CRASS REMIX PROJECT: STAGE 2

Following XL Recordings honcho Richard Russell’s remix of ‘Bomb’ a few weeks back, Crass Records have announced the second release in their Feeding Of The Five Thousand remix project.

This time, New York DJ, producer and promoter Johnny Dynell, well known for his 1983 cult hit ‘Jam Hot’ (remixed and sampled many times over, most famously by Fatboy Slim and his group Beats International for ‘Dub Be Good To Me’) has taken on ‘G’s Song’, written by Gee Vaucher, the band’s visual artist.

With roots in the 70s No Wave scene, Dynell’s connection and friendship with Crass goes back to the anarchist punk icons’ only US gigs in 1978 in NYC.

“I met Gee in 1977 when she came to live in NYC and we shared a loft space with another friend,” remembers Dynell. “I met CRASS in 1978 when they came to play and we became very close. Gee had her own place by then which is where the band stayed. After practically living with them all while they were in town, I quickly became aware of how bad things were in England and that bands like CRASS were really trying to make a difference. The difference between the New York Punk scene and the English scene at the time was striking. New York was nowhere near as political or as intense. CRASS were definitely not just interested in getting a record contract. Gee was and continues to be a role model and a positive influence on me.”

Speaking about the track, Dynell continues, “This track was a real challenge though because I wanted to do something totally different with it. I wanted it to sound more like the tracks that I DJ in clubs, but still have the power and drive of the punk original. I used Steve’s iconic vocals and a few bars of the punk guitar in the intro to show the song’s roots. The drums change at the end of the song to a more driving punk beat. I hoped that this would bring back some of the original live energy of the band I’d experienced.”

Check out the video for ‘G’s Song’

The 12” also includes a jarring, cut-up experimental remix of ‘Banned From The Roxy’ by by electronic composer and video artist Charles Webber who, has for many years collaborated closely with Crass vocalist Eve Libertine on such works as the chamber opera ‘Room of Worlds’, an arrangement of Wilhelm Reich’s ‘Listen Little Man’ and the Kernschmelze series devised by Crass founder Penny Rimbaud.

As previously reported, late last year Crass made the original separate track stems of their seminal album The Feeding of the Five Thousand available as free downloads with the intention that anyone interested could come up with new remixes of the tracks.

The 12″ Normal Never Was 2 will be released in a limited blue vinyl edition on 4 September by Crass Records via One Little Independent. All proceeds will be donated to the domestic violence charity Refuge.

Pre-order it here.

Pic by Tony Mottram

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FOLK DEVILS UNVEIL NEW MUSIC!

Post-punks FOLK DEVILS are about to release a new EP and they’re sharing all three tracks with Vive Le Rock!

The Forever EP represents the band’s first new music in 33 years! The release features two new songs, ‘Forever’ and ‘My Slum Soul’ plus a new recording of the old live favourite ‘Ink Runs Dry’.

The tracks were recorded at the legendary Konk Studios, with Grammy-winning producer and engineer Rik Simpson.

Originally existing from 1983 to ’87, Folk Devils featured former The Wall and Ski Patrol frontman Ian Lowery and made a name for themselves with indie chart hits ‘Hank Turns Blue’ and ‘Beautiful Monster’, along with three John Peel sessions and shows with The Fall, The Gun Club, Screaming Blue Messiahs and Nick Cave.

With the release of the Beautiful Monsters anthology in 2016, founder members Kris Jozajtis and bassist Mark Whiteley decided to reform the band with late-period members Nick Clift and John Hamilton. Former Parting Shots singer Dave Hodgson takes the place of Lowery, who sadly passed away in 2001.

“I have known this band practically my whole adult life,” reflects Clift, who curated the anthology and also played with Lowery in Ski Patrol. “Back in 1984 when Ian Lowery was finally hitting his stride and making the music he was born to make, I thought they could have been one of the British post-punk greats. It wasn’t to last, Ian died in 2001, and then they were forgotten about until a few years ago when I decided to re-visit their legacy. We decided to do one reunion show in a sweaty basement in Stoke Newington and the response was incredible. Now we had two guitars and the old songs had a new swagger about them. More gigs around the UK followed and it was clear we needed to make new music in order to avoid becoming a mere nostalgia act. It would also give our new singer Dave Hodgson the chance to show he wasn’t just filling Ian’s boots, and he did a fantastic job. The whole band has found a new lease on life”.

