The UK’s top glam-punks The DeRellas play a bunch of shows in the coming weeks around their appearance at Rebellion.
The band kick off the dates by headlining their own Rockaway Beach club night at London’s legendary Hope & Anchor on Friday 26 July, with MOTO VAMP in support. Next month they go on to play two shows at the 100 Club, opening for HEARTBREAKERS guitarist Walter Lure on the 10th and DAMNED and LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH legend Brian James on the 23rd.
Full dates are…
Fri 26 July – Hope & Anchor, London (w/ Moto Vamp) Sat 27 July – Prince Albert, Brighton (w/ Scare Taxi & Young Francis) Sat 3 Aug – Rebellion Festival, Blackpool Fri 9 Aug – Rebellion Club, Manchester (w/ Walter Lure) Sat 10 Aug – 100 Club, London (w/ Walter Lure) Fri 23 Aug – 100 Club, London (w/ Brian James & The Electrics)
Hot new London punk’n’roll trio SUZITOY have announced their debut single and a short UK tour to back it up.
The band, who feature former FLESH FOR LULU drummer Bish Bishop, alongside basist Ko-Chun Lee and guitarist Marlon Woods from WE BUY GOLD, unleash the download single ‘Gangs’ on 20 July, with a physical EP to follow in the autumn.
“’Gangs’ is our response to the corporate and corrupt powers that enslave the people,” says Bish of the new single. “It’s dark and dangerous, but at the same time you can dance to it. That’s a really potent mix and not for the faint of heart.”
The band head out on tour next week, kicking off in Edinburgh on the 18th and winding up in London on the 26th. Full dates are…
18 Jul – Edinburgh, Bannerman’s Bar 19 Jul – Newcastle, The Black Bull 20 Jul – Whitchurch, Percy’s Café Bar 21 Jul – Rotherham, The Trades 26 Jul – London, The Amersham Arms
It’s only three weeks ’til Rebellion. We asked some of the acts playing this year to give us some of their favourite Rebellion memories…
Alex – Wonk Unit Nothing particularly glamorous or rock n roll but a couple of years back when we were playing that amazing slot in the Empress Ballroom between Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes and Slaves, we’d got all set up on time and I was twiddling my thumbs with 15 minutes to go before show time. I hate waiting around so as our hotel was only 5 minutes around the corner, I decided to just walk back to kill time. So, check this, I opened the door, went in, cracked open a can of Coke and I shit my pants??? Like literally no warning, no feeling, I didn’t fart, I didn’t sneeze or do anything, just suddenly I found I just shit my fuckin pants??? Like WTF??? I guess I was lucky to be in our hotel room, but it was a pretty traumatic few minutes of cleaning up and changing my shorts before running back to the Ballroom to a packed 3000 strong crowd. Was a wicked gig! Xx
Fat Bob – Hard Skin Rebellion 2016 – It’s Sunday early afternoon and I’ve had enough. I’m just fucking leaving, and I hear some winging American voice on the outside stage and the missus’ asks who that is. Some geezer in the street suggests it’s Jelly Biafra or something but I’ve no fucking idea and I don’t care.
Walk a bit further down the road and bump into Daryl from Cock Sparrer. We are chatting on – usual Bollocks and then these fat balding middle-aged German geezers stop the conversation – getting excited they’ve met a legend. They are all over me like most balding middle-aged men who try to chat to me on Grinder. Anyway, they want a selfie with the legend that is Fat Bob. Both of them are wearing Cock Sparrer T-Shirts and ask Daryl without a clue who he is, if he minds taking a picture of them with me.
Being an Oi! celebrity is hard but it’s about time Cock Sparrer swapped their pay check with Hard Skin.
