RICH JONES – EXTRA!

We spoke to RICH JONES for the latest edition of Vive Le Rock! As a special bonus for his fans, we’re giving you this extra-special online-only content….

Guitarist, songwriter and graphic designer Rich Jones has been responsible for some of the grittiest punk/glam rock to emerge over the past couple of decades. He’s also played alongside some of the icons of the genre such as Michael Monroe, Casey Chaos, Ginger Wildheart, and Paul Cook. This year sees the release of new albums by Michael Monroe and The Black Halos, two projects Rich has been heavily involved in. Phil Singleton spoke to one of rock ‘n’ roll’s unsung heroes.
Having lived in Vancouver, LA, London and Berlin, Rich has settled in Toronto, the city of his youth. His maverick geographical journey began at an early age. “I was born in Coventry and we moved out here when I was about eight years old, just outside Toronto,” recalls Rich. “So it was easy to move back here.”

Who were your early musical influences? “There was always a lot of music going on in our house, which was great,” says Rich. “When we first moved to Canada, my parents took me to my first concert, which was Queen. It was one of those things when you’re a kid, your head explodes. I still remember it really well, it was like ‘that’s what I want to do’. Brian May playing the Bohemian Rhapsody guitar solo, that’s a job for somebody! The radio was always on, and you know what it’s like when you’re young, you just want to check out everything. The first record I ever bought was ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier’ by Adam and the Ants. My house was Queen, Supertramp, The Beatles, Elton John, everything. I got Never Mind the Bollocks when I was about 14 and I thought ‘my god!’ You just start digging. For me a lot of it was about the New York punk scene.”

Was information easy to come by pre-internet? “There was this great set of CDs that came out in the early 90s called DIY, Rhino put them out,” Rich remembers enthusiastically. “There was one on the English Scene, one on the New York scene, and they had these amazing liner notes that told you everything about the bands. That started me down that path. Over the years I felt that has always been the base, but you have to listen to more stuff and you have to find other bands. I’ve always tried to remember how exciting it was when I was younger to discover a new band or a new sound. I still want that thrill, and I still look, and I still get it.”

Your life as a musician appears to have taken off when you left Toronto. “In the early 90s I moved to Vancouver and I started The Black Halos out there.”

The 1999 self-titled debut and 2001 follow-up, ‘The Violent Years’, are fabulous down and dirty,hard rocking, glam punk albums. This was followed by a long hiatus with a new album ‘How the Darkness Doubled’ due this year. After we made our second record 20 years ago, I had already decided the third record was going to be called this. Then we broke up, so now we’re back together that’s got to be the album title! It’s a spiritual follow up.”

You were in Amen for three years from 2001, I suspect it could get pretty wild? “I lived in LA for a few years and that was also completely not for me!” grins Rich in agreement. “Amen all blew up in dramatic fashion in London when we released an album and did an in-store appearance at the Virgin Megastore in Oxford Street and it turned into a fist fight with the band during our signing session! [‘Death Before Musick’ LP]. So I ended up leaving the band during that tour, and just stayed in England, ‘I guess I live here now!’”

London would see Rich form bonds that remain strong to this day. “I lived there for the next 10 or 11 years and played with a load of people during that time,” says Rich. “I played with Tyla from The Dogs D’Amour, I was in The Yo-Yo’s, I played with Alec Empire from Atari Teenage Riot. Then I joined Ginger Wildheart’s band for a few years.”

What about the Bassknives? “That came about because The Yo-Yo’s did a UK tour with 3 Colours Red,” remembers Rich. “Pete Vuckovic and I really hit it off talking about Killing Joke records. When 3 Colours Red ended and The Yo-Yo’s were gone, Pete started Bassknives with Paul Grant from 3 Colours Red. He realised when they were going to play live they needed another guitar player, so he called me up. They did the first EP [‘Come on You Motherfuckers’] without me, then we started working on stuff and made a record that never came out. It was a weird time because the stuff was great. Pete was a really talented singer songwriter but he had some kind of mental block about finishing this record. The mix was never right, he was at home trying to do it himself. He spent years mixing the record so it just fizzled out eventually. It’s a shame, whatever Pete’s reasons were, it was his baby and so if it wasn’t right for him, it wasn’t going to get done unfortunately. I thought it was really good, it had a lot of potential.”

