GENERATION XMAS!

A landmark gig in international hardcore will be heard by a whole new generation of fans thanks to a new reissue of a seminal live album.

On 4 December 1983 eleven of Italy’s top hardcore bands – BRONTOSAURI, JUGGERNAUT (pictured), STATO DI POLIZIA, PUTRID FEVER, DEMENTS, USELESS BOYS, WARD DOGS, A’UFSCHLAG, CHEETAH CHROME MOTHERFUCKERS, I REFUSE IT! and TRAUMATIC – assembled at the deconsecrated church of San Zeno in Pisa, Tuscany for The Last White Christmas, organised by GDHC (Gran Ducato Hard Core), that has since gone down in the annals of HC history.

The gig was recorded via a cassette deck wired directly to the mixing desk by sound engineer Alessandro Sportelli, and issued the following year on two cassettes – one C90, one C60 – by San Diego label Bad Compilation Tapes. Copies of both tapes now change hands for absurd money.

The recordings, completely remastered by Sportelli, are now being made available once again as a brain-frying 71-track double CD Last White X-Mas through top Italian punk label Area Pirata.

“I’ve been goin’ to gigs since 1970 and there is none other like this,” says Bad Compilation Tapes founder Chris BCT. “IT WAS THE GREATEST RECORDED PUNK ROCK GIG OF ALL TIME! (Not that it’s a contest). HC blew up from about 1980 thru about 1986. It’s still around but the world blast happened then. These are some of the great Italian punk bands of the mid 80s. This gig is a historical document. It’s high art for future generations. This gig has no bands that suck. And probably all making great music. Some of the best bands I’ve ever heard. To let this gig slip into forgottenness would be an artistic crime cuz there was never anything like it during the heyday of HC from around 1980 through 1986 that I know of. It’s not a perfect recording. I think it’s as close to our punk equivalent of Woodstock as I’ve ever run across…”

Released on 1 June, Last White X-Mas is available on CD from the Area Pirata website and digitally via Bandcamp.

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THE CHEATS VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Pittsburgh rock’n’rollers THE CHEATS are back with a brand new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘It’s alright is the first single to be taken from the band’s fifth album Cussin, Crying N’ Carrying On, which is due for release on 31 July through Screaming Crow Records.

Specialising in no-frills, no bullshit punk rock, The Cheats were founded in 2001 by Todd Porter aka Todd Cheat – former frontman of Silver Tongued Devil and Eviction, and through a series of line-ups have been tearing up the world’s beer-joints ever since, mixing raucous originals with a handful of shoutalong covers from the likes of Cheap Trick and Blondie.

The album’s available to pre-order here.

The Cheats on Facebook

Pic by Christopher Lopes

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GANG OF FOUR UNVEIL NEW SINGLE!

GANG OF FOUR have unveiled a new single and announced an EP ANTI HERO due for release next month.

The release follows the tragic death of band founder Andy Gill from a respiratory illness on 1 February this year.

The surviving members of the band’s final line-up – John Sterry, Thomas McNeice and Tobias Humble have joined with Andy’s widow Catherine Mayer to celebrate the guitarist, through music and in raising funds for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, the London hospital that tried so hard to save Andy’s life.

The lead single ‘Forever Starts Now’ is a brand new song, written by Gill and Sterry and released digitally today. Originally bearing the working title ‘Hero’, the song, says Sterry, is about “a character who sees himself as the hero of his own life and manipulates his partner into supporting this fantasy. The line, ‘She sings along with his song / she thinks it’s like having the radio on…’ always brings a wry smile.” The track is available now on Spotify.

Anti Hero takes its title from the single and reflects Gill’s lifelong mistrust of narratives around supposedly great men. “Andy always had a healthy scepticism about celebrity culture and populist politicians,” says Mayer. “And he could always spot when someone was blowing smoke.” She adds, “Even so, he would be moved and delighted that artists he loved and admired have come together to celebrate him by launching this EP and for such a good cause.”