TV Smith The first time I was invited to perform at Rebellion was 1996. I’d never played a solo set at a punk festival before, and Rebellion had never had a solo artist before either, so I was a little nervous to say the least. Festivals being what they are, there was no opportunity for a soundcheck so when I walked on stage, I knew it was ‘now or never’. For a moment it looked like it would be “never”: I looked over to the mixing desk halfway down the hall – past the crowds of people in the audience waiting to see what I would come up with – and saw there was no one manning it. I plugged in. No sound. Was this going to be a truly acoustic gig, in front of nearly a thousand people? I’d expected it to be nerve-wracking – but not this nerve-wracking. Time stretched out before me and after what seemed like the longest couple of minutes, I had ever experienced a figure appeared behind the desk and I had sound. Not a good sound, to tell the truth – through the monitors on the stage, my guitar sounded like a distant tinny wasp, and I played it so hard to compensate that I almost immediately broke a string and the gig came to an abrupt stop. I didn’t have a spare guitar with me, so to the audience’s bemusement I had to put a new string on the guitar on stage. I then attempted to play ‘Bombsite Boy’ for the first time since the Adverts – I’d promised an acoustic Adverts set and that was what I was bloody well going to play – only to find out the song was far too complicated for acoustic guitar, and twenty years after my youthful former self wrote it, also too high to sing. Bizarrely, the audience loved it, and after a (for me) tortuous 40 minutes I left the stage to resounding applause and demands for encores.
It was a trial by fire, but I’m happy to say that I’ve played solo every year since then, and the acoustic scene at Rebellion has grown so popular that artists and audiences queue up to play, and get into the Almost Acoustic venue over the entire three days of the event. In fact, I’ve had so many complaints over the past few years from people who couldn’t actually squeeze into the room while I was playing that this year, I’m doing my solo show in the Opera House. Classy or wot?
Segs – Ruts DC It’s a strange phenomenon at Rebellion festival that whatever time you intend on going to bed, you always seem to be coming back to the hotel as the sun’s coming up, you miss breakfast (again) after not eating properly the day before.
After 5/6 years of this routine, I decided last year to get home while the night was relatively young. Still, gig done I did need to chill out with a beer or something, somewhere. “Come around to our hotel.” said Tom, singer of The Professionals. So off we went. So, there I was, sitting outside chatting to one Paul Cook (I have to mention, yes, he of The Sex Pistols fame, about our upcoming Crack 40 tour and other things).
“Last orders,” shouted one of the barmen – it was 3.30 am. “I’ve managed it!”, I thought. A relatively early night…but … “Rambo’s on the phone”, said Chris McCormack, the Proffs’ guitarist. “John wants a few people back to his hotel, he needs cheering up, don’t bring any idiots!” So, Chris said to me and girlfriend Tara Rez, “Come on you two, you’re not idiots”.
“Jesus!”, I said. Was he talking about John Lydon? -Yes, he was! Cookie said that he wasn’t gonna go and I said that there was no way I was going to meet JL, pissed, at 3.30 in the morning! I’m just about ready for my early night.
So, Cookie left and then , as we were starting off on our walk back to our safe haven, I got a text with hotel address. “Maybe we’ll just go for a little while …hmm.” So, we jumped a cab, the hotel was a way away and we had to get met at the gates by a security man who escorted us in.
We walk into the outside area and there was Mr Lydon, and a few friends/band members and Cookie had turned up in the end, so I walk up to introduce myself to John Lydon: “Hello Mr Lydon, I’m Segs from the Ruts – last time I saw you was in 1979 – you were looking at our album cover (The Crack). “We had just entered the press room at Virgin Records that day and proudly seen (the) Johnny Rotten holding up our up first LP .” Then I told him with a smile on my face, “You said ‘bunch of faggots’!”
He just said, “I deny it! I deny anything that I’ve ever been accused of.” He shook my hand warmly and told us that the bar was open “Get yourselves a drink and come and join us.”
So, there I was chatting away to John Lydon, he was actually really friendly to everyone. We rolled him a joint and sat down, the conversations were pretty deep and I even had the dutch courage to sing him a couple of lyrics from Music Must Destroy! What was happening? After an hour or so the evening drew naturally to a close, he said he had to go and take care of a few things and next minute he was gone. We said our goodbyes and got in a taxi —you guessed it —as our driver transported us along the Blackpool’s well-trodden promenade, the sky was well into its morning. The land of the rising sun indeed.
DINOSAUR JR are to have four classic albums reissued in expanded form on CD and vinyl.
