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SHOTGLASS KILLERS
‘GHOST OF AN EMPTY BOTTLE’

BRIJETTE WEST
‘AND THE DESPERATE HOPEFULS’

THE HUMPERS

‘WAR IS HELL/MY MACHINE’

THE LOYALTIES

‘SO MUCH FOR SOHO’


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POLL RESULTS

Last month we asked you:

WHO WAS THE BEST FEMALE PUNK SINGER FROM THE GOLDEN AGE (USA/UK)?

Here are the results:

SIOUXSIE SIOUX (THE BANSHEES) 25.1%

POLY STYRENE (X-RAY SPEX) 23.2%
FAY FIFE (REZILLOS) 15.2%
DEBBIE HARRY (BLONDIE) 13.6%
HELEN HILL (VIOLATORS) 6.5%
BEKI BONDAGE (VICE SQUAD) 5%
ARI-UP (THE SLITS) 4.2%
WENDY O’WILLIAMS (PLASMATICS) 4%
ANNA BELLA (BOW WOW WOW) 2.1%
GAYE ADVERT (ADVERTS) 1%

NOW VOTE FOR WHO YOU THINK WAS THE GREATEST ’50s ROCK ‘N’ ROLLER!

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EAST END BABYLON

VIVE LE ROCK PRESENTS…

The story of London’s toughest and poorest part as told through the eyes of its most iconic band, THE COCKNEY REJECTS. From the bombs that flew in World War II and from the greatest industrial docks the world ever saw, to the formation of the original and best Terrace Band of them all, the battles, living outside the law, the wilderness years of both the band and the area that spawned them, and eventually to the rebirth and transformation of the band into a worldwide cult, this is the rockumentary to beat them all.

Feel the mighty heart that beats to the rhythm of rivet hammers upon a background of claret and blue.

This is East End Babylon!

www.eastendbabylon.co.uk

 

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
Jeff ‘Stinky’ Turner was only 15 when, along with his brother Mick, he crashed onto the nation’s TV screens with his band THE COCKNEY REJECTS and lit a worldwide street punk revolution. After releasing the awesome but modestly titled album ‘Greatest Hits Vol. 1’, followed by a second and third, as well as a run of chart hits, they took a new hard rock direction and it all went a bit pear-shaped, with the band splitting a mere five years later. But it seems you can’t keep a ‘Reject down and next month sees the band out on the road headlining the Concrete Jungle Festival and releasing the rather tasty, brand new album ‘Unforgiven’. Big Cheese caught up with Jeff and Mick at an Irish boozer on Holloway Road to get their story, in their words…

THE (POWER & THE) GLORY DAYS


Jeff: “Me and Mick first formed the band, we blagged the bass player who was going out with me sister. We didn’t have a drummer and we hadn’t even played a gig when Mick went up to see Gary Bushell and told him we were this new band and he liked the name. The next thing Jimmy Pursey (Sham 69 vocalist) was on the phone. We started off big time doing twenty four tracks at Polydor studios after only ever having sung into a little tape recorder. After that we got signed to Small Wonder Records to make our first EP, ‘Flares And Slippers’, which sold fabulously well. We started the band in March ’79, by the end of October ’79 we’d recorded ‘I’m Not A Fool’ (second EP) one Sunday afternoon and in the next two days we had five record companies fighting for our signatures – Warner Bros., Polydor, Decca… I think we was gonna go with Polydor but then EMI stepped in with a big offer. That was it, we was away, signed and we’d only ever played four gigs. I appeared on ‘Top Of The Pops’ at fifteen years old.”

Mick: “The emphasis was on the songwriting and if we wouldn’t have thought it was worth a carrot, we wouldn’t have ever gone for it. We liked what we was hearing obviously, especially the first time we walked into a big mainframe studio like Polydor and listening to what we was capable of. We’d earned this contract and we’re worth our weight, you know?”

Jeff: “There was a lot of bands coming through but we was more influenced by the older, first punk bands like The Ramones, The Clash and all that – still the great ones for me. Even though our sound moved on, Mick’s guitar sound had a sound all of its own. They was good, poppy songs, even though there was shouted lyrics, because we didn’t know anything else, and big choruses. But it all seemed to gel and before we knew it, ‘Volume 1’ (1980) had been made, bang, and we’re into the Top 50, then the Top 30 and we stayed there for weeks and weeks.”

READ A FULL FEATURE ON THE COCKNEY REJECTS IN ISSUE 3, WHICH YOU CAN ORDER
HERE

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JOHNNY THUNDERS & THE HEARTBREAKERS


Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers:
Where are they now?

Johnny Thunders was a name as much associated with chaotic punk rock as with hard living and self-destruction. Thunders, who took his moniker from a DC comic book hero known for his luck and ability to wield ‘The Thunderbolt’, was a founding father of proto punk as a guitarist and singer-songwriter. Thunders’ was also an infamous drug user and tangled with the demons of fame and substance abuse. His death in 1991 sparked rumors and speculation regarding the American guitarist’s final hours, only to be further muddled when police hesitated to open any real investigation. Whether an overdose, a premeditated murder or a violent robbery gone wrong, Thunders’ death in a dingy New Orleans hotel room marked the passing of punk’s fiercest icon. But now, 20 years after his passing, what has become of The Heartbreakers?