A second single from the EP, ‘Day Turns To Night’, to be released on 26 June, was written by Sterry just days after Gill’s death and will be the first single for his solo project. “I had no intention of it being about him,” he says. “It just came out that way and also I didn’t intend for it to be released. I often cloak lyrics with ambiguity and this felt too raw. But listening now, I’m glad I wrote it with no thought of where it might go—it’s just a pure distillation of the years I’d spent with Andy and the band.”

The EP was produced and mixed by bassist Thomas McNeice alongside Santi Arribas of the Mixing Factory, another of Gill’s firm friends and collaborators. “It was strange, to say the least, to work on a Gang of Four EP without the wisdom and guidance of Andy, but it was nice to feel his presence and influence again,” says McNeice. “I like to think that this EP exhibits a progression in Gang of Four, while paying tribute to a unique talent that I was extraordinarily lucky to work with.”

All net receipts received by Gang of Four from sales and streams of the EP and singles will be donated to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. Distributor Republic of Music have also waived their fees for this project, to maximise the income generated for the Charity.

Anti Hero is set for release on 17 July.

Gang Of Four on Facebook

Pic by Leo Cackett

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PRIMATE EMERGENCY!

Geordie pop-punks MONKEY MIND are back with a lockdown video for new single ‘Get Rid Ov Him’.

Formed in Newcastle in 2018, this supergroup of sorts comprises singer and guitarist Lee Wright from Crashed Out, bassist Michael Olga from The Toy Dolls and drummer Michael Paynton from The Panic Report. They’re currently in the process of recording their debut album.

The band’s third single, ‘Get Rid Ov Him’ is available now from Bandcamp and all the usual digital platforms.

Monkey Mind on Facebook

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WOLFHOUNDS AT THE DOOR!

Essex noiseniks WOLFHOUNDS are back with a brand new single and new album to follow.

‘Can’t See The Light’ is the first single to be taken from the album Electric Music, the Romford band’s seventh album which follows on from 2017’s Untied Kingdom (…Or How to Come to Terms with Your Culture).

“Musically, ‘Can’t See The Light’ has a discordant guitar line – perhaps carrying echoes of John Barry’s The Persuaders theme – until it reaches a desperate crescendo; this feeling is captured brilliantly by David Janes’ claustrophobic and darkly psychedelic video,” says Wolfhounds’ frontman David Callahan. “All tunnels eventually emerge into the sun (as David Janes’ accompanying paranoid and sick-a-delic video shows) but while you’re underground it can seem like darkness is perpetual and inevitable.”

Electric Music was recorded, engineered and mixed at Cosmic Audio, Epping by Collapsed Lung’s Ant Chapman and features sleevenotes by Stewart Lee.

Forming as teenagers in 1984, the Wolfhounds released four albums and toured extensively with the likes of My Bloody Valentine and The Wedding Present before splitting in 1990. An influence on bands from Nirvana and Manic Street Preachers to Fontaines DC, the band reformed in 2006, eventually delivering new material in the shape of the Middle Aged Freaks album in 2014.

Electric Music is released through A Turntable Friend Records on 3 July. It’s available to pre-order here.

Wolfhounds on Facebook

Pic by Wibble Whitehead

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LOOK BACK IN ANGERS!

French post-punks LANE are back with their second long-player.

Pictures Of A Century represents a relatively speedy return for the band from Angers in western France, following on from the release of the acclaimed full-length debut A Shiny Day a little over a year ago.

The album was recorded on a vintage EMI desk at Véga studio in Carpentras near Avignon in the south of France with producer/engineer Michel Toledo (Soledad Brothers, King Khan Experience).

An acronym for Love And Noise Experiment, LANE emerged from the ashes of legendary punks LES THUGS – who released several albums on such labels as Vinyl Solution, Alternative Tentacles and SubPop during the 80s and 90s – and fellow Angers band DARIA. They released their debut four-track EP Teaching Not To Pray in 2018.