Green Mind, Where You Been, Without A Sound and Hand It Over were originally released by the legendary Massachusetts band between 1991 and ’97 when they were signed to Warner Bros, and were seen as a second wind for the band following their implosion after their UK breakthrough album Bug in 1998.
Each of the releases, curated with full input from band founder J Mascis, and including new sleevenotes from noted journalist Keith Cameron, will be available on double vinyl and double CD from 27 September through Cherry Red.
Green Mind surfaced in 1991 and featured Mascis playing most instruments on most songs, with contributions from original drummer Murph, along with briefly recruited bassist Don Fleming and drummer Dan Spiegel from the band Gumball.
The rerelease features copious bonus tracks, including the Whatever’s Cool With Me EP, while the CD version also has a previously unreleased live set from Hollywood Palladium.
Where You Been, released in ’93, was a major commercial success, reaching the UK Top 10, with the accompanying single ‘Start Choppin’ making the Top 20. It saw a return of Murph to fulltime duties and the arrival of bassist Mike Johnson, as well as the unlikely presence of a string quartet.
Bonus tracks include a version of The Flying Burrito Brothers’ ‘Hot Burrito #2’ and a selection of Peel Session tracks. The CD also includes a previously unreleased live set from St Paul Civic Centre.
Released in ’94, Without A Sound was the first Dinosaur J not to feature Murph, with Mascis handling the drums himself. It yielded the hit single ‘Feel The Pain’. Bonus tracks on this edition include tracks recorded live in London, with the CD adding instrumental versions of album tracks.
Their last album for a decade, although ’97’s Hand It Over sold poorly, offering no radio hits, it’s apparently regarded by Mascis as his favourite album from the Warner period. Opening track ‘I Don’t Think’ featured vocals from My Bloody Valentine’s Bilinda Butcher and Kevin Shields, who produced the track.
Bonus tracks include an EP of songs recorded for the Matt Dillon movie Grace Of My Heart and tracks from an Australian TV broadcast, with the CD adding an unreleased set from a show in Stockholm.
Italian anti-fascist ska-punks LOS FASTIDIOS have unveiled a new video ahead of a bunch of summer tour dates.
‘Radio Babylon’ is a re-recording of a track from their 2017 album The Sound Of Revolution, this time featuring the vocals of the band’s tour manager Elisa Dixan. It’s taken from the 7″ Elisa Dixan Sings Los Fastidios, which is available now through Kob Records.
The band’s new album Joy Joy Joy is out this month and is available to order here.
Los Fastidios hit the UK at the end of July for a run of summer dates, including two performances at Rebellion and a headline show at London’s New Cross Inn. Full dates are…
31.07.2019 – SHOREHAM BY SEA – DUKE OF WELLINGTON 01.08.2019 – WREXHAM – SEITH SEREN 02.08.2019 – BLACKPOOL – REBELLION (Almost Acoustic stage) 03.08.2019 – BLACKPOOL – REBELLION (Empress Ballroom stage) 06.08.2019 – GLASGOW – AUDIO 07.08.2019 – EDINBURGH – BANNERMANS BAR 08.08.2019 – DERBY – HAIRY DOG 09.08.2019 – MANCHESTER – STAR AND GARTER 10.08.2019 – YORK – THE FULFORD ARMS 11.08.2019 – LONDON – NEW CROSS INN
DIY punk legends TELEVISION PERSONALITIES have an elaborate and comprehensive singles collection out this week.
Formed in Chesea in 1977 by Dan Treacy, later joined by SWELL MAPS’ Jowe Head, the band are perhaps best-know for their 1978 tracks ‘Where’s Bill Grundy Now?’ and ‘Part-Time Punks’ before turning towards psychedelia with ‘I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives’.
The double-CD hardback book-form package houses Some Kind Of Happening – Singles 1978-1989 and Some Kind Of Trip – Singles 1990-1994, the compilation contains numerous highpoints and rarities from a multitude of labels, including their debut 45 ’14th Floor’, a Creation Records flexi, their ultra-rare take on Mel & Kim’s ‘Respectable’ and 1989’s nearly-hit ‘Salvador Dali’s Garden Party’…
Set for release on 12 July through Fire Records, the anthology is available to pre-order here.
