CELIBATE RIFLES’ MEXICAN STAND-OFF!

Australian punk icons THE CELIBATE RIFLES are back with their first release in 14 years.

Meeting The Mexicans: Live In Melbourne is the Sydney band’s first new album since 2004’s Beyond Respect, and the third live album of their career.

The album is a result of an increased period of activity from the band, who’ve been playing several dates over the past couple of years, including a tour with reformed Aussie legends THE SUNNYBOYS.

Recorded at the city’s Thornbury Theatre in June last year, Meeting The Mexicans features 12 tracks, half electric and half acoustic, including covers of The MC5’s ‘Shakin’ Street’ and Iggy & The Stooges’ ‘Gimme Danger’.

Speaking about the release, guitarist and band founder Kent Steedman told Vive Le Rock, “We had a long soundcheck as we had to set up for two different sets, so it was a longer than usual lead-up. This was the first time in many years that we tried an acoustic set, it went over well as always, despite its imperfections, and listening back to it the feel and humour was there, hence this CD. There’s a couple of handling errors and ‘feet into touch’ because we chose to present it as it was played, rather than fix things in production. The album has been remixed with the intent of giving an idea of the energy conveyed, rather than cleansing and polishing it. Where possible, we included songs that had not been out on previous live records. Meeting The Mexicans is perhaps a happy accident, and is a bit like an old bootleg, but this time we are exploiting ourselves. We hope you enjoy and listen to this CD in that spirit!”

Meeting The Mexicans is released as a limited edition CD here before being made available for streaming.

Check out their version of ‘Gimme Danger’.

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RADIO BIRDMAN FLY IN!

Aussie legends RADIO BIRDMAN have announced another string of European dates for the autumn.

First formed in 1974, the band have been increasingly active in the live stakes, having last played the UK in 2016.

These latest dates follow on from the success of Descent Into The Maelstrom: The Radio Birdman Story, a full length documentary by Jonathan J Sequeira. The film recently made its UK debut as part of the Vive Le Rock sponsored Soundscreen Film Festival, where Sequeira and the band’s original drummer Ron Keeley were grilled in a Q&A by Vive Le Rock‘s esteemed editor Eugene Butcher.

Inclduding one UK at their regular haunt of The Dome, Tufnell Park, London, Radio Birdman play the following dates….

10 Oct – Patronaat Haarlem, Harlem (ND)
11 Oct – Het Burgerweeshuis, Deventer (ND)
12 Oct – Paard, Den Haag (ND)
13 Oct – Het Bos, Antwerp (BE)
14 Oct – Wilde Westen, Kortrijk (BE)
16 Oct – The Dome, Tufnell Park, London (UK)
17 Oct – Alhambra, Paris (FR)
18 Oct – tba, France
19 Oct – Carnavalorock, St Brieuc (FR)
20 Oct – tba, France
22 Oct – Molotow, Hamburg (DE)
23 Oct – Lido Berlin, Berlin (DE)
25 Oct – Fuzz Live Music Club, Athens (GR)
26 Oct – Locomotiv Club, Bologna (IT)
27 Oct – Otis Tours B-Day at Druso, Bergamo (IT)
28 Oct – Spazio 211, Turin (IT)
30 Oct – Hell Dorado, Vitoria-Gasteiz (SP)
31 Oct – Caracol, Madrid (SP)
1 Nov – Sala Planta Baja, Granada (SP)
2 Nov – Funstastic Dracula, Benidorm (SP)
3 Nov – Sala Zero, Tarragona (SP)

Watch a trailer for Descent Into The Maelstrom.

 

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AGGRESSION VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Canadian thrashers AGGRESSION unleash a brand new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Tales Of Terror’ is from the band’s accurately-titled fourth album Feels Like Punk, Sounds Like Thrash, which is out on 25 May through Dissonance.

The original incarnation of Aggression was formed in Quebec in the mid-80s, lasting four years and sharing stages with the likes of ANVIL and VOIVOD, releasing the classic Full Treatment album in 1988. Relocating to Vancouver, the band returned in 2014 with a new line-up built around guitarist Sasquatch and extensive gigging. Feels Like Punk… sees them back on form and touring in honour of the 30th Anniversary of Full Treatment.

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ARTHUR ALEXANDER TRACK PREMIERE!

ARTHUR ALEXANDER, founder of NYC power-poppers SORROWS and the Cyril Jordan-produced THE POPPEES, returns with his debut solo album next month. And he’s sharing the track ‘Psycho-Automatic’ exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Not to be confused with the US soul legend of ‘You Better Move On’ fame, this Arthur Alexander emigrated to New York from Warsaw, forming the The Poppees, who became regulars ad Max’s Kansas City and were the very first new band signed to Greg Shaw’s iconic BOMP! label. Later signing to CBS for two albums with his new band Sorrows, Alexander enjoyed a mid-life career producing album for the likes of T-MODEL FORD and KING MUD for Alive Naturalsound.

His debut solo album One Bar Left makes good use of Arthur’s various influences and experiences on both sides of the desk, running the gamut from power-pop to punk and rock’n’roll.

