THUG LIFE!

Legendary French post-punks LES THUGS are to have one of their explosive live shows released as a live album.

Formed in the city of Angers in 1983, Les Thugs went on to have wider success outside France, especially in the in US where their records were released by Alternative Tentacles and SubPop, before splitting at the end on 1999.

Released through Nineteen Something Records, Live Paris 1999 was recorded at one of the quartet’s final gigs, before they briefly reformed nearly a decade later, resulting in the live album and DVD Come On, People.

Recorded at the Élysée Montmartre on 9 December, the 76-minute 21-track album misses out on a couple of songs due to tape damage, but stands as a ‘best of’ of the band’s career and even includes a couple of covers in the shape of the Dead Kennedy’s ‘Moon Over Marin’ and Vince Taylor’s ‘Brand New Cadillac’, made famous by The Clash.

The album’s release also coincides with the publication of the band’s biography Radical History. Both the CD and the book are available from the Nineteen Something online shop, with album download available from Bandcamp.

Check out ‘Some Kind Of Freedom’ from 1989…

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MARK VENNIS VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Songwriter Mark Vennis trails his new album with a video which he’s premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Fighting On All Fronts’ is the first single and title track of the album, which follows on from Mark’s previous albums with his band Different Place, Uncharted Water and A Beautiful Lie Or The Ugly Truth.

A film producer by day – he produced the acclaimed Slits documentary Here To Be Heard and the Don Letts film Rebel Dread, as well as Maxine Peake’s BIFA nominated Funny Cow – Vennis’ songs shine a spotlight on the downtrodden and the dispossessed.

“We are just trying to make sense of it all the only way we know how – through our songs,” he says.

Fighting On All Fronts is out on Friday 27 November through Cadiz Music.

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MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS!

A new book aims to raise money for the NHS by sharing memories of punk and rock gigs.

Great Gig Memories, published by Ireland’s Hope Collective of fans, musicians, writers and promoters, has been compiled by Niall McGuirk and Michael Murphy and features more than 200 contributions from punk musicians and their friends.

Published at a time that has seen an unprecedented dearth of gigs thanks to Covid-19, the book celebrates the medium of live music while giving to the people in the frontline of the defence against the virus via NHS Charities Together.

Gigs featured include Black Flag, Jimi Hendrix, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Suicide, Alice Cooper, Bob Marley, Rory Gallagher, Dr Feelgood, Ramones, AC/DC, Sex Pistols, The Stranglers, Celibate Rifles, Psychedelic Furs, Hanoi Rocks, Iggy Pop, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Penetration, The Slits, XTC, Blondie, The Clash, The Hearbreakers, Deaf School, The Jam, Stiff Little Fingers, Buzzcocks and more.

Memories are shared by the likes of Charlie Harper, Knox from The Vibrators, Jake Burns from Stiff Little Fingers, John Perry from The Only Ones, Steve Ignorant from Crass, Nick Tesco and JC Carroll from The Members, Karen Amsden from Hagar The Womb, Johny Brown, former Hope & Anchor landlord John Eichler, Roger Miller from Mission Of Burma, Selwyn Brown from Steel Pulse, Kent Steedman from Celibate Rifles, Segs from The Ruts and many others….

Great Gig Memories is available to order now here.

The Hope Collective on Facebook

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ESSEX PISTOLS!

The glory days of South Essex punk are celebrated on a new compilation album out next month.

Southend Punk Volume One is the brainchild of Steve Pegrum, founder of the online resource Southend Punk Rock History 1976 – 1986 and a member of various bands down the years.

As London’s nearest seaside town, Southend-on-Sea on the north bank of the Thames Estuary, was perfectly positioned for the onslaught of rock’n’roll and youth culture throughout the 50s and 60s, with its abundance of pubs, clubs and other venues. The arrival of punk in the late 70s was just as impactful, allowing bands to develop their own identity and following in splendid isolation while still allowing easy access to the thriving London scene just 30 miles down the A13.

Southend Punk Volume One brings together 14 bands from the town and its environs, including THE MACHINES, THE STEVE HOOKER BAND, THE KRONSTADT UPRISING, THE VICARS (featuring Alison Moyet, pictured), THE DECIBALLS, THE PSYCHOPATHS, THE SYNYX, THE BURNING IDOLS and THE BULLIES featuring future Cure member Perry Bamonte.

Set for release on 4 December through Angels In Exile Records, Southend Punk Volume One is available to pre-order here.