Rich and Scott Sorry got together for a relatively short lived venture, Sorry and the Sinatras. “Scott Sorry and me are still great friends to this day, he’s one of my favourite people in the world. It’s worth saying that if we kept up with Sorry and the Sinatras we probably both would’ve died.”

In the meantime he relocated once more. “At that point I was still living in London, but it was so expensive to live there and everything was getting shut down, like the 12 Bar. I worked in a studio right behind the 12 Bar. The Astoria got knocked down, one thing after another, it was like dominoes falling. I was paying all this money to live in the city yet everything I loved was disappearing. I had a friend in Berlin and he said ‘hey do you want to rent my flat, it’s 300 euros a month’. I said I’ll be there in two weeks! I just loaded all my shit into a van and went to Berlin. My wife did her master’s degree in Berlin and she had to find work and she didn’t speak German so we ended up back in Canada. I’m glad we made the move, it feels great to be here. I don’t plan on going anywhere else for a while now!”

He also joined Ginger Wildheart’s band. Ginger recommended Rich to Michael Monroe, and he’s been a permanent fixture in Michael’s band since 2013. Rich’s major project currently is the forthcoming record he’s been making with Michael. When I say making, I mean, writing, producing, designing, as well as playing guitar. This sounds far removed from The Black Halos. “It’s nice to be in something like The Black Halos compared to when I’m making a record with Michael, when there’s a lot of pressure, the record has to be good, we have to make sure the record company picks up the option.”

You are the main songwriter for all the bands you’ve been involved in, including Michael’s. I take it you enjoy that level of responsibility?. “I don’t think I enjoy the responsibility, but I like the process,” Rich clarifies thoughtfully. “For instance, when the pandemic started we were in the middle of a tour with Michael, which we cut short. I was going to be home for a while and thought I would make the most of this time and originally decided to write a song every day for a month, which I did. How many of those were good, I don’t know! It kind of got me going and as the pandemic went on I thought I should use this time to be creative, not just sit around watching movies and getting fat. By the time we were ready to do things, I had 30 songs for the Michael Monroe record and I had 20 for The Black Halos record. So I was like ‘let’s go, we’ve got all this stuff to work from’. The responsibility is the part I hate about it, it puts the pressure of success on your shoulders. Let’s say I write 10 of the 12 songs on the Michael Monroe record, and it bombs, then it’s my fault. That’s the part I have a hard time with. I had a bit of a meltdown before the last Michael Monroe record came out [‘One Man Gang’], because I’d written the vast majority of the stuff for the first time. What if it’s not good enough? What if people hate it? And I kind of lost it for a little bit.”

Needless to say, the album got rave reviews. “The record came out and it was well received, fortunately,” says Rich with a sigh of relief. “But then the whole thing fell apart with the pandemic. The pandemic changed my attitude about certain things. I’ve always been the guy that said let’s go on tour, let’s get in the van. Normally I’m away all summer, now having all this time on my own with my wife and family, I’m trying to prioritise and find a better balance.”

Is being in Michael’s band one of the ultimate achievements to-date for you as a musician? “I guess, I don’t tend to look at things like that. Obviously I feel real happy to do it, and feel fortunate to be in that position to play with those guys. Those guys are all a much higher calibre of musician than I am but I fit in well, I kind of fulfil a role in the band that works. The first time I got in a room with those guys in a rehearsal space in Helsinki, it was mind blowing. But then after a while those guys became my friends and band mates and now they’re just guys that I sit around with, get drunk on the bus with and tell jokes, talk shit. I just think there’s something really special, that combination of those guys in the band, we can give any band a run for their money live. That’s a great feeling for sure. That’s the goal, to be in that kind of band where you feel super confident about everyone and everything. I love all those dudes like brothers, like some of my best friends in the world. That’s pretty rare in a band, there’s usually one guy, the fart in an elevator guy, who comes on the bus and you think ‘oh god, here he is!’”