Check out the first single ‘Voices’…

Pictures Of A Century is out on 19 June through Vicious Circle on CD, double-vinyl and very limited double orange vinyl and can be pre-ordered here.

LANE play La Maroquinerie, Paris on 7 November with more dates to follow.

LANE on Facebook

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ILLUMINATION FOR THE NATION!

Undeterred by lockdown, Scottish garage punks REACTION have used the time productively by making a video for lead track from their forthcoming EP.

‘Illuminate’ is taken from The La Chunky Sessions, recorded at Glasgow’s famed La Chunky studios with THRUM guitarist Johnny Smillie in the producer’s chair.

The EP represents the first set of songs to feature trumpet player and co-vocalist Jen Hart who has been with the band since last year. The video was produced by Deano McInnes and the band recorded their parts in seclusion on camera phones.

Having set out to record a third album to build on the critical acclaim of 2017’s debut Accelerator and last year’s sparkling follow-up Keep It Weird, Keep It Wired, the current Covid-19 situation left the band unable to record any further songs so the band chose to issue the existing tracks as an EP.

The La Chunky Sessions is available for pre-order now from NYC’s Tarbeach Records.

Reaction on Facebook

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WONK UNIT VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

Everybody’s favourite DIY punks WONK UNIT are celebrating summer with a brand new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Summertime’ b/w ‘You’re Sick’ is being released as a digital or signed and numbered limited edition 7″ single on 29 May. It’s available to pre-order here.

The video is once again the work of renowned filmmaker Mark Richards.

“We all love sex, that’s why sex sells,” reasons keyboard-player Vez. “Sexiness is something to be celebrated and enjoyed. Lines start to get a bit blurred in music though when we begin to consider ‘female fronted’ as a genre, and the responses to the existence of women in the scene. This is something we’d discussed a lot as a band, and it can sometimes seem like the very presence of a woman in a band causes people to sexualise, regardless of whether sexiness was an intention. ‘Summertime’ was written as a tongue-in-cheek comment on this, as it is something probably all women in bands have experienced to some degree, and I’ve definitely felt it myself. It’s awesome and fun to own your sexuality and use it as power, as long as it’s on your terms. I like to think that’s what ‘Summertime’ is really about.

“We had an urge to put out something sexy with a big beat, something that would simultaneously work at a club but also as a punk song. ‘Summertime’ is supposed to be a sexy song whilst also being an observation of the way sexiness is harnessed in music.”

Wonk Unit on Facebook

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VIVE LE ROCK MAGAZINE LAUNCHES VIVE LE ROCKDOWN!

Free Online Global Music Festival!

This Saturday 23 May Vive Le Rock! magazine will host 32 acts from around the world for its free online music festival – VIVE LE ROCKDOWN!

Acts include RUTS DC, COCKNEY REJECTS, MICHAEL MONROE (HANOI ROCKS), THE PICTUREBOOKS, KIRK BRANDON (SPEAR OF DESTINY), DEREK FORBES (SIMPLE MINDS), SEX PISTOLS LEGEND GLEN MATLOCK and newer acts like TOKYO TABOO and the BAR STOOL PREACHERS.

All proceeds go to the Music Venue Trust to help keep our music venues
alive! Donations via PayPal to info@bigcheesemagazine.com

VIVE LE ROCKDOWN! – This Saturday 23 May 7.00pm UK time at
www.facebook.com/vivelerockworld www.vivelerock.net

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RICHARD DAVIES VIDEO PREMIERE!

Despite being locked-down, Oxford rockers RICHARD DAVIES & THE DISSIDENTS have come up with a great video for their debut single, and they’re premiering it exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

’21st Century Man’ is taken from Davies and co’s first solo album Human Traffic, which is being released through Bucketfull Of Brains Records via Proper Music on 12 June.

“’21st Century Man’ is about confronting change,” says Davies. “It’s a song about how the eras in our lives fold into each other and how we relate to the modern world – might as well get blazed!”