“I started writing ‘Psycho-Automatic’ in 1984, when I lived in New York City,” he says. “And finished it in Los Angeles as it was percolating in my head til 2016 (what do you mean, I’m slow!?!?!), going through various changes, additions and rewrites. Though the lyrics are pretty ‘out there’ and ‘psycho-conceptual,’ they also reflect in parts the turmoil that was slowly building up in my own life back then. Opening with the 9th chord, undoubtedly, and however subconsciously, inspired by The Beatles’ ‘It’s Getting Better’, I’m rather proud to say that the similarity ends there. Aaron Minton from a great L.A. band – Prima Donna (they have a new record coming out on Wicked Cool Records soon) – on tenor sax, for a blistering and psycho(tic) solo break, and then, Aaron, actually all eight Aarons! ;), turns into a full horn section for the remainder of the song. Also, playing spectacular bass lines is my Polish friend Wojtek Pilichowski, a MONSTER of a bass player. Just google him… and make sure you’re sitting down! He’s featured on several other songs on the album as well.”

One Bar Left is set for release on 4 May through Dead Beat Records. It’s available to pre-order on red and black vinyl and CD here.

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Pic by Jeremy White

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THE DAMNED’S EVIL SPIRITS – TRACK BY TRACK!

Following a hugely successful UK tour, THE DAMNED returned last month with a double A-side single culled from their forthcoming Evil Spirits album – their first new album in 10 years – which is released on 13 April via Search And Destroy/Spinefarm Records. The single featured the tracks ‘Look Left’ and ‘Devil In Disguise’, two songs that perfectly represent the album’s many shifting moods and styles.

Last week the band put a cap on the first quarter of the year when they headlined the inaugural Vive Le Rock Awards, tearing to the roof of the O2 Academy, Islington and picking up the award for Band Of The Year into the bargain.

They now take a bit of a breather before heading off round Europe in May, returning in June to play a series of UK arena shows as special guests to Alice Cooper’s HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES.

In the meantime, read on for a track-by-track run-down of Evil Spirits….

 

‘Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow’ (watch video)

Up-to-the-minute garage psychedelia that gallops like Scott Walker’s ‘The Seventh Seal’, amid ominous ‘dies irae’ chorale and mucho post-millennial frustration. Vanian: “An optimistic song even though it is about a dark subject. In a world obsessed by ‘self’, this is a cry for humanity to recognize its humanity, before it’s too late. There is a strong influence of Joe Meek here: ‘Telstar’ was a glorious song about the opportunities of the future. I’d like to think that ‘SOTEOT’ reflects a similar sentiment.”

‘The Devil In Disguise’ (listen)

Another energetic garage-punk monster, replete with Monty Oxy Moron’s era-specific Farfisa organ. Pinch: “People gravitate towards blaming individuals rather than the systems they are part of. Figureheads are only puppets. It’s the puppet masters we should be concerned about. The enemy of our enemy is our friend, apparently.”

‘We’re So Nice’

“Where there’s dispute you’ll find us there…” Sensible’s broadside against Anglo-American imperialist meddling around the world bops along gleefully on a Motown beat amid a deluge of melodic excellence. Sensible: “With all that we know about the Iraq war, and its consequences, does anyone still think we were the ‘heroes’?”

‘Look Left’ (listen)

Sugar coated mind grenade, addressing post-millennial society’s “media-induced coma” Vanian: “The weird thing about Pinch is, he listens to the most obnoxious music a lot of the time – all the real hardcore punk stuff – and he a very loud drummer, too, but then he goes and writes this great big show tune – like a massive ensemble cast coming on to sing at the end of the play!” Pinch: “While everybody’s looking left, what the hell is happening right? Tough subject matter is easier to digest when coated in honey rather than vinegar and the message in this song is so important, I couldn’t risk it being a throw away aggro punk tune that was immediately overlooked. I see it more as a love song to the human race. The future is here, and until you awaken your mind, I’ll wait for you.”

‘Evil Spirits’

Fantastically searching, in the best sense ‘progressive’, rocker, with vague echoes of The Who’s ‘Magic Bus’ and The Rolling Stones’ ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’, and some commensurately exploratory soloing from Sensible. An urgently free-spirited riposte to today’s political stasis. Sensible: “Whoever you vote for, nothing changes. Labour or Tory, two cheeks of same bum.” Vanian: “The Who are never far away from The Damned’s sound. We’ve had some big noses in this band, too. I suppose there are some parallels between us, because they were a high-energy band, too, but then Pete started writing his rock-opera stuff, stretching out, looking for different ways of writing. Queen did the same sort of thing as well – we’re one of those bands whose music can cover different genres of music, within one song.”

‘Shadow Evocation’

Quintessential Vanianism, about espousing the night and finding a better way forward than “chasing ghosts of the past”. Features acrobatic backing vocals from American singer-songwriter Kristeen Young. Vanian: ”Kristeen has a remarkable vocal range reminiscent of Yma Sumac [1950’s Peruvian-American soprano]. Her singing at the end of the song was originally played on a Theramin but once Kristeen sang the part, there was no need for the instrument anymore.”

‘Sonar Deceit’

Another garage-psych belter, propelled by a jaunty His Latest Flame-style bassline. “What makes a fish desert the sea?” ponders the Captain in this hard-hitting critique of whales and dolphins being driven insane by bombardment by deafening sonar.

Sensible: “What could it possibly be that drives whales and dolphins to prostrate themselves on beaches around the world?”