I challenge Rich’s belief that he’s not of the same calibre as the others, after all he wrote almost all of the new album. “That’s what I mean, in a sense I kind of fit in, in my own way,” says a modest Rich. “I’m a solid self-taught guy who can hold his own. They can play anything. It definitely gave me a kick in the ass to get better as a musician.”

Where do you get all these lyrics from, what inspires them? You’re very prolific. “It’s life experience,” says Rich. “Especially when you’re touring and travelling as much as I am. I get a lot of stories. I always keep a notepad on my phone, I just write down ideas and I have a huge list.”

Rich will never tell you this, but he’s one of rock’s nice guys, humble and unpretentious. He’s also the real deal, a dyed in the wool multi-faceted rock ‘n’ roll trouper, a grafter, the likes of whom underpin the rock ‘n’ roll we adore. Lend your ears to The Black Halos compilation ‘F.F.T.S.’ and Michael Monroe’s ‘I Live Too Fast To Die Young’. Authentic rock at its finest.

Phil Singleton

Read a full feature with Rich Jones in the new edition of Vive Le Rock!

Pic by Bobby Nieminen

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DESPERATION ACROSS THE NATION!

Rejuvenated rockers DESPERATE MEASURES are back with a brand new single and video.

‘Thinking Of England’ is the band’s first new material since the release of their widely acclaimed mini-album Rinsed, released last year through Easy Action.

Once again, the track was recorded with producer Andy Brook (Status Quo, Wonk Unit, Ginger Wildheart) at his Brook Studios in Wallington, Surrey.

According to guitarist Michael Gaffney, ‘Thinking Of England’ is “about leaving a bad situation, whether it be physically or mentally, trying to find light at the end of the tunnel and staying hopeful, realising that you might be fucked now, but it’s not always going to be that way.”

The band have a full summer of shows ahead of them, kicking off with a single launch show this Friday 20 May at The Water Rats, London with support from The Duel and Seven Days And Doesn’t Die. Tickets are on sale here.

Full dates are…

May 20 – London, Water Rats
June 3 – Strummercamp Fest, Oldham
July 1 – 229 Club, London (w/UltraBomb)
July 8 – Bedford Esquires ( w/The Rose Of Avalanche)
July 9 – Manchester, Night People (w/The Rose Of Avalanche)
July 22 – Hope & Anchor, London (w/Sick On The Bus)
August 4 – Blackpool, Rebellion Festival
August 20 – Unity Festival, Corby
September 3 – Banfest Festival, Banstead

Desperate Measures on Facebook

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COME IN NUMBER 23!

Confusingly-named post-punks 23 AND BEYOND THE INFINITE have announced the release of a new album.

The band’s fourth longplayer, Lumen Del Mundo follows on from Elevation To The Misery, released in 2020.

Formed in 2012 in Benevento, southern Italy, the band have built up an impressive live reputation, playing more than 300 shows across Europe’s clubs and festivals.

The album was recorded as live with producer Raffaello Pisacreta at Mood Records studio in Atripalda, before being mixed and mastered by James Aparicio (Grinderman, Mogwai, Depeche Mode), and combines post-punk grooves, surf guitars and garage-rock energy.

Set for release on 23 May through Dirty Beach and Stand Alone Complex, the album is trailed by a video for the track ‘Horsedance’…

23 And Beyond The Infinite on Facebook

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THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT!

Northern rockers THE CITY KIDS have a brand new single and video which they’re premiering with Vive Le Rock!

‘It Should Have Been You’ is the first track to be revealed from Filth, the forthcoming second album from the supergroup featuring members of The Main Grains, Warrior Soul, Tigertailz and Falling Red.

