THE PIONEER TRAIL!

On Wednesday 1 April at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire, Vive Le Rock will be presenting BRIAN JAMES with the Pioneer Award, recognising his services to music, including writing and playing on the first British punk single and album, THE DAMNED’s ‘New Rose’ and Damned Damned Damned.

Brian will also be performing with a very special line-up of THE LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH, featuring Michael Monroe in place of the departed Stiv Bators. Other guests performing on the night include THE ONLY ONES, NEVILLE STAPLE, ARTHUR BROWN and JIM JONES, with our amazing mystery headliner still to be announced!

Before then, though, Brian will be undertaking a trio of non-musical appearances in support of John Wombat’s recently published biography of the man…

This Saturday 29 February, Brian will be in conversation with John at Rough Trade in Nottingham. Tickets are on sale here.

On Monday 2 March, Brian will be the guest of the Rock’n’Roll Book Club at The Dublin Castle, Camden Town – tickets.

Then on Thursday 12 March, Brian will be in conversation at Waterstone’s in Brighton – tickets.

Tickets for the Vive Le Rock Awards, including exclusive VIP packages, are available here.

Brian James on Facebook

Pic by Barry Pitman

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IMBECILES VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Anglo-Americana rockers THE IMBECILES have a new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Decider’ is taken from the band’s debut album which is due out next month through Cadiz Music.

Filmed on location in the Texas panhandle, the video is the second of a triptych of films written by the band’s Butch Dante, focused on their main preoccupation: the fact that the world is ending and people should be kinder to each other while it does…

The imbeciles hit the UK in April for their first headline tour. Catch them at…

April 14th Leeds – Hyde Park Book Club
April 15th Glasgow – Hug & Pint
April 16th Tynemouth – Surf Cafe
April 17th Birmingham – Muthers Studio
April 19th Brighton – The Hope
April 20th Bristol – The Lanes
April 21st London – The Grace
April 22nd Manchester – The Castle

Tickets are available here.

Pic by Tom Sheehan

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HERE AND KERNOW!

A celebration of Cornish music takes place in London next week.

The Kernow In The City event will take over the Rich Mix venue in Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch on Saturday 7 March.

Headlining the event are psych-rockers HANTERHIR, whose widely acclaimed triple album The Saving Of Cadan on Easy Action turned a lot of heads in 2018. The Redruth band are currently working on a follow-up.

Also on the bill are TRURO alt-rockers THE REZNER, Bodmin folkies THE ROWAN TREE and singer songwriter LOUELLA JADE EKE.

There will also be real Cornish ales and genuine pasties on sale!

Tickets are available here.

Hanterhir on Facebook

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SUZIE STAPLETON ANNOUNCES NEW SINGLE!

SUZIE STAPLETON has announced the release of another new single ahead of her March dates.

‘Blood On The Windscreen’, out on 16 March through AWAL, is the second single to be taken from the Australian guitarist’s forthcoming debut album which is due out this spring.

The inspiration for the song comes from an experience Stapleton had while touring as support to THE CHURCH during the summer of 2018.

“We were on the highway on our way to Glasgow when suddenly there was a loud thump from the front of the van,” she recalls. “[Church guitarist] Peter Koppes called out ‘What was that?’. Apparently we’d hit a pigeon. I peered through the front and noted ‘There’s blood on the windscreen’, joking that it would be a good song title. It’s actually a fairly daft song title. However, I spent the rest of summer writing for the album in an empty house in Brighton, furnished with a futon bed from Freecycle and an old fridge. I was facing the blank page one day and started toying with the phrase. It melded with the thoughts I was having of the rich benefiting from the collapse of nature, inequality, greed, shortsightedness of our leaders – that type of thing. Putting the apocalypse in a pop song.”

Stapleton heads out on the road next month for a bunch of shows, including two opening for THEE HYPNOTICS and two with HUMANIST, producer/guitarist Rob Marshall’s new project featuring vocals from Mark Lanegan, Dave Gahan, Mark Gardener and more. Full dates are…

Sat 21 Mar – The Dome, LONDON*
Tues 24 Mar – The Lexington, LONDON – SOLD OUT**
Wed 25 Mar – The Globe, CARDIFF*
Thur 26 Mar – Grain Barge, BRISTOL
Sat 28 Mar – Soup Kitchen, MANCHESTER – SOLD OUT**
Sun 29 Mar – The Prince Albert, BRIGHTON**

*w/ Thee Hypnotics **w/Humanist

Tickets on sale here.

