UP AGAINST THE WALL!

A new EP by Tyneside punks THE WALL showcases rare and unreleased material.

Formed in 1978 by future SKI PATROL and FOLK DEVILS frontman Ian Lowery alongside friends from Sunderland Poly art school, The Wall released the now classic debut single ‘New Way’ for Small Wonder Records.

Relocating to London, the band recorded sessions at Polydor Studios with Jimmy Pursey and Pete Wilson before Lowery and the band parted ways, the songs rerecorded and released with new lyrics.

Doing exactly what it says on the tin, Ian Lowery’s Long Lost Tracks With The Wall brings together three of those original recordings alongside a fourth, previously, unreleased track. Fully digitally remastered, you can hear them all here…

The EP is available as a download or CD from Bandcamp.

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HEROINE CHIC!

North London pop-rockers THE MIDDLENIGHT MEN have unveiled another video from their forthcoming debut album.

The epic 10-minite clip for ‘Heroine Heights’ is the result of 5 months preparation, 2 months shooting and 1 month editing.

The follow up to previous singles ‘B.A. Baby’ and ‘Rat Star’, band mainman Nick Hughes says of the song, “The core message of the song itself is something that’s really important to me. I still find myself being constantly embarrassed, every single time, to be a guy when I walk down the street and see all the lecherous, cat calling, rude ass guys who think it’s perfectly acceptable to shout out after girls. It’s disgusting and I can only imagine what it feels like for girls. We wanted to address this but obviously we like mixing humour and seriousness in most of the things we produce so I decided to mix this with the superhero element and refer to some of the relationships between the heroes and villains and relate it back to the core message. That this simply is not okay.”

Taken from the forthcoming album Issue 1, ‘Heroine Heights’ is available here.

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LOVE LIKE PIES!

KILLING JOKE frontman Jaz Coleman has expanded his artistic repertoire with a new range of foods!

The maestro has teamed up with South Coast pie company Piecaramba! to introduce two new pies to the world.

The Joker jerk chicken pie – rich with jerk seasoning, spices, and Caribbean flavours wrapped in a gluten free pastry – is a revamp of the pie Coleman launched in New Zealand in July.

The Joker is now joined by The Harlequin vegetarian pie.

“Look here, the pie is the greatest comfort food ever created and has deep meaning at this time!,” says Coleman. “Thanks to Piecaramba we have taken the humble pie to another level. With the finest ingredients and a perfected recipe we have created a masterpiece. Paired with my special reserve hot sauce and mashed potato with grated cheddar cheese, butter, milk, english mustard and black pepper – it’s no wonder why you are all salivating right now! Ha! Ha! Ha!”

And with the help of Bright Hot Sauce Company, he’s created ‘The Joker’ Honour The Fire Hot Sauce, including pomegranate, red habaneros, ghost peppers, fennel and more.

“Hot chilli sauce – now who the fuck would dare to challenge me on a hot sauce?,” he asks. “Who has had the audacity to try and flog an inferior American brand on the market at the same time as mine and… we are doing concerts together next year! Ha ha!”

The Joker Jerk Chicken pie and The Harlequin Vegetable pies will be available from the Winchester and Southampton Piecaramba restaurants, as well as the Fiddler’s Elbow Irish Pub in Brighton. From mid November they’ll also be available to order online for delivery (UK and seasonal only).

The Honour The Fire Hot Sauce will be available from Jaz’s website from 30 October.

Jaz Coleman on Facebook

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ORIGINAL DAMNED REFORM FOR TOUR!

The original line-up of THE DAMNED have announced that they’re reuniting for a UK tour next year.

In a press conference hosted by former Roxy Club DJ Don Letts at lunchtime today at London’s legendary Roundhouse, Brian James, Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies and Dave Vanian revealed that they’ll be playing four shows in July. Full dates are…

Fri 9 July – Eventim Apollo, London

Fri 16 July – O2 Academy, Birmingham

Sat 17 July – O2 Academy, Glasgow

Sun 18 July – O2 Academy, Manchester

Tickets go on sale at 10.00 on Friday 23 October here.

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FUMBLE SALE!

Rock’n’roll revivalists FUMBLE have their complete recordings compiled on a new box set.

