Former SOFT BOYS guitarist Kimberley Rew has just released a new compilation of his solo work.

Sunshine Walkers features songs from Rew’s eleven solo albums from the past two decades, recorded with his wife Lee Cave-Berry. It also draws on Cave-Berry’s solo album and joint releases.

Rew came to prominence as guitarist with hugely influential Cambridge psych-punk pioneers The Soft Boys, whom he joined in 1978. Playing shows with The Damned, Magazine, The Only Ones and The Pop Group among others, they released two albums, A Can Of Bees and Underwater Moonlight, whose mix of pop melodies, punk energy and psych weirdness rubbed off on the likes of REM, Blur, The Replacements, Pixies, Spoon and Pavement. The band split in 1981, launching the career of singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock before reuniting in 2001 for a the all-new album Nextdoorland.

Rew then founded powerpop band KATRINA & THE WAVES, writing most of their material including the ubiquitous worldwide hit ‘Walking On Sunshine’, the UK’s last Eurovision winner ‘Love Shine A Light’ and ‘Going Down To Liverpool’, covered by THE BANGLES.

Check out ‘Simple Pleasures’

Sunshine Walkers is available here.

Kimberley Rew on Facebook

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MOTÖRHEAD’s classic Ace Of Spades album is to have its 40th Anniversary celebrated with a deluxe collectors’ edition box set.

The trio’s fourth album, Ace Of Spades was their third full-length release in under two years, the icing on the cake of their ’79 breakthrough with Overkill and Bomber.

Produced by legendary producer Vic Maile at Jackson’s Studio in Rickmansworth, the album rocketed to No.4 in the charts, with the title track, by far the band’s most popular and enduring song, reaching No.13.

The band accompanied the album’s release with the mammoth Ace Up Your Sleeve Tour, culminating with four sold-out nights at the prestigious Hammersmith Odeon.

Including no fewer than 42 previously unreleased tracks, the deluxe Ace Of Spades box set contains…

  • The Ace Of Spades album, half-speed mastered and created from the original master tapes.
  • Two double-live albums of previously unheard concerts from Belfast and Orleans, France on the Ace Up Your Sleeve Tour.
  • A Fistful Of Instrumentals : A 10” EP of previously unreleased, instrumental tracks from 1980.
  • The Good, The Broke & The Ugly. A double album of B-sides, outtakes and rare tracks.
  • Ace On Your Screens: A DVD compilation of rare TV appearances from 1980-81, a live concert from 1981 and a 5.1 audio mix of the original album.
  • The Ace Of Spades story. A 40 page book telling the story of Ace Of Spades through previously unpublished interviews with the people that were there. Includes never before seen photos and memorabilia.
  • The ‘Ace Up Your Sleeve’ tour programme
  • The Motörhead Rock Commando comic.
  • A set of 5 poker dice that can be played on the game board inside the box set lid.
  • All encased in a classic Wild West dynamite box.
  • A limited edition 7″ reproduction of the Dutch ‘Ace Of Spades’, with a previously unreleased instrumental version on Side B. (while stocks last!)

The album will also be released in double-CD and triple-vinyl hardback-book editions, featuring a previously unheard concert from the ‘Ace Up Your Sleeve’ tour, the story of the album and many previously unseen photos.

Set for release on 30 October, all three editions are available to pre-order here!

Motörhead on Facebook

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STRAY CATS have announced a brand new live album documenting last year’s 40th Anniversary Tour.

The dates saw Massapequa NY’s finest play their first international shows since 2008, including two shows at London’s Hammersmith Apollo, and coincided with the release of the studio album 40, the band’s first new full-length in 26 years.

Rocked This Town: From LA To London features 23 tracks from across their career, with four taken from the new album including ‘Rock It Off’.

The album was produced by Brian Setzer, Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker and mixed by Vance Powell, who also engineered the latest studio album.

Available on download, limited edition light-blue double-vinyl and a collectors’ CD with postcard, coasters and stickers, Rocked This Town… is set for release on 11 September on SurfDog Records.

Check out the trailer…

Stray Cats on Facebook

Pic by Suzi Kaplan

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Covid lockdown seems to have had little effect on the Italo-punk explosion with the return of long-serving gourmands THE MANGES.

The stripey four-piece, who hail form the north-eastern seaside town of La Spezia have just unveiled a brand new double single ‘Endless Detention’ c/w ‘Ramones At Lollapalooza’.

Produced by Lorenzo Moretti from Roman bootboys GIUDA, the A-side is a taster for the band’s long-awaited fifth studio album Punk Rock Addio, which is due in September.