The Heartbreakers were formed from the ashes of the New York Dolls when Thunders and Jerry Nolan split in 1975. The New York Dolls continued the Florida tour and tried to piece the band together while Thunders and Nolan began to plant the seeds of what would become Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers. They picked up free-floating Richard Hell of Television to play bass and sing, though his stint with the band was brief. Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers saw a number of musicians come and go during the tumultuous life of the band and while a few have croaked, some are still kicking and screaming.

Jerry Nolan
Iconic drummer for the New York Dolls, Nolan was at the heart of the band from the beginning. The native New Yorker toured and recorded with The Heartbreakers, including the famous and ill-fated British Anarchy Tour (alongside the likes of The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned). Even as the band began to dissolve, Nolan remained strongly connected to Johnny Thunders as they both went their separate ways musically. He quit after the release of ‘L.A.M.F’ because the album was mixed properly and never sounded how he envisioned, but continued to play with The Heartbreakers as a hired drummer. Nolan was collaborating with singer-songwriter Greg Allen and bassist Chicago Van Earnshaw when he fell ill. Then in 1992, only a few months after Thunders’ death, Nolan was admitted to St. Vincent’s hospital in New York and suffered a stroke. Jerry Nolan then passed away on January 14th, 1992. Thunders and Nolan are both buried in Queens and Nolan’s legacy still lives on, best captured by David Johansen’s famous phrase, ‘Give me one Jerry!’

Richard Hell
A man that needs no introduction, Richard Hell joined The Heartbreakers in May 1975 after playing with The Neon Boys (who later became Television). Hell’s time with The Heartbreakers only lasted about a year, until 1976 when he quit and started Richard Hell and The Voidoids (also known as simply the Voidoids). This project was part of the first wave of punk rock and released two studio albums, ‘Blank Generation’ and ‘Destiny Street,’ and is credited for introducing and developing the classic punk rock look. Hell played bass and sang lead vocals for The Voidoids before releasing ‘R.I.P’ (a collection outtakes and unreleased material) in 1984, which marked his retirement. Hell briefly reentered the music world in the early 90s for Dim Stars, a short-lived super group with Thurston Moore and Steven Shelley of Sonic Youth, Gumball’s Don Flemming and Robert Quine of The Voidoids. Hell has also written a number of novels, non-fiction books, poems, essays and drawings that have been published as well as has appeared in several films. Richard Hell is 62 and lives in the East Village with his wife.

Walter Lure
Walter ‘Waldo’ Lure joined forces with Johnny Thunders, Jerry Nolan and Richard Hell in the early stages of The Heartbreakers as a second guitarist and vocalist. Lure was pulled into The Heartbreakers from his earlier band, The Demons, as a result of mutual friends and a shared rehearsal space. Lure performed and recorded with The Heartbreakers and had a major role in songwriting. He went on to work with The Ramones on ‘Subterranean Jungle’ and ‘Too Tough To Die,’ contributing significant guitar work, though he was confined to studio sessions and did not perform with the band live. Walter Lure played with a number of musicians and bands following his career with The Heartbreakers including The Hurricanes, which later became The Heroes. Lure put out some music with a band that he formed called The Waldos in the mid-80s. The Waldos saw a continually rotating line up because a number of members died in quick succession.

Billy Rath
Following Richard Hell’s dramatic departure, Billy Rath jumped aboard The Heartbreakers as the replacement bass player. Rumors circulated that Rath was a former gigolo and though he did not have quite the stage presence that Hell did, he was very musically talented and helped hold The Heartbreakers together. Rath also played with many major names like Iggy Pop, Nico, Lenny Kay, The Muggers and Ronnie Spector. He has also put together a project called ‘Billy Rath’s Street Pirates’ and recently toured with UK with The Broken Hearts, alongside Steve Dior.

Nathan Greenberg

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ADAM ANT



Photo copyright Ester Segarra

ADAM ANT

Hugh Gulland talks to Mr. Vive Le Rock himself in the new issue (no. 5), which you can order HERE.

Here’s some extra web-exclusive questions our man put to Prince Charming.

How did it hit you when Malcolm MacLaren ousted you from the original band?
"Well you know I was very upset really, because Malcolm was, you know… that was a necessary thing to happen. I hired him for a couple of weeks, and during this couple of weeks he said ‘look, there’s this album Dirk Wears White Sox, which is very good, but is that the kind of thing you want to do? Do you want to do a cult record?’ I said ‘Not really, I wanna make hit records’, because in my mind when I put Young Parisians out or Zerox out I was aiming for the top slot. He said ‘you’re going the wrong way about it, you’ve got to use what you’ve got which is your lips, your muscles, get it on the cover, get it on the front, and you’ve got to listen to the structure of pop music, rock’n’roll…’ so he gave me a whole very solid history of, not just rock’n’roll, but the construction of things, how to scan, that kind of stuff, and it was immeasurably helpful. During the process of that, by the same token, I wasn’t going to let him take over Adam And The Ants, the idea. It was plainly obvious that he didn’t want Adam And The Ants, he just wanted the guys who were in Adam And The Ants, the rhythm section. He already had the idea for Bow Wow Wow, with Anabella. So in a way, it was painful, but we’re all still pretty good mates, sadly Matthew Ashman has passed away. But I’ve also done a bit of work with Annabella. And Dave Barbarossa came on tour with me in America, (Lee Gouldman) worked on an album I did… so we’ve all come back into the fold. It’s just the way it went. Sometimes you’ve got to have your heart broken, and you kind of move on.