Formed in Weston-super-Mare in 1967, the band were regulars on the pub and college circuit in the early 70s, releasing a pair of major label albums – Fumble and Poetry In Lotion – with memorable Hipgnosis sleeves (the latter photographed by Throbbing Gristle’s Peter ‘Sleazey’ Christopherson).

The band were recruited by David Bowie as support on two separate tours, inculding the US Ziggy Stardust jaunt, and keyboard-player Sean Mayes was later co-opted by Bowie for the 1978 Isolar II tour, documented on Stage, and also for the ’79 album Lodger.

The band also featured alongside Shakin’ Stevens in the West End production of Elvis! The Musical and the remake of the 50s TV show Oh Boy!

Over four CDs, Not Fade Away: The Complete Recordings 1964 – 1982 features both Fumble’s original albums plus the ’79 ‘official bootleg’ live album Rumble With Fumble and their final release, the Germany-only It’s Only A Rock’n’Roll Game from ’82. The set is rounded out with tracks from Elvis! and Oh Boy!, stand alone singles, album outtakes, a BBC session and tracks by mid-60s Fumble precursor, The Iveys.

Set for release by Cherry Red on 27 November, Not Fade Away is available to pre-order here.

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SINCLAIRS VIDEO PREMIERE!

THE SINCLAIRS are back with a brand new video, which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Hot on the heels of their spectacular debut album Sparkle, the duo featuring Rat Scabies and Billy Shinbone from Somerset band FLIPRON and Neville Staple’s band have teamed up with our old friend Paul-Ronney Angel from THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE for the timely single ‘Halloween Wings’.

‘Halloween Wings’ is out now through Spotify and all digital platforms via Cleopatra Records. The duo is planning to tour after the world gets back to normal.

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THE PRATS VIDEO PREMIERE!

Cult Scottish post-punks THE PRATS have a new compilation album out next month, and they’re trailing it with a video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Aged just 12-14 when they formed, the Edinburgh quartet earned a strong local following, making their vinyl debut on the Fast Product compilation Earcom 1 in 1979. This led to their debut single ‘Die Todten Reyten Schnell’ for Da Da Records and the 1990’s Pop E.P. – featuring the track ‘Disco Pope’, a US college radio favourite – and ‘General Davis’ single for Rough Trade.

The band received a belated profile boost in 2004 when ‘General Davis’ was used in the Hollywood remake of The Manchurian Candidate, starring Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep. Their career is now the subject of a documentary Poxy Pop Groups – The Story of The Prats by independent filmmaker Angus McPake, due out later this year.

The album Prats Way Up High features the band’s three 7-inches plus demos and a previously unreleased John Peel session from ’79, regarded by the maestro as one of his favourites.

The release is dedicated to the band’s bassist Jeff Maguire who passed away in July of this year. The band say, “Jeff was always involved in the band – we used words like roadie and manager initially to describe his role although the reality is that we had very little idea what either of those meant! Jeff was great at engaging with people – a talent he displayed throughout his life and he had no problem collaring the great and the good of the local music scene, getting us gigs, support slots, interviews in fanzines etc.  He eventually joined the band on bass and played on all three singles.   

“After the Prats, Jeff played in local bands, went to university, studied and taught languages, here and in Spain and then worked as a civil servant for the Scottish Government where he was a highly regarded colleague, known for his ability to relate to and get on with pretty much everyone.  He had a wide range of passions including punk, post-punk and classical music; football (he was an avid Hibernian fan); cycling, wine and lots more. He was also a husband and a father, married to Celine and the proud dad of Serena. 

“Somebody came up with a title for a short piece which Jeff did on his experience in the band for a tape magazine in 1980.  It was simply ‘The Joy of Being Jeff’.  The expression was used several times at his funeral to sum up a life which was lived well and to the full but which ended way too early.”

Prats Way Up High is set for release on 13 November through One Little Independent Records. It’s available to pre-order here.

Check out the video for ‘Disco Pope’…

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FEROCIOUS DOG ANNOUNCE RESCHEDULED DATES AND ALBUM!

Folk-punks FEROCIOUS DOG have announced the rescheduled dates for their 2021 UK tour and forthcoming new album The Hope.

The 22-date tour will start in Liverpool at the O2 Academy 2 on Friday 8 October and concludes at the Leadmill in Sheffield on Sunday 4 December.