Lead singer JJ says, “The song was written about the age-old problems that most people will have dealt with: going out, looking and feeling good in your mind, only to have one of those nights where everything goes wrong, then, the aftermath where you reflect on people telling you to ‘be yourself’ and it still goes wrong, and, how seemingly less deserving people get all the things you feel you should. All set to a catchy singalong rock’n’roll tune, so, hopefully, its relatable to most people.”

The video is the work of director Bill ‘Fuzzy’ McGlide, who adds, “All there is to say is that it’s a fun clip. No frills. An 80 minute show in 4 minutes. GO AND SEE THIS BAND!!! Great music and you’ll have a damn good time. That’s what music is supposed to be about. Right????”

The City Kids on Facebook

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THE SCUM ALSO RISES

Mysterious Londoners NRVS are back with a new single and video.

‘Scum’ is the third track to be unveiled from the trio’s forthcoming EP which was recorded at South London’s Off License Studios. The video is the work of director Grain Freeze and Matt Bateman, who between them have worked with Dinosaur Pile-Up, Noel Gallagher and Aphex Twin.

“So what about Scum? We’re all scum” say the band. “We’re the future of the human race and we’re fucked, as Extinction Rebellion used to say when they were cool – and we love it, or at least we seem to! Us lot just happen to be feeling it at the moment cos we happen to be alive now, so we’re the toppest layer of the pond… scum, get it?”

Nrvs on Facebook

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WOBBLE AND UKRAINIANS LAUNCH CHARITY SINGLE

JAH WOBBLE has teamed up with folk-punks THE UKRAINIANS to raise funds for refugees fleeing the country’s ongoing war with Russia.

Formed in 1990 by Wedding Present guitarist Pete Solowka, The Ukrainians join forces with Wobble and former Banshees and Specimen guitarist Jon Klein on a dub version of the Ukrainian National Anthem. Proceeds from all sales will go towards funding two of the main charities that are currently helping out the millions of refugees that have fled their homes – the DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal and the AUGB (Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain) Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal.

“I was introduced to Len [Liggins] from the Ukrainians by Mark my bass tech,” explains Wobble. “I was very keen to help in anyway that I could. So I enlisted the help of Jon Klein and Anthony Hopkins, who I run ‘Tuned In’ with. It’s a community music project based in the London Borough of Merton. We have built a recording studio there. Indeed, at the moment, Anthony is involved in the process, of the settlement of Ukrainian refugees coming in to the borough. It was a lot of fun putting the track together. And well done to Len and the rest of the band for initiating this.”

“We’d like to say a big thank you to Jah Wobble and Jon Klein for creating this fabulous track with us in order to raise much needed funds for Ukrainian refugees,” adds Liggins. “Monies collected will buy provisions, medical aid and clothing for traumatised individuals and families whose situation is desperate beyond our understanding here in western Europe. It’s important for us all to keep in mind, too, that as reports of the invasion’s progress slip down the priority list on the national news, a great deal of support will still be needed by these refugees on an on going basis. Please don’t forget them just because you see less of them on your screens. Please continue to support them. The mass murders, cruel rapes and wanton destruction of Ukraine will continue while the TV cameras are pointing somewhere else.”

Released through Dimple Discs, you can stream/download ‘Ukrainian National Anthem In Dub’ here.

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FULL OF BEANS

Punk renaissance man JAMES DOMESTIC celebrates the release of his debut solo album with another new video.

‘Bean Counter’ is the fourth single to be taken from his debut solo album Carrion Repeating, which is out today on Kibou Records through TNS (UK) and Amok (Germany).

James is perhaps best known as frontman with East Anglian hardcore pioneers THE DOMESTICS, not to mention the likes of PI$$ER, BOTCHED TOE, TOKYO LUNGS and many more, but his solo project finds him channelling his inner Ian Dury, Mark E Smith and Vic Godard against a backdrop of punk-funk, Krautrock and lo-fi pop.

Carrion Repeating is available to buy here.