"He was one of the great rock’n’roll managers in the whole of history; that’d be Tom Parker, Epstein, Peter Grant and him. Malcolm was ultimately more intellectual than the other three, which is probably what got him his way, because he wasn’t money orientated. He was very bad with money, Malcolm, he was more one for ideas, and stirring things up, getting a revolt. So that was generally the way he worked, he wasn’t someone who was in it for money, if he was into money, he’d have been like robbing a bank. He wasn’t one for negotiation, he was a very clever guy."

What do you remember of your time with Bazooka Joe – you were headlining at the Pistols’ first gig?
"It was that horrible pub rock era, where, you just couldn’t get a deal, and Bazooka Joe hung about with Ducks Deluxe, Kilburn And The High Roads, Eddie And The Hot Rods, and the best of the lot being Dr Feelgood. I remember at Feelgood gigs seeing John Rotten turn up you know, they were the best of the best, but they were having it hard. The music papers held a lot of influence, so it wasn’t really going for it. It really took the riot at the National, I actually attended that gig, where the Pistols attacked the audience, things changed a bit, and they didn’t know what to do. It was a catalyst really, Malcolm and the Pistols were a catalyst for what was going to happen, and I was lucky to be at the first gig and just dropped tools and got out of doing nostalgic songs and got on with the future, got on with it. I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time!"

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INSIDE ISSUE 5

Vive Le Rock Issue 5 - Damned and Motorhead

ISSUE 5

THE DAMNED & MOTORHEAD

Punk, chaos, speed ‘n’ The Doomed! Captain Sensible, Lemmy, Rat Scabies and Brian James speak!

THE CURE
JOE STRUMMER

THE WHO
THE MISFITS
TOM WAITS

SPEAR OF DESTINY
ADAM ANT

GIRLSCHOOL

THE SELECTER
JOHNNY CASH

ALICE COOPER

GARY NUMAN
GINGER-WILDHEARTS

SLADE
WILKO JOHNSON

TOYAH
MAGAZINE
REBELLION FESTIVAL
STIFF RECORDS
12 BANDS FOR 2012 AND A WHOLE LOT MORE!

PLUS:

FREE 14 TRACK CD W/

THE DAMNED
JOE STRUMMER
THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE
THE METEORS
STEVE HOOKER
LOADED 44
PUSSYCAT AND THE DIRTY JOHNSONS
& MANY MORE!

ORDER YOUR COPY NOW BY CLICKING HERE
IN SHOPS (WH SMITHS, ALL GOOD NEWSAGENTS) NOW!

SUBSCRIBE (4 ISSUES & FREE CD!) NOW BY CLICKING HERE

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REVEREND PEYTON’S BIG DAMN BAND

The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, the three-piece American country blues band from Brown County, Indiana have just played a handful of UK dates before heading onto Europe. They play more than 250 dates per year at venues ranging from bars to festivals and so far they have released seven albums, the most recent is ‘Peyton on Patton’ – a tribute to blues pioneer Charlie Patton available on Side One Dummy Records.

Vive Le Rock digs them so Vive Le Rev!

Here’s their brand new video. Enjoy!

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SNEAK PEEK AT ISSUE 5

Here’s a sneak peak at just some of what’s in the next issue of Vive Le Rock! It’ll be in shops on November 15th.

DAMNED
KING MOB
ADAM ANT
MOTORHEAD
ALICE COOPER
MAGAZINE
GINGER (WILDHEARTS)
TOM WAITS
GIRLSCHOOL
WILKO JOHNSON
THE CURE
THE SELECTER
SPEAR OF DESTINY
GARY NUMAN
TOYAH
JOHNNY CASH
MISFITS

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THE DOOMED

MOTORDAMNED UNTIL DEATH

Old friends MOTORHEAD and THE DAMNED both tour the UK in November. What better time to take a look back at their close ties and short-lived THE DOOMED? Read more about Motorhead, The Damned and The Doomed in the upcoming issue 5 of Vive Le Rock!

It’s actually over thirty years since the unholy alliance first hit the stage. When The Damned, the band that released the UK’s first punk, split from original guitarist Brian James in 1978 the remaining three members – gravedigger turned singer Dave Vanian, bass player Captain Sensible and drummer Rat Scabies – were worried about the legal percussions of using the name they thought lay with James so they adopted their original name for reunion gig. The Doomed were booked in at The Electric Ballroom on Tuesday, September 5, 1978. With Captain Sensible switching from bass to fill Brian James’s shoes on guitar they were left without a bass player so they drafted in Motorhead mainman Lemmy. Lemmy said: "We had about five hours of rehearsal. I learned eleven of their songs, and they learned one of mine, which they wound up fucking up on stage. I shouldn’t have even bothered having them do one of my songs, really."

It was one of the most productive periods in the career of The Damned and their comeback album, Machine Gun Etiquette, was probably their most frenetic and manic offering ever. Lemmy offered his services for more than their comeback gig as well. He ended up on the ‘B’ side of The Damned’s Just Can’t Be Happy Today single, the third seven inch offering from Machine Gun Etiquette. Lemmy said: "We recorded a couple of songs – a version of the Sweet’s ‘Ballroom Blitz’ and a Motorhead tune, ‘Over the Top’.”

So how are both outfits doing thirty years on? Well they both share an uncanny ability to go through a multiple of line-up changes. Only Lemmy remains from the Motorhead that were playing everything louder in the late 1970s. The Damned fare slightly better – Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible remain of the original (though Captain has had a few years off himself). Both bands have had their fair share of ups and downs over the decades but the 2009 tour with support from another enduring rock act, Girlschool, was a big success.