The band promise those attending “will be part of something very special, watching one of the very best folk-punk bands in the UK with a high octane explosion of the very best live music. People who have attended Ferocious Dog shows know exactly what to expect. People who are new to FD live shows will be welcomed by the ‘Hell Hounds’ as part of the growing FD family.”

To coincide with the tour, Ferocious Dog release their brand new studio album The Hope which takes its name “from a song idea from Dan Booth and written by Dan and myself,” explains Ken Bonsall. “The Hope is a very hard hitting and deep reflection of someone coming to terms and living with depression.” While the album cover, created with Daniel Hubb at Make-North (Bullet For My Valentine), “had to be hard equally hitting to create and capture the sentiment of the song.”

The Hope carries on in the strong tradition of Ferocious Dog albums, with thought-provoking and politically charged lyrics, seamlessly combing with dynamic and eclectic music. Ferocious Dog now have two new band members Johnny Edwards and Ryan Brooks “chomping at the bit to put their stamp on this new album”

Released on 16 October through Graphite Records, The Hope is available to pre-order on CD and vinyl, with ticket and t-Shirt bundles available, plus an exclusive limited edition green vinyl album, limited edition cassette and signed CDs here.

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ALL ABOARD THE WEED BUS!

Aussie stoners TUMBLEWEED are back with their first new music in seven years.

The Wollongong band’s first release since their 2013 reunion album Sounds From The Other Side, the single ‘Shadowland’ was produced by Radio Birdman’s Rob Younger.

“I was always a big fan of Rob Younger’s work as a singer and as a producer and always wanted to work with him,” states frontman Richie Lewis. “When we had the idea to record a string of 45s, we really wanted Rob to produce, considering he was responsible for producing most of our favourite Australian singles. We live in the same town, we have shared band members and crossed paths for the past 25 years but we have never worked together.

“We surrendered to the process, we listened to his guidance, we learned a lot. We’ve all got a lot of respect for Rob Younger, we wanted to impress him, he brought the best out in us.”

Formed in 1990, Tumbleweed released their now classic debut single ‘Captain’s Log’ – produced by Mudhoney’s Mark Arm – in December of that year. Supporting Nirvana at their first ever Australian gig, the band signed to Atlantic, going on to support the Rollins Band on their Australian tour and co-headlining a tour with Monster Magnet.

Having split in 2001, the band returned in 2009, but following the release of Sounds From The Other Side, the band was rocked by the sudden death of founding bassist Jay Curley in 2014. Jay’s place has since been taken in the band by Jamie Cleaves of Wollongong oppos The Dead Set.

“’Shadowland’ is about the uncertainty of the future,” explains Lewis. “These are strange times, dangerous and divisive times. When the truth is not believed, there is little you can trust or count on.”

Available to stream/download now through Spotify and the usual platfoms, ‘Shadowland’ will be released on limited edition 7″ vinyl on 27 November, coupled with the band’s next single ‘Rebellion’. It’s available to pre-order now through Farmer & The Owl.

Tumbleweed on Facebook

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THIS BARRES STAYING OPEN!

Aristo-rocker MICHAEL DES BARRES has announced a new live EP with his current band THE MISTAKES.

Formally the 26th Marquis Des Barres, the UK-born LA-based singer and actor came to prominence with early 70s glam-rockers SILVERHEAD releasing two albums for Deep Purple’s Purple Records, before relasing two albums for Led Zeppelin’s SwanSong label with the US-based band DETECTIVE.

In the early 80s he fronted CHEQUERED PAST with the Pistols’ Steve Jones and members of Blondie and Iggy Pop’s band before replacing Robert Palmer in the Duran Duran spin-off POWER STATION.

Recorded live at LA’s Hi Hat club, the six song Live! EP features songs from across his career, as well as a rock’n’roll medley and covers of Marvin Gaye and T Rex.

Check out ‘Get It On (Bang A Gong)’

Set for a physical release in the New Year on Die Laughing Records via Golden Robot, Live! is available digitally here

Michael Des Barres on Facebook

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THE REAL DEAL!

High-octane rock’n’rollers LUCIFER STAR MACHINE have just unveiled a new video.

a cover of Kansas City rocker Lee Dresser’s 1969 loungeabilly classic, ‘El Camino Real’ is taken from the Hamburg quintet’s latest album The Devil’s Breath, which came out in April via The Sign Records.