Formerly guitarist with Camden indie rockers Tiny Monroe and alt-country poster boys The Snakes, not to mention stints with Peter Perrett and Glen Matlock, Davies recorded the album over two-and-half years with The Dissidents, who feature Last Great Dreamers bassist Tim Emery, ex-Mega City Four drummer Chris Cannon, guitarist Nick Beere and keyboardist Neil Scully in their ranks.

The band, who’ve been described as the meeting-point between Johnny Thunders and Tom Petty, were due to be playing their first gigs round about now, but COVID-19 put paid to that. Plans are afoot, however, to get the band on the road as soon as possible.

’21st Century Man’ will be released digitally on Friday 22 May and will be available on Spotify and all the usual platforms.

Human Traffic is available to pre-order here.

Richard Davies & The Dissidents on Facebook

Pic by Richard Markham

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BLUE PASSPORTS MATE!

Still railing against the nation from a state of lockdown, Kent punks RISKEE & THE RIDICULE have unveiled a lyric video for their Brexit-challenging new single.

‘Blue Jacket’ is the Ashford quartet’s darkly humorous observation on the UK’s decision to exit the European Union.

“We hate Brexit,” states frontman Scott Picking. “Musically it’s most likely going to cripple UK DIY touring bands on the mainland. Not only that, but with the way the world is so affected right now by COVID-19, we need unity more than ever. Nobody had a clue what they were voting for and people are still none the wiser and all divided.”

The band had a breakthrough year last year, appearing at the Rebellion and Boomtown festivals and releasing their third album and critically acclaimed debut for Bomber Music, Body Bag Your Scene.

‘Blue Jacket’ is available now from Spotify and all the usual digital platforms.

Buy Body Bag Your Scene here.

Riskee & The Ridicule on Facebook

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BAR STOOL PREACHERS ISSUE CHARITY SINGLE!

BAR STOOL PREACHERS have unveiled a video for their new charity single, providing a snapshot of Britain in lockdown.

The very real images of a deserted London and Brighton look more like scenes from a dystopian disaster movie than what we’re usually used to.

The single ‘State Of Emergency’ c/w ‘When This World Ends’ features two songs which were originally intended for the band’s forthcoming album, with the lyrics rewritten to suit the situation.

The single is FREE to download from the band’s website, with a portion of any donations and money from merch sales going to NHS Charities Together to support NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients.

The Bar Stool Preachers are also just one of more than 30 acts appearing at our online festival Vive Le Rockdown this Saturday 23 May from 7pm BST, alongside the likes of RUTS DC, NEWTOWN NEUROTICS, COCKNEY REJECTS, THE PROFESSIONALS, T.V. SMITH, CHARLIE HARPER, MICHAEL MONROE, GLEN MATLOCK, KIRK BRANDON, BOOZE & GLORY, THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE and many more…

Full details can be found at the Facebook event.

Bar Stool Preachers on Facebook

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MC16 VIDEO EXCLUSIVE!

One of the hottest new bands on our radar, MC16 are back with an incendiary new lyric video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Recorded in Worcestershire and produced by Dave Draper (The Wildhearts, The Professionals) ‘Brave New World’ is the follow-up to their Outvoted By Robots EP and armed forces mental health charity single ‘Sleeping On Cardboard’.

“The song is about words being more powerful than weapons in this current world,” says frontman Carson. “Someone says the wrong thing on Twitter and everyone is outraged… for days. Meanwhile some kid will get stabbed and those same people will be shocked, but will they be outraged? Will they ring their MP or the Police Commissioner to demand something is done about knife crime. No, because they are too busy being outraged on Twitter and hoping the person who said the wrong thing gets their comeuppance.

“Would I have got bullied at school if I had pretended my Dad was in the SAS. I can go online now and pretend to be whoever I want to be. My words have the power to create a new world for me to fake live in with all the other fakes.

“In this current crisis, when the first couple of thousand people died of the virus we were all shocked but now 600-800 people are dying every day and it’s just water off a duck’s back because Z-list celebrities are too busy making this crisis all about them and needing sympathy for being in lockdown and not asking for sympathy for the dead. Maybe some good will come out of it… Z-listers can’t get their botox done every month so their faces might become real again.”

