South-Coast folk-punks McDERMOTT’s 2 HOURS are to release their final album next month.
The band were formed in Brighton in 1986 out of the ashes of two other bands, The Bliffs and The Crack, who’d cut their teeth on the German pub scene. Fronted by singer-songwriter Nick Burbridge, they would earn a reputation for incendiary live shows, becoming a major influence on THE LEVELLERS and other likeminded souls.
Besieged, which is set for release on 8 February, sees Burbridge and co collaborating with Jeremy and Simon from The Levs, plus members of renowned folk-rockers OYSTERBAND.
Released through The Levellers’ On The Fiddle label, Besieged is available to pre-order as a 2-CD set, featuring a ‘best of’ compilation. Pre-ordered copies will also be signed by Burbridge.
Also available through all major digital platforms, pre-orders from iTunes will receive an instant FREE download, plus two other tracks ahead of release.
Essex pop-punks MR HAPPY CHAINSAW return with a brand new single and video.
‘Safe Place’ was recorded at Manor Studios, Braintree and all proceeds from sales will got to mental health charity CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably.
CALM are dedicated to preventing male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. CALM provide support to men in the UK, of any age, who are down or in crisis someone to talk to either by calling 0800 585858, or via webchat on their website
The band have organised an all-day CALMival at The Wheatsheaf, Witham on Saturday 26 January, featuring sets from Laurence Crow, 3 Foot High, Counties, Fatality, Shooty and the Bang Bang, Lemoncurd Kids, Audrey Ripper with more to be confirmed.
‘Safe Place’ is available to download now from Bandcamp.
Hotshot blues-punk duo J.D. HANGOVER are set to reissue their acclaimed debut mini-album on vinyl next month.
The pair, from Florence, Italy – who have been likened to Suicide meets Lightnin’ Hopkins – originally surfaced during autumn last year with the original CD, cassette and download release through Italy’s Annibale label.
Since then, they’ve played several high profile shows with the likes of BOSS HOG, LYDIA LUNCH, PiL and a gig at London’s Borderline with THE SCIENTISTS.
Following a string of uniformly excellent reviews, the release has been picked up Berlin label Hound Gawd! – responsible for releases by THE FUZZTONES, TH’ LEGENDARY SHACKSHAKERS and JIM JONES & THE RIGHTEOUS MIND – who decided to give it a vinyl release in honour of those classic 12” mini-albums popular in the 80s.
J.D. Hangover is a spin-off project of Stiv Cantarelli and Roberto Villa from STIV CANTARELLI & THE SILENT STRANGERS – Italy’s answer to The Gun Club – whose most recent album, Banks Of The Lea, received considerable praise on its release in 2014.
“When you start something out of nothing, solely based on your feelings or on your needs in that single moment, it may not always be a joyful ride,” explains Cantarelli. “But when you see this thing grow, when you see that smile on the face of the people at gigs or the urge that they have to try to talk to you in order to get a piece of the action well, it makes you feel you’re on the right path.
“It’s been an interesting year for J.D.Hangover. We shared many stages with people that we used to listen when we were kids. We found a way to express ourselves in a way that never happend before: from the guts. Every night with a different output. Happy, sad, angry, hopeless. All ended up in the music we played. We met idols, followers, strangers, people who walked in by chance. And from all of them we managed to have a reaction. Ashtonishment, curiosity, excitement, loathing. Never indifference though, and that’s our biggest achievement. We played from the heart to the heart, and we touched some. ‘Cause, you know, we’re all Frankies.”
The six-track J.D. Hangover is set for release on 11 January and is available to pre-order here.
THE RUTS’ classic album turns 40 next year and THE RUTS DC will be setting out on a major tour to celebrate it.
Arguably one of the most influential and iconic albums of the whole punk era, The Crack will also get a fully remastered vinyl reissue through Virgin/EMI.
The Ruts formed in Southall, West London in 1977, and pioneered the fusion of punk, reggae and dub, inspired and influenced by friends and neighbours MISTY IN ROOTS, on whose People Unite label, The Ruts’ debut single ‘In A Rut’ was released at the start of ’79.