Jowe Head, meanwhile, has his new double solo album Widdershins – in which he tackles weird folk, post-punk and Krautrock – out through Easy Action Records on the same day. It’s available to pre-order here.
Jowe plays The Stag’s Head, Hoxton, London on 27 July.
Newly minted Celtic folk-punks THE WALKER ROADERS have unveiled a lyric video for their first single.
‘Will You Go Lassie Go’ is taken from the band’s self-titled debut album, out on 23 August.
Led by THE POGUES co-founder and accordionist James Fearnley, the band also features former DROPKICK MURPHYS multi-instrumentalist Marc Orrell, and FLOGGING MOLLY co-founder Ted Hutt. They’re joined on the album by bassist Brad Wood, fiddler Kieran Mulroney and drummer Bryan Head. Based in L.A., the band take their name from a notorious street gang in Fearnley’s fome city of Manchester.
“I’d come across Ted loads since arriving in Los Angeles years ago,” explains Fearnley. “Socially, gastronomically, not least musically, beginning with Brad Wood suggesting me to play accordion on an album Ted was producing. It developed from there. Marc, I knew from Dropkick Murphys opening for The Pogues one Christmas. And then he surfaced in L.A. It was an opportunity too good to pass up to bring us together with others I’d played with that had talent, an instrument and an ear.”
Ahead of the release of their new album, PIXIES are on the cover of the new edition of our sister mag Louder Than War.
Inside we chat to the band are about their long and illustrious history, including the 30th Anniversary of their classic album Doolittle, and the making of their seventh full-length Beneath The Eyrie, which is out on 13 September, the same day they kick off a major UK tour.
Also this issue, we talk psych with TEMPLES, shoegaze with RIDE, post-punk with THE MURDER CAPITAL and the new wave of psychedelic folk-rock with Cornish mavericks HANTERHIR.
Elsewhere we’ve got NEW MODEL ARMY, FUTUREHEADS, FAT WHITE FAMILY, MANIC STREET PREACHERS, BLACK FUTURES, THE NATIONAL, MIKE PATTON, GOODBYE MISTER MACKENZIE, UTAH SAINTS and loads more…
The new edition of Louder Than War is on sale now here and in all good newsagents!
STRAY CATS fever continues to sweep the world with the announcement of a major new box set from the Long Island rockabilly legends.
In celebration of the trio’s 40th Anniversary, Runaway Boys brings together their first three classic albums – Stray Cats, Gonna Ball and Rant’n’Rave – released on Arista between 1981 and 1983, newly half-speed remastered and given the 180g deluxe vinyl treatment.
A fourth vinyl disc brings together eleven b-sides and assorted rarities.
On top of that, there’s a 40-page book compiling classic interviews down the years alongside rare and unseen photos and memorabilia.
Best of all is the Rumble In Brighton board game, where players are invited to race from London’s Ace Cafe to Brighton seafront for a dust-up on the beach.
Also available are 25-track double-vinyl and 36-track double-CD anthologies.
Set for release on 27 September through BMG, the box set and anthologies are available to pre-order here.
The original members of the TOM ROBINSON BAND are coming together to celebrate the life of Danny Kustow next month.
The guitarist, who joined the band in 1976, passed away in March after a short illness.
Signing to EMI, TRB were instantly successful with their debut single ‘2-4-6-8 Motorway’ and debut album Power In The Darkness both soaring into the Top 5. One of the most politically motivated bands of the era, they played regular shows supporting Rock Against Racism and the Anti-Nazi League.
Following the break-up of the band in October ’79, Kustow contributed to Generation X’s third album Kiss Me Deadly, going on to play in The Spectres with Glen Matlock and The Planets with members of The Blockheads. He would later play on Robinson’s 1983 hit ‘War Baby’, rejoining the briefly reformed TRB at the end of the decade. More recently, he joined Robinson onstage for ‘…Motorway’ at the 100 Club in 2017.
The gig at The Scala in London’s Kings Cross on Monday 29 July will feature Robinson plus original members, keyboard-player Mark Ambler and drummer Dolphin Taylor, who also played in Stiff Little Fingers and Spear Of Destiny before relocating to L.A.
