum’s was like The Rolling Stones, some folk music and rock ‘n’ roll. My father’s was more like blues, Johnny Cash and stuff like that. That’s when I first go exposed to stuff like that. I remember the first time hearing The Carter Family, something about the tone in that, it just had this like heartfelt desperation you know that just really touched something in me. And then I had uncles who were young giving me Creedence and Stones records when I was in 3rd grade. By 7th grade everything was David Bowie, T-Rex, Lou Reed and it progressed into the glam stuff so it was only natural that the punk stuff was next. But having that foundation was great of music of the 60s and 70s, whether it was Bad Company or David Bowie it was very blues based rock and roll.
It really built the foundation so when I did finally hit punk you know…that was why we were never, even though we were sometimes labelled a hardcore band I never understood that. Cos we were always like…we were listening to the bands of the first wave of punk which were I feel were very kind of traditional rock just speeded up.
The Sex Pistols are laced with like Chuck Berry you know…
YOUNG PUNKS, GO FOR IT.
It’s funny too cos you know when you’re 17, 18 you know you kinda like…I mean, I couldn’t make it through a 5 minute blues song for a while. It was just like ‘It’s Wednesday night and we were going out, put on Sham 69 start drinking these beers and we’re gonna go on out and make some noise’. It’s funny cos where I’m staying, my hotel is right on the border of Chelsea and Fulham and one of my favourite bands was The Lurkers. And I was like, ah yeah! This is where they’re from, this is rad man!
DRUGS AND UNDER THE INFLUENCE.
I can’t imagine what it would have been like to keep going (on drugs). Cos I mean it was fun when I started, and I started you know 12, 13. You know, thought it was just a harmless gateway. But it was you know, just my personality.For me it went down quick which was good because by the time I was 23 I was done with that part of my life and ready to start channelling that energy into the band.
It’s kind of when we started to really develop a work ethic and realise that you know if I wanted to do this professionally that I would have to start acting like a pro.
FAST CARS AND HOT PURSUITS.
I do surfing, I do yoga, I do boxing. I do a little bit of everything. I’m trying to stay fit cos at my age my body’s not gonna take care of itself unfortunately.
On stage you get in the situation where there’s no oxygen and you better hope you’ve got a little bit of stamina!
I collect 30s, 40s and 50s cars and customize them. Got some old Ford coupes and stuff. To me it’s another way of expressing myself, like the way you dress it emotes this attitude. It’s just another form of self expression.
THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN.
Right now Social Distortion, we’re having a good time.
This album hit some places on the charts that we’ve never been before and that’s great you know. Because you know I mean…we don’t really know what we’re doing you know, you know I’m just a musician. I still write songs to make myself happy and I hope that when I’m done with the record that other people will like it too. To get the reception that we’ve got at this stage of the game is great.
With the ‘Machine Gun’ video, I just like the fact that we made a short film. I wanted even less performance than it is, cos if people wanna see what we look like with a guitar in our hand then they can come and see us live, so let’s just make a short film that shows the not so glamorous side of that life. It was just really what the song’s about.
My youngest son is in it, and is a natural actor, he doesn’t know it but…you know I’m really proud to have him in there.
GANGSTERS AND HOLLYWOOD
My 3 favourite gangster movies are The Godfather, Goodfellas and Bonnie and Clyde. I started crying when I was a boy when that came out. Cos Hollywood made them so loveable.
Goodfellas’ just had really believable acting. Amazing, just really very convincing. That guy Joe Pesci was just brilliant…
KING MOB are the hottest gun-slinging rock’n’roll machine out there right now. Their debut album features an all-star cast including Sex Pistol Glen Matlock, the Pretenders Martin Chambers, guitar legend Chris Spedding, former Sharks frontman Snips and hot new guitar player, Sixteen! King Mob’s debut album is out now on SPV, and they play their Vive Le Rock sponsored show at O2 Islington Academy on We March 28th with a host of all star guests – we asked Snips for a word!