Check out ‘Blind People’ by Kronstadt Uprising…

Angels In Exile on Facebook

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LUNG TIME COMING!

Canadian rockers SAM COFFEY & THE IRON LUNGS are back with a new single and album.

The muscular glam-stomping powerpop of ‘Back With The Gang’ catches the band in full-on Cheap Trick mode, the perfect opener for Real One, the band’s second album for Dine Alone Records.

Over the past decade the band have evolved out of the Toronto garage scene across three full-length albums and a slew of download and cassette releases. Along the way they’ve shared stages with acts as diverse as Flamin’ Groovies, Frank Tuner, The Black Lips and FIDLAR.

Real One – the name implying they’ve finally decided to take this gig seriously – finds them stretching out musically and thematically at the hands of noted producer Kevin Ratterman (White Reaper, My Morning Jacket, Strands of Oak).

Set for release on 19 February, Real One is available to pre-order here.

Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs

Pic by Kate Dockeray

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RICH RAGANY RELEASES CHARITY SINGLE!

RICH RAGANY has just released a charity single and he’s sharing the video with Vive Le Rock!

All proceeds from the DIGRESSIONS and ROLE MODELS frontman’s ‘From Nowhere To You’ will go to The Brain Tumour Foundation Of Canada in honour of his recently departed brother George Ragany.

“George always seemed to know how, and taught me how, to try and get the best out of dark and sad times… so this is my attempt…” says Rich. “It was written in isolation after flying from the UK to Canada and getting the news he passed while I was in the air… didn’t make it to be by his side… and that is a heartbreaking fact… but hope this is a fitting tribute to his spirit and memory…. a song about love and trying to reach out against odds.
I hope you can take it for yourself.”

It was recorded with the help of Rich’s old friend Reed Shimozawa, formerly of Canadian rockers ZUCKERBABY, who played on and produced the single.

‘From Nowhere To You’ is available now through Bandcamp. If you buy it on Friday 6 November, Bandcamp will waive their cut with all the money going to the charity.

Rich Ragany & The Digressions on Facebook

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HOSTS WITH THE MOST!

French post-punk supergroup DO NOT MACHINE trail their debut album with a fruity new video.

‘The Host Inside’ is taken from the album Heart Beat Nation which is due out on Twenty Something Records via PIAS on 20 November.

Formed in 2017 on the highly fertile music scene in and around the Loire Valley city of Angers, Do Not Machine feature members of the bands Zenzile, Glass and Last Time Voodoo, along with the brothers Etienne and Camille Belin, founders of the band Daria and latterly LANE alongside members of local legends, 90s SubPop signings Les Thugs.

Recorded at home in France, the album was sent to the US to be mixed by J Robbins, formerly of DC hardcore mob Goverment Issue and Jawbox, and mastered by Dan Coutant of Orange County band Joshua.

Heart Beat Nation is available to pre-order here.

Do Not Machine on Facebook

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TEENAGE RAMPAGE!

Aussie rockers MR TEENAGE have just dropped a brand new EP.

The Automatic Love EP marries yob vocals, neanderthal drums and a phenomenal buzzsaw guitar sound with powerpop chops across four wholesome pub-punk burners.

The Melbourne band have only been around about a year, but with the help of their superb stand alone Bandcamp track ‘Neighbourhood’ have been turning a few heads.

The quartet – who line up as brothers Nic and Joe Imfeld on vocals/bass and lead guitar, Carey Paterson also on guitar and Nadine Muller on drums – had a raft of shows booked for 2020, including dates with Cosmic Psychos and Amyl & The Sniffers, but they’ve all gone down the dumper, so you’ll have to make do with this here EP.

Automatic Love is available now from Bandcamp.

Check out ‘Kids’….

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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.

The Middlenight Men on Facebook

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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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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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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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YOU KNOW I’M ARTIFICIAL!

Essex post-punk trio ARTIFICIALLY YOURS have a new single and they’re premiering the video exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Reminiscent of early Sheffield electronica, the propulsive, dystopian, eponymous track ‘Artificially Yours’ follows on from their Hawkwind-channelling debut single ‘The Merger’ released last year.

Recorded and self-produced in the band’s own studio, and mixed by Sabres Of Paradise’s Jagz Kooner, the band are planning a special launch event for the single very soon.

In the meantime, the trio are currently in the studio preparing their debut album.

Released though 1-2-3-4 Records on Thursday 5 November, ‘Artificially Yours’ is available to pre-order here.

Artificially Yours on Facebook

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TENTS BUT CONFIDENT!