Set for release on 18 September through Optic Nerve Recordings, Forever will be available as a digital download and on limited edition 10″ translucent red vinyl. Pre-order it through Bandcamp.

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KIMBERLEY REW’S THE DAY!

Former SOFT BOYS guitarist Kimberley Rew has just released a new compilation of his solo work.

Sunshine Walkers features songs from Rew’s eleven solo albums from the past two decades, recorded with his wife Lee Cave-Berry. It also draws on Cave-Berry’s solo album and joint releases.

Rew came to prominence as guitarist with hugely influential Cambridge psych-punk pioneers The Soft Boys, whom he joined in 1978. Playing shows with The Damned, Magazine, The Only Ones and The Pop Group among others, they released two albums, A Can Of Bees and Underwater Moonlight, whose mix of pop melodies, punk energy and psych weirdness rubbed off on the likes of REM, Blur, The Replacements, Pixies, Spoon and Pavement. The band split in 1981, launching the career of singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock before reuniting in 2001 for a the all-new album Nextdoorland.

Rew then founded powerpop band KATRINA & THE WAVES, writing most of their material including the ubiquitous worldwide hit ‘Walking On Sunshine’, the UK’s last Eurovision winner ‘Love Shine A Light’ and ‘Going Down To Liverpool’, covered by THE BANGLES.

Check out ‘Simple Pleasures’

Sunshine Walkers is available here.

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THE MANGE EVENT!

Covid lockdown seems to have had little effect on the Italo-punk explosion with the return of long-serving gourmands THE MANGES.

The stripey four-piece, who hail form the north-eastern seaside town of La Spezia have just unveiled a brand new double single ‘Endless Detention’ c/w ‘Ramones At Lollapalooza’.

Produced by Lorenzo Moretti from Roman bootboys GIUDA, the A-side is a taster for the band’s long-awaited fifth studio album Punk Rock Addio, which is due in September.

Formed back in the dark days of the early 90s, these buzzsaw punks have toured widely across Europe and the US, sharing stages with the likes of The Queers, Bad Religion, Descendents and Anti-Flag. They’ve shared split releases with The McRackins, Apers and the Hard-Ons and had a song covered by Screeching Weasel. They’re also the brains behind the Punk Rock Raduno festival.

Check out and download ‘Endless Detention’ from Bandcamp. Buy the vinyl from Striped Music.

In other Italian punk news, fast-rising Rimini trio SMALLTOWN TIGERS – who recently featured in Vive Le Rock!‘s Down On The Street section -emerge from lockdown to play the Sammaurock Festival on 30 July. The girls plan a new single/video from their acclaimed debut album in the autumn, to coincide with – touch wood – UK gigs in November. Watch this space!

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RISKEE AND THE RIDICULE UNVEIL NEW VIDEO!

Fast-rising Kent punks RISKEE & THE RIDICULE are back with a surprising new single.

Following on from May’s anti-Brexit anthem ‘Blue Jacket’, the band are back with a cover of LANA DEL REY’S 2013 award-winning The Great Gatsby hit ‘Young And Beautiful’.

“Lana Del Rey is one of pop music’s best storytellers,” frontman Scott Picking reckons. “There’s something about her music that is so intense and descriptive that it’s movie-like and in these times of being locked down, that type of escapism has been a personal paradise. In choosing this song, I knew I could bring something different vocally and musically, we were excited about changing the song dynamically while staying true to the emotiveness of the original.”

The video, the work of former bassist David Thomas, features each of the band members shot at home in isolation, combined with scenes from one of their earlier hometown gigs.

Says Scott, “The video feels like a nod to both our early days as a band, just us and our own motivation, as well as where we are all at in this unique moment, one that we’re not likely to be in again any time soon (hopefully).”

‘Young And Beautiful’ is available to buy here.

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THE HEAT INC. VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Hot new London band THE HEAT INC. release their incendiary debut single today and they’re premiering the video exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Raptors’ was recorded by the quartet at RYP Recordings in North-West London with producer Michael smith.

“I love the Black Keys’ ‘Lonely Boy’ video and we have used that concept but our video’s character, the actor Joe Law, his performance is more extreme,” says guitarist Marco Simoncelli. “The video has been shot by This studio production directors on their balcony in Bermondsey. The view over the city is stunning, which is why we picked it as we thought it was a perfect scenario for the video. Joe rehearsed for almost three weeks to deliver a great energetic performance.”

‘Raptors’ is out through Melted Dino Records and is available digitally here!

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CASANOVAS ARE HOT TO TROT!