The Crack, which was co-produced at Town House Studios by the band and Mick Glossop (Lurkers, Magazine, Penetration), was released in September ’79, peaking in the UK Album Chart at 16 and yielding the hit singles ‘Babylon’s Burning’ and ‘Something That I Said’.
Such an album pointed towards a glowing career for the band, one that was to be cruelly cut short by the death of frontman Malcolm Owen from a heroin overdose in July, aged only 26.
The remaining trio would soldier on for a few more years as Ruts DC, but it was not to be…
Following the death of guitarist Paul Fox from lung cancer in 2007, bassist John ‘Segs’ Jennings and drummer Dave Ruffy would eventually reunite, with guitarist Leigh Heggarty as The Ruts DC, releasing the album Music Must Destroy in 2016.
“It’s always been important to us to be a current and forward-thinking band, releasing and playing new material whilst being proud of our past,” states Segs today. “A milestone to many, The Crack is an important piece of work to us too. We now feel ready to celebrate where we came from.”
“Making The Crack was a real game changer for me,” continues Ruffy. “The Ruts were a band that were greater than the sum of their parts and wrote music inspired by everything we had ever heard. It’s a piece of work that I am immensely proud to have been a part of. Now forty years on we will be playing the album in its entirety, it’s quite a challenge as some of the songs have not been played since 1980! Our legacy is large, and we are and will continue working hard to make this a great show.”
With the album reissued on Friday 8 February, the band will be heading out on the road throughout the month, kicking off in Exeter on 11 February and including a show at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 28 February. Support on all dates comes from THE PROFESSIONALS. Full dates are…
11 Feb – Phoenix Exeter
12 Feb – Concorde 2 Brighton
13 Feb – O2 Ritz Manchester
15 Feb – 02 Institute 2 Birmingham
16 Feb – 02 Academy 2 Sheffield
17 Feb – The Junction Cambridge
18 Feb – 02 Academy Oxford
20 Feb – Waterfront Norwich
21 Feb – Riverside Newcastle
22 Feb – Garage Glasgow
23 Feb – Tunnels Aberdeen
24 Feb – Liquid Rooms Edinburgh
26 Feb – Rescue Rooms Nottingham
27 Feb – SWX Bristol
28 Feb – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire London
2 Mar – Button Factory Dublin, IE
3 Mar – Limelight Belfast
The award-winning documentary Rudeboy: The Story Of Trojan Records is to receive a series of regional screenings from this week.
Director Nicholas Jack Davies’ film about the British reggae, ska, rocksteady and dub label – which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year – was premiered earlier this month at the Doc’n’Roll Film Festival and received the festival’s Jury Prize, judged by Geoff Travis (founder of Rough Trade Records), Estella Adeyeri (musician and sound engineer), Kirsty Allison (poet and music journalist), Oli Harbottle (Dogwoof film distributors) and Jess Partridge (PRS Foundation and London in Stereo).
The film will now go on tour, visiting Nottingham, Birmingham, London, Edinburgh and Dublin. Full details are….
NOTTINGHAM PREMIERE – Friday 30th Nov 20:00 – Broadway Cinema, NG1 3AL – FREE after-party!
BIRMINGHAM PREMIERE – Friday 7th Dec 19:00 The Mockingbird Cinema, Gibb St, B9 4AA
LONDON ENCORE – Castle Cinema, Saturday 8th Dec 15:30 64 – 66 Brooksby’s Walk, E9 6DA
EDINBURGH PREMIERE – Saturday 15th Dec 15:15 Cameo Picturehouse, 38 Home St, EH3 9LZ
DUBLIN PREMIERE – Thursday 20th Dec 18:30 IFI Cinema 6 Eustace St, D02 PD85
Everybody talks about sticking it to the man, but who’s really doing it?
Fed up with local politicians taking money for doing nothing, Belfast punk Petesy Burns has teamed up with academic and author Colin Harper to deliver a stinging rebuke of Northern Ireland Assembly Members. And the song, resoundingly-titled ‘Smash The System’, is surely a rallying call in current times, as relevant almost anywhere around the world as it is in Northern Ireland.