‘Procrastination’

Noel Coward-esque study of creative deferral, with more mid-’60s Farfisa from Mr Oxy Moron. Sensible: “One of Monty’s, this one. A bit of self-analysis here: what could be the reason that this band’s last album was recorded back in 2008? It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself – well, at least I think he’s talking about himself there… Isn’t he? Or is it me? Blimey!”

‘Daily Liar’

Co-written by Sensible (tune) and Vanian (lyric), another anger-fuelled barnstormer, with a Kinksian introductory fanfare, a driving beat, and a stirring melodic ascent. All together now: say “no, no, no…no-no” to media misinformation! Sensible: “For his own selfish reasons, Trump started a discussion about ‘fake news’, but it’s one that some might say has been long overdue. Not a pinch of salt required – you need a whole cellar of the stuff these days.”

‘I Don’t Care’

Punk heedlessness rebooted as a triptych of political disaffection, spanning moody piano balladry, Who-y explosiveness, and nocturnal jazz

Vanian: “This should have been a short song, perhaps only a minute long, written on a rainy afternoon in my study. Demoing the song, I almost forgot that there were two more sections, turning it into a three-part epic in about the same amount of minutes, which seems longer because of the differing moods.”

Evil Spirits is available on digital download via Spotify and i-Tunes, on CD and 180g vinyl available to pre-order HERE

Catch The Damned live at….

EUROPE:

May 17 – Frankfurt – Batschkapp
May 19 – Lausanne – Les Docks
May 20 – Milan – Magnolia
May 22 – Munich – Strom
May 23 – Berlin – SO36

May 25 – Hamburg – Fabrik
May 26 – Oberhausen – Turbinenhalle
May 27 – Amsterdam – Melkweg Oude Zaal

May 29 – Paris – Petit Bain

UK:

June 16 – Birmingham – Genting Arena *

June 17 – Manchester – Arena *

June 19 – Glasgow – The SSE Hydro *

June 20 – London – The SSE Arena, Wembley *

US:
July 1 – Oakland – Burger Boogaloo Festival

July 5 – Vancouver – Commodore Ballroom (on sale 4/6 10am PST)
July 6 – Portland – Crystal Ballroom (on sale 4/6 10am PST)
July 7 – Seattle – Showbox at the Market (on sale 4/6 10am PST)

UK:

August 22 – Southampton – 02 Guildhall

August 23 – Holmfirth – Holmfirth Picture House

August 24 – Warrington – Warrington Parr Hall

August 25 – Belfast – Belsonic Festival (main support to Stiff Little Fingers)

* supporting the Hollywood Vampires

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BRIAN JAMES: NOT SLOWING DOWN!

While THE DAMNED have been basking in the limelight of their new album, original band founder BRIAN JAMES hasn’t been idle, revealing a brand new video as a taster for an expanded reissue of his hard-to-find debut solo album, as well as announcing a London date.

Brian James was originally recorded in 1990 following the break-up of James’ 80s band THE LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH. It was released on French label New Rose, formed a decade earlier, its name taken from the James- penned Damned debut single.

Reissued on 27 April through Easy Action Records, the album has been fully remastered for vinyl with two bonus tracks, new artwork and liner-notes by Brian. It’s available to pre-order here.

Brian recently went into the studio in Brighton, with drummer Malcolm Mortimer (who played on the original album) and bassist Austin Gayton, to make a video for the track ‘Slow It Down’. The video was shot by Tim and Poppy from fast-rising Birmingham garage trio TABLE SCRAPS.

“Although we’d factored in the usual amount of time for bands to take rests and to fuck up a few takes, Brian, Austin and Malcolm didn’t miss a single beat,” reveals Tim. “They had more energy and enthusiasm during the shoot than any teenage band I’ve filmed or seen play and it’s clear that Brian lives and breathes rock’n’roll.”

Brian James has just announced a show at The Lexington in London on 28 June, with Table Scraps as support. Tickets are on sale here.

Brian is currently working on his autobiography.

© Barry Pitman/www.pixelsonapage.com

 

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LAST GREAT DREAMERS VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Retooled power-pop rockers LAST GREAT DREAMERS have revealed a new video, which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘No Sunshine’ is the first single to be taken from the band’s fourth album, 13th Floor Renegades, their second all new release since their 2014 reformation.

“‘No Sunshine’ was one of the last songs we wrote for the album at the end of a three-day writing session,” says guitarist Slyder. “Marc played me a chord progression and a title idea and melody he had and instantly I knew I had some chords and a melody I’d written that would fit with it. We basically just bolted the two bits together and that was it. It all happened very quickly. I love the way it doesn’t really have a verse or chorus, it’s kind of an anti-song, quite different to anything else we’ve done. The video has a kind of horror B-movie quality about it, it’s a dark song about acknowledging your inability to feel any joy despite all the good things in your life.”

Set for release on Friday 13 April through Ray Records, the album is available to pre-order here.

The band play a special album launch show on Saturday 7 April at The Asylum 2, Birmingham before heading off round the country on tour. Full dates are….