A Tarantino-esque carcrash of Reservoir Dogs and Smokey And The Bandit, the video was directed by renowned Kustom Kulture filmmaker Dirk Behlau and features a guest appearance from MAD SIN’s Koefte DeVille.

Lucifer Star Machine on Facebook

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COULD THIS BE MAGIC?

Remembering the greatness of Eddie Van Halen, Digressions mainman Rich Ragany shares a coming of age story…

My first concert was the VAN HALEN 1984 Tour.

I was 12. My older brother got me and my next door pal Susan tix. She was a year older, very pretty Italian girl. And she DID NOT wanna go! Hahahaha! She styled herself more of a Go Go’s fan (which I was as well haha). My brother was like, “C’mon Susan! It’ll be nice for Rich to have someone his age around!” Poor Susan. She had already endured years of me standing on the sofa with a pink plastic badminton racket pretending to be Johnny Thunders (‘Stranded In The Jungle’) or Ace Frehely (‘Strutter’).

“I wanna play house!”

“Well, we’ll play one hour of house if ya LET me play half an hour of Rock Star!”

Thus began my education of compromise with the ladies. Hahaha! She would sit and pretend to applaud. Poor Susan.

The day of the concert arrived and I was just racked with nervous energy! Seriously freaking out. Susan? Couldn’t care less. “Their music is BORING!”

We got to the Calgary Saddledome and took our seats (just PERFECT seats! Facing the stage. Right on the first balcony, first row. Where the Queen would sit, ya know hahaha!)

Then… You know when the lights go down and IT’S time? That rush of young adrenaline washed over me! That feeling you become addicted too? (Well I did anyway) The first chords came rushing out and WHAMMO! Sorry for the language but Holy Fuck! Just the loudest, best noise I’ve ever heard. Eddie just seemed to be the kingpin and orchestrator of the most IMMENSE sound!

And two songs in it was apparent we were at David Lee Roth’s personal barbecue as well hahaha! He forgot lyrics (I knew them all) and exuded an attitude that just included EVERYONE. Believe it or not, very vaudeville and pretty punk hahaha! That band was on fire.

Then a slow rush of a chant gathered momentum… “Eddie! Eddie! EDDEEEEEEE!” And WHO joined RIGHT in? That Italian girl who I had a crush on (WHOOOOOPS! This thing on???) I just stared at her. She didn’t notice. She was busy adoring someone she told me was boring…..

And I, people, had that movie moment. That moment that really, really changed my life. REALLY!!!
“I gotta get a guitar. HAVE TO! Because guitars change people’s minds!”

Guitars can change people’s minds.

I played a live video to my daughter Jeannie a while back and told her this story.

She approached her mom Justine and I later and said, “I’m sure glad Dad went to that silly loud concert… if he didn’t see that man play guitar then maybe he never would have started… he never would have been on the radio and gone to England and met you. We might never have been a family.”

Sweetheart… put that all together in her 8-year-old-head all on her own. Angel. She got it immediately.

That is how Eddie Van Halen would reach your spirit. He CHANGED people’s lives far beyond tapping on a fretboard (though come on… that was pretty cool!) …he made the world more fun and joyous… inspired us in how music could sound and gave us the courage to be ourselves and take chances… be brave with our lives… all the while flashing that smile, reminding us to enjoy it.

… and his songs coming through a speaker could take a Wednesday noon and transform it into a Friday midnight at the drop of a dime.

The soundtrack to the best times, the greatest parties… the bravest decisions… and the adrenaline to get up and get going.

The memories of driving with my brother George in his car… windows down and blasting ‘Unchained’… the sound transforming a Canadian summer sky into California… will fill my heart all my days.

We are so lucky to have been in this world with him.

The quote of his that I always held in my heart…

“If it sounds good, it is good”

Translation… Be yourself.

Thank you King Edward.

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The DeRellas Launch Album Campaign!

They may not be able to play any gigs, but nothing’s going to stop London glam-punks THE DeRELLAS from making a new album.

The band have been slowly building an impressive bridgehead over the past few years, with a succession of tour dates, festival appearances at the likes of Resolution and Rebellion, plus their very own club night Rockaway Beach at London’s legendary Hope & Anchor.

Founding bassist Timmy DeRella stepped up to the mic to take over the vocals for street-smart smash’n’grab single ‘Inner City Rock’n’Roll’. Now the gloves are off and it’s time to get their new album – appropriately titled Something’s Got To Give out on the streets.