Says Harper, who wrote the song, “The Northern Ireland Assembly collapsed in January 2017, the direct result of the Minister in charge of a botched heating scheme called RHI refusing to step aside while an enquiry took place. RHI will cost Northern Ireland taxpayers an estimated £490-500 million in wasted money.”
According to Harper, between January 2017 and October 2018, the 90 NI assembly members have received £10.25 million in salaries and an estimated £11.77 million in expenses. During that period, one assembly member has received £69,600 extra for his role as Speaker.
“He hasn’t spoken once”, says Harper. “Imagine if all of this was happening in London. It would be a national outrage.”
“I have no connection with punk whatsoever, but the medium felt right for getting the message out about this mess,” he continues. “I’d recently watched a documentary on 1970s Belfast punk legends, The Outcasts and was impressed by band member Petesy Burns’ compassionate anarchist ethos – kindness towards one’s fellow man – and by the energy of his performance. I got in touch and he was immediately on board.”
Credited to Colin Harper’s Bourgeois Fury, ‘Smash The System’ is available now from iTunes, Amazon and all usual digital platforms.
JOHNNY THUNDERS & THE HEARTBREAKERS are to have their classic live album given the deluxe expanded vinyl format.
D.T.K. Live At The Speakeasy was recorded on 15 March 1977 at the notorious musicians’ hangout on Margaret Street in London’s West End. Fresh from recording their debut album L.A.M.F. for Track Records, the band’s two sets were recorded at the club with the the Maison Rouge mobile studio parked outside.
Initially released on Jungle in 1982, as a 10-track LP. A further five tracks were recovered to complete the whole two sets, and the whole lot were remixed for Down To Kill – Complete Live At The Speakeasy in 2009.
This new version comes on limited edition red-and-white vinyl, with a free CD and a sixteen-page booklet with notes by legendary journalist and Vive Le Rock contributor Kris Needs.
Set for release by Jungle on 23 November, Down To Kill – Complete Live At The Speakeasy is available to pre-order here.
Ace French punks ZERO GAIN have their complete output compiled on a new CD anthology.
The quartet came together in the eastern-central city of Saint-Étienne in late 2013, having all done time in bands like Boxing Elena, Protex Blue, Spit and Perfect Cousins. They released their debut mini-LP Slow Thinking late the following year before contributing to a split LP alongside Torino from Lyon. This was followed by their first full album, Another Soundtrack To The Social War in March ’17.
The 24 track Modern Blues. The First Five Years compiles all the band’s recorded output, up to and including the Going Nowhere EP, released in April of this year.
THE CRAVATS launch the latest in their series of classic single reissues with this rare archive clip premiered exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
The footage of the classic ‘I Hate The Universe’ was shot live at the legendary Zig Zag Club in London and had previously been lost for more than three decades.
Following the band’s recent resurgence with last year’s critically acclaimed LP Dustbin of Sound they are re-releasing limited editions of their classic Small Wonder singles on vinyl, as many missed them first time around and apart from paying silly money on eBay or Discogs it is a way of filling that ‘C’ section in your record collections with finery.
Limited to 500 copies, the band’s debut 1978 release ‘Gordon’ b/w ‘Situations Vacant’ was reissued last year and very few remain. It’s still available now from Overground Records or from any Cravats Live show.
Now, originally issued in June ’79, here comes ‘Burning Bridges’ b/w ‘The End’ and ‘I Hate The Universe’.
Produced by Bob Sargeant (a week after he produced The Fall’s Live At The Witch Trials in the same studio), it has been digitally remastered and, like ‘Gordon’, is encased in the same glorious sleeve artwork.
Attempting to make these re-releases look as close to the originals as possible has been a labour of love. Back then artwork was all: bits of cardboard, Letraset, scissors and a tube of glue, but thanks to modern, space-age technology you’ll get a near identical sleeve and spot-on label – in this instance Pete Stennett has kindly allowed the band to reproduce his legendary Small Wonder Record label. Each copy also comes with a handy insert featuring ‘Cravfacts’.
