Congratulations to our old friend JAZ COLEMAN on receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Gloucestershire.
Honouring Coleman, Stephen Marston, Vice-Chancellor of University of Gloucestershire, said, “As a university, we were proud to honour Jaz’s achievements by awarding him an Honorary Doctorate of Music at our recent Graduation Ceremonies in recognition of his significant contribution to the arts and, in particular, his contributions to both contemporary and classical music. His career and achievements resonate with many of our students, particularly those aiming for careers in music, creative arts, and performance.”
To mark the occasion, local artist, Andy Dice Davies was commissioned to paint Jaz’s portrait on an existing site in Cheltenham. The 20-foot-high portrait can be viewed at the High Street Car park, Swindon Road entrance.
“It’s been such an honour to have painted Jaz,” says Davies. “Seeing Killing Joke on the Tube in 1985 changed my musical taste and I’ve been a fan ever since. I first saw them later that year at The Elephant Fayre in Cornwall and his performance blew me away!”
Returning to the town of his birth, fresh from recording new Killing Joke material in Prague, Dr Coleman said, “Cheltenham gave me everything. I learned all my music at St Mary’s Church, Charlton Kings, The North Gloucestershire Youth Orchestra and Cheltenham Young People’s Orchestra. It has been a long journey, and I am deeply touched by the recognition by my home town. And as for the mural, I’m blown away. I’m absolutely blown the fuck away.”
As previously announced, Killing Joke head out on the Honour The Fire UK tour this Spring. They’re joined at all shows by The Imbeciles, with Brix Smith as special guest in London. Full dates are…
March 2022 28th Mon Cardiff Tramshed 29th Tue Nottingham Rock City 31st Thu Bristol O2 Academy April 2022 1st Fri Liverpool O2 Academy 2nd Sat Birmingham O2 Institute 4th Mon Manchester Albert Hall 5th Tue Newcastle Boiler Shop 6th Wed Glasgow Barrowland 8th Fri Leeds O2 Academy 9th Sat London Eventim Apollo Hammersmith
SENSELESS THINGS have today announced a new website.
A statement on the site promises to provide “newly restored music, unseen footage and unreleased recordings by the group – a loving celebration of the happy days & good times with Mark, Ben, Cass & Morgan.”
Currently, the online store offers a range of merch plus a rare download of a December 1989 show where the foursome played support to Buzzcocks.
Formed in 1986, the Twickenham band released several chart-troubling singles and four albums before splitting in 1995. They reformed for a handful of shows – including a sell-out performance at Shepherds Bush Empire – in 2017. It was always hoped they’d make the reunion more permanent, but frontman Mark Keds sadly passed away earlier this year.
BLACK SABBATH legend TONY IOMMI has combined the launch of a new men’s fragrance with his first new electric music in eight years.
‘Scent Of Dark’ is an appropriately doomy instrumental piece which finds the rock god collaborating with Sergio Momo, the brains (and nose) behind luxury perfume brand Xerjoff and an accomplished rock guitarist to boot.
At the same time, the pair have come up with the fragrance, which will be available in two separate bottles – Monkey Special – taking its name from the logo on one of Iommi’s Gibson SG collectors’ models – and the limited edition Signed Crystal.
Perhaps surprisingly, Iommi has been a fragrance fan for some years…
“It’s something I’ve always been interested in, ever since the early days of products like Brut and Old Spice, which I’d always get given for Christmas,” remembers Tony. “Once I started touring the world with Sabbath though, I started discovering different sorts of fragrances from other countries and began collecting them on tour.
“I met Sergio through another friend of mine Jimmy Crutchley (who plays bass on ‘Scent Of Dark’) and Sergio kindly sent me a box of his fragrances and asked if I’d be interested in creating my own, which I certainly wasn’t expecting,” laughs Iommi. “I had no idea how that would work, but Sergio suggested I come up with a list of things I like the smell of, which I did. He developed some different samples made up from my suggestions and I picked the one I liked; the project moved forward from there.”
Tony Iommi Monkey Special and Signed Crystal by Xerjoff Blends will be available from 29th November in selected shops and at Xerjoffuniverse.com
Rising star VANITY ROSE has a new single and video out today.
We’ll let vanity describe herself in her own words…
“Hi, my name’s Vanity Rose, I am a new wave/post-punk artist from Bedford,” she says. “I love nothing more than writing songs with a bit of bollox in them. My influences are Iggy Pop, X-Ray Spex, Blondie, Wendy O Williams, Marc Bolan, Romeo Void and bloody loads more!!!”