Sat 7 April BIRMINGHAM Asylum 2 (Album Launch)
Thu 12 April LONDON The Black Heart
Fri 13 April CANNOCK The Station
Sat 14 April BRIDGEND Hobos
Sun 15 April CAMBRIDGE Portland Arms
Wed 18 April WAKEFIELD Black Mass
Thu 19 April GRIMSBY Yardbirds
Fri 20 April CARLISLE Club Rock
Sat 21 April GLASGOW Nice’n’Sleazy
Sun 22 April NEWCASTLE Trillians

Tickets are available through their website.

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KILLING JOKE ANNOUNCE AUTUMN DATES!

KILLING JOKE have announced a string of UK dates for the autumn.

Announced via the band’s Gathering newsletter the UK leg of the Laugh At Your Peril tour, which celebrates the band’s 40th Anniversary, kicks off in Nottingham on 2 November and culminates with a show at London’s legendary Roundhouse on 17 November.

Full dates are…

Fri 2 Nov – Rock City, Nottingham
Sat 3 Nov – O2 Academy, Leeds
Sun 4 Nov – Northumbria University, Newcastle
Tue 6 Nov – Barrowland, Glasgow
Wed 7 Nov – Manchester Academy, Manchester
Fri 9 Nov – The Institute (The O2), Birmingham
Sat 10 Nov – O2 Academy, Bristol
Sun 11 Nov – Guildhall, Southampton
Tues 13 Nov – Corn Exchange, Cambridge
Wed 14 Nov – UEA, Norwich
Fri 16 Nov – O2 Academy, Oxford
Sat 17 Nov – Roundhouse, London

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HAPPY EATER!

Former Eater frontman ANDY BLADE spoke to Vive Le Rock for last month’s issue. He had quite a lot to say for himself so we thought you’d like to see Hugh Gulland’s whole feature in full…..

TRIPLE BLADE ACTION

Andy Blade’s latest release sees the former Eater frontman taking full control of a solo career that’s seen numerous twists since his former band’s demise in 1979. Hugh Gulland skips off school to find out more.

“There’s a lot of old faces,” Andy Blade muses about the demographic at his recent solo gigs. “Old punks, they make up about fifty per cent. And the rest of it are interested people, who are via the internet, thinking ‘There’s a punk rock legend playing’ − doesn’t matter who I was in! I don’t mind the fact, at least they show up − then it’s a case of getting them on board in reality, and not just liking me because I’m an old punk!”

After a somewhat sporadic solo output characterised by various short-lived writing partnerships, Blade’s recent trio of albums represents a more concentrated public campaign than we’ve seen in some years from this often reclusive artist. His latest offering, the darkly claustrophobic Plastic Penny And The Strange Wooden Horse, reveals something of Blade’s inner workings:

“The original title comes from Denim − you know Lawrence? One of his songs on a recent album was just a list of band names that he thought sounded cool. There’s some really funny ones, like Heavy Jelly, funny words that sound good together. And one of them was Plastic Penny And The Strange Wooden Horse, and that’s how I came up with the title.

“But, I saw it as a metaphor, Plastic Penny being us, and The Strange Wooden Horse being authority, government, or whatever it is we’re being suppressed by. Basically Plastic Penny is all the good ideas, and The Strange Wooden Horse are all the bad ideas, and just that fight between them.”

The language of that title track is strikingly sinister, almost sexually threatening…

“Yeah it is, it’s meant to be, sexually threatening is right. The choice of words, I’m not actually saying anything, but they sound sexually threatening. And it’s the idea of having your power taken away from you by a bigger kind of force, but it’s also having a go at all popular culture; the hipster, trends… I think people have been reduced to ignorance, and unless you use this kind of heavily suggestive, in-your-face kind of language to express yourself, our feelings all get homogenised, and made acceptable and nice. With any songwriter, it’s always a case of not toning anything down, and if you can up the ante, with hints or suggestions, just placing the right key word here and there… it’s not really saying one thing in particular, it’s more about lashing out at invisible enemies that you have no control over.”

There’s quite a claustrophobic tone to the album altogether?

“I think that’s because, in my head I feel pretty claustrophobic… not just in music but every single way, socially. I’m not part of a profession, apart from a musician, which is a very loose profession… I’m not part of any particular group, I keep finding out I don’t belong, the older I get the more I find out I don’t seem to belong.

“Even more so than when I was a punk, at least I had a community there to belong to. There was a very identifiable community, anybody that was pissed off can join. Nowadays I feel like I’m totally alone.”

Might some of this be exacerbated by the nature of your current location, Guildford?

“Guildford’s like a second-class Richmond, without the celebrities and stuff, and it’s so homogenised. They’ve got an ACM school there, which is the rock school, and it produced Ed fucking Sheeran! Everybody in Guildford’s got a guitar on their back if they’re under 25, and they’re talking about the course they’re on that’s going to turn them into pop stars…

“That’s the kind of town Guildford is, as long as they can say to their kids that they helped them try to achieve their dream, even though it’s a total waste of time. But yes, it is a bit of a Stepford town, but I don’t think that’s the reason. Because that’s the way I felt from California, to Richmond, to Muswell Hill, it doesn’t really matter where it is, I never felt like part of what’s going on, anywhere.

“Even with punk, it felt to me as though me and Brian [Chevette], the guitarist, were conning people, at school, that we had a band; we said we did before we did have a band for starters! We obviously wanted a band, but we didn’t have the money for instruments, so we eventually nicked our first instruments − and that’s when, for the first time, I realised if you turned around to someone and said ‘I’m this or I’m that’ and you showed them scant evidence, like a guitar or a card, that’s all they need.