Aussie rockers THE CASANOVAS have just dropped a new single as a taster for their new album.

The ‘TNT’-channelling ‘Red Hot’ is the second single to be taken from the forthcoming Reptilian Overlord, following on from last Autumn’s ‘Hollywood Riot’. The new album itself is the Melbourne trio’s first full-length since 2015’s Terra Casanova.

Formed in 1999 and still fronted by founder and guitarist Tommy Boyce, the band have toured at home and abroad with the likes of The Living End, Motorhead, The White Stripes and The Datsuns, with whom they made their UK debut in 2003.

The new album finds them working with legendary Aussie producer Mark Opitz, whose CV – AC/DC, The Angels, Cold Chisel, Hoodoo Gurus, Divynyls, Hitmen, Rose Tattoo etc – reads like a Who’s Who of Aussie rock.

“Mark is the master at miking for great guitar tones,” says bassist Damo Campbell. “He definitely brought some of those techniques into our sessions… It was also pretty inspiring to be in the studio hearing some of Mark’s stories of some of the great rock bands he has worked with over his career.”

Stream/download ‘Red Hot’

Set for release on 28 August through Rubber Records on limited edition reptilian green vinyl and CD, Reptilian Overlord is available to pre-order here.

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JAZ COLEMAN VIDEO PREMIERE!

KILLING JOKE’s Jaz Coleman has announced a brand new project BLACK & RED, a collaboration with Czech musician Ondrej Smeykal, and they’re launching the video for their first single exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

“The Black and Red project was born in Australia in 2010 when I set out to find the greatest virtuoso of the didgeridoo only to find the maestro of the instrument resided in Prague where I lived,” explains Jaz. “Upon my return to Czech Rep, I was introduced to Ondrej Smeykal. We ended up not just developing an ancient instrument * but recording the Black and Red project (adding only Indian Harmonium) and an explosive duo was formed which could recreate the recording live perfectly. The funny thing is Black and Red only made sense after lockdown.”

The pulsing, apocalyptic near 8-minute ‘On The Day The Earth Went Mad’ is out today digitally here and at all the usual suspects as well as on a numbered limited edition red vinyl 10-inch through Cadiz Music available from jazcoleman.com

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THE DeRELLAS HIT THE CITY!

Everyone’s favourite glam-punks THE DeRELLAS are back with a brand new single and video.

The urgent, street-fightin’ ‘Inner City Rock’n’Roll’ was put together by the pre-lockdown at South London’s Perry Vale with ex-Vibrator Pat Collier manning the desk and, we’re sure you’ll agree, it does exactly what it says on the tin.

A taster for their forthcoming new album Something’s Got To Give which is due at the end of the year, ‘Inner City Rock’n’Roll’ is available now from Bandcamp, Spotify and all the usual suspects…

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UXB PREPARE TO DETONATE!

Freshly-minted US punks UXB are ready to unveil the first fruit of their labours and are premiering a track exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

The incendiary ‘Westworld Crisis’ is the first – and title – track to be taken from the band’s debut album, which sets its sites on the world’s current climate and technology’s influence.

Newly signed to Demons Run Amok, UXB is the new project put together by former members of Orange County punks U.S. BOMBS – founder member Kerry Martinez (guitar), Wade Walston (bass) and Chip Hanna (drums) – who quit the band back in 2015. They’re joined by frontman Jesse Wagner of reggae-punks THE AGGROLITES.

With European dates tentatively pencilled in for the Autumn, Westworld Crisis is out though Demons Run Amok on 14 August.

UXB on Facebook

Pic by June Lillian

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MIDDLENIGHT MEN VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

ROLE MODELS guitarist Nick Hughes is back with a new project, a new single and a new video which he’s premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘B.A. Baby’ is the first single by the newly minted THE MIDDLENIGHT MEN and is taken from the forthcoming album ISSUE 1. The project was put together by Hughes along with longtime friend and STATUS QUO drummer Leon Cave and producer Andy Brook (Wonk Unit, Lucifer Star Machine), plus various friends and acquaintances, including Tom Spencer (Yo-Yo’s, The Professionals), Rich Ragany (Role Models) and many more…

A man with CV that includes stints with THE YO-YO’S, TERRORVISION and LOVE ZOMBIES, Hughes hatched the concept for the single while playing dates in Buenos Aires with DUNCAN REID & THE BIG HEADS.

‘B.A. Baby’ is out on Friday 19 June and is available to pre-order here.

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WILD BUT NOT FREE!