The band have set up a Kickstarter page to raise funds to get the album recorded and pressed – sign up here!

Check out the video for ‘Inner City Rock’n’Roll’…

The DeRellas on Facebook

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MERRY SPIZZMAS!

SPIZZENERGI have announced a very special Christmas single.

‘Christmas In Denmark Street’ is a lament to London’s ‘Tin Pan Alley’, home to legendary hangout The 12 Bar Club, and a protest at the devastation of Soho at the hands of soulless developers and grasping landlords.

“The chorus for ‘Christmas In Denmark Street’ came to me on a cycle home on the 10th January 2015, explains Spizz. This was the final week of The 12 Bar Club’s existence in Denmark Street – closing down to make way for the controversial Crossrail project – and coincided with my birthday week. The atmosphere in the club was fantastic and I went every night. The 12 BAR was like a musicians social club with bands dropping in after playing at other venues in the area. We were told the club would be preserved as the Crossrail transformation started to bite.

“Following my creative cycle home that night, I met up with SPIZZENERGI guitarist Luca Comencini to develop the song and it was first performed in public when Luca and I were offered an acoustic slot performing as SPIZZOLOGY supporting James Stevenson’s All Stars Band for his LP launch at The Water Rats, 17 December 2015.”

The single was mixed by legendary producer Tony Visconti, who says, “I liked the song a lot when I first heard it. As I have lived in London for 22 years, the sentiments of the song, and hope that the street could be saved, struck a chord in my heart. Spizz is a great performer and his vocals made it very appealing to me. I’m so happy with the way it turned out. It’s commercial enough to be played on the BBC and I hope it gets lots of signatures on a petition to save the street for all our efforts.”

Led by veteran campaigner Spizz, the band have gone through various line-ups and names since the 70s, including Athletico Spizz 80, Spizzoil and The Spizzles. They caught the nation’s attention in 1980 with the Indie Chart-topper and punk disco staple ‘Where’s Captain Kirk?’. Alongside Spizz and Luca, the band currently features guitarist Phil Ross and bassist Ben Lawson.

Check out a video teaser for ‘Christmas In Denmark Street’. The full video will be premiered exclusively with Vive Le Rock! next month…

Set for release on 18 December, you can pre-save ‘Christmas In Denmark Street’ here.

Spizzenergi on Facebook

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REMEDIAL MEASURES!

Folk-ska-punks THE PENNY BLACK REMEDY have the first of a pair of new compilations out this week.

With the Coronavirus lockdown effectively curtailing the band’s touring and recording plans for 2020, the band’s nucleus of Keith M Thomson and Marijana Hajdarhodžić have taken the opportunity to assemble the anthologies of previously unreleased recordings.

“Keith writes a lot of material in between albums,” explains Hajdarhodžić. “So after three studio releases (and a fourth in the pipeline), we thought it would be a good time to collate some of our favourite songs from these ‘stray recordings’ and release them over two compilation albums.”

Released digitally, Owing To Certain Complications… Vol. 1 features a selection of acoustic recordings amassed over the past seven years since the release of the band’s second album Inhale…Exhale, OK, Now You Can Panic! and subsequent to their most recent full-length Maintaining Dignity In Awkward Situations, released in 2017.

“These songs weren’t originally intended to be released together,” adds Thomson. “But we’re delighted with how cohesive (and lyrically, how oddly prescient) the album has turned out to be.”

The pair recently shot a typically good-natured new video for the track ‘Before I Go’ in rehearsal in Dubrovnik with local musicians Antonije Doranja, Ivo Kukuljica Kucac and Igor Surjan.

The second anthology – “a significantly less acoustic affair” – will follow in 2021.

Due for release on 16 October on the band’s mono del mundo label via Cadiz, Owing To Certain Complications… Vol. 1 is available to pre-order here.

The Penny Black Remedy on Facebook

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KRIS AND JACK

Legendary music journalist and author Kris Needs has seen it all. From rock ‘n’ roll tours with the likes of The Clash, Blondie and Motorhead, to doing the last ever interview with Bob Marley, there’s no point in music history from the past 50 years that Kris hasn’t witnessed front and centre. As an editor or writer for a slew of magazines Kris has secured his legacy.