The Domestics, meanwhile, play the following dates…

Sat 30 April – Mama Liz’s, Stamford
Fri 20 May – Red Lion, Stevenage
Sat 21 May – Bird Cage, Southsea
Sun 22 May – Maypole, Derby

Read a review of Carrion Repeating and an interview with James Domestic in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock!

JamesDomestic.com

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HAWKWIND JOIN R-FEST!

HAWKWIND have been announced as the latest edition to Rebellion’s R-Fest bill.

As previously announced, R-Fest is a ‘festival within a festival’, taking place on a new outdoor stage in front of the Blackpool Tower, while the regular Rebellion festival takes place as usual at the Lancashire seaside mecca’s Winter Gardens.

Hawkwind have been beamed in to replace the Wildhearts, who recently announced a hiatus. The Ladbroke Grove spacerock pioneers will be joining The Levellers, Misty In Roots, Dreadzone, Ferocious Dog, Beans On Toast and Millie Manders and the Shut Up on Thursday 4 August.

On Friday 5 August, headliners The Stranglers are joined by The Undertones, The Skids, From the Jam, Toyah, Jilted John and The Vapors, while Saturday 6 August’s bill features Gary Numan, Peter Hook & the Light, Pop Will Eat Itself, Spear of Destiny, Chameleons, Primitives and Pete Bentham & the Dinner Ladies.

The bill for the closing day, Sunday 7 August includes Squeeze, Billy Bragg, Tom Robinson Band, Hollie Cook, Buzzcocks, Altered Images and I, Doris.

R-Fest is a stand-alone festival with day tickets available at £50 per day. Rebellion weekend or day-tickets holders will be admitted to R-Fest free of charge.

Tickets for R-Fest and Rebellion are available here.

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JELLYFISHY BUSINESS!

Bristol punks IDestroy have unveiled a brand new single and video ahead of their headline tour which kicks off this weekend.

‘Jellyfish’ follows of from the trio’s widely acclaimed debut album We Are Girls, released last year.

Their headline tour, which opens in Bury St Edmunds this Friday 15 April, hits London on the 27th and winds up in Guildford on the 29th, is the opening salvo in a year’s worth of touring, including a raft of Summer festivals and a support tour with The Selecter in the Autumn.

Full dates are…

15/04 The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds
16/04 Rough Trade, Bristol
17/04 The Prince Albert, Brighton
20/04 The Salty Dog, Northwich
21/04 NE Volume Music Bar, Stockton
22/04 The Rainbow, Birmingham
23/04 Jacaranda, Liverpool
27/04 The Grace, London
29/04 The Star Inn, Guildford
27/05 Lechlade Festival
28/05 Open Air am Lindenhain DE
29/05 EPD Cologne, DE
01/06 Le Pub, New port (w/Millie Manders & The Shut Up)
02/06 Nice and Sleazy Festival
09/07 Jurassic Fields Festival
15/07 Annual Diversion Festival
30/07 Attitude Festival
04/08 Outcider Festival
05/08 Rebellion Festival
19/08 Inglefest
20/08 Beautiful Days Festival
03/09 Barnstomper Festival
10/11 The Boilershop, Newcastle
11/11 QMU, Glasgow
12/11 Le Belle Angele, Edinburgh
13/11 Epic, Norwich
15/11 The 1865, Southampton
16/11Junction, Cambridge
17/11 Band on The Wall, Manchester
18/11 Koko, London
19/11 HMV Empire, Coventry

IDestroy on Facebook

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PLAY DON’T WORRY

Fast-rising South Coast punks YOUNG PRETORIANS have just unveiled a new single.

The gritty melodic street-punk anthem ‘Why Worry?’ follows on from the Portsmouth band’s debut EP State Actors released last year.

“I’ve found that as things have been getting more uncertain, I’ve needed to keep reminding myself of what matters and what doesn’t,” says frontman Pete Darwent. “We’ve all lived through some huge events over the last few years and we need to make sure that we aren’t doing ourselves harm by worrying about things that don’t really matter.