“If I’d been more confident with that, Eater would have been have been hugely successful. The only problem being, at fifteen or sixteen, we were under the impression someone’s going to rumble us any second now and say ‘Hang on a minute, you’re not proper musicians!’ Even though punk’s supposed to be not proper musicians, we still felt like ‘We’re getting away with this’!

“It’s only now, lately, that I realise Eater did actually mean a lot to quite a lot of people, and it wasn’t a case of ‘We’re getting away with this, and someone’s gonna come in any minute and say, go home’. It almost felt like things can only be sanctioned with hindsight, which is sad cos at the time something’s happening, you don’t do as much as you could do, because you spend half the time looking over your shoulder!”

Listening to Eater’s catalogue now, it’s almost like you were the crystallisation of what a UK punk band was truly supposed to be – teenagers still working out how to use their instruments!

“I’m not just saying this egotistically, I think we were the real definition of a punk band! We were actually the first, when Johnny Rotten made that famous comment, he wants everyone to form a band and bla bla, we took that literally! It’s not like we thought ‘We’ll stop playing jazz fusion now’, or ‘We’ll stop playing rock ’n’ roll’; we hadn’t played anything!

“We were just, tune up and we’ll learn three chords now, and those songs that you apparently can write… and it was after buying that Ramones album, [it] was proof that three chords and a short song could be fine. And so I think we really were the definition, most of the bands that are now punk legends had been in, you know, Bay City Rollers tribute bands! Jimmy Pursey for instance, the year before he formed Sham 69, he really was in a Bay City Rollers lookalike band!

“Others, The Heartbreakers, you know, were hardly spring chickens, they weren’t the same, although they were welcomed when they came over, Eater shared their same manager, they were like heroes of ours, purely because of the Dolls rather than what they actually were… although undeniably tight and undeniably good. I listened to LAMF the other day, and there’s one track on it that’s sort of punky and new wavey, that’s ‘All By Myself’, all the other songs are rehashed R&B type riffs and stodgy ‘Chinese Rocks’ type…, it’s all fine, great, they’re played well, but really nothing to make you go ‘Fuck me!’ Just, ‘It’s alright’ − but it was such a change from the weedy sounding people who couldn’t play, on the circuit; you could go and see a band who could play a whole set without guitar strings breaking or without someone walking off in a hissy fit, you could get to the end, applause between each song, professional! It’s all good. But there’s surprisingly few who were the definition of a punk band! Eater were!”

Lyrically, you were deliberately provocative?

“I think you have to do that, because what else were we going to write about? We had a rough idea of the nihilism, like of the Ramones lyrics, and the idea of writing a song based around ‘I don’t wanna walk around with you’, it was easy. And then the idea of slagging off teachers and headmasters was easy, because we were still at school, and we made difficulty at school! I was being taken to court, at the time, I didn’t even realise how serious that was until recently when I found letters to my mother from the education services! They were taking her to court cos I’d missed school, and they were about to put me in a special school, right up until my sixteenth birthday, which was when Outside View, the first single, was released.

“They had plans to more or less kidnap me, and take me off to this special school, I’d broken the law by missing school, but that wasn’t the real reason… I won’t go into that! Lots of other reasons (the headmaster) wanted me thrown out of the school, there was a little bit of that, a little bit of the fact that I’d broken the rules, my mother hadn’t made me go to school, although I don’t know how she could  have made me go to school. And I didn’t realise how serious it was, they hounded me right up till sixteen, which is so weird; I was doing well in this band that everybody was going on about all the time, we’d taken them to see the proof of the pudding − the records, newspapers with our name in it etc. And yet they were still trying to prosecute, send my mum to jail, or whatever they were going to do, or send me to a reform school… but we had something, we were a real band.

“It’s very unusual to find any band under sixteen years old that hadn’t been put together or manufactured by a label, or by a Svengali, and we were probably the only band ever, tied to rock ’n’ roll, that did everything ourselves, literally everything, and no other involvement until we were established. And then we had people get on board.”

Ah yes, the business dealings, starting with Eater’s signing to Dave Goodman’s fledgling label…

“He approached us, he saw an advert in the back of the Melody Maker, which was the bible for advertising at the time, saying ‘punk band require bass player’. We had Dee Generate and Brian in the band, but we needed a bass player. He phoned up, saying he’s a record label, and a sound engineer, he works for the Sex Pistols, he’s starting a record label with Johnny Rotten called Rotten Records and would we like to sign? So yeah, of course, and then it turns into, well Johnny Rotten’s not actually involved in it, and it’s not actually called Rotten Records. They slowly but surely pulled the wool over our eyes after attracting us in, and tied us to a contract I’ve never ever been able to get out of since!”

Eater folded in 1979, was there a final straw or was it a question of gradual erosion?

“It was really a straw, it was getting to the point of… after we found out about the Polydor (Japan) deal, that was really it, and also we wanted more wages, we were then paid £15 a week − which wasn’t that bad for then! The direction we were going was nowhere, without Brian in the band, someone else to write with. It was just Ian [Woodcock] taking control of the band, and he was, cos I wasn’t turning up to rehearsals − he had a perfect band now, when he joined us there was three crappy musicians and him, and by the time we were about to split there was three good musicians and me! And the good musicians jammed, did what good musicians do – take all the excitement out of the music!