Lemmy sums up what’s on the agenda quite aptly: "Here we are again boys and girls, come and get your fuckin’ head blown off! – in the best possible taste."

It was the last chance to see the Motorhead frontman before he is truly immortalised on the silver screen in 2010 in the shape of ‘Lemmy: The Movie’. Directed/produced by Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski, the film took two years to make and includes feature interviews with friends, peers, and admirers such as Dave Grohl, Slash, Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Peter Hook of Joy Division/New Order, Dee Snider, Mick Jones of The Clash, Jim Heath of Reverend Horton Heat, Slim Jim Phantom of The Stray Cats, Mike Inez, pro skateboarder Geoff Rowley, pro wrestler Triple H, C.C. Deville of Poison, Fast Eddie Clarke, Johnny Knoxville, Jarvis Cocker, Marky Ramone, former Hawkwind bandmates Dave Brock and Stacia, and Steve Vai.

The Damned’s Captain Sensible is more than happy to have worked with Lemmy once again on their 2009 tour. "He’s the real deal, the absolute antithesis to all that the likes of Simon Cowell stand for. And for that we should all be grateful", says Captain Sensible. "This tour will be a celebration of all things rock ‘n’ roll… pity the poor roadies is all I can say!"
Neil Anderson

Motorhead tour in November with UK Subs and ANL:

November
2 Wolverhampton Civic Hall
3 Newcastle City Hall
5 Glasgow Academy
6 Liverpool University Mountford Hall
8 Bristol Colston Hall
11 Norwich UEA
12 London Hammersmith Apollo
14 Plymouth Pavillions
15 Southampton Guildhall
17 Nottingham Royal Centre
18 Manchester Apollo

The Damned tour in November:

November
9 Bristol Academy 2
10 Birmingham O2 Academy
11 Cambridge Corn Exchange
12 London Roundhouse
13 Brighton East Wing
14 Norwich UEA
15 Nottingham Rock City
17 Newcastle O2 Academy
18 Leeds O2 Academy
19 Manchester Academy
20 Edinburgh Picture House

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BAUHAUS

With Peter Murphy tourin the UK in Early October, Vive Le Rock takes a look at the history of goth pioneers Bauhaus.

Bauhaus, originating in Northampton, England, is considered the original goth-rock band. Using influences from punk, glam rock, and Krautrock paired with Peter Murphy’s dark vocals, they were able to create a gloomy sound that appealed to those music fans that were unsatisfied with the New Wave movement in the early 1980s.

Daniel Ash (guitar), and his friend David J Haskins (bassist), along with Haskins’ little brother, Kevin Haskins (drums) played in various bands during their childhood years. However, most bands wouldn’t last more than one gig. While Ash continued to float from one band to the next, he was continually trying to convince friend Peter Murphy to be in a band with him on the grounds that he felt Murphy had the right ‘look.’ Murphy finally caved, however at first Ash chose against inviting David J into the band, as he wanted the band to be his and under his control. After only a few weeks with Chris Barber as bassist Ash reconsidered and asked David J to join them. Although David J has already committed to touring with another band, he felt playing with friends was top priority and left the other band. The group played their first gig as an unnamed band in Wellingborough on New Year’s Eve 1978.

The band eventually chose the name Bauhaus 1919 in reference to the German art movement of the 1920s as they felt the associations of the movement matched their musical style. In hopes of getting a record deal, an associate of the band, Graham Bentley, recorded a gig and sent it off to record labels, however the attempt was unsuccessful, as many record companies at the time did not have home video equipment. With this knowledge Bauhaus decided the record a demo.

After only six weeks together the band entered the studio to record their five-song demo. One song, ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ was more than nine minutes long and became their debut single off of Small Wonder Records, during this time the band dropped the 1919, and released the track as just Bauhaus. The song did well, getting play on John Peel’s evening show and getting them an invitation to record a session on Peel’s show on 3 January 1980. The band released three more singles, one being ‘Telegram Sam’ originally by T.Rex before releasing their debut record, In the Flat Fields in 1980 off of 4AD record label. Although the album received negative press it topped the indie charts and peaked at 72 on the British pop charts.

Due to Bauhaus’ success they moved to 4AD’s bigger label Beggars Banquet Records to release single ‘Kick in the Eye.’ For their second album, Mask (1981) the band used a variety of different instruments to add a diverse sound and recorded a video for its title track as a promotional tool.

Their following single ‘Spirit’ did not do well on the charts. Upset with the results, the band re-recorded it for the third album, The Sky’s Gone Out (1982). During this time Bauhaus recorded a version of David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust,’ which became their biggest hit and got them onto Top of the Pops. Due to the single the album reached number four on the charts. The attention let to the band’s appearance in horror film The Hunger, where they performed ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ during the opening credits.

Before going into the studio to record their fourth studio record, Burning From the Inside (1983), singer Peter Murphy was taken ill with pneumonia. Not wanting to wait on Murphy, Ash and David J took over the project even doing lead vocals on a few tracks. The album faired well, it’s single, ‘She’s in Parties,’ going to number 26 on the charts. The band embarked on an international tour in support of the album, however one night before a gig at the Hammersmith Palais in London Bauhaus decided to split. The band told the fans to make sure to make it out to the show, not tell anyone that this would be their last. After a set and long encore that included many earlier songs, David J said ‘rest in peace’ as he walked off stage. Burning was released a week later to positive reviews and the band released a limited edition single ‘Sanity Assassin’ as a thank you to all the fans in their fanclub.