“We can’t change what’s happened and we waste so much time sitting there worrying about what’s going to happen in the future, or trying to change who we are to make others happy,” he adds. “It’s all just noise. We should focus on the here and now, making that the best it can be. The last couple of years have forced a lot of people to re-evaluate things. If you can spend your time and energy focusing on your friends, your family, your passions, then you’ll be sorted. If this will all end someday then we might as well enjoy it as best we can.”

Stream/download ‘Why Worry?’ here.

Young Pretorians on Facebook

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MARK STEWART VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

MARK STEWART has a brand new video which he’s premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Rage Of Angels’ finds the POP GROUP founder collaborating with Belgian EBM pioneers FRONT 242. It’s taken from Stewart’s new album VS on which he collaborates with groups and artists “who originated, propagated and/or currently upholds the incendiary aesthetic, cultural and socio-political intentions” of the punk era.

The album also sees Stewart hooking up with the members of Cabaret Voltaire, San Francisco radical activists Consolidated, Finnish electronicists Pan Sonic, and San Pedro econo-punks Minutemen along with the late Lee Perry, On-U Sound maven Adrian Sherwood and Japanese experimentalist KK Null.

“Inertia is essential to the survival of evil,” says Stewart of the track. “Starve it, and it will cease to succeed in its subjugation of the soul. Seek out instead, the sanguine saviour of self and combat the corruption of kindness – which is rife. We can’t afford to take another duvet day under the weight of these things. We need to allow our filigreed finials to fall, and with them the dividing drapery of doom, revealing in their place the new dawn that’s rising in the windows of our world. So, what are you waiting for? Let the lords of the dance and our chorus of raging angels lead you to a life worth living. Don’t dissolve, get involved.”

Released through Emergency Hearts on 8 April, VS is available to pre-order here.

Mark Stewart on Facebook

Pic by Chiara Meatelli & Dominic Lee

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PARTY LIKE IT’S 1985!

Australian-born, UK-based artist DEZ DARE has unveiled a new video from his forthcoming second album.

‘1.9.8.5.’ is taken from the album Ulysses Trash, which is due for release on 19 August through Ch!mp Records. It follows on from his debut Hairline Ego Trip, which was released last summer.

Dare aka Darren Smallman, grew up in Geelong, Victoria where in 1990 he became involved in the local punk and rock scene, playing in the band Warped, who shared stages with the likes of 5678s, Fugazi, The Dirty Three and the Hard-ons, eventually moving to the UK in 2010.

Speaking about the single, he says, “Religion has always confused me. I was raised Catholic for a while. It wasn’t for me. I find the concept of faith difficult. How to believe in the intangible? The concept of heaven, even more baffling. I remember being asked in school whether I believed, and when I said no, the brother asked whether I wanted to see my family and friends in heaven when I died. This scared the fuck out of me and I said, ‘No, 80 years is more than enough thanks’. We are animals, like all other organic life. We are a part of the entire universe down to the molecular level and reach far into the galaxy and beyond. We have little time before we are absorbed back into the quanta, so we should all take a breath, understand our place and stop hoping for a magical life beyond. Surely being a part of this massive and beautiful cosmos is amazing enough? Do we really need more?”

‘1.9.8.5.’ is available to buy here.

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TURNING UP THE GAS!

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM return to the UK this summer, on their first headline tour in four years.

The Brunswick NJ band went on indefinite hiatus in 2015, but reunited for dates in 2018 in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of their iconic second album, The ’59 Sound.

Frontman Brian Fallon recently announced on social media that they were “returning to full time status as a band,” adding, “We’re also beginning to write new songs for what will be our sixth LP. We’re looking forward to the future and seeing you all again. We want to thank you for staying with us.”