Suzie Stapleton on Facebook

Pic by Aaron Thompson

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PEOPLE UNITE!

The Rock Against Racism movement is to be celebrated with a pair of punky reggae parties in Brighton and London in March and April.

Founded in 1976, RAR was formed as a reaction to the rise of the right-wing National Front in the UK and specifically to Eric Clapton’s infamous pro-Enoch Powell rant at a gig in Birmingham.

Alongside the Anti-Nazi League, RAR gathered steam throughout the late 70s, bringing together punk and reggae musicians and many others, staging how profile gigs and carnivals, including a 100, 000 strong event in East London’s Victoria Park in April ’78, featuring The Clash, Steel Pulse, Tom Robinson Band, X-Ray Spex and others.

The event at The Dome in Brighton on 28 March will feature Jamaican ska legends THE SKATALITES, RUTS DC – one of the first punk bands to incorporate reggae into their sound, MISTY IN ROOTS – on whose People Unite label The Ruts released their debut single, and THE MEMBERS. Tickets for the event are available here.

Then on 3 April, The Skatalites, Ruts DC and The Members will be appearing at The Electric, Brixton, where they’ll be joined by ‘Pass The Dutchie’ hitmakers MUSICAL YOUTH. Tickets are on sale here.

Ruts DC photo provided courtesy of Raven, with apologies.

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FOUR ENGINES BURNING!

Birmingham block rockers BLACK BOMBERS have announced a new addition to their ranks, and are breaking him in on a string of spring dates.

Founder members Dave Twist, Alan Byron and Darren Birch have now been joined by Ten Benson, and former The Name and Godfathers, guitarist Steve Crittall.

The band will be breaking Steve in with a show at the end of this month at The Barn at The Milton Arms in Portsmouth, where they’ll be opening for Duncan Reid and The Big Heads on 29 February. Tickets are on sale here.

The quartet are currently in the process of writing material for a band new album, but will be taking the odd night off to play some shows around the country.

Full dates are…

29 Feb – The Barn, Portsmouth (w/ Duncan Reid & The Big Heads)
19 Mar – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham (w/ Thee Hypnotics)
10 May – Westgarth Social Club, Middlesborough (Lee Brilleaux Tribute)
15 May – Gifford Arms, Wolverhampton
21 May – Dead Wax, Birmingham (w/ Alvin Gibbs & The Disobedient Servants)

Black Bombers on Facebook

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DAMNED IN MAY!

THE DAMNED have announced a short series of UK dates for the early Summer.

The four shows will be the band’s first dates following the departure of drummer Pinch following their Hallowe’en show at the London Palladium last year. It remains to be seen who’ll be occupying the drumstool.

Catch the band live at…

May 17: Stylus, Leeds
May 18: Friars, Aylesbury
May 20: The Garage, Glasgow
May 21: The Leadmill, Sheffield

Special guests are yet to be announced, with tickets going on sale on Friday 21 February at 10 am, here.

The Damned on Facebook

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HOORAH FOR THE CRAVATS!

Long-serving post-punks THE CRAVATS are back with a brand new album next month.

Hoorahland follows on from the album Dustbin Of Sound, released in 2017 and their first new album in 37 Years.

The album features 12 new originals, and includes a duet with Jello Biafra on the track ‘Now The Magic Is Gone’.

First formed in the West Midlands town of Redditch in 1977, The Cravats released a string of classic singles for labels like Small Wonder and Crass Records, along with the debut album The Cravats In Toytown. Having split in the mid-80s, founder members The Shend and Svor Naan convened a new line-up of the band in 2007.

Hoorahland is released through Overground Records on 13 March.

The Cravats on Facebook

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SUNDAY DRIVERS!

Fast rising roots rockers SUNDAY MORNING are set to make their live UK debut next month.

The band, from Cesena, Italy, have been picking up rave reviews for their succinctly-titled fourth album FOUR, which was released last May.

Having originally existed from ’98 to 2004, the band reconvened with a new line-up in 2015. One of the most reliable draws on the European roots and Americana circuit, they’ve recently shared stages with the likes of The National, Micah P Hinson and The Dream Syndicate.

Sunday Morning play the following dates in March…

Thurs 5 April – Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea
Fri 6 April – Biddle Bros, Hackney, London
Sat 7 April – What’s Cookin’, Leytonstone, London (w/ The Lucky Strikes)

Sunday Morning on Facebook

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WONKS ON FILM!