Also featuring members of Robinson’s current band and special guests, the night will include video screenings of Danny at his best.
Tickets for the show are now on sale here. All profits from the gig will go to NHS Critical Care Unit in Bath, who cared for Danny during his final days.
Aussie idlers THE CHATS return to the UK at the end of the year for a major tour.
The teenage Queensland mullet-punks, scored YouTube hit with ‘Smoko’ – 7.2 million views and counting – a few years back will be giving a taster of what to expect when they appear at Reading and Leeds festivals at the end of August.
The band return at the end of November for a string of dates culminating in a London show at Kentish Town Forum. Full dates are…
Nov 30th Brighton, Concorde 2 Dec 1st Oxford, 02 Academy Dec 2nd Norwich, Waterfront Dec 3rd Nottingham, Rescue Rooms Dec 4th Leeds, Brudenell Social Club Dec 5th Newcastle, Riverside Dec 6th Edinburgh, Summerhall Dec 7th Aberdeen, Lemon Tree Dec 9th Glasgow, Garage Dec 10th Manchester, 02 Ritz Dec 11th Birmingham, 02 Institute Dec 12th Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach Dec 13th Bristol, 02 Academy Dec 14th London, 02 Forum
East Anglia’s leading melodic punks BEVERLEY KILLS venture forth from their Cambridge base for a handful of dates next month.
The much-loved quartet have kept a relatively low profile in recent years – save for a track on a flexi from Repeat Fanzine in 2017 and a very special 10th Anniversary show in their hometown last year.
The band now break cover for a trio of shows in Norwich, Newcastle and London, where they play this year’s Wonkfest.
Full dates are…
Fri 26 July – Gringo’s, Norwich (w/Goober Patrol & Project Mork) Sat 27 July – The Dome, Tufnell Park, London (Wonk Fest 7) Sat 31 Aug – The Cluny, Newcastle (w/China Drum)
In other news, Bevs guitarist Kate Fleet has just published her first children’s book. Monty Mouse of Cambridge Town was written by Kate and illustrated by Angela Cogo and is available here.
Fast-rising grime-punks RISKEE AND THE RIDICULE have unveiled a new video from their imminent new album.
Following on from’Kaboom!’ earlier this month, the broodingly anthemic ‘In The Dark We Dwell’ is taken from the Kent quartet’s third album Body Bag Your Scene, their debut for Bomber Music.
“‘In The Dark We Dwell’ is about gravitating towards self destruction,” explains frontman Scott Picking. “It’s an insight in to the past. It’s about who we used to be and who we are now.”
Directed by the band themselves, the video “is a respectful nod to Keith Flint and anyone suffering from their own internal darkness.”
The band have several UK dates lined up, including appearances at Rebellion and Booze & Glory’s 10th Anniversary bash at Camden’s Electric Ballroom in November. Full dates are…
29 Jun – Crowley’s Bar, Hastings 13 Jul – 1 In 12 Club Bradford 26 Jul – The Lab, Northampton 1-4 Aug – Rebellion, Blackpool 17 Aug – Esquires, Bedford 20 Sep – Ramsgate Music Hall 5 Oct – Rich Mix, London 18 Oct – Exchange, Bristol 2 Nov – Electric Ballroom, London (w/Booze & Glory)
Body Bag Your Scene is out on 28 June and is available to pre-order here.
NEW MODEL ARMY have unveiled a lyric video for the first single from their new album.
The urgent, dystopian ‘End Of Days’ is taken from From Here, which follows on from 2016’s Winter and is set for release through EARmusic on 23 August. The album is available to order in various formats and bundles here.
The band will follow the release with a UK tour kicking off in Southampton on 8 October and taking in a London date at the Electric Ballroom, Camden on 14 November. Full dates are…
08/10 – 1865, Southampton 13/11 – SWX, Bristol 14/11 – Electric Ballroom, London 15/11 – Junction, Cambridge 16/11 – Stylus, Leeds 17/11 – Tramshed, Cardiff 19/11 – Live Rooms, Chester 20/11 – Boiler Shop, Newcastle 21/11 – Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh 22/11 – O2 Ritz, Manchester 23/11 – O2 Institute, Birmingham 12/12 – Concorde 2, Brighton 21/12 – Rock City, Nottingham
Now in its fifth year, the Red Rooster Festival has shaped up from humble beginnings to be THE go-to weekend for rock’n’roll, blues and roots music . Vive Le Rock donned its dungarees to check it out….