After the break-up all members embarked on various projects. While speaking of their respected projects at the time, David J and Ash decided to try to reform Bauhaus. The four members decided to meet up and practice, however Murphy never showed, but the three enthused by the chemistry between the them formed Love and Rockets in 1985 that did well with single ‘So Alive’ in the US, but never made much of an impact in the UK. In 1999 after seven albums the band called it quits.

In 1998, Bauhaus decided to go on a ‘Resurrection Tour’ that included a new track ‘The Dog’s Vapour’ which was included in the soundtrack for film, Heavy Metal 2000. A live album, Gotham (1999) was released following the tour.

Bauhaus returned for the third time in 2005 playing at Coachella, a music festival that takes place in Indio, California. During the performance Murphy was lowered on stage upside down singing the band’s most well known
track ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead.’ The band then embarked on a tour with Nine Inch Nails where they alluded that they hoped to record new music. On tour together until 2006, the band recorded and then released their fifth record, Go Away White in 2008. However, it marked the end of the band as there was no supporting tour and later members referenced an ‘incident’ that was never explained, but clearly led to the end of Bauhaus.

Peter Murphy tours the UK in October:

October
12 London Garage
13 Bristol O2 Academy 2
14 Glasgow King Tuts
15 Leeds Cockpit
16 Liverpool O2 Academy 2

Stevie Pearce

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ADOLESCENTS



ADOLESCENTS

By Doug Ahlgren

I caught up with the laidback bass player of The Adolescents, Steve Soto, who said the reason his band reformed ten years ago was because of the urging of a friend who wanted to book them at his club. So they got up on stage for a one-off gig and found something unexpected. “I figured there would just be a bunch of guys my age in the audience when we played; a whole nostalgic trip. But there were a lot of kids who showed up and the majority of the crowd was under 20 years old. It was really cool.”

That event seemed to leave an impression on the band as they are still touring constantly and have just released another acclaimed album with no signs of stopping momentum. “Tony (Cadena) and I started the band when we were 16 and we’ll finish it when we feel like it.”
When they were 18 they wrote and recorded their self titled debut album, called “The Blue Album” by most fans because of the cover. That classic Punk album still resonates today with the current crop of young punks. “Our first record was more of a personal thing. A lot of bands that made records in the Reagan-era are stuck with those (political) songs that are dated whereas our first record is more on the personal side of being a teenager so kids can still relate to it today.”

The new album The Fastest Kid Alive is a refreshing breath of air for Punk rock fans who long for the days when Hardcore punk actually packed a punch and had some great songwriting. Most of the songs on the record have a political slant.

“The album goes out to the U.S. army,” Soto joked, “Our apology to the world for bringing our brand of America to South America and the Middle East. The album is kind of just about the U.S. Government imposing their will on the world.”

Steve explains the lyrics behind one of new songs: Jefferson Memorial Dance Revolution. “A woman got arrested for dancing at the Jefferson Memorial. It’s things like that the government keeps trying to take our rights to express ourselves. Those things need to be brought attention to our fans.”

Steve and his band mates grew up in a fertile punk scene in Orange County, California that was met with a lot of hostility from their peers. He remembers one event when everything changed from that day forth. “It was Devo Monday: The Monday after Devo played Saturday Night Live was when the beatings really started at school. The jocks realized then what we were listening to, but by that time we had already moved on from bands like Devo to the Clash. I was getting my bike tires slashed just for liking a different kind of music.”

He also realizes how much the mindset has changed toward Punk Rock since then. “When the jocks threw their lunches at our punk friends when they visited us at school, they didn’t realize they were throwing shit at Mike Ness and Dennis Danell of Social Distortion. Those same guys say they like Social Distortion now.”

Nonetheless L.A. in the late 70, early 80s was an exciting place to grow up in as a punk teenager. “We started going to the Starwood in Hollywood. I would have to be pretty creative making up lies to my mom on Tuesday nights to get out of the house to go there. They had all the bands like X, Fear, Black Flag and DOA. Every Tuesday night there were amazing punk rock shows.”

Steve got wiser about the realities of the punk scene as he grew up. It wasn’t all D.I.Y. and pure. “A lot of the older guys who ran the clubs made a lot of money on us and we were unsuspecting kids who were happy when we got 50 bucks each. So when we finally figured out that whole end of the business out you look back and say ‘Oh, man those guys were shysters!’ But they also gave us a place to play and let the Orange County punk scene grow. I don’t think we would’ve gotten to where we did without those guys giving us an opportunity. “
Then Steve explains that he left the punk scene as it got bigger. “I burned out on the Punk violence thing. A gang element was there. A friend of mine got stabbed and I washed my hands of the thing for a while.”

‘The Fastest Kid Alive’ is out now on Concrete Jungle.
Steve Soto will be coming to the UK with the Punk Rock Karaoke tour in November. See below for more details.

DEREK O’BRIEN (Social Distortion, Agent Orange)
STAN LEE (The Dickies)
GREG HETSON (Bad Religion, Circle Jerks)
STEVE SOTO (Adolescents, Agent orange, 22 Jacks)

and YOU!?