Remember, only 500 of these exist and then they’ve gone forever. It’s available now here or any Cravats gig.
The next release in the series, ‘Precinct’ will follow in a few months, so collect the set and drink plenty of water.
Below, Cravats frontman The Shend tells the story of the film clip…
As you can imagine The Cravats were somewhat thrilled to be asked to support The Birthday Party and UT at The Zigzag Club in London on 8 May 1982.
In the days before iPhones and even camcorders (first available to the general public in 1983), getting anything filmed involved good old celluloid and luckily that day, Simon Towle was on the guestlist clutching his trusty Super 8 cine camera which incredibly had sound.
He filmed all of ‘I Hate The Universe’ which, seeing as the reels of film only lasted a few minutes, was a feat in itself, and recorded the audio with the camera’s built in microphone.
A couple of months later we all gathered at Gordon’s flat (Gordon Winter was the lead singer of Small Wonder stablemates The English Subtitles and also the marvellously manic chair-wielding Mr H on stage with us in this film) in Rupert Court, Soho and watched the unedited masterpiece projected on a wall. That was the last time anyone saw it . . . for decades!
We sadly lost touch with Simon and the film became a dim memory but it was the only known footage of The Cravats and every now and then I’d try to track down Simon and this Holy Grail of Cravatian artefacts. I searched social media and googled Simon but the trail was always cold. Not knowing how to correctly spell his surname didn’t help.
Then in 2017 I befriended English Subtitles’ guitarist Louis who now lived in Hamburg on Farcebook and asked him if he knew of Simon’s whereabouts. It turned out Simon had moved to New Zealand many years ago and thanks to Mark Zuckerberg’s networking behemoth I got in touch, but although he remembered making the film he was unsure whether it still existed.
Bah, Inspector Morse never had this much trouble detectiving.
Then, a message from Simon in early 2018 finally cracked the case. While clearing the loft he’d found the film in, er, a case.
Hoorah! I exclaimed, and using Google Street View, Simon found a suitable celluloid conversion emporium in a town some miles from his home.
Once converted to digital it was sent through the howling ether of outer space to Shend Towers and passed to lovely chum and Emperor of digital imagery, the mighty Mark Richards for editing into the gem you see here.
Okay, it hasn’t the audio clarity or visual splendour of a cinematic classic such as say, Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, but it’s really, really flipping old, was recorded on equipment with less pixels than a badger and has travelled the globe stuffed in a suitcase with some net curtains and 52 vintage copies of Practical Wireless Magazine.
Thirty-six years in the making and with massive thanks to Simon Towle, Mark Richards and all who helped along the way, we can finally present the legendary celluloid extravaganza that is, ‘I Hate The Universe’.
Fast rising Cornish psych-rockers HANTERHIR today premiere a new video with Vive Le Rock!
The track ‘Hope Comes With Love’ is the third single to be released from their widely acclaimed triple-album The Saving Of Cadan which is out now through Easy Action.
Formed in Redruth in 2007, the band have developed their sound in isolation from the mainstream, drawing on a diverse set of influences including the Psychedelic Furs, Echo & The Bunnymen, Sonic Youth and Hawkwind, whose onetime sax-player Nik Turner has been known to perform with the band on occasion.
You can catch Hanterhir on the following dates….
20 Oct Charlie’s Bar, Redruth
21 Oct The Sussex Arms, Tunbridge Wells
22 Oct The Victoria, Dalston, London (w/Brainiac 5) tickets
23 Oct The Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea
Read a new interview with Hanterhir in our sister magazine Louder Than War out now!
Cornish garage types THE VELVET HANDS have just unveiled a video for the latest single off their debut album.
‘Everyone Is Dead’ is a raucous lament to those who left us during that fateful year of 2016 – Bowie, Prince, George Michael… but also a celebration of life itself. We only get one chance, so make the most of it. We think this storming track’s not a million miles from another legendary departed rocker, but imitation’s the sincerest form of flattery, right?