Formed back in the dark days of the early 90s, these buzzsaw punks have toured widely across Europe and the US, sharing stages with the likes of The Queers, Bad Religion, Descendents and Anti-Flag. They’ve shared split releases with The McRackins, Apers and the Hard-Ons and had a song covered by Screeching Weasel. They’re also the brains behind the Punk Rock Raduno festival.

Check out and download ‘Endless Detention’ from Bandcamp. Buy the vinyl from Striped Music.

In other Italian punk news, fast-rising Rimini trio SMALLTOWN TIGERS – who recently featured in Vive Le Rock!‘s Down On The Street section -emerge from lockdown to play the Sammaurock Festival on 30 July. The girls plan a new single/video from their acclaimed debut album in the autumn, to coincide with – touch wood – UK gigs in November. Watch this space!

The Manges on Facebook

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So this Saturday 25 July we’ll be showing the World Premiere of Wonkfest 7: The Movie!

To set you up for the week ahead, here’s the last of our totally exclusive non-movie live clips handpicked by the film’s director, Mark Richards.

Here’s Peacehaven’s finest, PETER & THE TEST-TUBE BABIES with their UK82 classic ‘Banned From The Pubs’….

Says Alex Wonk, “A 14-year-old Alex wouldn’t have believed they’d be playing his birthday party three decades later. ‘Banned From The Pubs’ at Wonkfest!! I mean come on!!!”

Peter & The Test-Tube Babies on Facebook

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Aussie songwriter SUZIE STAPLETON has unveiled a video for the title track of her long-awaited debut album.

‘We Are The Plague’ is the third single to be released from the album which is set to drop on 31 July.

Eerily prophetic, the track was written and recorded long before COVID-19 was ever a threat, the title having more to do with the concept of the human race being a blight on the planet.

“I had a meeting in early January to discuss the artwork for We Are The Plague,” Suzie recalls. “I joked, ‘I hope a deadly pandemic doesn’t sweep across the globe before the album is released’. About a week later, coronavirus starting hitting the headlines. No doubt coronavirus is a matter of grave concern, however, the biggest threat to humanity is humanity. Why have we been so quick to take drastic action on coronavirus yet drag out feet when it comes to dealing with climate change which could bring down not only us but the entire global ecosystem?”

Suzie recorded much of the album at her home studio in Brighton, with her rhythm section section of Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind bassist Gavin Jay and Stranglers drummer Jim Macaulay laying down their parts at OX4 studios in Oxfordshire. It was mixed at East London’s Urchin Studios by Dan Cox of Thurston Moore and Lianne La Havas fame.

The album has already picked up a raft of unanimously approving reviews, including 9-out-of-10 in the current edition of Vive Le Rock!

Due for release through Suzie’s own Negative Prophet label, We Are The Plague is available to pre-order in various bundles here.

Suzie Stapleton on Facebook

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Fast-rising Kent punks RISKEE & THE RIDICULE are back with a surprising new single.

Following on from May’s anti-Brexit anthem ‘Blue Jacket’, the band are back with a cover of LANA DEL REY’S 2013 award-winning The Great Gatsby hit ‘Young And Beautiful’.

“Lana Del Rey is one of pop music’s best storytellers,” frontman Scott Picking reckons. “There’s something about her music that is so intense and descriptive that it’s movie-like and in these times of being locked down, that type of escapism has been a personal paradise. In choosing this song, I knew I could bring something different vocally and musically, we were excited about changing the song dynamically while staying true to the emotiveness of the original.”

The video, the work of former bassist David Thomas, features each of the band members shot at home in isolation, combined with scenes from one of their earlier hometown gigs.

Says Scott, “The video feels like a nod to both our early days as a band, just us and our own motivation, as well as where we are all at in this unique moment, one that we’re not likely to be in again any time soon (hopefully).”

‘Young And Beautiful’ is available to buy here.

Riskee & The Ridicule on Facebook

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DUNCAN REID & THE BIG HEADS are back with a brand new album and video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Tastefully edited for daytime TV consumption, ‘Mother******’ is taken from Don’t Blame Yourself, the ex-Boys bass-player’s band’s fourth album, which follows on from 2017’s critically acclaimed Bombs Away.

Writing about the song in the album’s sleeve-notes, Reid says, “Provoked by a tweet from a young man in Essex, his photo showing full on tattoos, bald head and beer belly, who referred to our most aristocratic Member of Parliament affectionately and with complete approval as ‘the Mogster’. It begged the question: how does someone, who would consider that young man to be an appalling, badly spoken, ignorant oik, evoke such admiration from the object of his disdain? All references to that politician are entirely accidental, of course.”