During their August European tour, they’ll play six dates in the UK and Ireland, including a London show at Wembley Arena, their biggest ever UK show. Full dates are…

9 Aug – Berlin, DE – Columbiahalle
11 Aug – Koln, DE – Palladium
12 Aug – Eschwege, DE – Open Flair Festival
13 Aug – Puttlingen, DE – Rocco del Schlacko
14 Aug – Munchen, DE – Zenith
16 Aug – Bremen, DE – Pier2
18 Aug – London, UK – OVO Wembley Arena
19 Aug – Manchester, UK – O2 Apollo
20 Aug – Edinburgh, UK – O2 Academy
21 Aug – Birmingham, UK – O2 Academy
23 Aug – Dublin, IE – National Stadium
24 Aug – Belfast, NI – The Telegraph Building

Fan presale for the headline tour begins Tuesday 29 March at 10:00am, while the public on-sale kicks off this Thursday 31 March at 10:00am. Full details are on the band’s website.

The Gaslight Anthem on Facebook

Pic by Kelsey Ayres

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MORE LOST VENUES

Following on from 2020’s successful publication, Damaged Goods Books have announced a second volume of the widely praised book London’s Lost Music Venues.

Author Paul Talling’s original book emerged during the first lockdown, featuring over 100 London music venues that have been lost during the past few decades, providing a timely warning that live music cannot be taken for granted as a combination of taxes, apathy and grasping landlords and developers have cut a swathe through what was once the live music capital of the UK.

For this volume, Paul has covered more than 140 venues, focusing on suche theatre-sized establishments as the legendary Rainbow, the Hammersmith Palais, the Lyceum and the Astoria, as well as smaller venues that have closed since the original publication, such as the much-loved Borderline.

Set for publication on 23 June, London’s Lost Music Venues 2 is available to pre-order here.

On 28 June, Rough Trade East will be hosting a special launch event for the book, featuring a Q&A with the author and an acoustic performance by The Adverts’ founder TV Smith – tickets

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KINGS OF OBLIVION!

LAST GREAT DREAMERS guitarist Slyder Smith has announced a new album.

Hooking up with LGDs’ bassist Tim Emery and drummer Rik Pratt under the name of SLYDER SMITH & THE OBLIVION KIDS, the trio having been working up an album’s worth of brand new material in their rehearsal room. Now they’re ready to head into the studio at the end of March to record the album with producer Pete Brown (Siouxsie & The Banshees, Marc Almond, The Smiths, Diamond Head).

Having funded the recording process themselves, the band are reaching out to fans via Kickstarter to contribute to the cost of CDs, vinyl and promotional merch in exchange for a range of very special rewards. For further details go here.

Slyder Smith & The Oblivion Kids on Facebook

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EDWARDS GETS HIS GOATS!

Indie go-to brass boffin TERRY EDWARDS and his 90s band THE SCAPEGOATS are to have their classic debut album issued on vinyl for the first time.

A founder member of 2Tone-signed punk-funkers THE HIGSONS, Edwards has worked with numerous groups and artists over the past forty years, including Nick Cave, Siouxsie Sioux, PJ Harvey, Madness, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Blockheads, Tom Waits, Alternative TV, Gallon Drunk and many more…

Edwards joined forces in The Scapegoats with bassist Jem Moore (Serious Drinking), drummer Ian White (Gallon Drunk) and trumpeter/guitarist Ian R. Watson (Higsons, Slab), to release their debut album My Wife Doesn’t Understand Me to considerable acclaim in 1995.

Originally only available on CD, the album is being re-released through Edwards’ own Sartorial Records for Record Store Day on 23 April as a 45 rpm double-vinyl album, with a free download card for the full album plus four bonus tracks.

My Wife Doesn’t Understand Me is also available on CD and download (minus bonus tracks) here.

Check out ‘Margaret Thatcher We Still Hate You…’

Edwards’ current band The N.J.E., featuring Higsons drummer Simon Charterton and Madness’ Mark Bedford on bass, play the following dates…

Tues 5 April – Chats Palace, Hackney, London
Sat 30 July – Con Club, Lewes
Wed 7 Sept – Pizza Express Live, Holborn, London

Terry Edwards on Facebook

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CHATS ZAP BACK!

Aussie punk urchins THE CHATS have dropped a new video ahead of their UK tour which kicks off next week.