West Country rockers RICHARD DAVIES & THE DISSIDENTS celebrate the release of their debut album with another video made entirely in lockdown circumstances.

‘Way Of The Wild’ is the second single to be unveiled from the album Human Traffic which is out this week on Bucketfull Of Brains Records, the label founded by the publishers of the legendary magazine of the same name. It follows on from ’21st Century Man’ which was premiered by Vive Le Rock! last month.

“‘Way of the Wild’ is a song about the struggles of everyday life,” explains Davies. “Things don’t always go the way we want them to. It is an important song for me as a writer because I managed to say exactly how I felt at the time. It also made me aware of the power of words and melodies when they connect in the way that you want them to. It was probably the easiest song for us to record and if you listen carefully you can hear a ska beat organ holding it all together.”

Speaking about the video by filmmaker Darren Stockford, bassist Tim Emery adds, “We’ve had a creative relationship with Darren since the early 90s. More recently he’s produced some fantastic independent films of his own that had a real cinematic quality that we liked. So, he seemed the obvious person to approach. Initially we were a bit ambitious with what we asked but we gave him complete creative control to do what he wanted, just providing him with lockdown footage of the Dissidents playing and he did the rest. As long as he continues to answer our emails, we’ll work with him again. These are crazy times that we live in and it was a nice touch with Trump and Boris Johnson appearing in the film whilst the world falls apart!”

Put together by Davies, sometime guitarist with Camden indie rockers TINY MONROE and alt.country tearaways THE SNAKES, Richard Davies & The Dissidents are a supergroup of sorts with an impressive collective CV that includes MEGA CITY FOUR, PETER PERRETT, GLEN MATLOCK, LAST GREAT DREAMERS and TOMMY HALE.

Human Traffic is streaming now on Spotify and is available to order on CD here.

Richard Davies & The Dissidents on Facebook

Pic by Richard Markham

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DO THEY OWE US A REMIX?

The first results from the CRASS REMIX PROJECT are set for release next month.

Late last year, Essex anarcho-punk pioneers Crass made the original separate track stems of their debut album The Feeding of the Five Thousand available as free downloads, encouraging people to remix tracks to raise funds for the domestic violence charity Refuge.

The 12″ Normal Never Was EP features a remix of the anti-war anthem ‘They’ve Got A Bomb’ by producer and XL Records supremo Richard Russell under the name rLr, along with a version of ‘Do They Owe Us A Living?’ by Boston experimental synth-pop artist Glasser.

“Crass is a great example of futuristic art and lifestyle; anchored in communal ethics and collective spirit, moving beyond mere defiance of authority and into radical ideas of love and creativity,” explains Glasser. “I’m so glad I had the chance to play around with their recordings. It’s basically the best gift a fan could get from the artists they admire.”

All money raised from the sale of the EP and other Crass Remix Project releases will go to Refuge, who provide specialist support and shelter for women and children experiencing domestic violence. The recent lockdown has seen calls to the charity’s helpline increased by two-thirds and website visits have risen nearly tenfold.

Set for release on 24 July on Crass Records through One Little Indian, Normal Never Was is available to pre-order here.

Crass are still accepting contributions to the project with the final date for submissions being 1 August. “But don’t let that stop you,” they say. “Make your own album of it and get it out there but let us know if that’s what you’re up to. We’re all in this together. It’s you who makes the world around you, the mix is all yours. Tell it loud, tell it proud.”

Download the stems here.

Pic by Tony Mottram

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SYNTHETIC ENGINEERING!

London punks GIRLS IN SYNTHESIS have unveiled a new video from their forthcoming debut album.

The caustic, cathartic ‘The Images Agree’ is taken from Now Here’s An Echo From Your Future, which follows on from last year’s singles comp Pre/Post: A Collection 2016-2018.

The new album had originally been scheduled for release in May, but with the onset of the Covid-19 lockdown, the band decided to delay the release until 28 August through Harbinger Sound, the label that brought us Sleaford Mods.

“Media manipulation has become an art and a tool for people with the wrong intentions to control or mislead the public,” explains vocalist and bassist John about the single. “As this becomes more and more acceptable (or undetectable…) it’s important to question and not blindly accept. As we have seen with the government’s recent lack of clarity and transparency during the current pandemic, a headswim of confusion is created to stop people seeking the truth, no matter how despairing it may be.”