“I didn’t like the direction it was going in, I went from being totally up for walking half way across London to get to a rehearsal, walking back at midnight, to not being arsed to get out of bed to get in a car to take me to a rehearsal. So when I suggested we all turn up and tell Caruso [Fuller] what a XX!X he is, they loved that idea, and it brought us all back together suddenly, we turned up in a show of force, and so we had this big scene, with him screaming, begging us to come back into the office,  ‘you can’t split now, we’ve got a second album to come out’ and came out with this classic line ‘You can’t  teach me jack shit about rock ’n’ roll’ − made us laugh all the way back to Finchley!”

So after this you began to work with Brian James?

“That’s when the solo career started, I’d been writing with Brian, and he was looking for a singer for Lords Of The New Church, his next project after Tanz Der Youth, he’d been out of The Damned for a while by then. And I think he was eyeing me up for that job. We recorded a couple of songs that were really OK, and if we’d carried on working together I think it would have been really good, and I was really up for that. But when he started to go to Stiv Bators, it was obvious that was a better move, as far as I could see, for him to do that. Actually looking back, we would have made a good team, I liked his writing, I’d like to have worked with him, but that didn’t come to much, after a bit of recording. And I started working with Billy Duffy, after Slaughter And The Dogs split up. Because of their age, they were closest to our age, they were a bit older than us, but we met them early on, so we were kind of on the same wavelength. They split and formed the band Studio Sweethearts. The band sounded like the name, it was like done up in the studio, all swish production and crap lyrics! And Billy was the best one in it, and we became friends, he moved into the flat above me and we became mates, and he joined my band. Phil Rowland out of Eater, had come in to drum [with Studio Sweethearts], I nicked Billy from him, and we recorded a single together, did a lot of gigs − the songwriting was getting good. He was another guy that I found really good to work with, and he was looking for someone that he could work with, and write lyrics. He’d gone to Morrissey before, and he’d tried to coerce Morrissey into − I think he did a bit, with Ed Banger and the Nosebleeds, a very early incarnation. Just before he met me, he tried again, when he was trying to get out of the Studio Sweethearts, he tried again to see if Morrissey was into doing something rather than sitting in his room, but he didn’t want to do anything! He actually did, he was in The Smiths about a year later, Johnny Marr had to go and get him out his room!

“So eventually Billy and I started to work together, and it was really good, and the songs were great, we wrote about twelve really interesting tracks in the space of a couple of weeks, and just as we’d got a band together and started rehearsing, he got another offer, from Kirk [Brandon, Theatre Of Hate] −  it was big compared to ‘the ex-singer out of Eater’, and so he took that, and then nothing came of it, and  he then joined The Cult. But again, I think if he’d gone a different route, we could have done something pretty good. After that I gave up looking for a guitarist. This trilogy of albums I’ve released since 2008 − I’d totally given up on the idea of working with someone else. It’s a bit self-indulgent when you play and record everything yourself, but it’s making up for a lot of lost time that you’ve spend watering down ideas by working with people who turn out not to be… you don’t have any faith in someone, writing songs with someone, you really have to have them sussed otherwise you’re at risk of giving them something really valuable, for them to kick the shit out of it and turn it into something that’s horrible, ruin its aesthetic value.

“If you’re the one with the ideas, it’s taken me a very long to realise, I have ideas, that’s always been the case, I feel like I don’t have the time to waste, either to write songs with someone or collaborate in any way. Until I can totally have things my way financially, and get the people I want, I’m stuck with having to do everything myself, because I just don’t trust anyone else!”

You’re out there gigging on the back of this new album, what does the immediate future hold?

“I only have short-term aims, I don’t make plans, a lot my time is spent thinking about mortality. Not that I’ve got anything that’s gonna kill me, but I had a bad scare a few years back that really made me have to question that side of things, so I don’t make a lot of plans. But I have a new book coming out, that I’ve almost finished, that will be out this year, and I have a guy in the States − weird tenuous connection – he worked on that very popular comedy sitcom, [Curb Your Enthusiasm]; one of the writers on that show is an old mate of mine, came out to England from California in the punk years, and he’d back out in Hollywood now, is a top guy out there; he loves the idea of turning my original book Secret Life Of A Teenage Punk Rocker into a movie. He wants it to be a movie but has the idea of turn it into a sitcom, after a movie!”

Beyond this, Andy has been nurturing plans for one particular gig some way off the usual circuit:

“I’m hoping to go to Gaza to play a gig. Because a friend of mine, Palestinian, was killed by the Israelis at a demonstration back in the late nineties. And we were really good friends, he effectively saved my life on one occasion, I was really upset when he died. The problem is, as soon as you say you’re doing something for anybody connected with Palestine or Israel it immediately becomes all political. And I’m sick of arguing about the rights and wrongs of the situation… I’m really not interested in the politics, the only reason I want to do a gig there is I promised my mate one day I would do that. In my heart I would like to do that.”

Plastic Penny And The Strange Wooden Horse is out now through Flycatcher / Cherry Red.

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TABLE SCRAPS SHOW THEIR TEETH!

Fast-rising Brummie garage-psychers TABLE SCRAPS have unveiled another new video!