Don’t Blame Yourself is out now through Cherry Red.

Duncan Reid & The Big Heads on Facebook

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It’s that time again! In preparation for our World Premiere of the all-singin’ all-dancin’ Wonkfest 7: The Movie on Saturday 25 July, here’s another exclusive clip direct from the cutting room of esteemed director Mark Richards!

This week it’s the turn of rising young Manc whippersnappers AERIAL SALAD!

“Love these boys,” exclaims Wonkfest mainman Alex. “They’d endured two years of relentless whip-cracking from myself to get to this coming of age moment in their career. These boys can play. Huge songs, tons of youthful charm and charisma. I think this was Salad’s day. X”

Aerial Salad on Facebook

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The revitalised JANUS STARK are back with another new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Commodity Awakening’ is taken from the band’s Angel In The Flames album released last year.

After a gap of 20 years during which Gizz Butt played for many celebrated artists such as Steve Ignorant (Crass) and Fields Of The Nephilim, Gizz decided to bring Janus Stark back with a brand new full-length album and the band found a home with Time & Matter Recordings. With a portfolio of high praising reviews and a 70-date UK and European tour the future looked set until Covid 19 hit .

When the lockdown was announced and gig venues closed, Gizz moved his studio to his home and kept recording there, managing to record an entire album, several new songs and number of lockdown videos.

‘Commodity Awakening’ was filmed just weeks before the lockdown at one of the UKs best underground venues, Mama Liz’s in Stamford, Lincolnshire. Directed by Phil Berridge, it is inspired by the Sex Pistols ‘Pretty Vacant’ video and clips from The Old Grey Whistle Test and bursts into life in the middle when the song arrives at the future.

The song title and subject matter are inspired by the last words that the late Keith Flint of The Prodigy spoke to Gizz in a taxi in Brazil.

Although the brakes are still on regarding live performance, Gizz continues to perform live sets on line via streaming performances at the band’s Facebook page.

Janus Stark have an impressive archive of demo material, so to keep everyone happy, Time & Matter Recordings have planned with Gizz to release a series of these with the first two all ready for release. Keep up to date on the band’s website.

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Hot new London band THE HEAT INC. release their incendiary debut single today and they’re premiering the video exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Raptors’ was recorded by the quartet at RYP Recordings in North-West London with producer Michael smith.

“I love the Black Keys’ ‘Lonely Boy’ video and we have used that concept but our video’s character, the actor Joe Law, his performance is more extreme,” says guitarist Marco Simoncelli. “The video has been shot by This studio production directors on their balcony in Bermondsey. The view over the city is stunning, which is why we picked it as we thought it was a perfect scenario for the video. Joe rehearsed for almost three weeks to deliver a great energetic performance.”

‘Raptors’ is out through Melted Dino Records and is available digitally here!

The Heat Inc. on Facebook

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Norwegian death punk Hank Von Hell was the frontman of Turbonegro until 2010. He’d been performing since 1989 and eventually the rock and roll lifestyle wore thin and left him needing a break. After getting sober, he got stuck into new creative vents that a life on the road had never allowed. Hank became a presenter at local radio station Moskenesradioen, had a joint #1 hit alongside Maria Solheim in the Norwegian Singles Chart with ‘Rom For Alle’ and in 2011 he was a judge in Norwegian Idol. 2018 saw him return to form with debut solo record Egomania and in 2020, Hank Von Hell is back with second album Dead. He told Vive Le Rock! how he’d fought his record label to keep the title Dead.

What motivated the new record?
I told the label I wanted to make a darker album. Egomania was a resurrection party. After you’ve been fighting monsters and demons for a thousand years you need a party, a lager and a sandwich. As a solo artist I knew I’d have to give some explanation for my weird choices both during my time in Turbo and my exit. It’s a story motivated by darkness, tragedy, anger and sorrow and how to deal with it. It’s like mindfulness but I’ve discovered a new technique called Mind-fucked-ness.

How did you come to the title Dead?
I wanted something death related and we talked through some bad ideas like Death From Above. It just sounded like a Motorhead album even Lemmy wouldn’t make. I decided that if we’re going to do this album and deal with the phenomenon of not living, we’re gunna call it Dead. The label were so freaked out and said it was the worst idea ever. Eventually I told them I’m not changing it. Its where we’re all going and it’s a homage to people’s health. Death’s what happens if you don’t get help with addiction.