It’s that time again! Vive Le Rock is proud to provide the world premiere of Wonkfest 6 – The Movie!

Filmed at The Dome, Tufnell Park, London on 28 July 2018 by renowned punk film and video-maker Mark Richards and his team, the movie features the cream of DIY punk from the UK and beyond.

“Just finally watched the 2018 Wonkfest movie!!!!! IT’S FUCKIN’ BRILLIANT!!” says Wonk Unit frontman and Wonkfest founder Alex Johnson. “I think that myself and Fraser Macncheese are the best TV presenters EVER and should be given jobs as TV presenters all over the world and win BAFTAs and shit. I s’pose Mark Richards did OK too. Oh yeah and Simon Short who did a marvellous job with sound despite only having camera audios to use after the rigs we hired in failed. Oh yeah and the bands. They did OK too. And everyone else. But mainly me and Besto.
Xxxx”

Clocking in at around two hours in length, the movie features appearances from The Fleas, Angry Itch, Emergency Bitter, Youth Killed It, Laserchrist, Traits, Desperate Measures, Christmas, Nosebleed, Dealing With Damage, Aerial Salad, Grand Collapse, The Raging Nathans, East End Trinity, Blind Man Death Stare, Guitar Gangsters, Pints, Unwanted Consumer, Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man, The Dub Righters, Calva Louise, The Murderburgers, Bad Cop / Bad Cop, Vanilla Pod, Pizzatramp, The Bar Stool Preachers and Wonk Unit.

This year’s Wonkest is nicely taking shape. Bands already lined up to play The Dome on 25 July include Tyranosaurus Alan / T Alan, CLCKWS, Persian Rug Sale, Crooked Little Sons, Lost Cherrees, Burnt Tapes, Dead Mob, The Kimberly Steaks, Aerial Salad, Waco, Fights and Fires and Raw Poo. Loads more to be announced….

Tickets are on sale here.

Wonkfest on Facebook


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ATTILA AT 40!

Ranting punk poet ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER marks his 40th Anniversary and has lined up a series of events to celebrate.

The first of these is a worldwide live-streamed gig, which takes place at The Latest Music Bar in Brighton on 28 February. It will be filmed and broadcast live by Latest TV via Facebook and YouTube.

The first part of the show will feature a set of Attila’s poems old and new, followed by a performance by his band BARNSTORMER 1649 of greatest hits and fan favourites from the past four decades.

“I’ve earned my living as Attila for 40 years as a small fish in a very big pool, doing about 3,500 gigs in 24 countries,” he says. “I thought it would be great to give everyone everywhere the opportunity to watch me at the same time!”

Tickets for the event are available here.

Attila will also be playing a major London gigs on 10 September – two days from the 40th Anniversary of his very first show – at Dingwalls, Camden with a full supporting cast including JOHN OTWAY, TV SMITH, NEWTOWN NEUROTICS, THE PIRHANAS, LUKE WRIGHT and JANINE BOOTH. Tickets are on sale here.

Cherry Red Books, meanwhile, will also be in on the action when they publish Attila’s Collected Works in September.

Apart from these activities, Attila will be on tour throughout the year, appearing at various gigs and festivals including Bearded Theory and Rebellion. Full tour detail are on the bard’s website.

Attila The Stockbroker

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CRASHED OUT VIDEO PREMIERE!

North-East punks CRASHED OUT are back with a brand new video, which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

In no way to be confused with the Phil Collins song of the same name, ‘Against All Odds’ follows on from the Jarrow quartet’s last video ‘Still A Fighter’, which was premiered by Vive Le Rock! last September.

Formed a quarter of a century ago, Crashed Out are an institution in Tyneside punk, for their melodic and riff-happy hybrid of Oi and heavy rock, born out of a love as much for Motorhead, AC/DC and Rose Tattoo as The Clash, The Dickies and the Angelic Upstarts. They even had legendary Upstarts drummer Decca Wade in their line-up for a while.

The band have released five studio albums to date, along with a split release with L.A. punks The Generators, plus a live album. They’ve also found time to share stages with the likes of Rancid, NOFX, The Damned, Dead Kennedys, The Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers, Girlschool and more along the way. An anthem of sorts, ‘Against All Odds’ opens an explosive new chapter for the band.