How did King Mob come together?
"After composing and producing instrumental music for 30 years, I suddenly felt the urge to sing in a beat group again."
Were you looking for such an all-star band?
"All-Star meaning everyone in it is a star. In the world of King Mob, reputations are just dust in the fire."
Sixteen is a real talent.
"Sixteen was our second choice after Jimmy Page, but we did ok finding him. The fact that he is young and good looking is just something we have to live with."
King Mob’s rock’n’roll sound is a real up to date twist of a classic genre. Is that what you were aiming for?
"Everything is FRESH if you love it, and the Twist is still my favourite dance."
What have you got planned for the London O2 academy show – and what special guests will be coming along?
"It’s a feast of guitars. We are extending some of the songs from FORCE 9 to incorporate the guests. Phil Manzanera will sail on China Waters, Wilko Johnson will be a Lover Of High Renown, and Mick Ralphs will have an extended conversation with King Mob. Glen can sing and play whatever he chooses to! We will also feature four new songs which we have recorded for our second album."
Stephen W Parsons (vocals) • Chris Spedding (guitar) • Sixteen (guitar) • Toshi Ogawa (bass) • Martin Chambers (drums)
VIVE LE ROCK PRESENTS
LONDON’S O2 ACADEMY ISLINGTON
with special guests including:
PHIL MANZANERA • GLEN MATLOCK • WILKO JOHNSON • MICK RALPHS
WEDNESDAY 28TH MARCH 2012
“…exotic tremolo guitars shimmer while echo-drenched vocals wrap themselves seductively around some 21st century boogie beats – and it rocks like a bastard. Can’t wait to see them live.” (Classic Rock)
“Think The Godfathers clashing with a slicker Alabama 3” (MOJO)
“…sounds so brilliantly fresh it’s one of the best things I’ve heard this year.” (Big Cheese)
As a new year dawns, KING MOB are looking forward to working hard on the live circuit, with dates already scheduled for the UK and the rest of Europe and summer festival dates in the offing. Many more dates are still to be officially announced but KING MOB will play London’s O2 Academy Islington on 28th March with some very special guests including Phil Manzanera, Glen Matlock, Wilko Johnson and Mick Ralphs.
At the end of last year brand new English beat combo, KING MOB released their stunning debut album Force 9.
KING MOB began life when vocalist Stephen W Parsons approached his old friend and ex-Sharks colleague Chris Spedding with the idea of forming a new band. Following a highly successful film and advertising career, Stephen had taken time out for a while and found himself DJ-ing at The Axe club on Hackney Road. Every Friday and Saturday night from midnight until 6am, the joint jumped to Stephen’s old school music in the form of Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Ike & Tina et al. Realising that these pre-1977 sounds were going down a storm with the younger crowd, Stephen’s passion for the sheer excitement and energy of R&B was re-ignited and happily Chris Spedding agreed to come on board to form a new combo of talented like-minded musicians from either side of the generation gap.
“King Mob came to rock the joint and raise the dead. We will continue to do so in 2012” (Stephen W Parsons)
KING MOB + special guests
VENUE: LONDON’S O2 ACADEMY ISLINGTON
DATE: WEDNESDAY 28TH MARCH
TIME: 7PM (DOORS)
BOX OFFICE: www.ticketweb.co.uk
NEAREST TRANSPORT: NORTHERN LINE TO ANGEL
FORCE 9 out now on SPV/STEAMHAMMER
LIKE ALL good wild rock alter egos, the panstick-painted persona of maniac Medics’ leader ‘The Doctor‘, is a confusing character to converse with. No longer playing 300+ gigs a year, he’s today closely reconciled to polite parent-of-four Clive Jackson, whom neighbours in rural Welsh community Libanus know as a chap who sits on the local school board.