But nothing prepared him for what would happen when his beloved dog Jack came along.

Absolute Beginners

From the age of five, I’d always been a rabbit person; keeping, unwittingly breeding and drawing them on Christmas and birthday cards for family and friends.

There’d been three family dogs who I loved but my mum mainly doted on because I was always running off to gigs, before moving out when I was 21.

Rock the Casbah

By that time, I’d become involved with running David Bowie’s fan club, which led to running one for Mott The Hoople for a couple of years – my entry into the music business and world of rock ‘n’ roll! After starting my working life on the local Bucks Advertiser, a major turning point came with taking over as editor of Zigzag magazine in 1977.

For the next five years, I was in the front-line of punk, interviewing, touring and hanging out with bands including The Clash, Blondie, Motorhead, Ramones, Sex Pistols, PiL, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers, Killing Joke and many more.

It was incredible fun going on tour with, in particular, The Clash, Blondie and Motorhead – mania every night while they became close friends. I also developed a healthy relationship with Keith Richards that could see an afternoon interview go on for two days! I also did the last interview with Bob Marley before he passed away.

Autoamerican

After that, I worked for various publications, including editing a teenie mag called Flexipop!, spent five years chaotic years in the danger zones of New York City, then came back to the UK and got involved with The Orb, Andrew Weatherall and the acid house movement that had erupted while I’d been away.

This led to making records with my American girlfriend Wonder, an incredible singer who saved my life in so many ways. We had a project called Secret Knowledge that released singles like ‘Sugar Daddy’ on Andrew and Nina Walsh’s Sabres Of Paradise label. At the same time, I knocked out hundreds of remixes and recommenced the DJing I’d starting doing in the 70s, playing clubs around the world and touring with Primal Scream and Prodigy.

Life started quietening down in the 2000s when I began writing for music mags including MOJORecord CollectorShindigClassic Rock, etc, and putting these experiences into books, including my autobiography then biographies of Keith Richards, The Clash, Primal Scream, Blondie and the New York Dolls. But I was still a staunch rabbit devotee – even in 2012 I had about ten!

Parallel Lives

Then I met Helen, who was doing press for my Blondie book and asked if I’d do some interviews to promote it. Initially, we developed an online penpal-type relationship. I talked about my rabbits and Helen told me about her dog Jack, who she’d been given in 2004 by a lovely lady from Milan called Cecilia when she was living on Ibiza. Jack’s mum Lily was a Papillon and his dad a Schnauzer and all sorts.

For many years, one of my specialities had been painting rabbits for friends, but when Helen sent me photos of Jack I instantly fell in love and offered to do his portrait. I could see he was a total character, with deeply magnetic eyes and a beautiful smile. By now, I was living in deepest Cornwall and Helen had moved to the picturesque village of Thaxted in Essex

When I’d done the painting of Jack – as a space dog because I was then writing a book about Funkadelic – we arranged to meet in Hampstead in September 2013 on one of my trips back into civilisation so I could give it to her in person. It was love at first sight and she loved the painting.

Our first proper date was a Mott the Hoople reunion show in November. It was somehow great that the band who’d played such a part in my teenage years catalysed the start of my relationship with Helen. After I missed the last train back to my mum’s house in Aylesbury, she suggested I stay at her cottage. That’s when I met Jack for the first time.

Wildlife

The first thing I noticed was the smile. It lit up his face and the room. He soon emerged as a real character who wondered what this strange new bloke was doing in his cottage. Helen told me how he’d been a handful as a puppy, wearing a lit-up collar so she could spot him roaming in the hills above the Ibiza beaches and the only dog ever to get thrown out of training classes on the island.

Now he was known as “The happiest dog in Thaxted”, loving his Friday pigs ear ritual and walking by the nearby windmill.

I fell for Jack at the same time as Helen, soon drawing him on cards and trying to paint him for Helen. I’d never met a dog like this before; such a little character with his own routines and relentlessly hilarious antics. Soon a bond was forming.

When Helen started falling ill around 2016, it increasingly fell on me to take Jack for his walks and feed him, etc. He became more of my constant companion, lying asleep next to me while I was writing and doing something that made me smile every day while I nursed his mummy.