‘Control Of Animal’ is not taken from her new album Hooligans Shampoo, which is available digitally from Spotify, Amazon and all the usual digital platforms. It’s also available on CD via her Facebook page.
Long-lost West Country post-punks LIFE STUDIES have just issued a career-spanning anthology.
The Gloucester trio only managed to release one EP – 1983’s Homeward – during their lifetime, but achieved a modicum of fame thanks to the record being picked up for airplay by John Peel.
The band made several recordings during their brief career before splitting, but continued to make music, which can be found on Joy Riding. Vive Le Rock caught up with band-member Phil Thomas to hear the band’s story…
How did the band get together? How old were you at the time?
The kernel of the group was always me and Graham Nicholson. In true rock’n’roll fashion, we first met at a David Bowie gig in 1978 so I’d have been 17, Gray 18. We found that we shared similar musical tastes, punk, Bowie, Roxy, Talking Heads, and I played a bit of guitar and Gray had started playing the drums, so we formed a band. Gray’s colleague from work, Tony, came in on bass, then his next-door neighbour, Nick, who really knew how to play, on guitar. He’s responsible for the riffs on the early ‘punkier’ stuff. Nick moved on after a couple of gigs and we started playing as a three-piece. This incarnation is what you can hear on the tracks ‘Territory’ and ‘New Friends’ for example.
Was there much of a ‘scene’ in Gloucester at the time? If so, what other bands were you playing/hanging out with?
There was a pretty good ‘scene’ in and around Gloucester. The first local band I remember was Demob, a fairly hardcore punk band who did pretty well given the thousands of bands that grew out of the punk scene nationally. There’s a good Facebook group that gives a far more comprehensive overview than I ever could. And the fact that it has nearly 500 members suggests there’s a lot of love for the bands who were around at the time.
I understand Animals That Swim’s Del Crabtree was in the band at one point….? Any other famous names pass through the ranks?
I knew Del from school and the village we all lived in, Brockworth, was quite small so everyone ended up hanging out with one another at some time or other. As we evolved into the next incarnation, as Tony left and Martyn [Bennett] joined us, we shifted to a more acoustic sound, inspired by the bands like the Pale Fountains, Felt and a lot of the Cherry Red stuff that was coming out on that label. Martyn was another mate from school and began to learn the guitar, pretty soon outclassing all of us, and the trio of Gray, Mart and I became the Life Studies that most people remember. Del came along to augment the sound with his trumpet. I don’t think anyone else who got involved with us went on to become famous.
What sort of gigs were you playing? Did you get to support any touring bands?
We did quite a few local gigs as Life Studies. Gray tended to organise them, venues were still limited but a few local entrepreneurs would set up gig nights at various places around town. The legendary venues in Glos were The Barge, Semington (an actual Barge in the docks), that was the centre of the local arts scene. The British Flag, a pub now renamed The Tall Ships, that held regular gigs for a whole variety of bands. We also played our local pubs in Brockworth too. One story I never tire of telling is that one of Banarama’s first gigs was supporting us in Cheltenham. We had a slot supporting post-punk poster boys Department S, whose single ‘Is Vic There?’ was in the charts and their singer Vaughn Toulouse had brought along ‘three girls’ who are going to mime to their new record ‘Aie A Mwana’. I can’t recall how they went down but as the saying goes ‘people were still booing them when we came on!’
How did the single get picked up by John Peel? Did you ever meet him?
We decided to make a single which we recorded at a place called Spadger Studios just outside Gloucester which was a converted barn, on a farm, with egg boxes (naturally) on the walls and ceiling for soundproofing. We had rehearsed there a lot and got on well with the owner, John [Eeles], so we decided to record a single. It was our first time in a ‘proper’ studio and like kids in a sweet shop we threw everything at the tunes. John had an early keyboard that had settings for organ, vibes, piano all the usual stuff so we just piled on the instruments! 40 years later a nice stripped back version of ‘Girl On Fire’ would be lovely! We sent the record in to JP but none of us heard him play it. A friend of the band, Mark, heard it on the show and apparently JP said something along the lines of ‘It’s the year of the acoustic guitar’. We did get to meet him several years later but only to shake hands at a Fall gig that was held in his honour at the Royal Festival Hall.
The Joy Riding anthology incorporates material from 1980 to 2016. Presumably Life Studies as a band haven’t existed for all that time…? How do the recording dates span out across the years…? What did you do next?