Enigmatic West Midlands post-punks CULT FIGURES have just unveiled a new EP.

Originally formed in 1977 on the same South Birmingham scene as Swell Maps and Spizz, Cult Figures recorded their debut single, the DIY punk classic ‘Zip Nolan’, in ’79 with various Maps guesting.

The band returned in 2016, subsequently releasing The 166 Ploughs A Lonely Furrow, an album of their original material newly recorded.

Recorded just before lockdown by producer John A Rivers at his legendary Woodbine Street Studio, the 3-track Camping In The Rain EP features all new material and is a taster for their second album due next year.

Released through Garde Du Nord Records, you can buy the Camping In The Rain EP here.

Cult Figures on Facebook

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THE BAND THAT LIKES TO SAY YES!

Mysterious art-punks THE IMBECILES have just dropped a video from their brand new EP.

‘Yes I Am’ is the first track to be unveiled from the six-track Dissolution Sessions, which is due out on 30 October through their own Imbeciles Records label.

The release follows on from the band’s self-titled debut album released earlier and marks a change of line-up and sound for the band.

As well as this, the band are preparing to record a new full-length album with KILLING JOKE’s Youth slipping into the producer’s chair.

‘Yes I Am’ is available to stream/download here.

The Imbeciles on Facebook

Pic by Drew Reynolds

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MATTY JAMES CASSIDY VIDEO PREMIERE!

Northern Irish songwriter MATTY JAMES CASSIDY has a new single out and he’s premiering the video exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Old Souls’ is the title track from Cassidy’s new album which is available here.

The bleakly haunting video, by local photographer Ronan McGarde, was shot at various locations in County Fermanagh, including Cassidy’s hometown of Enniskillen and the historic Brookeborough railway station, preserved since its closure in 1942.

“Sometimes songs play out in your head like short films,” says Cassidy. “Picture the scene and imagine the world-weary characters… maybe they are the Old Souls”.

Starting out as a drummer, playing in bands across the pubs and clubs of Ireland from the age of 13, Cassidy switched to guitar to better pursue his songwriting, playing widely throughout the UK and Europe while releasing records via his own Pirate Heart label.

Speaking about the new album, he says, “While there’s country, blues, folk, punk and all sorts happening on this album, the result to me is just a straight up rock n’ roll record, something you don’t hear a lot of these days. I’m keeping it honest and song orientated, with a few twists and turns. I’m not reinventing the wheel; I’m just keeping it well oiled.”

‘Old Souls’ is available now on Spotify and all the usual digital platforms.

Matty James Cassidy on Facebook

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HOLY AND HEAVEN-SENT!

DAVID BOWIE producer and bassist Tony Visconti and Spiders From Mars drummer Woody Woodmansey’s HOLY HOLY will be back next Spring celebrating The Best Of Bowie.

Featuring guest vocalist Glenn Gregory from HEAVEN 17, the band will be performing songs from the Thin White Duke’s back catalogue from iconic hits to cult classics.

Taking in eight shows around the country throughout April, including a London date at The Barbican, Visconti, Woodmansey and Gregory will be joined by guitarists James Stevenson (Gen X, Chelsea) and Paul Cuddeford (Cockney Rebel), Tony’s daughter Jessica Lee Morgan on 12-string and sax, and Janette Mason on keyboards.

Full dates are…

8 April – Tramshed, Cardiff
9 April – Barbican, London
11 April – Waterside Theatre, Ayesbury
13 April – Forum, Bath
14 April – Town Hall, Birmingham
16 April – Barbican, York
17 April – Philharmonic, Liverpool
18 April – Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow

Tickets are on sale here.

Holy Holy on Facebook

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WOMB TO MANOEUVRE!

Anarcho-punk legends HAGAR THE WOMB are just one of a raft of bands added to the bill of next year’s Loud Women Fest.

Now on it’s fifth instalment, the festival was postponed this year because of Covid 19, but is set to return on 20 March 2021 at the 229 venue on Great Portland Street, where more than 20 female and female-fronted acts will be appearing across two stages.

Alongside Hagar The Womb and previously announced headliners BANG BANG ROMEO, acts so far scheduled to appear include ARXX, GENN, PINK LEMONADE, I DORIS, BREAKUP HAIRCUT, BUGEYE, HONEY JOY, JELLY CLEAVER, LILITH AI, THE EMPTY PAGE and MIRI. More to be announced…

Tickets are on sale here.

Check out the trailer…

Loud Women on Facebook

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