NOVEMBER
04th UK GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART STUDENT UNION
05th IR DUBLIN BUTTON FACTORY
06th UK NOTTINGHAM ROCK CITY
07th UK LEEDS BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB
08th UK Or Travel Day
09th OPEN
10th E. Basque Country tbc
11th E. MADRID GRUTA 77
12th E. BARCELONA ESTRAPERLO
13th OPEN
14th Day off
15th I. MILANO LO FI
16th I. BOLOGNA IL COVO
17th CH LUZERN SEDEL
18th A. GLEISDORF KUKE GLEISDORF
19th OPEN
20th UK LONDON ISLINGTON O2 ACADEMY 2

The original deal since 1996. We play….YOU sing! Pick a song,we give you the lyrics.We call your name and voila! you are the singer in a punk rock band backed by the finest hand picked side men.

Here is just a flavour of the some of the songs you could be singing:

PRK LIST
12XU – WIRE
ALTERNATIVE ULSTER – STIFF LITTLE FINGERS
AMOEBA – ADOLESCENTS
ANARCHY IN THE UK – SEX PISTOLS
ASTRO ZOMBIES – MISFITS
BIKEAGE – DESCENDANTS
BLITZKRIEG BOP – RAMONES
BLOODSTAINS – AGENT ORANGE
BODIES – SEX PISTOLS
BULLET – MISFITS
CALIFORNIA UBER ALLES – DEAD KENNEDYS
CHEERY BOMB – THE RUNAWAYS
EVER FALLEN IN LOVE – BUZZCOCKS
FUCK ARMAGEDDON – BAD RELIGION
GIVE IT BACK – THE DICKIES
I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU – FEAR
I GOT A RIGHT – IGGY POP
I LOVE LIVIN IN THE CITY – FEAR
LOS ANGELES – X
MANNY MOE AND JACK – THE DICKIES
MY WAY – SEX PISTOLS
NERVOUS BREAKDOWN – BLACK FLAG
NEW ROSE – THE DAMNED
OUR LIPS ARE SEALED – THE GO GOS
PAY TO CUM – BAD BRAIN
SEARCH AND DESTROY – IGGY POP
SHEENA IS A PUNK ROCKER – RAMONES
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT – THE WEIRDOS
SONIC REDUCER – DEAD BOYS
TEENAGE KICKS – THE UNDERTONES
UNCONTROLABLE URGE – DEVO
WHAT DO I GET ? – BUZZCOCKS
WHITE RIOT – THE CLASH
WILD IN THE STREETS – CIRCLE JERKS

plus much much more ……………………..

So, get on your old bondage pants and spike up your hair for the Punk Rock Karaoke event of the year !

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KID CONGO POWERS

CONGO RISING

Hugh Gulland chats with the Solo Chollo, Kid Congo Powers.



Kid, you’ve had a long evolution from being the ‘singer’s guitarist’ to a frontman in your own right, was Fur Bible the start of this?
“It’s very long-winded, yeah, (Fur Bible) was supposed to be Tex Perkins, but yeah, he got refused a visa. Then we did actually get together, but it was the wrong element at the time, you know, we were both going somewhere else, although we remain friends to today and admirers of each other. But that was just an ill-fated pact. It was a good idea that was ill-fated for whatever possible reasons, so that left us with a recording session with no singer! Someone pushed me to the front, and I reluctantly did that… actually it’s funny ‘cause the Fur Bible was the one big shame of my life, of all the records I’ve made! For years, 15 years, I was ashamed of that record, I never really liked the project really, but suddenly about six years ago people started going, “I just found that Fur Bible record, it’s amazing, I love this record“, and I’m like, ‘Ugh, don’t tell me about it’, people showing up with it to sign, I was like ‘Oh, get this thing away from me’. And then I just decided I should just listen to it… why is everyone into it now, because everyone hated it when it came out! So I played it, and I thought ‘Oh, that’s… quite good!’ It’s produced by Jim Thirlwell and it’s a good slice of hard gothic rock… so I put it on this compilation album I made a few years ago, called Solo Chollo, which was solo collaborations I’ve done, and then I decided it wasn’t so bad. But I hung my head in shame for many years… I never wanted to do it again after that, and then I just got caught up with doing the Gun Club again, and then I joined Nick Cave’s band and that kind of cut my solo project time down.”



It must have been quite a hectic time, you being in the Gun Club and then multi-banding with the Bad Seeds also…

“A lot of airplanes! We (Bad Seeds) recorded in Brazil, they were still living in London and Berlin, but that was a lot of plane rides, getting off one and getting on into another, into one studio and out the other, but I loved that, I was thriving, I was thriving off living in Berlin at the time and Jeffrey (Lee Pierce) was living in London, and that’s when we got the others, Romi (Mori) and Nick (Sanderson), and so it worked out, I wasn’t so far away, they came to Berlin and we recorded Mother Juno, at Hansa. That whole period was busy!”

Were Gun Club and the Bad Seeds very different working environments?
“Yeah, very, the Gun Club was a rock’n’roll band and very guitar based, and pretty traditional chord structures, interesting stuff, but, whereas the Bad Seeds was more vocal led and more piano, and a lot more experimental stuff was going on, but that was a really amazing learning curve for me there ‘cause I went in just being this guy from the Cramps and the Gun Club, playing pretty basic twelve bar blues rock, to this new idea, so it was really good for me and I think it worked out good for the Gun Club in the end, they were different things and I look at that period of my life as where I kind of grew up and I became more serious about stuff. I just learned a lot and I think that was the launching pad for more solo stuff, it gave me the confidence for that, to be thrown into this strange environment.”