The anthology is the result of one or two cassettes being unearthed by Gray and a friend, Colin Anderson (later to be a bandmate). Life Studies per se dissipated around 1984 as Mart went off to work for the VSO in the Caribbean. Gray and I carried on with a variety of line ups, the most successful of which were The Trout Faced Few, an obvious Beefheart reference and heavily influenced by The Fall and their ilk. The Trouts had more gig success than Life Studies we supported the band Apple Mosaic (from Glos) at Dingwall’s and played larger venues like the Bridge in Bristol. That morphed into a band called The Citizens, with Gray and I, another old friend Pete and the singer from the Trouts, Ju. Gray also played with another band, The Erratic Strides. The reason I included ‘Suzy Don’t’ on Joy Riding was that it is just Gray and I, with Gray on vocals this time and felt like a Life Studies thing. Gray still jams along with some friends and played quite a few gigs with a covers band called The Lawn Dogs in and around Gloucester. We have lived quite a distance from each other for 25 years so don’t get to play together often.
The music changes from quite lo-fi (post-)punk to more jangly indie-pop? Was this a conscious decision at a more approachable sound? What were some of your influences over the years….. you sound very Go-Betweensy in parts.
Thank you for the Go Betweens nod, still a band we all love today. We defiantly wanted to try new and different things all the time. We would rope friends, and local buskers even, into playing with us to try and add something new to the sound. We weren’t very ‘studio smart’ so tended to just record everything live with the odd overdub but we would test ourselves. We once did a gig with just acoustic instruments, with our singer Helen taking over lead vocals where we just sang Cole Porter covers.
How did you approach songwriting?
Fitfully. No method, if anyone came up with a good riff in rehearsal, we would build on it. I would often come up with the words and basic tune or riff as I enjoyed it but at the end of the day it was always a collective approach (unless, that is, any of the songs suddenly takes off and gets recorded by Adele in which case I wrote it all by myself!!).
Are you still in touch with the other band members? Are you still making music?
Gray and I still see a lot of each other. Sadly, Mart died a few years back, but we had all remained close until then. I chat to a few ex-members on the Facebook page . I still spend hours creating tunes at home mainly for my own amusement, although I have had bit of success with some sync tunes for TV etc. Gray and I also send each other stuff we’ve done but rarely find the time to sit down and knock out a completed tune.
In summation, Life Studies were a band with potential, that we think could have done more but didn’t really grasp the opportunities at the time. Still there is a small legacy and a lot of great memories, so no regrets.
JAMES DOMESTIC today reveals another taster for his forthcoming debut solo album with a new single and video.
‘Push On Through’ follows swiftly on the heels of last month’s ‘Faze Out’, the first release from Carrion Repeating, which is due in April next year.
“It’s really different from the first single, so it might throw people even more than that did!” laughs Domestic. And it’s true; where ‘Faze Out’ was a two-minute electro-punker, ‘Push On Through’ takes an urgent bassline and an eloquent lyric about night driving past the five-minute mark.
“I’ve been touring for years, so it was inevitable that some of those images ended up in a song. It’s not a typical ‘road song though; I’m not Bon fucking Jovi!”
A regular on punk bills for a decade with East Anglian hardcore pioneers THE DOMESTICS, PI$$ER, TOKYO LUNGS and others, sharing stages with the likes of Poison Idea, Discharge, Wonk Unit and the UK Subs, Domestic has turned off the hardcore road for his solo career, taking pointers from the likes of Ian Dury, Mark E Smith, Roots Manuva and King Tubby.
Released on Kibou Records through TNS (UK) and Amok (Germany), ‘Push On Through’ is available now via Spotify, Bandcamp and the usual platforms.
French garage legends LES SOUCOUPES VIOLENTES are back with a career-spanning anthology. With a difference.
Formed in Paris in 1983 by singer/guitarist Stéphane Guichard, the band – whose name translates as The Violent Saucers – recorded several singles and albums for such labels as Forbidden Planet, Tutti Frutti and New Rose. Now 16 Potions D’Amour compiles a selection of cover versions recorded or played live by them over their near 40-year career.
Early on the band displayed a deep love of Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground, their first release sporting a cover of ‘You’re Driving Me Insane’ by Reed’s pre-Velvets band The Roughnecks, included here. Elsewhere they’ve taken a Nuggets-ish tack with garage covers of such 60s staples as The Coasters, The Marvelettes, The Troggs and The Clovers’ ‘Love Potion No.9’, hence the album’s title.