RED ROOSTER FESTIVAL EUSTON HALL, SUFFOLK
With a track record of good weather, Red Rooster is something of a rarity in the UK calendar. Better not jinx it! It’s also one of the easiest on the eye, when it comes to locations, situated in the grounds of Euston Hall on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, by wood and river. Moreover, it’s compactness means you don’t waste time and energy slogging everywhere, can easily find your mates and are generally in with a good chance of making it back to your tent before passing out.
Kicking off on the Thursday evening, just as most people are arriving, the mainstage offers a low-key bill of mellow country rock, headlined by Philadelphia’s Low Cut Connie, trading in a weird concoction of garage rock through a Queen filter.
The following morning, though, the fest sets off in earnest with London’s long-serving Cajun aces Joli Blon, who do an amazing job of shaking the masses out of their torpor. The day takes shape approvingly via the many-headed Cash-style country-punk of The Johnsons, ZZ Top-channelling newcomer Sam Morrow and Texan golden boy Jarrod Dickinson, who takes time to salute homestate legend Doug Sahm with a terrific cover of ‘I’m Glad For Your Sake’.
After a Prosecco-and-veggie-burrito break, Vive Le Rock returns to the mainstage for another of Texas’s finest sons, Dale Watson. Single-handedly saving country music one truckin’ song at a time, Dale’s on fine form, the crowd quickly getting into singalong mode on ‘I Lie When I Drink’ (“…and I drink a lot!”). Ever the consummate pro, Dale takes some beating, although Nick Lowe gives it a good go. Since teaming up with LA’s masked instrumental surf band Los Straightjackets, the Godfather of Pub has been reinvigorated: delivering an elementary ‘greatest hits’ set, rockin’ recent single ‘Tokyo Bay’ is as good as anything the great man’s ever done.
By Saturday both stages – and the sun’s rays – are getting into their stride, so we slap on the lotion to enjoy sets on the Little Red Rooster acoustic stage from fast-rising skateboarder-cum-country-blues-picker, Yorkshire’s own Serious Sam Barrett – drawing one of the biggest crowds of the weekend – and the country’n’rockabilly of The Haystingers, unphased by a mid-set power failure.
Over on the mainstage, it’s Euro-tastic with youthful French rockabillies Howlin’ Jaws delivering a blistering set, closely followed by Switzerland’s Powersolo and the homegrown Oh! Gunquit, featuring the finest hula-hooping, trumpet-blowing frontwoman of the festival.
East Londoner Errol Linton has been a reliable draw on the London scene for many years, so it’s great to watch him deliver a crowd-pleasing mid-afternoon set of his reggae-infused blues. He’s definitely deserving of bigger things. So too, Cedric Burnside: grandson of the legendary R.L. who kickstarted the noughties punk-blues scene, he delivered a blistering set, backed only by a hard-hitting drummer with an infectious beat. The two even swapped places at one point!
For the final act of the weekend, Vive was in a bit of a quandary, but sorely tempted by the soul-inspired space-rock of The Budos Band, we opted for the tried’n’tested Legendary Shackshakers on the Little Red Rooster stage. One of the most dynamic acts of the festival, it’s a shame they’re relegated to the smaller stage, but their fiery gothic-country-punk has zero airs and graces, quickly creating the atmosphere of the moshpit, frontman J.D. Wilkes risking life and limb (his, the band’s, the crowd’s) with his cavalier mic-stand antics. A brilliant punk-rock frontman, and quite possibly the only one armed with a banjo, Wilkes is a force of nature who deserves much wider fame.
The party kept rockin’ well into the night over on the Howlin’ Woods DJ stage, but totally spent from the Shackshakers, Vive (dis)gracefully retired. Out first Red Rooster successfully completed, we’ll definitely be back next year.