The second track is also called ‘Dead’. Are the lyrics ‘You’re already dead’ about people living their lives on autopilot?
Well it’s about mass apathy. It’s a wake-up call, a paradox. People who are living robotically, dumbed down by superficial illusions of life are actually desperately trying to avoid the devastating inevitable truth. It’s also a homage to David Bowie’s ‘My Death’.

You’re a very visual person which makes you a good storyteller. You said before that your song ‘Blood’ is a stadium anthem with the power to make a five-year-old face his bullies. Do you imagine specific fans when writing your songs?
Yes, the writing process is technical and I define the listener and identify their state of mind. I provide a soundscape and lyrical narrative that gives that person an opportunity of relief.

What is your fascination with death?
I had a dramatic overdose in the ‘90s and my heart stopped beating so I experienced death. Since then I’ve had a totally different outlook on being dead. I’ve been walking around with one foot in the grave since that encounter. I’ve had a taste and I have something to say about it. We are all going to the same place but it’s not so bad.

You’ve been open and honest about the impact of drugs on your life and mentioned how paying for drugs fuels crime and terror in places like Mexico. You had an epiphany about your personal accountability and got sober.
It’s a dance with the devil in the pale moonlight. Of course I don’t judge, I’m not God. I’ve met so many people with addiction or mental health issues which leads to drug use and that doesn’t make you a bad person. Usually I’ve done worse! I have not put myself on a moral pedestal. My method is that addiction sucks individually so you have to empathise. If I can help you with my story that’s good. I’d say that if you’re an addict, be aware of it and know it’s not a victimless crime. But is it a crime? I don’t agree with the laws criminalising drug addicts. It creates worse problems. If someone’s hopelessly addicted, try to help them so they can live a life of quality.

Where do you think rock’n’roll stands in 2020?
Rock’n’roll is not dead. It’s the only thing that can save us. A lot of the younger generation are going back and discovering rock and rejecting new music. I think they appreciate physical music and know what they are fans of. Music is a diary to my fans and it’s important these people are still here and still demanding more rock’n’roll.

Hank Von Hell performed a livestream concert from the empty Ullevi Stadum in Sweden on 15 June which you can watch at Dead is out now and he will be rescheduling tour dates for 2021.

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Scandinavian garage-punk sensations THE COURETTES have made a video for their latest single which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Touting a gloriously lo-fi approximation of Phil Spector’s classic girl-group sound, ‘Want You! Like A Cigarette’ is the first puff of sessions for the duo’s long awaited third album set for release later this year through Damaged Goods.

Based in Denmark, The Courettes comprise Brazilian singer/guitarist Flávia Couri and Danish drummer Martin Couri. Releasing their debut album Here Are The Courettes in 2015, they’ve racked up a super-impressive 250+ gigs in fifteen countries, sharing stages with the likes of The Sonics, Pretty Things, The Bellrays, Jon Spencer, B52s, Stray Cats and loads more.

“Once we got a review saying The Courettes was ‘the real deal, the most authentic 60s inspired garage rock since the Milkshakes were around’ (Lee Cotterell, Vive Le Rock!),” they chirrup. “This is our first single for Damaged Goods Records, the Godfather label of British garage punk. We grew up listening to these records, so we’re proud of being on their roster together with some of our heroes. “

‘Want You! Like I Cigarette’ sold out of its initial limited edition red vinyl pressing in a week, but a second pressing of 500 copies on pink vinyl is available to order here.

The Courettes on Facebook

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The build-up to the grand premiere of Wonkfest 7: The Movie on Saturday 25 July continues this week with this exclusive non-movie clip of the great Frankie Stubbs of LEATHERFACE performing the band’s anthemic ‘Springtime’.

Says Alex Wonk, “To have a whole genre spawned from the sound of your own voice, that is something to lie in bed at night thinking about, eh! ‘Springtime’ is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. Thank you for playing mate xxx”

Leatherface on Facebook

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Aussie rockers THE CASANOVAS have just dropped a new single as a taster for their new album.

The ‘TNT’-channelling ‘Red Hot’ is the second single to be taken from the forthcoming Reptilian Overlord, following on from last Autumn’s ‘Hollywood Riot’. The new album itself is the Melbourne trio’s first full-length since 2015’s Terra Casanova.

Formed in 1999 and still fronted by founder and guitarist Tommy Boyce, the band have toured at home and abroad with the likes of The Living End, Motorhead, The White Stripes and The Datsuns, with whom they made their UK debut in 2003.