The reverb-drenched ‘Lyin’ Thru Yer Teeth’ is the latest track to be released from the trio’s acclaimed debut album Autonomy which is out now on Zen Ten Records. It’s available on vinyl, CD and download through their website.

The band play the following festival dates before heading on a jaunt round Europe as special guests of MONSTER MAGNET….

28 Apr – Wrong Festival, Liverpool
05 May – Sound City, Liverpool
11 May – FOCUS Wales 2018, Wrexham

Table Scraps on Facebook

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HOW MUDLOW CAN YOU GO?

Brighton punk-blues stalwarts MUDLOW are to issue a career retrospective next month.

Marking the trio’s 16th Anniversary, Waiting For The Tide To Rise comprises 11 tracks of 12″ vinyl, drawn from their two albums Mudlow Country and Sawyers Hope, and from the Minnesota Snow EP. A CD edition adds 6 tracks from their most recent EPs, Letter To Louise and Crackling.

Check out the video for ‘Damn Your Eyes’.

Originally coming together in 2002, Mudlow rose from the ashes of noir-rockers and Dave Vanian favourites CRAWL LIMBO. Releasing their debut album in 2004, they became regulars on the UK punk-blues scene, sharing stages with the likes of SEASICK STEVE, BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES and BOB LOG III at their earliest UK shows, and touring Europe and the USA.

Intending to release a vinyl LP of their EPs as well as reissuing their debut album, the two ideas were combined when the German Label Stag-O-Lee stepped in and offered to release Waiting For The Tide to Rise.

Catch them on the following dates….

Fri 13 April – The Prince Albert, Brighton (album launch w/ Miraculous Mule) tickets
Sat 21 April – Vinyl Revolution, Brighton (Record Store Day instore)
Sat 30 June – Dark Holler Festival, Poole, Dorset tickets

Mudlow on Facebook

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2-TONE COMES TO SOUTHEND!

Stars of the UK ska scene will be heading for Southend-on-Sea for a celebration of the 2 Tone Records sound this summer.

The 2 Tone Forever Festival will take place in the South Essex town’s Garon Park on Saturday 21 July.

Acts lined up to appear include THE BEAT featuring Ranking Roger, THE SELECTER, former BODYSNATCHERS frontwoman RHODA DAKAR (pictured), NEVILLE STAPLE from THE SPECIALS and special guests from Jamaica, THE SKA-TALITES.

Tickets are on sale here with discounts for groups.

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LAST CALL FOR VIVE AWARDS TICKETS!!!

Time’s running out to get your tickets for the first ever Vive Le Rock Awards, which will take over the O2 Academy in Islington, London this Wednesday!

Organised in conjunction with promoters AEG Presents, this promises to be the rock’n’roll event of the year!

We’ll have 8 MASSIVE ACTS PERFORMING LIVE, inclduing members of the Damned, The Professionals, The UK Subs’ charlie Harper, Hanoi Rocks legend Michael Monroe, T.V. Smith from The Adverts as well as our all-star band The Vive Le Rockers and will also pick up their Band Of The Year award! Ginger Wildheart will be MCing throughout, as well as playing a few number, plus there’ll be a special super-rare appearance from The Elvis of the Valleys, the incomparable Shakin’ Stevens!

Tickets for the event – both VIP and regular – are on sale here! You really don’t want to miss this!!!

 

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MILLER ON THE LOOSE!

Purveyor of Gothic-Americana and desert-blues, TRENT MILLER returns with his long-awaited fourth album next week.

Time Between Us is trailed by the video for the track ‘How Soon Is Never’ by film-maker Trevor Moss.

Hailing from Northern Italy, Miller has been resident in London for some years, gigging solidly both solo and with his band The Skeleton Jive. He released his debut album Cerberus on his own label, before signing to Bucketfull Of Brains for Welcome To Inferno Valley and Burnt Offerings.

Earning a reputation for leaning towards the dark side, Miller cites various influences from infamous post-punk neo-industrialists DEATH IN JUNE, through JOHNNY CASH and GENE CLARK, to THE GUN CLUB and THIN WHITE ROPE, contributing to a tribute album to the latter, Hidden Desert.

Time Between Us is set for release on 6 April through Bucketfull Of Brains. It’s available to pre-order here.

Trent Miller on Facebook

 

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GENERATING STEAM HEAT ON THE AIR!

On this week’s Generating Steam Heat, DJ Nony Zero jumps back in time for the fourth instalment of their occasional look at the wild world of sixties garage rock.

This time around he’s hand-picked an hour of garage rock freaks and geeks playing hard rockin’ tunes that pre-date punk and heavy rock. These rare slabs of vinyl were designed to both blow your minds and ear drums!

Expect to hear Dr Specs Optical Illusion, The Wailers, The Quests (pictured), The Outside In, Brave New World, It’s All Meat, The Chessmen, Fallen Angels, We The People and more…

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MAID OF ACE VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

South Coast sisterly punks MAID OF ACE have a new video which they’re launching exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Minimum Wage’ is the fourth single to be taken from their second album Maid In England, which is available now through their website.

The video is the work of acclaimed director Mark Richards.