‘Struck By Lightning’ is the first fruit of recording sessions with new guitarist Josh Hardy, who replaces founder member Josh Price.

“The new bloke, Josh – he fucking rips, man!,” enthuses singer/bassist Eamon Sandwith. “He’s been a good friend of ours for years. His band The Unknowns were the first band that were our age on the Sunny Coast – before we’d even formed The Chats. In the early days, they were a full-on rockabilly band, and he had the quiff. He’d comb his hair back and stuff, and we just thought he was the fucking coolest guy ever.

“After our old guitarist Pricey left, me and Matt [Boggis, drummer] had a conversation, like, ‘If we can’t get Josh, we might just not carry on’,” he continues. “Luckily, he was willing to join, and we got right into it, writing songs and stuff. We were like, this is unreal – so good!”

Speaking of the new single, he says “’Struck By Lightning’ came about when we were having a jam. I was on the drums, and I just started playing this little pattern, like, ‘struck-by – LIGHT-NIN’!’ I thought, ‘Hmm, that could work’, so I went home and wrote a song about getting struck by lightning, like how you would feel, and what would happen. People can’t grow their hair back and shit. It’s weird – especially the whole no-eyebrows thing. That would be really scary! I’m really hoping that this doesn’t happen to me, now I’ve written a song about it.”

The UK tour kicks off with a sold-out show in Southampton on Satruday 19 March. Full dates are…

19 Mar – Southampton, 1865 SOLD OUT
20 Mar – Nottingham, Rock City
22 Mar – Dublin, Olympia
23 Mar – Belfast, Limelight 2
24 Mar – Glasgow, Galvanizers
25 Mar – Newcastle, Boiler Shop SOLD OUT
26 Mar – Manchester, Academy
27 Mar – Leeds, Stylus
28 Mar – Bristol, 02 Academy
29 Mar – Brighton, Chalk SOLD OUT
30 Mar – London, Electric Brixton
31 Mar – London, Electric Brixton

Pic by Luke Henery

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THE RETURN OF THE MEFF!

Chartbusting West Country rave-rockers EMF are back with a brand new single and album.

Hailing from Cinderford in the Forest Of Dean, EMF took the charts by storm in 1991 with the massive his single ‘Unbelievable’ and album Schubert Dip hitting the upper reaches of the charts in both the UK and the US, with the album selling over a million copies in the US alone that year. Having scored a No.2 hit with their cover of The Monkees’ ‘I’m A Believer’ in 2002, the band was rocked by the death of bassist Zac Foley and fell silent.

Still featuring original members James Atkin, Ian Dench and Derry Brownson, EMF returned last year to celebrate their 30th Anniversary with sold-out shows and a vinyl box set.

New single ‘Sister Sandinista’ – “a nod to all the women out there who are fighting for what they believe in, sometimes against overwhelming odds, and making the world a better place” – is the first single to be taken from the band’s new album GO GO SAPIENS, the Gloucestershire band’s first new album in 27 years, funded completely by their loyal fans.

“After a great 30th anniversary year, the band was in a really good place and we just felt ready to make another album,” explains Atkin.

“Making GO GO SAPIENS without a record label breathing down our necks was liberating,” adds Dench. “As Derry always says ‘we have nothing to prove’ so we did it for the fans and ’cause this is who we are and what we love to do. 100% EMF from the cradle to the rave.”

GO GO SAPIENS is out on 1 April and is available to pre-order here. ‘Sister Sandinista’ is available as a download and 3-track CD here.

To celebrate, the band have announced four intimate shows in April. They’ll also be appearing alongside Spear Of Destiny and Desperate Measures at Kirk Brandon’s Westworld Weekend in May. Full dates are…

Sat 9 April – 229, London
Sun 10 April – Esquires, Bedford
Mon 11 April – Fleece, Bristol
Tue 12 April – Parish, Huddersfield

Tickets here

Sat 14 May – KK’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton (w/ Spear Of Destiny & Desperate Measures) tickets

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