The band have also lined up a series of live shows for October. Assuming we’re allowed to go to gigs by then, you can catch them at…

Thurs 15 Oct – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
Fri 16 Oct – Nottingham, Chameleon Arts Cafe
Sat 17 Oct – Manchester, The Talleyrand
Fri 23 Oct – London, Shacklewell Arms
Sat 24 Oct – Northampton, The Lab

Pre-order Now Here’s An Echo From Your Future here.

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THE CHEATS VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Pittsburgh rock’n’rollers THE CHEATS are back with a brand new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘It’s alright is the first single to be taken from the band’s fifth album Cussin, Crying N’ Carrying On, which is due for release on 31 July through Screaming Crow Records.

Specialising in no-frills, no bullshit punk rock, The Cheats were founded in 2001 by Todd Porter aka Todd Cheat – former frontman of Silver Tongued Devil and Eviction, and through a series of line-ups have been tearing up the world’s beer-joints ever since, mixing raucous originals with a handful of shoutalong covers from the likes of Cheap Trick and Blondie.

The album’s available to pre-order here.

The Cheats on Facebook

Pic by Christopher Lopes

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RICHARD DAVIES VIDEO PREMIERE!

Despite being locked-down, Oxford rockers RICHARD DAVIES & THE DISSIDENTS have come up with a great video for their debut single, and they’re premiering it exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

’21st Century Man’ is taken from Davies and co’s first solo album Human Traffic, which is being released through Bucketfull Of Brains Records via Proper Music on 12 June.

“’21st Century Man’ is about confronting change,” says Davies. “It’s a song about how the eras in our lives fold into each other and how we relate to the modern world – might as well get blazed!”

Formerly guitarist with Camden indie rockers Tiny Monroe and alt-country poster boys The Snakes, not to mention stints with Peter Perrett and Glen Matlock, Davies recorded the album over two-and-half years with The Dissidents, who feature Last Great Dreamers bassist Tim Emery, ex-Mega City Four drummer Chris Cannon, guitarist Nick Beere and keyboardist Neil Scully in their ranks.

The band, who’ve been described as the meeting-point between Johnny Thunders and Tom Petty, were due to be playing their first gigs round about now, but COVID-19 put paid to that. Plans are afoot, however, to get the band on the road as soon as possible.

’21st Century Man’ will be released digitally on Friday 22 May and will be available on Spotify and all the usual platforms.

Human Traffic is available to pre-order here.

Richard Davies & The Dissidents on Facebook

Pic by Richard Markham

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BUSTER SHUFFLE ISSUE CHARITY SINGLE

London ska-punks BUSTER SHUFFLE have announced a new single Unsung Heroes to benefit the World Health Organisation.

The AA-side comprises the songs ‘You Spoke Louder Everyday’ c/w ‘Young But Strong Like No Other’ and features guest appearances from some of the band’s friends including members of Flogging Molly, Mad Caddies, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Hepcat, Die Toten Hosen, Donots, Talco, The Infidels, Toy Dolls and Rhoda Dakar.

“Whilst on lockdown at home, I kept thinking there must be something we can do,” says band frontman Jet Baker. “Both my sisters work for the NHS on the frontline, so I needed to do something to help. I decided to reach out to all the great bands and musicians that we’ve toured with over the years to see if they could lend a hand. When they all started confirming, I knew we had something special on our hands and so we all got to work, recording our parts in isolation.

“The songs are about two brave people who, in their time, faced extreme danger and huge challenges to make changes in the world for others: Iqbal Masih and Ruby Bridges.

“Iqbal Masih was sold into slavery by his parents at 4-years-old to the owner of a carpet factory. After many years of forced labour he eventually escaped. He then decided to help over 3,000 Pakistani children that were in ‘bonded labour’ to escape to freedom and made speeches about child slavery throughout the world.

“Ruby Bridges was the first African-American student to integrate into an elementary school in the South of America. Ruby and her mother were escorted to school by four federal marshals every day that year. Undeterred, she didn’t miss a single day of school, despite all the abuse and the physical threats that she received.”

Check out the video for ‘You Spoke Louder Every Day’…

Set for release on 15 July, you can pre-order Unsung Heroes here.

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GUERILLA GOT ME!

Leading French DIY punks GUERILLA POUBELLE have just unveiled a brand new video.

‘Le Casse Du Siecle’ is taken from the Paris band’s latest album L’Ennui, which was recorded between gigs in Montreal and comes two years after their previous album La Nausée.

The video was shot at hometown gig at La Maroquinerie back in January by Chuck Lizewski and Sophie Rose.

You can buy L’Ennui here.

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