And presumably there was a lot of hard living… you seem to be healthy and happy these days though?
“A lot of drugs, a lot of alcohol… I mean I got out of it early enough, before I turned to stone! I mean, a lot of my friends are healthy and happy, but some are not, and some are not alive… but, yeah, it was hard living, it was just the way it was, the eighties underground rock was like that, and that was the time before, I never knew what rehab was then! It wasn’t like now, everyone knows what it means, then, you didn’t realise, and also everyone was going for broke, there was no limits… a lot of that was about exploration, in the end you’ll find a lot of it was about dealing with whatever demons one has, but it was also about looking to go somewhere, even if that was a pretty dark place! It was extreme research if you like! And it was pretty widespread in underground rock communities, it was the times, it was in the fashion industry at the time, like heroin was everywhere. And ultimately it took its toll, some worse off than others, and musically, once you’re, heroin really just turns you to stone, you have no feeling anymore. And luckily people like me, and people like Nick and whoever, have survival instinct enough, and love for their music and work enough, that the idea to get out came.”



Do you remember a point at which you had to say ‘ok, time to back off now’ as far as the drugs went?

“Yeah, I was living in Berlin, and it was actually just over the death of a friend, who I didn’t know that well, someone in my circle of people, and I just kind of saw the way people were reacting, and being very unfeeling about it, ‘Oh, she was just weak, she wasn’t REALLY a junkie’, and I somehow saw that and was like, you know what, this is not me. And I thought, I’m in this amazing situation, I’m in Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, I’m in the Gun Club, and why do I not care about any of this? So, that kind of stuff, it’s just an ennui of sorts, if you get a minute to see it, you stand outside yourself and see it… so, luckily, here we are… (points to pic on the press biog) here I am in a Mariachi suit!”



In common with certain contemporaries such as Blixa Bargelt or Rowland S Howard, your playing comes from a very left field direction, not the conventional guitar-player route…
“Oh yeah, well thank you for putting me in that category! But I think I agree, we all came from a time where we were all untrained, and we all had made it up, and our approach was based on feeling and ideas about sound, it’s expressive more than it is technical. Rowland had a lot of technique to work with, but really a lust and a need to create our own sound. For me, and I know making music for Rowland and Blixa, is about creating language and it’s very much about creating your own language, and that was a goal of a lot of the early punk scene, and that’s something that I still strive for, being able to say things the way I say things… make music that’s unique to that. And luckily, cultivated that over the years , and I have a band that, like now my band (The Pink Monkey Birds) is younger than I am by 10 or 20 years, but they’re very clued in to where I’m coming from, and they’re coming from the same kind of idea, it took a long time to find people like that and I wanted to have younger people in my band because they have fresh ideas too. I can get mired down in all my old ideas, and that can be good for some things or that can be bad, but my band is very important now, and they’re very involved in shaping the way the music happens.”



’Gorilla Rose’ by Kid Congo And The Pink Monkey Birds is out now on In The Red records.

 

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BALAAM AND THE ANGEL


Ahead of their London O2 Academy Islington show on Saturday (1st October), Vive Le Rock catches up with ’80s post-punk goth rockers BALAAM AND THE ANGEL.

So what has Balaam And The Angel been up to since I saw you at the Marquee all those years ago ?
"Wow…….If I remember correctly the last time we were at The Marquee Club was Feb 1991 (20 years ago). By that stage it was in Charing Cross Road having moved from the Wardour Street location (which we also played in our even earlier days). We used to love playing the Marquee – great atmosphere – we played there several times and at one point we played, and sold out, three consecutive nights at the Charing Cross Road site. Since then ? Well the easiest way to describe what has been going on is to say that all three of us have been busy developing a successful life outside of the music industry. You see by ‘91 we were beginning to become disillusioned with the “business” side of making music – what had initially been fun and exciting had become a chore and we decided to take a break to allow us to concentrate on some other things and maybe rediscover some of the magic that had inspired us in our early days. We hadn’t intended to stay away forever, and certainly not for as long as we have, but you know how it is you blink and suddenly 5, 10, 20 years have gone by. We have played some gigs in the period since the last full tour but we have been very selective about this – the great thing about the situation that we are in at the moment is that we do not have the pressure of having to play to support a music career so we can choose things that we think are interesting or exciting (like the Dudley Castle show we did in 2000 and more recently the special guest support slot with The Mission in 2008)."

What can we expect from the O2 Academy Islington show ?
"I would like to think that one of the things that we did particularly well was to play live. We certainly did a lot of it and we did put a great deal of effort into every detail of our performances. The Islington show will be no different – in fact because it is a special one off and because we are so keen to create a stir we will be really pushing the boat out. Musically we will be playing numbers from pretty much every part of our career. There will be all the usual favourites alongside some songs that we have never ever played live. Also with the help of some of our long time musical colleagues we will be performing some songs with their full instrumentation in a way that we have never been able to do before. Visuals wise we have enlisted the help of an up and coming Dalston based visual artist who has developed some interesting footage for the evening so all in all it should be a truly memorable evening."

READ THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW WITH BALAAM AND THE ANGEL IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF VIVE LE ROCK (ISSUE 5), OUT NOVEMBER 10TH!

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JELLO BIAFRA

DANGEROUS MIND

Hitting the UK with the GUANTANAMO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, Big Cheese caught up with punk rock legend Jello Biafra to talk mayoral bids and playing Israel…

Is it true you’re thinking about running for mayor of San Francisco again?
“No, I’d make a better mayor than the last few we’ve had, but then again so would a cockroach.”