Punk rock ukulele band THE PUKES are back with a brand new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
‘One In A Million’ is taken from the band’s first full album of all-original material, Never Mind The Buffet, which is due out in September though their own Hoo Har label. The video is the work of renowned film-maker Mark Richards.
The Pukes have built a reliable reputation for riotous gigs, featuring ukulele-based renditions of punk classics from the likes of Buzzcocks, Dead Kennedys, Cock Sparrer, Ramones and Discharge, releasing the album Too Drunk To Pluck in 2014.
The band now return with a slimmed-down line-up and an album of self-penned songs, produced by ex-Vibrator Pat Collier at Perry Vale Studios in South London.
The band have a handful of dates coming up, including a special album launch at The Dublin Castle, Camden on 13 September. Full dates are…
Thu 1 Aug – Rebellion Festival Fri 13 Sept – London – Dublin Castle tickets Sat 14 Sept – Bristol Ukulele Festival
In 2019, the urgency of anarcho punk’s message is just as relevant, if not more so, than in 1982. Punks with informed opinions and a ferocity towards the injustices of government and mankind as a whole continue to make their voices heard amid a cultural atmosphere of ignorance and submission. Vive Le Rock caught up with Bad Breeding, who carry the flame of anarcho wrath into the 21st century.
You formed in 2013 in Stevenage, how did you all get together and what’s the journey been like?
We’ve been friends since we were kids and went to the same secondary school. There was a time in the summer of 2013 when we were all at a bit of a loose end in terms of employment and decided to do something in the evenings that would serve as a bit of a release from the slog of labouring shifts and agency work. Bad Breeding has allowed us to contribute to a lot of political and cultural discussions we’ve felt marginalised from growing up in somewhere like Stevenage. It’s given us an outlet of expression that we haven’t been able to construct elsewhere in our working lives.
How long did it take to write and record this album and what do you want people to get out of it?
We wrote the bulk of Exiled in a month or two after getting back from a European tour last October. We had structures and a few songs down before we left, but most of them were finished off in the autumn after spending a month or so travelling around in the van. Exiled further explores the systemic, pernicious con-tricks of neoliberalism that have dogged and punished vast sections of the British working class since Thatcher through Blair and beyond into the sort of ideological contempt that is being played out now under the Conservatives. I think there’s been a trend in mainstream guitar music in recent years to confuse working-class resistance with unshakeable victimhood. Things seems to be put through a patronising or condescending liberal lens. I think you tend to get a lot of virtue signalling and weird class tourism from bands. We wanted to write a record that spelled out the rank injustices experienced on a daily basis as they are in the cold light of day – without pretence or performative gesturing.
Since the first wave of anarcho punk, what did those bands change and achieve?
The thing I always took from that period was the emphasis on a collective effort to push for change – whether that be within immediate music scenes, local community issues or wider constructs within the political landscape. I wouldn’t term myself as an anarchist, I would define myself as a socialist, but those anarcho bands were important in opening up political dialogue within music that wasn’t led by the capitalist class and wasn’t constricted by the overbearing nature of liberal intellectualism. It placed people at the heart of everything and inspired collective politicisation without people being put off by the misdirection of the supposedly complex political realities laid out by late capitalism. Educationally those bands played an important role in offering a route into politics that didn’t have to be defined by a lofty education and were often more aligned with direct action. Through pamphleting, art and organising, they democratised access to radical information, arguments and varying modes of resistance.
What message are you spreading?
The intention is to create records and take part in shows that centre on the spirit of the collective and allow people to take part in political discussions without feeling marginalised or belittled. For me you’ve got to use genuine anger and frustration as a means of bringing people together. Channelling anger and frustration into something that people can relate to at an immediate level has always seemed a positive practice for me. If it can open up doors for people to read up on particular issues or get involved in local, direct work then that’s progress in my mind.
What other bands do you feel are vital to the anarcho scene now and why?
Nicky Rat, who produces most of the band’s artwork, has put together a brilliant band called Subdued. I think they’re pretty crucial at the moment. It sort of takes the best and coldest parts of Amebix and a lot of those early bands on Spiderleg Records and combines them with that deathly smog of stuff like Celtic Frost. There are lots of exciting things happening in the DIY scene both here and in Europe at the moment, which aren’t necessarily defined by anarchism, but are certainly driven by a collective desire to bring people together and give bands a chance to play shows and tour.