Helen told me before she passed away in Jun 2018 that she’d deliberately eased off from fussing over Jack so me and him could develop a bond (although I’d still catch them having what she called a “love-in” cuddle if I’d gone out of the room, a tradition I’ve upheld). During that very difficult time, I would take Jack for two or three hour walks around the Essex countryside; where we’d gone with his mummy and beyond. He was my lifeline and, as ever, demonstrated such intuition and ability to lift the spirits.

Where Are We Now?

Nearly two years ago now, Jack and I came to live with my mum in the house in Aylesbury where I’d grown up. Now 93, my mum needs me now and I’m happy to be looking after her after all she’s done for me (probably not the easiest task in the past!).

Although she’d met him before, she fell in love with Jack instantly, and the feeling’s mutual as he spends a lot of the time lying next to her chair.

The rest of the time, Jack’s with me the whole time, his walks a daily highlight. He’s also made firm friends with Loftus, my last remaining rabbit; always going out to kiss him on the nose good morning and good night.

He’s a remarkable dog who undoubtedly got me through the darkest days after Helen was taken away and now makes life under lockdown bearable as I protect my mum.   Words can’t express how I feel about Jack but a day goes by when he doesn’t send some feeling of joy soaring through my heart (I’ve never encountered this before with a pet or even a human, except Helen).

Although he’s now 16, Jack still boasts an incredible spirit (his mum Lilly was still bouncing around at 18). His recent haircut worked wonders and, despite a touch of arthritis, is prompting puppy-like behaviour.

Jack’s quite fussy with his food so I spend a lot of time (and money!) trying to find something he likes. We’re looking forward to trying out Bone Idol!

Love, Kris

Kris’ latest books Just a Shot Away: 1969 Revisited, parts one and two are out now.

Thanks to boneidol.co.uk for allowing us to use this piece.

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KILLING JOKE UNVEIL REISSUES!

KILLING JOKE set the seal on this most apolalyptic of years (so far) with a major series of reissues.

The for releases comprise…

Killing Joke – The classic, massively influential debut, featuring such key tracks as ‘Requiem’, ‘Wardance’ and ‘The Wait’, Killing Joke will be released in a gatefold sleeve on black and bi-colour vinyl.

Pandemonium – Originally released in 1994 and partially recorded inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, this is KJ’s most successful album to date. This Double LP version stays true to the original track-listing, with both of the celebrated Cybersank re-mixes for ‘Pandemonium’ and ‘Millennium’ included. Pandemonium will be released on black and coloured vinyl, with a CD version available in tandem.

The Singles Collection: 1979 – 2012 – first time on vinyl for this classic comp, featuring 33 tracks, including ‘Wardance’, ‘Eighties’, ‘Love Like Blood’, ‘Millennium’ and ‘Pandemonium’. This 4-LP version will be available as a deluxe gatefold package, with black and coloured vinyl variations available.

‘I Am The Virus’ 12” single – a timely reissue for this track from the band’s most recent studio album Pylon from2015, it’s now being made available as a limited edition collector’s single, complete with a previously unreleased dub remix by Youth – the ‘Apocalyptic Meltdown Dub Remix’.

All the releases come with revised artwork by the band’s longstanding designer Mike Coles.

Set for release on 11 December through Spinefarm, deluxe reissue and merch bundles are available here.

Killing Joke on Facebook

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

TV SMITH returns with a new album, dates and video which he’s launching today.

The former ADVERTS frontman recorded the aptly titled album Lockdown Holiday when COVID-19 forced the cancellation of his shows for 2020, including support tours with Stiff Little Fingers and Die Toten Hosen.

“I never intended to make this record,” says Smith. “But lockdown came, all my gigs were cancelled and I suddenly found myself with a lot of time on my hands and a lot to write about. The ideas started flowing and before I knew it I had eleven brand new songs. Not only that but in one way or another they all commented on the situation of a country suffering under a pandemic. I realised that I had on my hands that most un-punk of things – a concept album.”

With Rebellion sadly also having been cancelled, Smith returns to Blackpool on 6th and 7th November for a pair of socially distanced gigs at The Almost Acoustic Club at Gillow’s Bar in the Winter Gardens. Go here for full details and tickets.

Smith launches a first video from the album today. One ‘side’ of a double-A-side video single, ‘Send In The Clown’ will be followed by the second video next week.

Set for release on 27th November through Easy Action Records, Lockdown Holiday is available to pre-order here.

TV Smith on Facebook

Pic by Who Cares

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