The band play dates this week as part of Red Stripe’s This Feeling tour. Catch them on the road at…
Oct 5th – The Engine Shed – Lincoln
Oct 6th – WaterRats – London
Oct 11th – The Venue – Derby
Oct 12th – The Electric Church – Blackburn
Oct 13th – Lending Room – Leeds
Their debut album Party’s Over is available now on CD and vinyl on Zen Ten Records through Easy Action and digitally through all the usual download stores.
Yorkshire glam iconoclasts BE BOP DELUXE are to have their classic album Sunburst Finish reissued as a deluxe box set.
Formed in Wakefield, West Yorkshire in 1972 by guitarist Bill Nelson, Be Bop Deluxe melded glam imagery with pop melodies and proggy instrumentalism, releasing five studio albums and one live album for the Harvest label.
Recorded at Abbey Road and produced by Nelson with John Leckie, Sunburst Finish was released in February ’76, the band’s first album to reach the Top 20 of the album chart and yielding their only hit single, ‘Ships In The Night’, which reached number 23.
With the musical seachange of that period, the band hit a commercial breakthrough, chiming with the futuristic new wave scene building around the likes of Ultravox! and Magazine. Ever an eye on the future, Nelson would split Be Bop Deluxe in ’78, with forming the more obviously new wave Red Noise with keyboardist Andy Clark.
Remastered from the original tapes, the new 4-disc Sunburst Finish box set from Cherry Red features the original mix of the album, a new 2018 mix, BBC live recordings and Peel Session tracks, a DVD containing a 5.1 surround sound mix and video material from The Old Great Whistle Test and the previously unissued video for ‘Ships In The Night’.
The set comes complete with a 68-page booklet with a new essay by Nelson, a facsimile ’76 tour programme, postcards and a replica poster.
Set for release on 16 November, the box set is available to pre-order here.
Paul Weller has said a million times in a million interviews that he will never reform The Jam. Their legendary back catalogue gloriously lives on in the shape of original Jam bassist Bruce Foxton’s FROM THE JAM. His main partner in crime is the singer and guitarist Russell Hastings who he’s been working with since Russell joined Foxton and (original Jam drummer) Rick Buckler in The Gift back in 2006. Russell also co-wrote and performed on Bruce’s solo albums Back In The Room and 2016’s Smash The Clock. In December 2017 FTJ released a live album (via Pledge Music) titled From The Jam Live in an effort to capture the celebratory atmosphere that naturally arises when the band perform live. Vive Le Rock‘s Guy Shankland caught up with Bruce and Russell backstage at the sold-out Rewind Festival in Henley-On-Thames. The band have just delivered a very short, jam-packed (sorry) set of hit after hit after hit to a bleary-eyed but enthusiastic early afternoon crowd.
This is the band’s fourth Rewind appearance, so how do they find these retro type festivals? “They’re just great,” explains Russell. “Everyone’s so friendly.” Bruce continues: “All the performers have really got their act together and are, dare I say it, probably grateful for another bite of the cherry. From our perspective, there’s a great vibe backstage. There’s no prima donna’s, everybody’s just wishing each other all the best and they [the festivals] pull big crowds.”
Indeed they do, this year’s Rewind is pretty much sold out and that equates to almost twenty thousand punters a day.
“Yeah we’ve done a few which were forty thousand, we know they’re not all here for From The Jam but overall this is proper stuff, proper gigs.” Russell continues: “We do notice when playing these festivals that the ticket sales for the winter tours spike, they go up a lot, these [festivals] are great platforms for us, good live exposure. The promoters always tell us when the spikes are happening in sales and as Bruce says we know that these aren’t our fans, they wouldn’t necessarily pay just to come and see us, so it really works.”
The band are allotted just twenty-five minutes today so how do the band choose the setlist or does it choose itself? Bruce cuts in laughing, “They’re thinking of my age, he’ll be good for twenty-five! my heart!”
“The setlist picks itself really,” Russell continues. “You’d be a mug not to throw in all the cherries and there’s a lot of cherries. The band had so many hits that everyone identifies with, how many bands out there have that many hits under their belt that they have to cut some number ones out.”