Do you think that the current political climate could see a return to good, angry punk rock rather than what is deemed ‘pop punk’ these days?

“The very lightweight nature of the shit side of pop punk is enough reason right there. There’s nothing like taking the rock out of punk is there? Granted, a lot of the bands who initially got big doing that got there because they had talent and some good songs but every time I hear another kissy ass copycat of that stuff it sounds more like the Eagles with loud guitars than anything that means punk to me, and any girly lyrics, out of my stereo it goes. Life is too short to listen to bad music.”

What do you think about Obama and the state of America today?

“Worst fears are coming true. I said as he got in is it’s another Bill Clinton, who also used the word ‘hope’ to market himself. So all the people who did have hope and registered and voted for the first time, if they didn’t see some results may have never participated or voted again. Local elections are what really matter.  They decide where a lot of that tax money actually gets spent. We could build some housing for poor people or build a golf course. It matters in schools because, at least in America, the fundamentalist Christian right is relentless at trying to inject their points of view into the regular school curriculum and having evolution kicked out of science books. The problem being that most school text books in the country are published in Texas where they are very strong so if they get censored in Texas they get censored for the whole country.”

You’ve collaborated with a lot of musicians over the years. Is there anyone else you would like to work with?

“Eugene from Gogol Bordello was proposing a project with him, me and Max Cavalera all at once but I have no idea how that would work, when we would do it, or any of the three of us will have the time.  So I don’t know how much more of that I’m going to able to do because the priority now that I finally have a band again has to be the Guantanamo School Of Medicine.  It’s an outlet for all those piled songs I’ve had in my closet that I’ve never been able to dust off, get recorded and play.  If there are any collaborations it may be in another art field. I’m starting to get a few feelers big and small for film and the last couple never quite happened so maybe I shouldn’t talk about it.”

How did it go in Israel? Did you play a show in the end?
“I pulled the plug. It just got too heavy for a lot of bad reasons. I finally felt that I led my band too far into uncharted waters and was a bad leader in that regard.  I may be used to taking all kinds of heat and sticking my neck out but not everybody else in the band was used to this experience. I just couldn’t drag them any further and decided to just use my plane ticket and just go to Israel and check out the situation.”

Guantamo School Of Medicine tour the UK in August.

August
5 Birmingham O2 Academy
6 London O2 Academy
7 Rebellion Festival, Blackpool
9 Glasgow O2 Academy
10 Galway Roisin Dubh
11 Dublin Button Factory
12 Cork Cyprus Avenue

 

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UK SUBS ENDORSE IT IN DORSET

We talked to punk legend and UK SUBS frontman Charlie Harper about the band’s upcoming performance at the Vive Le Rock sponsored Endorse It In Dorset Festival in August.

Here’s what he had to say.

You’re playing with the Rezillos, New Model Army and more on a farm for Endorse It In Dorset Festival. Got anything special planned?
“Well as we’re playing on a farm, we’ll be playing ‘Down On The Farm’ of course. It’s a good festival. They wanted us to do it last year but we couldn’t so we’re really happy to head down this year.”



Will you be playing a different set down in Dorset?
“We are planning on making it more of a festival set. We’re working right now on a rain song incase it rains. We can welcome the rain, we’re not frightened of rain. Here we are, dancing in the mud kind of thing. It’s going to be quite a goody, it’s coming along. Then we have

You’re playing with The Wurzels too?
[sings] “I’ve got a brand new combine harvester…”

For more info and tickets for the festival, head to Endorseit.co.uk

 

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24th SATANIC STOMP

Mad Sin (photo by Alex Selle)

24th Satanic Stomp
Halle 101 Speyer Germany
23/24th April 2011
5/5

The Satanic Stomp is thee Psychobilly festival in the world and goes from strength to strength as does the genre. The 16 bands over the two days not only highlighted the longevity of the double bass bothering mutant offspring of rockabilly but also its diversity. The glorious weather made for some unseasonal sunbathing along with the barbaric drinking out in the car park before the masses converged in the main hall to form a sea of raging quiffs dotted with a few slap-heads that betrayed a few decades of hairspray abuse. Highlights early on included The Guitar Slingers which featured duelling guitars showcasing some rockabilly shredding and The Highliners who managed to get a crowd, who’s idea of dancing is a light-hearted but violent bashing each other senseless in a wrecking pit that would have any ‘mosher’ running for cover, taking part in a massive conga. The Long Tall Texans’ set of classics kept the smiles going, apart from maybe the owners of the two double basses that Mark Carew managed to slap to near death in the process. Mad Sin, now a German mainstream album chart act, brought the brutal back with colossal collection of their back-catalogue. Guana Batz are always a worthy headliner all sprawling tattoo and Klub Foot classics. Day two and The Astro Zombies went orbital at an early hour though probably didn’t prepare the crowd for the horror of The Coffin Nails who started their set with YMCA, yes that one, and saw head nail Humungous sporting a pair of arseless leather chaps, of course everyone loved it. Stories of Demented Are Go’s demise were once again premature, Sparky and his sultans of sickness out to prove that they are still the business and that the new-look line-up are as good as ever. Batmobile headlined and proved that they are top of the food chain despite their gigs being rarer and rarer these days. After a blistering set of zebra-printed double bass pummelling classics guitar toting singer Jeroen Haamers surprised and delighted the crowd with an impassioned solo rendition of Johnny Cash’s version of the NIN classic Hurt to bring another memorable Stomp to an unexpected but totally fitting end.
Simon Nott

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