The band head out on tour next week for a jaunt around the UK and Europe, including a show at Camden Underworld and three dates in France as guests of THE EXPLOITED. Full dates are…

Mar 30th The Fighting Cocks Bar & Live Music Venue – Kingston (UK)
Mar 31st The Con Club – Lewes (UK)
Apr 1st The Underworld Camden – London (UK)
Apr 5th Trillians Newcastle -Newcastle (UK)
Apr 6th Bannermans Bar – Edinburgh (UK)
Apr 7th The Palace – Hastings (UK)
Apr 8th The Talking Heads – Southampton (UK)
Apr 12th La Clef – St Germain en Laye (FRA) w/ The Exploited
Apr 13th Le Bacchus – Chateau Thierry (FRA)
Apr 14th La Citrouille – St Brieuc (FRA) w/ The Exploited
Apr 15th Le’Ferrailleur – Nantes (FRA) w/ The Exploited
Apr 16th Le Mars – Angouleme (FRA)
Apr 17th Le Molotov – Marseille (FRA)
Apr 18th Le Tigre – Selestat (FRA)
Apr 19th Goldmarks – Stuttgart (GER)
Apr 20th Glockenbachwerkstatt – Munich (GER)
Apr 22nd Punk & Disorderly Festival – Berlin (GER)

Maid Of Ace on Facebook

 

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WIRE REISSUE FIRST THREE ALBUMS!

WIRE are to have their first three classic albums reissued in expanded deluxe form this spring.

Pink Flag, Chairs Missing and 154 – released in 1977, ’78 and ’79 respectively – are the foundation stones on which the band’s reputation is built. Originally issued on EMI’s ‘prog’ label, the albums caused a few raised eyebrows at the time and weren’t huge sellers, but went on to become hugely influential, particularly on U.S. bands like R.E.M, Hüsker Dü, Minutemen, Minor Threat and Spoon.

Reissued through the band’s own Pinkflag label, the albums will be available in ‘book’ format, featuring a wealth of unreleased and rare material. Pink Flag will be expanded over 2 CDs, while Chairs Missing and 154 will cover 3 CDs each.

Set for release on Friday 18 May, the reissues will be launched with a special Q&A/singing session at Rough Trade East, London on Saturday 19 May. Full tracklistings and pre-orders can be had here.

The deluxe reissues will be followed by standard CD and LP editions on 22 June.

  

As previously announced, the band are to release a special 7″ vinyl box set on Record Store Day, 21 April.

Nine Sevens features the replica editions of the band’s first six singles for Harvest, the rare 4-track EP given away with initial editions of 154, a single previously released on Rough Trade and a single recorded in 1980 but never released on 7″.

The singles will be released digitally after Record Store Day, but will not be compiled onto a singles or greatest hits album.

Wire on Facebook

 

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ROSE TATTOO ANNOUNCE U.K. SHOWS!

Aussie legends ROSE TATTOO are to have their Blood Brothers album reissued to coincide with their European Tour.

First released in 2007, Blood Brothers is the band’s most recent studio. It was the last to feature original guitarist Mick Cox, who would pass away two years later, and also saw the arrival of slide guitarist Dai Pritchard, replacing band founder Peter Wells, who died the previous year.

The album saw a boost in profile for the band with considerable exposure for the lead single, a cover of EASYBEATS frontman Stevie Wright’s Oz rock classic ‘Black Eyed Bruiser’.

The reissue, which features 6 bonus live tracks, is set for release through Golden Robot on 18 May. It’s available to pre-order here.

Rose Tattoo last year announced a new all-star line-up with Angry Anderson and Dai Pritchard joined by former AC/DC bassist Mark Evans, Angels and Skyhooks guitarist Bob Spencer and former Australian Crawl drummer John Watson.

The band head to Europe in June, arriving in the UK in September. Catch them on the road at….

Jun 05 Hamburg – Germany Markthalle
Jun 07 Sölvesborg – Sweden Sweden Rock Festival
Jun 08 Hamburg – Germany Markthalle
Jun 09 Aschaffenburg -Germany Colos-Saal
Jun 10 Munich – Germany Rockavaria
Jun 12 Dornbirn – Austria Conrad-Sohm
Jun 13 Pratteln -Switzerland Z7
Jun 14 Strasbourg – France La Laiterie
Jun 15 Bochum – Germany Zeche
Jun 16 Alkmaar – Netherlands Victorie
Jun 17 Bremen – Germany Tivoli
Jun 19 Neuruppin – Germany Kulturhaus
Jun 20 Berlin – Germany Astra
Jun 22 Clisson – France Hellfest
Jun 23 Leipzig – Germany Matapaloz Festwiese
Jun 24 Aschaffenburg-Germany Colos-Saal
Aug 29 Nürnberg – Germany Hirsch
Aug 30 Karlsruhe – Germany Substage
Aug 31 Bochum – Germany Zeche
Sep 01 Hartenholm – Germany Serner Rennen
Sep 02 Bremerhaven – Germany Full Metal Cruise
Sep 06 Glasgow – Great Britain O2 ABC
Sep 07 Belfast – Great Britain Limelight 2
Sep 08 Dublin – Ireland Voodoo Lounge
Sep 11 Birmingham – Great Britain O2 Academy 2
Sep 13 London – Great Britain O2 Islington Academy
Sep 14 Kortijk – Belgium De Kreun
Sep 16 Raismes – France Raismes Festival

Rose Tattoo on Facebook

Pic by Darryl Edwards

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