Rock’n’roll legends Gene Vincent and Chuck Berry also get a look-in, while they dust off their 70s glam, punk and proto-punk chops with choices from the catalogues of Slade, Roky Erickson, Jonathan Richman, The Nerves and The Jam.
Check out their deeply sinister version of Slade’s ‘Coz I Luv You’….
Released through Nineteen Something Records, 16 Potions D’Amour is available here.
Punk guitar legend JAMES STEVENSON has announced a special one-off London show next month.
A ubiquitous presence since the original punk days, Stevenson began his career with Chelsea, going on to play with Gen X, Gene Loves Jezebel, The Cult, The Alarm and supergroup The International Swingers alongside Clem Burke, Glen Matlock and Gary Twinn, not to mention the countless recording sessions he’s played. He can currently be found celebrating the music of Bowie with Tony Visconti and Woody Woodmansey in Holy Holy.
Stevenson will be celebrating his latest solo album The Other Side Of The World with a show at Pizza Express Live, Holborn on Sunday 12 December, with the West London All-Stars, including Terry Edwards (Gallon Drunk, NJE), Pat Ralla (Hanging Stars, Rockingbirds), Steve ‘Smiley’ Barnard (Joe Strummer, Spear Of Destiny), Elizabeth Westwood (Westworld), Jenny Matthias (Belle Stars), Tracie Hunter and Peter ‘Bugg’ Rizzo (Gene Loves Jezebel).
Tickets (including VIP packages) are available here.
Anglo-Spanish garage rockers THE PULSEBEATS are back with a brand new album.
Based in Santander on Spain’s northern coast, it’s been a five years since the band’s last album Fiction Non-Fiction, which they’re now following up now with the 13-track Lookin’ Out.
“This time we wanted to have a go at doing as much as we could ourselves,” says singer and guitarist Nathan Whittle. “We wanted the challenge and also the space and time to be able to really focus on the sound of the album. The live tracks for the album were done in one day and then we had time to go back and really work on it and flesh out the tunes.”
The album’s first single ‘(She Sings Like) Joey Ramone’ “…focuses on the idea of adulation, a fixation on and recreation of another self to the point that the individual is consumed and becomes another idol themselves.”
Set for release on 13 November through FOLC (Spain) and Rum Bar (US), Lookin’ Out is available to pre-order here.
Warsaw post-punks NAMELESS CREATIONS have a brand new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
The gothic-psych flavoured ‘Pain-Powered Machine’ is the A-side of their new 7″ single, their first physical release since the full-length Upon God’s Call, released back in 2019. It’s set for release on 19 November on their own Kill Your Parents label via Bandcamp.
Appropriately enigmatic, they’re reluctant to give much away about themselves but do describe their music as “…a dark and strange blend of garage noise and post punk expression that creates an electrifying mixture when combined with an intriguing performance and gothic attire.”
A new punk festival is set to land in Hastings in the New Year.
Organised by promoters Toxic Wotsit, the ENTOMBED FESTIVAL will take over the East Sussex town’s Crypt venue on Friday 4 February with Geordie noisemongers PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS in the headline slot.
Other acts on the bill include DAWN RAY’D, HAEST (pictured), RASH DECISION, MONOLITIHIAN, F. EMASCULATA, ATTESTOR, JAWLESS, SHOOTING DAGGERS, FOLLOW YOUR ADREAMS, ABORICIDIO, COMEBACK CLIT and WIZARD FIGHT.
The fun continues the following night with a special three-band after party on Saturday 5 February at The Pig, Hastings with NO RELIEF, GLITCHERS and THE SLM.
THE RAMONAS return with a brand new single and video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
‘Last Punk In The Village’ is the first single to be taken from the band’s forthcoming fourth album Haphazard. The single also marks five years since the band started releasing their own original material, having spent the previous decade as a hugely successful Ramones tribute band.
Edited by bassist Victoria Smith, the video was shot during sessions for the new album at Brighton Road Recording Studios and features a cameo from a certain punk legend…
Due for release on 5 November, Haphazard is available to pre-order now from Spotify, Bandcamp and the band’s webstore.