Bruce elucidates further: “It sounds like we’re blowing our own trumpet but it’s hard when you only have twenty-five minutes and you only play six or seven songs and you try to fit all the hits in. We are very fortunate, it’s a great catalogue of stuff. When your doing this kind of festival people expect it [the hits]. There’s no point in going on and saying we’re playing an upcoming album, what kind of reaction are you going to get?”
Russell has been with the band for over a decade so what’s been his FTJ highlight? “Aw man, it’s been a journey! One is my friendship with Bruce because he’s a dear friend to me so that comes first.[In the background Bruce just says “Likewise”] “That makes the whole experience. I remember being on Bondi Beach with Bruce, flying into L.A and being in New York with Rick and Bruce, trying to go up Sears tower in Chicago. It’s not just different countries but playing Newcastle Academy and The Glasgow Barrowlands, playing the iconic venues and seeing people so caught up in the music. I mean, what a delightful thing to do, to be part of something where everybody’s just in a great fucking mood.”
When the band play it feels like a celebration.
“That’s right, they celebrate it, it’s a great thing that unity. It’s such a lovely experience doing it.”
With the PR giving me the ‘One Minute’ sign, we go the last question. The years between 1976-1980 gave us such a rich vein of songwriting and bands. We had Punk, 2-Tone, The Jam and New Wave. They are still celebrated to this day, why do you think that is? Bruce nails the question with a quick as a flash one-word answer – “Quality” – before adding, “I sound like the old man now, ‘There’s a tune there, there’s a lyric!’ It’s the quality of the songs.”
Forty years (from 1978) on are we back in the same place socially? “In a lot of ways,” Bruce says before Russell steps in. “I’m not going to jump on any bandwagon I’ll just tell it how I feel it is and its a load of fucking shit at the moment. I’m also really disappointed [with the music industry], I think that iTunes and the big conglomerates are destroying…[pauses]. If you try to get a record advance now they just fucking laugh at you. You can’t get one, you can’t even get expenses for the train. They want a produced album laid on the table, they just want the final cut then and there.” And that’s a wrap as the smiling and incredibly polite duo head off to musically educate another British Festival.
From The Jam continue to record new material, tour the world and delight fans from Henley to Hanoi. It’s those songs, those cutting Weller lyrics, the angry but pinpoint controlled guitar sound and opening bass lines that are greeted like returning war heroes. I finally put the idea of FTJ playing The Rebellion Festival to Bruce and Russell both seemed interested but then with that arsenal of songs in their Levi back pockets they could play any festival, anywhere on the globe and win the crowd over. The sadly prophetic “They smelt of pubs and Wormwood Scrubs and too many right-wing meetings,” Weller words are as relevant now as they were in 1978. What they have said will always remain.
Brighton punks THE BAR STOOL PREACHERS have a bunch of UK dates lined up in support of their acclaimed new album Grazie Governo.
The fast-rising six-piece have just been added to the bill for THE INTERRUPTERS’ US dates in November alongside BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH.
Before then, though, there’s a small matter of eight dates in the UK and Ireland, kicking off with the Might As Well Than 4 alldayer in London, alongside The Capitalist Kids, Thousand Oaks, Aerial Salad, The Capital, To The Wall, Eat Dirt, Laserchrist and Tom Aylott. Full dates are…
20 Oct LONDON – Might As Well Then 4 @ New Cross Inn, UK
26 Oct HASTINGS – Crowley’s Bar, UK
27 Oct KINGSTON UPON THAMES – The Fighting Cocks, UK
31 Oct MANCHESTER – Star And Garter, UK
1 Nov DUBLIN – The Bowery, Ireland
2 Nov BELFAST – The Palm House, UK
3 Nov LIVERPOOL – MacGuires, UK
4 Nov STAFFORD – Redrum, UK
9 Nov LAS VEGAS, NV – Vinyl
10 Nov TEMPE, AZ – Tempe Marketplace
11 Nov POMONA, CA – The Glass House
13 Nov SANTA BARBARA, CA – Velvet Jones
14 Nov FRESNO, CA – Strummers
17 Nov SACRAMENTO, CA – Ace Of Spades
FREE Bar Stool Preachers flexi with the new edition of Vive Le Rock! out now!