What are some influential bands to you and some key albums that inspire you?
Being born in 1990 most of my inspiration started with an inherited record collection and all the literature and artwork that came with it. Flux of Pink Indians and a lot of the bands on Spiderleg (Amebix, Subhumans, The System, Kronstadt Uprising) are important to us. Crass and some of the bands on Crass Records too (Zounds, Omega Tribe, DIRT, The Mob). The Six-Minute War EPs are some of my favourites and the later Fallout records too. No Trend’s Too Many Humans is a crucial one within the band as a document of progressive nihilism. They had so much commitment to messing with conformity and people’s heads. That band is a standalone art form in its own right. There’s plenty of other stuff too – Icons of Filth, S.A.S, Instigators, Reality Control and the Epileptics.
What do you think of Crass?
They’ve been a vital entry point for us, especially in understanding the importance of collective power and collaboration, although I wouldn’t say we share the same politics. One of the things that always drew me to Crass was the intention to question and resist without being overbearing or condescending. It didn’t smack of being educationally pious, but more of a group that asked people to question what was around them. Some of their comments on the links between capital, power and the condition of our environment seem to be ringing truer than ever as we become acutely more aware that we’re enduring a vile system that is wholly incompatible with the survival of life on our planet. The use of different elements of media has appealed to us too – the use of video, literature and some of the more direct methods of resistance that came to define a lot of anarcho bands at the time. In terms of artwork we’ve tried to use that idea of writing to help further the points on our records by including essays and other bits of literature with the releases.
Do you go along with the DIY ethic and if so, how?
Stevenage hasn’t got a live scene and licensing issues make it difficult to put on shows. You’d need people wanting to come out too so in that regard building something based around music here has been difficult. We had Bowes Lyon House in the 80s that put on a lot of great anarcho bands but sadly they don’t do shows there anymore. Instead we’ve been involved with different movements across Europe. For example, we did a Rote Hilfe fundraiser in 2017 to help pay the legal costs for those arrested at the G20 protests in Hamburg, while we’ve also taken part in fundraisers for No Tav and a number of other movements in Italy. We get involved wherever we can. Locally our work has been less built around shows and more focused on our community food bank and locally-run group People for People – Stevenage, which encourages the use of direct methods to help alleviate the strain of austerity taking grip in the town.
If Brexit was handed over to you – how would you deal with it?
I can’t answer on behalf of the band unfortunately. We’ve all got differing viewpoints and it’d take a while before we got anywhere near a coherent answer. It’s taken two years to reach this weird impasse so imagine the arguments we’ve had amongst ourselves during that time. Personally I feel the only democratic option is to deliver what people voted for. We risk conceding huge amounts of ground to the right if people’s votes are done away with. There was evidently misdirection on both sides of the debate and I think that was an honest measure of just how much political self-interest governed each campaign. That said, I think it would be dismissive to assume that people were duped or voted solely on ideologically nationalistic lines as opposed to their own economic experiences and material conditions. Some sections of the mainstream press ran with the idea that Brexit purely centred on reactionary nationalism and xenophobia, which may have been true in some cases, but they never really gave space to acute concerns regarding the role of the European Union as a damaging neoliberal cartel. There are important questions to be asked of the EU as a reactionary force of late capitalism and its exploitation of workers both here and in mainland Europe. If we’re striving for revolutionary challenges to the nefarious and exploitative structures that govern our lives then it’s vital we should hold a mirror up to a neoliberal construct backed by corporate banks, big business and imperialistic forces like NATO.
What’s lined up next for the band in 2019?
We’ll be doing some shows with Uniform from New York City at the back end of July – Bristol, Hull, Leeds, Cardiff and London. We should get out to do another European tour in September and hopefully get over to the United States where Iron Lung are releasing the record too.
Exiled by Bad Breeding is out now through One Little Indian.
of: Subhumans, Flux of Pink Indians, Subdued
Bad Breeding are featured in the current issue of Vive Le Rock!