It’s a perplexing pair of personalities to put together, and Vive le Rock is only grateful not to have met the man who moved to Mexico in 2003. That bloke appears “when I do local radio – I’ll do you a favour and not let you publish that as the truth”, the Doc cackles (fairly certainly, Clive isn’t the cackler). “I play that card to root out the ones who’ve only read Wikipedia” he smirks.
The Doctor admits a certain amount of the mystery is cultivated, and even endorsed sources’ telling of the truth may be muddied. Although eagerly aiding the remastering and repackaging of the Medics’ first three albums and a singles compilation for reissue recently, the Doc preferred to pass responsibility for the sleevenotes to good friend Hari Oakham, who he remembers “said ‘do you want to check them?’. I said ‘no, I’ll read them when it comes out’. The thing about being ‘not proper famous’”, he muses mischievously, “is that no-one really knows what the truth is”. If he himself knows, he‘s telling only “the more far-fetched stories tend to be the truer ones”.
In a sense, Oakham‘s simultaneously economic and embellished biography is perhaps the truest representation to be drawn for a group who masked themselves in distorting acid trip imagery, to tout a baffling blend of influences. Those hallmarks developed initially at Alice In Wonderland, the 80s London clubnight the Doc and Christian Paris established to be “the direct antithesis to what was going on at the time”. Thinking New Romantic “too serious”, Alice liked to “go back to glam, psychedelic and punk”, and in no particular order. Straight playlists were scorned, and punters “would come down and say ‘ooh, a psychedelic club”, to have their records set skew-whiff; when Alice spun “Johnny Cash, Nirvana – Johnny Cash after Nirvana!”.
While the strange music brewed in London, The Medics’ freaky image and fine-tuned sense of the absurd were nurtured on Alice ‘Mystery Trips’; outings which variously found the regulars caught in a cave during a power cut, and lost in Lowestoft when their coach driver called one way enough. Finally, the pieces fused to form a band for the sum of ￡5 – bet (and still owed) to the Doctor by a member of The Marble Staircase – who gave The Medics their first gig. “Ravensbourne Art College, 1982”, the Doc remembers, “two weeks earlier he’d said ‘you’ll never form a band….‘”.
It’s thought the money never materialized because of “sour grapes – we blew them off stage!”. Were it that way, The Marble Staircase lost all pride, no doubt, when four years later the monster they made turned up on Top of The Pops. Spirit In The Sky, and the fleeting fame following it, is assumed by many to have become a millstone to The Medics later, and indeed even the distributors’ of the recent reissues in their notes deem the band “unfairly remembered” for it. Here however, the Doctor is unusually generous with the truth, declaring “as life unrolled after Spirit… I loved every minute of it!”.
Looking over the albums, the Medics have certainly made a suitably solid originals catalogue to be creatively content in their career, and the Doc forges forward still, maintaining a steady live schedule and now gearing up to record the long-due next album. He admits to wondering “’what am I going to write about?’” once he’d set this goal and finding little inspiration in available precedents. “I listened to a lot of records by people who’d got to a certain age and they sounded like bitter old men. I didn’t want that, and I certainly didn’t want to get jiggy with kids”, he shudders.
So he took to “looking back to what I used to do”, and realized pretty swiftly the Medics never did need a precedent. And weren’t about to find one, on this plane, at least. Instead, “it was all about this fantasy world, part myth, part history, part religion – once I put it all back in there it just started flowing”.
READ MORE ABOUT DOCTOR & THE MEDICS IN THE LATEST ISSUE (No. 6) OF VIVE LE ROCK.
Issue 6 will be in shops late next week and here’s what you can expect…
JOHN LYDON & PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED
The rise, fall and rebirth. As John Lydon prepares to re-stoke the fires of Public Image Limited, will it equal past glories? We talk to a host of people with varying opinions and look at the history of the seminal pioneering post-punks.
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS
FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM
BOW WOW WOW
THE BOOMTOWN RATS
LEEE BLACK CHILDERS
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FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM
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