Punk legend BRIAN JAMES returns to the stage next month with a very special show in London.
On Friday 7 December, the DAMNED and LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH founder and, let’s not forget, writer of the first ever Brit punk single ‘New Rose’, will play the intimate Nell’s Jazz & Blues club in West Kensington. Performing with his regular trio, The Brian James Gang, he’ll be recording the set for a possible live album.
Tickets are on sale here.
Vive Le Rock caught up with Brian over a bottle of red to find out what songs inspired him. Here’s his Top 10….
1. ‘You really got me’ – The Kinks “The boss of all riffs, the first I learnt to play and probably the most influential for guitar players everywhere.”
2. ‘Stone Free’ – Jimi Hendrix Experience “The B side of his first single, ‘Hey Joe’, this is the definitive version, with my favourite Hendrix guitar solo. He re recorded it a few times later on, but go for this one. Wild and off the wall, wonderful.
3. ‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere’ – The Who “Sheer musical anarchy, first in-your-face feedback, maniacal drums and guitar. This threw the conventional music rule book in the fire, total attitude, play as loud as it goes.”
4. ‘Do It’ – Pink Fairies “The B-side of their first single, ‘The Snake’, total rock n roll energy. This is the attitude version, don’t bother with any others, these guys kept attitude afloat in England during the early 70’s.
5. ‘I Put A Spell On You’ – The Crazy World of Arthur Brown “From their debut album, Nina Simone’s haunting song turned inside out, a la Screaming Jay Hawkins. What a voice and what demonic Hammond organ playing by the grossly underrated Vincent Crane, timeless.”
6. ‘Sister Anne’ – The MC5 “During the 60s I was a big fan of the groups and artists on Detroit’s Tamla Motown label, then I discovered the MC5, also a Detroit act, and they couldn’t be more different: twin guitars, like double Chuck Berry on speed, machine-gun drums and great rock’n’roll songs. ‘Sister Anne’ is from their third album High Time. If you don’t already have it, then get it.”
7. ‘Boredom’ – The Buzzcocks “This is from the Spiral Scratch EP, which featured Howard Devoto on vocals and sums up 76-77 punk London and particularly the early few months of the Roxy club in Covent Garden, London.”
8. ‘Blank Generation’ – Richard Hell “If ‘Boredom’ sums up early Punk London, then ‘Blank Generation’ sums up the early New York Punk scene. Particularly the club CBGB’s in the Bowery area. A great slightly avant garde sound from the ex Television and Heartbreakers innovator.”
9. ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ – The Stooges “The first of my two favourite singers is Iggy Pop and this track from the Stooges first album is probably the best example of why. Another amazing Detroit band who paved the way for the Punk scenes.”
10. ‘Learning The Blues’ – Frank Sinatra “My other favourite singer, from the Sinatra-Basie album. My parents were always playing Sinatra around the house when I was a kid and it really got in my heart and soul, what an amazing voice and what a powerful band, the Count Basie orchestra was. Recorded in 1962, my advice is to give it a shot.”
Brian’s reissued debut solo album Brian James is out now on deluxe vinyl from Easy Action.