The band have spent the past month reacquainting themselves with live audiences, including several shows with The Skids. There are still more shows to come before the year’s out, though, and you can catch them on the road at…
Nov 4 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds Nov 5 – Crofters Rights, Bristol Nov 6 – Duffy’s Bar, Leicester Nov 19 – Yardbirds, Grimsby Nov 20 – Academy in the UK, Manchester Dec 18 – The Lexington, London (w/Duncan Reid)
Kentish pop-punks THE MELBIES are back with a new single and video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
Having formed in Dover in 2016, ‘Reboot Me’ is the sheep-loving trio’s first release since signing to Bad Granola Records and recruiting drummer James Nesbitt, who joins guitarist Dan Drew and bassist Sam MacNamara. They recently returned to playing live by opening for THE WILDHEARTS at their Dover show last month.
“We’re done licking our wounds from the pandemic,” they say. “We’re now back performing, writing new music and supporting the scene of local bands around us. We miss our friends and miss the music scene, so out the traps we’ve come back more excited than ever and are looking forward to playing some amazing live performances. We’ve also got a bank of songs that we’re looking forward to publicly releasing.”
13 Nov – Escape Bar, Shepherds Bush, London (w/ The Vibrators) 14 Nov – Petchfest, Dover 19 Nov – Patterns, Brighton 20 Nov – Hobbit Bar, Southampton 5 Dec – The Black Heart, Camden, London 11 Dec – Till The Fest Xmas Party, New Cross Inn, London 19 Dec – Poco Loco, Chatham 29 Jan – New Cross Inn, London
DAN SARTAIN’s final album is heralded with a new video out today.
The Alabama-born rocker tragically passed away at the age of 39 in March this year, having completed work on Arise, Dan Sartain, Arise, the title that he had already assigned to it. Now at the request of Dan’s family, the 13-track album is being released exactly as Dan intended through his longtime UK label One Little Independent.
One hundred per cent of both the artist’s and the label’s royalties will be paid into a trust fund for Dan’s young daughter.
Arise, Dan Sartain, Arise is out on 26 November.
‘People Throwing Stones In Glass Houses’ is available now on Spotify.
Garage-punk barbers THE CUTTHROAT BROTHERS have teamed up with bass legend MIKE WATT for a new album. And they’re premiering their new video exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
‘Like A Zombie’ is the third single to be taken from the trio’s album Devil In Berlin which is out through Hound Gawd! Records in December.
Formed in 2018, real-life barbers Jason Cutthroat and Donny Paycheck are veterans of the Pacific Northwest rock scene, Donny most notably as drummer with Seattle’s ZEKE. For their fourth album, they’ve hooked up with Watt (Stooges, Minutemen, fIREHOSE) along with Nirvana and Mudhoney producer Jack Endino, who recorded and mixed the whole caboodle.
The end result combines the swampy, spooky blues-punk voodoo of The Gun Club and The Cramps with action rock energy of the Stooges with nods to the likes of Sonic Youth and even Hawkwind along the way.
“Grave stompin’, brain munchin’ Halloween rock n roll zombie treats with Mike Watt and Zombie Iggy Pop! What else is there?” says Jason Cutthroat of the video.
Set for release on 3 December, Devil In Berlin is available to pre-order here.
In the latest edition of Vive Le Rock, we tell the story of legendary pioneering indie label Chiswick Records. To soundtrack your reading, we’ve handpicked 12 classic tracks from the Chiswick vault. Enjoy…
THE COUNT BISHOPS – I WANTY CANDY
RADIO STARS – RUSSIANS
GORILLAS – SHE’S MY GAL
THE NIPS – GABRIELLE
WHIRLWIND – BOPPIN’ HIGH SCHOOL BABY
RADIATORS FROM SPACE – SONG OF THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED
SNIFF ‘N’ THE TEARS – DRIVER’S SEAT
LITTLE BOB STORY – RIOT IN TOULOUSE
THE DAMNED – LOVE SONG
DR FEELGOOD – SUGAR BOWL
THE 101ERS – KEYS TO YOUR HEART
MOTORHEAD – MOTORHEAD
Read the full story of Chiswick Records in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock!
DOMESTICS frontman JAMES DOMESTIC launches his solo career with a new video today.
‘Faze Out’ is the first taste of his debut solo album Carrion Repeating which is due out next spring.
Fronting East Anglian hardcore pioneers The Domestics for a decade, James has also done time with the likes of Pisser, Tokyo Lungs, Hazard Profile and more. ‘Faze Out’ finds him moving away from hardcore, however, fusing Krautrock with junkshop electronica, while drawing influence from from the likes of Ian Dury, Mark E Smith and Vic Godard.
Carrion Repeating is set for release in April 2022 on Kibou Records via TNS (UK) and Amok (Europe).
‘Faze Out’ is available to stream/download now from Spotify and all the usual platforms.