‘Brave New World’ is available now via the band’s Bandcamp.

MC16 on Facebook

Pic by Will Hutchinson

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NICK MARSH’S FINAL ALBUM UNVEILED…

Former FLESH FOR LULU frontman Nick Marsh is to have a posthumous album released next month, and a new video has just been unveiled.

Nick would find international success with Flesh For Lulu, and later as the guitarist with THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE, before sadly passing away with cancer in 2015. Paul-Ronney Angel takes up the story…

On a rainy night just before the recent lockdown, friends and family of Nick got together at Nambucca Bar in north London, one of his favourite haunts. By the time the night was over they’d filmed this eye-popping, playful video for the track ‘Crazy Eyes’, taken from his forthcoming posthumous album ‘Waltzing Bones’.

A skeleton stands in for Nick in the video, playing his trademark 1962 Fender Jazzmaster, rocking onstage and backed by a colourful array of performers.

Among them are his ten year old daughter Rosa Marsh and Rosa’s mother Katharine Blake (Mediaeval Baebes, Miranda Sex Garden), who produced and finished the album for him last year.

The video also features Paul-Ronney Angel (The Urban Voodoo Machine), Nick Reynolds (son of the great train robber Bruce Reynolds and harmonica player of Alabama 3), Ray Hanson and Jim Jones (Thee Hypnotics), David Ryder Prangley (Rachel Stamp), Tomi Rae Brown (James Brown’s widow – the last book Nick was reading was a James Brown biography), David Arnoff (legendary rock photographer), Suri Sumatra (renowned burlesque performer), along with a cast of many other shady and talented characters of the London nightlife scene – all dear friends of Nick.

The video was as fun to make as it is to watch, and the evening turned out to be a fine little celebration of the life of an extraordinarily talented musician and much loved and missed man. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Set for release on 21 June, Waltzing Bones is available to pre-order here.

Nick Marsh on Facebook

Pic by David Arnoff

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STRENGTH THROUGH UNITY!

Musicians from the spheres of gothic and alt-rock have come together on an album to raise funds for the UK’s care workers.

Put together by Peter Finnemore from the bands Children On Stun and Grooving In Green – who himself has an emergency services background -the Unity Charity Album features contributions from the likes of Simon Hinkler (The Mission), Noctorum (featuring Marty Willson-Piper of The Church and All About Eve fame), Andy Cousin (All About Eve, The Mission) and Vlad Janicek (Nosferatu).

With all proceeds going directly to The Care Workers’ Charity, Finnemore says, “We’re immensely proud to present the Unity charity album, which has been put together specifically to raise funds for The Care Workers’ Charity. Fifteen artists from the alternative music scene have each contributed a carefully chosen track, many of which are exclusive versions prepared specifically for the project and not available elsewhere. These are strange, sad and difficult times and we all wanted to do something to help. We chose The Care Workers’ Charity because it represents and provides support to the many care workers around the country at the moment who are working every day with the vulnerable and needy, caring for them and trying to keep them safe from COVID 19. Sadly, too many of them are facing the disease head-on now when they go into work, dealing with the awful discomfort, pain and sadness it brings. We hope people will want to join us in supporting The Care Workers’ Charity by downloading our album and making a donation in return for it.”

The full list of contributors is Grooving In Green, Simon Hinkler, Silent Idols, All Living Fear, Noctorum, The Glasshouse Museum, Andy & Nancy, The Faces Of Sarah, Unted By Angels, Down From Above, Vlad Janicek, Chaos Bleak, System Of Hate, Sometime The Wolf and Gothzilla.

The album is available to download free via Bandcamp, but donations are encouraged via their Just Giving page.

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L.A. PUNKS KICKIN’ OUT COVID!