Crashed Out on Facebook

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LE BEAT BESPOKE HEADS EAST!

Le Beat Bespoke Weekender returns to London over Easter and this year will be taking over three venues in East London.

The annual celebration of all things beat, psych and garage will host three nights at the Oslo club in Hackney – KING KHAN & THE SHRINES will headline Friday 10 April with support from OH! GUNQUIT. Saturday 11 April’s headliners are Edinburgh’s THE KAISERS, plus guests CRAIG SHAW & THE EXCELLOS. Then on Sunday 12 April, Bedfordshire psych-rockers WOLF PEOPLE (pictured) will headline with THE HANGING STARS opening.

After the main shows, the action will move across the road to Paper Dress Vintage each night for after-party madness with three rooms of live music and DJs ’til 4am.

On Saturday, there’ll also be a free all-dayer down at The Strongrooms in Shoreditch, with live music from THE COLOUR COLLECTION and GO-GO LOCO, plus DJs, food and vintage market.

Wolf People’s performance will be their last show for the foreseeable future as they’ve announced an indefinite hiatus, so tickets for this show will sell out quickly.

Tickets are on sale here.

Le Beat Bespoke on Facebook

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TEST TUBE BABIES VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES have a new single and video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

The glamtastic ‘Queen Of Fucking Everything’ is the second single to be taken from the South Coast band’s brand new album Fuctifano, their second for the Arising Empire label, following on from 2017’s That Shallot.

“‘Queen Of Fucking Everything’ is our homage to the much loved glam rock period of the 70s,” the band explain. “When we were teenagers we loved T Rex, Slade and The Sweet, so we couldn’t wait to squeeze into our leotards and compare lipsticks for the outrageous new video directed by Mark Richards, which combines the colourful glittery fashion of Glam with the darker edge of Punk Rock. We hope you like it.”

Formed in the smalltown of Peacehaven near Brighton in 1978, the band broke through natioally in ’82 with the now classic single ‘Banned From The Pubs’ on No Future, boosted by a cover feature for Sounds magazine. Punk festival favourites for many years, in 2017 founder members Peter Bywaters and Del Strangefish were joined by new rhythm section Sam Fuller and Nick Abnett for the album That Shallot, widely regarded as among their best.

Peter And The Test Tube Babies play an album release show on 6 March at Quasimodo in Berlin. Tickets are available here.

Fuctifano is set for release on 6 March through Arising Empire and is available to pre-order here.

Peter And The Test Tube Babies on Facebook

Pic by Peter Bywaters

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CHELSEA KICKSTART FINAL ALBUM!

Original punks CHELSEA have decided that their next album will be their last. Andy they’re inviting fans to contribute to the making of it.

Formed in late ’76 by Gene October, Chelsea spawned GENERATION X before October recruited a new line-up for a string of releases, beginning with the classic ‘Right To Work’, for Miles Copeland’s Step Forward label. Seeing many more changes over the years, the band’s most recent album was Mission Impossible for Westworld in 2017, and Meanwhile Gardens will be their twelfth.

To bring the new album to fruition, the band have set up a Kickstarter campaign, offering a selection of enticing rewards for contributors, including….

  • the original prototype album cover artwork drawn by the band in the back of the tour bus, this really is a one-off!;
  • two fully signed Epiphone guitars used on the recording of the new album demos;
  • the opportunity to come to the studio and record backing vocals, with your name in the credits;
  • a day in the studio writing and recording a song/demo with Nic Austin and Mat Sargent from the band. You get to take a copy of the demo home with you after spending the night in a local hotel.

The top reward is having the band play a full acoustic gig in your own front room!

All contributors to the fund will also be automatically entered into the ‘Chelsea Draw’ to win the band’s signed stage shirts.

Some special time-limited rewards will also be added along the way.

Chelsea have a trio of festival appearances lined up so far for the year. Catch them at…

6 Mar – Undercover, Woking tickets
28 Mar – Scarborough Punk Festival, Scarborough tickets
6-9 Aug – Rebellion, Blackpool tickets

Chelsea on Facebook

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GLEN MATLOCK ON SCREEN!