The new album finds them working with legendary Aussie producer Mark Opitz, whose CV – AC/DC, The Angels, Cold Chisel, Hoodoo Gurus, Divynyls, Hitmen, Rose Tattoo etc – reads like a Who’s Who of Aussie rock.

“Mark is the master at miking for great guitar tones,” says bassist Damo Campbell. “He definitely brought some of those techniques into our sessions… It was also pretty inspiring to be in the studio hearing some of Mark’s stories of some of the great rock bands he has worked with over his career.”

Stream/download ‘Red Hot’

Set for release on 28 August through Rubber Records on limited edition reptilian green vinyl and CD, Reptilian Overlord is available to pre-order here.

The Casanovas on Facebook

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Well for obvious reasons there won’t be a Wonkfest this year. But save the tears as Wonkfest 7: The Movie! is on its way.

Vive Le Rock! will, as usual, be premiering the cinematic record of last year’s occurrence of the world’s number one DIY punk festival! But this year will be a bit special…

Thanks to director Mark Richards, in the run-up to the premiere on Saturday 25 July, we’ll be posting FOUR exclusive non-movie clips of bands that performed at Wonkfest 7.

So what better way to kick off than with Wonkfest favourites PIZZATRAMP?

“Wonkfest wouldn’t be Wonkfest without pizzatramp,” says Alex Wonk. “They are furniture, they are party, they are the Pwosion’s of Wales. Thrashers.” 

Pizzatramp on Facebook

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Genre-defying San Francisco punks CULTURE ABUSE attempt to make up for their enforced lockdown lay-off with a new digital-only compilation album.

Spanning the band’s seven-year career, the 29-track Good Shit, Bad Shit, Who Gives a Shit?! compiles demos, alternate versions, fan tapes, live recordings – including excerpts from their now legendary show at Hackney’s Moth Club last year – and fun covers from the likes of the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Clash.

“With the state of the live music industry in limbo, we thought now is a better time than any to open ourselves up and give the listener a different take on some of our past work,” they declare. “We take the groovy mid-tempo songs off Bay Dream (2018) and give you our aggressive live set atmosphere. We re-imagined the faster, more upbeat songs from Peach (2016) and slowed them down into an acoustic, stripped-down set. Cover songs from iconic bands like the Sex Pistols, the Buzzcocks and the Equals, we tear ‘em up and piece ‘em back together the way we do when we sit down together and make ‘zines, tour posters and show flyers. Some of our original songs are covered by our close friends within this collection. We’re presenting this release through digital outlets so the songs are at their most accessible. So whatever’s happening in your life, here are some songs to help you take it all on: the good shit and the bad shit.”

Check out ‘Heavy Love’

Released digitally through Epitaph on 24 July, Good Shit, Bad Shit, Who Gives a Shit?! is available to pre-order here.

Culture Abuse on Facebook

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Can’t say it hasn’t been a trial all this self-isolation and social distancing. Vive Le Rock! photographer Tina Korhonen took her camera round to London to check up on some of our punk and rock community to see how they’re coping….

“During the lockdown I wanted to photograph some musicians and performers on their doorsteps, windows and gardens, mainly for my own sanity,” she says. “All images were taken while practising social distancing, and apart from one shoot in North London, all photos were taken during May and early June.”

Knox, main singer and songwriter for The Vibrators, although no longer touring with them. Please check out his music charity shop Rock ‘N’ Roll Rescue in Camden Town, now open again.

The Smeg, lead singer of King Kurt and Swannee Lucifera Vranckx, creative photographer, model and performer.

Ben Ward, singer of heavy metal band Orange Goblin and Sandie Soriano Ward / Sandistik, jeweller and model.

Jen Brown aka Jenny Drag, singer and songwriter of The Priscillas. If you haven’t yet, please check them out.

The Rock and Roll barber Mr Ducktail has been unwillingly stuck getting into gardening at his new home, and can’t wait to get back to work next week. For the wildest cuts in town, book here.

Napalm Beth and  Djamel Abina from The Blue Carpet Band on their hideaway rooftop of their flat on Holloway Road. 

Chrys Columbine, burlesque star, pianist and martial artist, training in her back garden. She is the only burlesque performer who combines classical piano with the art of striptease.

Glen Matlock and Earl Slick were quarantining together in London, until recently when Earl went back to NYC. Their live sets from the lockdown are still here.

All photos by Tina Korhonen, 2020. All rights reserved. /

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