A squad of punk and alt-rock luminaries have come together (while social distancing) to make a record to raise awareness and raise funds to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

‘Flatten The Curve’ features members of SUPERSUCKERS, THE RUNAWAYS, MINUTEMEN, THE ADOLESCENTS, SCREACHING WEASEL, THE STREETWALKIN’ CHEETAHS, PANSY DIVISION and more…

“I had the idea to assemble a group recording with each individual
recording themselves in their home studio, a sort of pandemic
sing-along. When even rehearsing and playing with four others in a room
became prohibited, it seemed like the next best thing,” says project producer Bruce Duff.

“The term ‘Flatten The Curve’ had just come into the public consciousness when Bruce called with the idea of doing a stay-at-home-themed benefit song that we could get a bunch of punk and alternative artists to jump on,” says Frank Meyer of The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs. “It was kind of like ‘We Are The World’ but less cheesy and definitely not a power ballad!”

The project took two days of songwriting and then a week to assemble
and coordinate the recording of the full cast of characters, all of whom donated their time and talent while in self-isolation mode.

Those lining up to contribute included Eddlie Spaghetti (Supersuckers), Cherie Currie (Runaways), Mike Watt (Minutemen, Lisa Kekaula (BellRays), Steve McDonald (Red Kross, Melvins), Josie Cotton, Ben Weasel (Screeching Weasel), Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman), Michelle Balderama (LA Machina), Rich Jones (Michael Monroe) and loads more…

Proceeds from ‘Flatten The Curve’ will be split equally between the Jubilee Consortium and Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.

Stream ‘Flatten The Curve’ on Spotify

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AERIAL SALAD GET STRESSED!

Fast-rising Manc punks AERIAL SALAD are back with yet another new video, which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Stressed’ is the third single to be lifted from the trio’s acclaimed album Dirt Mall, released on their own Roach Industries imprint in conjunction with Alex Wonk’s Plasterer Records. The video is once again the work of noted punk movie director Mark Richards.

“I would walk past the location we filmed ‘Stressed’ every day for two years on my way to work,” says singer/guitarist Jamie Munro. “I always knew I wanted to film the ‘Stressed’ video there because it’s an old office block. ‘Stressed’ is a song about my descent into madness while working in an office for a blue chip company; the song’s not a glorification of weed, more just me pointing out how sad it is that that’s the only respite that can be conjured for a lot of people in their early 20s working shit jobs just to pay rent. Shout out to Tommy from Bruise Control, Lauren from LAD$ Zine (go check that out) and Keiron from Don Blake for their extra work and Mark Richards for filming.”

Dirt Mall is available here now.

Aerial Salad on Facebook

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TWO BANDS CLASH!

Two of the hottest bands from the UK’s DIY punk scene have come together on a joint single to celebrate the music of THE CLASH and to raise money for the Joe Strummer Foundation.

Representing the South, St Albans punkabillies THE ZIPHEADS have put their own stamp on the 1980 stand-alone single ‘Bankrobber’. From the North, meanwhile, come Leeds garage trio NOSEBLEED, with their rendition of ‘Train In Vain’, originally the third single from the classic London Calling album.

“The Clash have always been my favourite band,” says Zipheads guitarist Ray. “All the different styles and influences that shape our sound – rockabilly, reggae, punk – we discovered all of that through the Clash. We recorded this as an Albert Lee-style upbeat country number, it seemed to work!! We’re all so proud to be working with Joe Strummer Foundation and hopefully this single can help them with the all good work that they do.”

“Since I was small, I’ve always had the Clash in my life ‘coz my dad has been into punk since it started,” adds Nosebleed bassist Ben. “We’re really proud to be helping the Joe Strummer Foundation and contributing to them bring music into the lives of future generations. Joe Strummer and The Clash are so important to so many people – the diversity of the sounds and influences they brought into their music is inspirational.”

All profits from the single will go to The Joe Strummer Foundation, which was set up following Joe’s death in 2002 to raise money to provide opportunities to musicians and support projects around the world that create empowerment through music.

Released through Bomber music, the single is available to download from today through Bandcamp.

The Zipheads on Facebook

Nosebleed on Facebook

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