Ahead of his UK tour later this month, Vive Le Rock cornered Glen Matlock to ask him his favourite TV and video appearances…

SEX PISTOLS – SO IT GOES 1976
So It Goes is a TV show. It was our first proper TV appearance in Manchester. It was Tony Wilson’s ‘What’s On’ kind of programme. That’s when all the shit really hit the fan for the first time. It was the one with Jordan in and John had a big barney with Clive James. It was all quite funny. I spoke to Tony Wilson (Factory Records) years later and he said, ‘That was the day that Clive James became and old man.’ He just didn’t get it! It was great to play, we did two songs but they didn’t broadcast one. ‘Problems’ was a warm up and ‘Anarchy In The UK’.”

RICH KIDS – TOP OF THE POPS 1978
“We were supposed to play live but all the camera men downed tools because it was too loud for them. We recorded it live but then when the camera came on we had to sort of mime. With early stuff, there’s not really any dedicated videos around.”

IGGY POP – OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST 1979
“The one broadcast on the show was ‘I’m Bored’. We went there and had worked out four songs to play. When we got there they asked us what songs we were gunna play and we told them four. They said, ‘Oh we were only expecting a couple of songs.’ And it caused a problem. The video director said ‘You got seven minutes.’ So we cobbled together a medley of three of them and then did ‘I’m Bored’. The medley was ‘Billy Is A Runaway’, ‘Fortune Teller’ and an old version of another song. Iggy was stubborn and wanted to do four. That night I remember I had the very first mod suit from Johnson’s and a red pork pie hat. When we walked in there was this guy dressed like a BBC sessions jazz player going, ‘What songs do you know then?’ And it was Tom Waits. As we walked in, he nicked my hat.”

STAY WITH ME – THE FACES REUNION 2010
“I played with Ronnie Wood and Mick Hucknell fronted on vocals. It was a proper TV thing at O2 Stadium. A great night playing with those guys.”

HAPPY – GLEN MATLOCK, SLIM JIM PHANTOM, EARL SLICK 2014
“The track takes on Pharell Williams ‘Happy’. It was produced by Mario McNulty and the video was directed by Paul Cockcroft. I’m proud of it, it’s got Earl Slick on guitar and Slim Jim Phantom on drums. I like it.”

WHAT’S NEXT?
“We’ve got nine show in the UK, we’re gunna do Finland and I’m gunna play with Dropkick Murphys in Boston and Canada. I keep writing songs and I keep going. It’s sounding good.”

Tickets on sale here.

Glen Matlock on Facebook

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PEDALJETS UNVEIL NEW VIDEO!

THE PEDALJETS have unveiled a first video from their brand new album.

The effortlessly anthemic ‘Disassociation Blues’ is the opening cut from Twist The Lens, the Kansas City band’s fourth full-length, which comes more than six years after its predecessor What’s In Between.

The video by Luke McKinney, a time-lapse travelogue of another night on the town, might ring a lot of bells for a lot of people.

First formed back in 1984, The Pedaljets cut their teeth on the Midwest bar circuit alongside the likes of Hüsker Dü, The Replacements and Flaming Lips, splitting in ’89 after the release of their eponymous second album. It was a desire to give that album a proper, remastered, release that brought the band back together in 2008, a reunion that eventually led to What’s In Between in 2013.

Twist The Lens is the first album to feature new guitarist Cody Wyoming, while previous guitarist Paul Malinowski was in the production chair. Alt-rock studio legend John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Kurt Vile) mixed the album, while old friend Archer Prewitt from The Sea And Cake provided the artwork.

Set for release on 14 February through Electric Moth Records, Twist The Lens is available to pre-order here.

Read a review of Twist The Lens in the new issue of Vive Le Rock! out now!

The Pedaljets on Facebook

Pic by Paul Andrews

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DANCE CRAZY!

Brighton punks ĠENN have just unveiled a new video ahead of a string of tour dates.

The super-vibrant party-smart ‘Du Da Dance’, which frontwoman Leona says is about “not caring about what other people think of you or say about you, and just enjoying life,” is available now from Bandcamp, Spotfiy and all usual platforms.

The Anglo-Maltese quartet, whose name is taken from the Maltese word for craziness, have a bunch of shows lined up for the spring, including an appearance at Manchester’s 0161 Festival. Full dates are…

16 Feb – Patterns, Brighton
12 Mar – Camden Assembly, London
5 Apr – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton
16 Apr – Suburbstheholroyd, Guildford
18 Apr – The Grace, London
19 Apr – Crauford Arms, Milton Keynes
29 Apr – Musician, Leicester
30 Apr – 0161 Festival, Manchester

Ġenn on Facebook

Pic by Bridie Florence

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